In the heart of the Southern Alps, at an altitude of 1850m, Vars has become one of the most sought-after ski resorts for skiing enthusiasts, and there are many reasons for this. To begin with, Vars is the second largest ski area in the Southern Alps and one of the most coveted spots for freestyle and freeride enthusiasts.
The high mountains that crown the Vars ski resort represent a preserved environment where snow and cold meet with fervour every winter to create one of the most beautiful white paradises in Europe. Vars is a ski resort in the midst of splendid larch forests and from its peaks, you can smell the Mediterranean sea.
Its natural environment is breathtaking, as it is surrounded by the most representative alpine peaks such as the Massif des Ecrins, Ubaye and Queyras, as well as ski slopes at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres.
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Vars and Risoul: welcome to La Forêt Blanche
With 185 km of pistes, 1100 m of vertical drop, 116 pistes and 51 modern ski lifts, Vars is one of the most attractive snow destinations once you leave the Pyrenees behind. The “Forêt Blanche”, formed by the union of the Vars and Risoul ski areas, is one of the most beautiful ski areas in the Southern Alps.
Vars is in a grandiose natural setting between 1650 and 2750 m altitude, with a state-of-the-art snowmaking network on the main axes of the Vars ski area.
The huge “Forêt Blanche” and the Vars ski resort ensure optimal snow conditions thanks to its high altitude, as well as generous thicknesses from the beginning of December to the end of April, and always offering different events!
Vars ski resort: an ideal destination for families and experts alike
Made up of 4 mountain hamlets stretching along the route des Grandes Alpes, Vars ski reosrt has managed to combine the authenticity and charm of its traditional villages with the comfort of a large winter sports resort. Its natural heritage and its mountain character make Vars a privileged place to stay.
It is a taste of freedom in the heart of nature that this area opens to all. A white and friendly atmosphere, activities and events within everyone’s reach throughout the season, a huge sports leisure area for board sports enthusiasts awaits you in Vars. A resort with a Mediterranean temperament where it is good to live, Vars is resolutely turned towards modernity in a mountain setting of its 3 historic villages: a harmonious cohabitation between tradition and modern services with a warm welcome.
Established in a grandiose setting at an altitude of 1650-2750 m, with a network of artificial snow on all the main axes, the White Forest, provides you with quality snow from December to the end of April. And always offering different events! The resort is also known by the various speed records that it owns, which is no strange cosidering it has hosted important races like the Baronne Speed Tour.
Skiing for all ages
With a wide variety of slopes for all levels spread over the entire ski area and multi-level slopes allowing children from the first star to explore the White Forest using very comfortable equipment directly.
Committed skiing is offered to the more athletic with splendid black slopes, a hundred corridors less than an hour from the ski lifts in the peaks of Eyssina and Chabrières. The ski lift park in Vars is modern (the most recent in the Southern Alps) with recent equipment which has made it possible to make winter sports enthusiasts more fluid and therefore to reduce the waiting time at the start of the ski lifts.
Young and old, with friends or family, you can admire the grandiose panoramas offered by the White Forest, slide down the slopes of freshly fallen snow or simply take a simple break in one of the mountain restaurants.
Sustainable development of the Vars ski resort
Some time ago, the Vars ski resort set up free buses that travelled between the villages. This initiative was born with the aim of limiting or even eliminating the overcrowding of cars that used to circulate between the villages of the resort. Bus drivers are also forbidden to leave their engines running when they are parked or stopped.
In terms of facilities, the high mountain lodges have been equipped with photovoltaic panels. The resort also includes
SEVERAL SELECTIVE SORTING POINTS: COLLECTION OF GLASS, PLASTIC, METAL AND PAPER
This also makes it possible to know where the waste goes and to ensure that it does not remain in the resort to pollute it. At the town hall, a policy of reducing paper consumption has been put in place. In addition, every year in July, a day is dedicated to collecting waste in the resort.
Unforgettable experiences in Vars
First of all, you have to discover the sledging area. There, you can slide at high speeds and enjoy the snow to the full. It is open to anyone over the age of 3, although children must go with a companion if they are under 1.45 metres tall. Without a doubt, the Caribou toboggan run is one of the resort’s favourites.
And for skating fans, you must try the Sledge Dogs. These are special skates that allow you to perform pirouettes in the snow. To make this possible, instead of the typical blade, they are fitted with mini skis – what an original way to combine both sports!
