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Guide

Winter sports: Top 3 resorts within 2 hours of Monaco

Auron
© Auron

School’s out!  And Monaco Tribune has selected three resorts where you can hit the slopes this winter with your family or friends. 

Isola 2000, for its exceptional snow

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It is Monegasques’ favourite ski resort. In the mid-1980s, driven by Jacques Pastor, Monaco’s deputy mayor for sports and technical director of the Monegasque Ski Federation, the resort, which lies at an altitude of 2,000 metres, began to welcome Monegasque families.

Why? To create a training centre for the youngsters in the Ski Club de Monaco and the Monegasque Ski Federation. A historic partnership between the Principality and the Mercantour resort, making Isola 2000 one of the favourite destinations for Monegasques.

© Isola 2000

With guaranteed snowfall thanks to its altitude, one of the highest in France, Isola 2000 provides optimal conditions every year.

The only drawback is the lack of elevation (2000 m – 2603 m), which does not allow for long runs. But with state-of-the-art, ultra-fast ski lifts, a day at the ‘home resort’ of Mathieu Faivre (double world champion) and Julia Pereira (Olympic bronze medallist) still means plenty of time on the snow for beginners and athletes alike.

With its many bars and restaurants, nightlife at Isola 2000 is pleasant too, in addition to the different activities an offer apart from skiing (snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, ice skating…).


How to get there 

By bus: n°92 from Grand Arénas (Nice)

By car: A8 motorway from Aix-en-Provence or Monaco, then take exit 52 Carros / Nice Saint Isidore and RM6202 bis, towards Digne/Grenoble. After 30 km, take the slip road to Saint-Sauveur and follow signs to Isola. At the roundabout in Isola village, turn right towards Isola 2000 (17 km).

Prices

Day pass: €38.00

Afternoon: €30.40

Ski area

Auron, for its charming village

The resort sits on a flat plateau with an ice rink in the middle of an authentic village full of wooden chalets. What more could you ask for?

With a ski area in the middle of the fir trees and mostly south-facing slopes, Auron can boast being one of the sunniest resorts in France.

Auron
© Auron

Starting at 1600 m and going up to 2450 m, the Mercantour resort has an altitude difference of 850m. Much to the delight of the purists.

And for those who don’t ski, Auron offers a multitude of alternative activities. Between the spa, the swimming pool, the skating rink, the sled dogs or sledges and snowmobiles, there are many leisure activities for all ages. Gourmets are also well catered for, all puns intended, with some delicious restaurants.

And to top it all off, the resort hosts and organises a number of major sporting and cultural events each year, such as the “Chefs au Sommet d’Auron” festival of mountain gastronomy and the X Speed Ski Tour.


How to get there 

By bus: n°91 from Grand Arénas (Nice)

By car: Leave the A8 motorway at exit N°51.1 Carros / Mercantour, then take the RM6202bis, then the RM6202 towards Digne / Grenoble. After 30 km, turn right onto the RM2205 towards St Sauveur-sur-Tinée / St.-Étienne-de-Tinée.

Prices

Day pass: €38.00

Afternoon: €30.40

Ski area

Valberg, for its family atmosphere

It is not as popular as Isola 2000 or Auron. And yet, Valberg is the perfect compromise between an authentic mountain village and an exceptional view of the Mercantour National Park.

With 90 km of slopes, 23 ski lifts, downhill and cross-country skiing areas, snowboarding, a Big Air Bag, a snowpark and a family circuit, Valberg has little to envy its two big sisters.

Valberg
© CRT Côte d’Azur France/ Georges VERAN

Ideal for children, who can try out their first slope in complete safety, Valberg is a perfect resort for families. Apart from skiing, there is also a number of activities to enjoy in the charming village.

The ‘Centre 1700’ offers hammam, spa, sauna and massages, while the Festival du Rire en Montagne promotes young French-speaking comic talent.

There are also many trails, whether on foot or snowshoes, starting from the resort, as well as the nordic area on the Golf course, a family-oriented space, with well-identified and groomed toboggan runs, snowshoeing trails, the Golf eco trail and a restaurant-bar.


How to get there 

By bus: n° 670 from Nice-Ville train station (Poste Thiers stop) and Nice-Côte d’Azur international airport.

By car: Several roads lead to the Valberg resort, which is located at the top of a pass: A8 motorway, exit 52 Nice Saint Isidore, then the D 6202 towards Digne, go through Touët/Var, then take the D 28 road through the Cians gorges or the D 2202 through the Daluis gorges and the village of Guillaumes

Prices

Day pass: €37.00

From 11am: €33.00

From 3pm: €18.00