It still amazes me that so few Brits head to the French Pyrénées for their ski holidays.
Admittedly we’re not die hard skiers who go 3 times a year but we know a good resort when we see one.
This video says it all
Here’s our top 5 reasons why we love skiing in the French Pyrenees
- It’s far less expensive than the Alps. Ski passes are around 25% cheaper but also because these resorts cater more for the French and Spanish, you’ll find their peak weeks are different, so you can pick up a bargain for the key British weeks when you’ll be paying top price in the Alps. As an example, you could have rented an apartment in Font Romeu for a week at under €400.00 over Christmas!
- It’s more French. The last time we went we only met 2 other British families there at the same time. This gives it an authentic feel, helps you brush up on your French and you get to enjoy the fabulous local traditional cuisine. Some Alpine resorts have become quite brash over the past few years, so if you’re looking for a traditional and un-commercial ski resort then the French Pyrenees are for you.
- The skiing is fantastic. Few crowds and wide open spaces. I’m quite a nervous skier and will stop every-time I hear someone coming up fast behind me on the slopes (I know!!). In the Alps, this would mean stopping every few minutes and driving everyone else in our party to distraction. However, once off the green runs and onto the blues or reds and you are often one of only a handful of people (sometimes it’s only you) on the whole slope and the views are spectacular. Yes there aren’t as many slopes as you’ve got in the Alps but more than enough slopes for anyone for a week, especially ones as beautiful as these
- The sunshine….oh yes, even in January you’ll be blessed with day after day of glorious sunshine and clean, clear air. In fact it’s widely reported that these slopes are bathed in sunshine 325 days a year and who am I to dispute this!!
- There’s so much else to do here: From a great selection of cross country skiing, an ice-skating rink and bowling, a wildlife park, fortified towns to explore, not to mention fabulous restaurants, thermal spas and views to die for.
The only downside is that it’s location means the season isn’t as long as the Alps and you can’t always guarantee falling snow. However, 80% of the ski slopes of Font-Romeu/Pyrenees 2000 located between 1650 m and 2250 m, are covered by snow cannons , ensuring quality skiing all season.
Here are the facts:
Downhill skiing at Font-Romeu consists of 58km of slopes in the heart of the natural park of the Catalan Pyrenees, on the border of Spain and Andorra in the Languedoc Roussillon.
- 15 – green
- 10 Blue
- 9 Red
- 9 black
- 1 snow park for freestyle skiing and snow boarding
There are 23 lifts consisting of: 8 télésièges, 14 téléskis and 1 télécabine
To get to Font Romeu
The nearest airport is Perpignan and from here you can either take the train, hire a car (don’t forget to tell the hire company you’re going up to the ski resorts), or get the Navette (shuttle bus) directly to the resort.
The train takes you to the station Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Villa which is then a short taxi ride to the resort. If you drive, some hotels have covered parking but if not there’s a 250 space, covered car park in the centre of the town.
Transport links and prices:
Here’s a useful link showing times, approximate prices and how to get from the nearest airports to Font Romeu:
Ski lift prices:
- Adult – €134.00
- 5-11 years – €115.00
- Adult – €208.00
- 5-11 years – €179.00
Snowpark day pass – €24.00
I’m currently researching the Languedoc ski resorts property market, so keep a look out for this article over the coming weeks.
For further information about what to do and where to stay in and around Font Romeu, head over to their tourist office website: http://www.font-romeu.fr/