If you prefer cycling, don’t miss the Fat Bikes. These bikes have a super fat wheel that allows them to run on snow and complicated terrain. It’s certainly a curious activity worth trying.
If the bikes don’t convince you, you can also enjoy a pleasant ride on snowmobiles. With this activity you will be able to cover kilometres in the forest. If you want to see as much of the Vars ski resort as possible, this is definitely the activity for you.
If you prefer a more relaxed activity that allows you to explore the area, guided snowshoe tours are for you. This activity is perfect for connecting with nature in a relaxed and stress-free environment. Without a doubt, this is the perfect activity for those who want to take a break from skis without leaving the snow.
Another great way to discover Vars is through the history workshop, organised by historian Elsa Giraud. Two guided tours are available every week. The first, “History of the resort, Vars” will allow you to discover the origins of the resort since 1938. Meanwhile, the second is a new fun visit for families, aimed at children aged 6-7 accompanied by their parents.
Finally, unique to the Vars “Forêt Blanche” domain, discover the magic of the ice cave. Take an unusual family break, for young and old, and let yourself be amazed by the work of the sculptors. These heroes of dreams, experts in the use of irons, curling irons, wood saws and other tools diverted from their original purpose, create sculptures from their imagination and transform them into dreams of ice.
Vars mountain resort in summer
The Vars ski resort invites you to relax and escape during the summer. You will find privileged places to pamper yourself with skin treatments (masks, scrubs, wraps, etc.), beauty treatments (waxing) and relaxation (massages, modelling, whirlpool baths, hammam, sauna, etc.). Relax, recharge your batteries, fight stress and ensure your well-being by taking care of yourself at Vars.
It is also the perfect place for outdoor activities that combine nature, adventure and relaxation. Vars is at the gateway to the Queyras Regional Nature Park, and is at the heart of the park where one of France’s first municipal reserves, the Val d’Escreins, is located. Thanks to its mountain scenery, its green and flowery valleys, its high peaks and its fauna, this area is entirely dedicated to hiking, with itineraries adapted to families as well as more difficult trails.
Hotels in Vars
Le 16 I 150 & Spa Nuxe ****
Located at an altitude of 1,650 metres —in the heart of the village of Sainte Marie and at the foot of the Olympic piste of the Vars ski resort— the 16 | 150 & Spa Nuxe opens the doors to another mountain experience.
With a décor freely inspired by the 1960s, its 29 rooms and suites, its 10-bed “Refuge” flat and its bistronomic restaurant “SKITCHEN”, this hotel welcomes you to Vars. Its large sunny terraces overlooking L’Eyssina, its fireplaces and braziers, its NUXE Spa and its wellness area of almost 300 m² (treatment rooms, large spa, sauna, hammam, fitness), make the 16 I 150 the ultimate destination for pleasure and relaxation. You can also enjoy your favourite après-ski in the lounge bar. It is without doubt an ideal setting.
Les Escondus ***
Thanks to its privileged location at the foot of the slopes, you can reach the terrace of Les Escondus on skis. This beautiful hotel in the centre of the Vars ski resort was renovated not long ago, so it now has a super chic mountain atmosphere.
You’ll find modern family suites, a cosy mountain restaurant with a refined cuisine. There are also some surprising details like its Tree House (a room in the trees) and some more relaxing ones like its yoga room, its sauna or its massages. And even if you are not a guest of the hotel, you can still enjoy some of these advantages!
Les Lores **
Located just 300 m from the Peynier chairlift and 0.9 km from Rêves d’Igloos, the hotel Les Lores allows guests to enjoy the most popular attractions of Vars with ease.
In addition, the hotel has many advantages such as a sun terrace, luggage storage space and free parking for its guests. In addition, a sauna is also available for you to relax after a busy day. But if you like to party and après-ski, don’t miss the bar!
Skiing in Vars : the resort’s main strengths
✅ Eco-responsible station: many initiatives are carried out to protect the environment.
✅ Multitude of services adapted to families.
✅ Large catering offer.
✅ Accommodation located near the ski slopes.
✅ Initiation tracks accessible from the lower part of the station.
✅ Ski and snowboard schools with experienced professionals.
✅ bus lines that run within the station to avoid using his personal vehicle.
✅ Station suitable for summer activities.