From Monaco Beaches to Ski-Resorts

The French Riviera may attract expats for its sunshine beaches, but it is also an incredible winter wonderland destination too; a magical landscape of soaring, snow-covered pistes and luxury ski resorts, and all within an easy drive, helicopter ride or short flight from Monaco’s international airport.

Skiing is part of the outdoor, luxury appeal of the Monaco lifestyle, with part of the Riviera, leading up to Italy, named the Alpes-Maritimes, 80% of which is mountainous. Here, the stunning mountains of France meet the blue of the Mediterranean, promising unique slopes close to the sea. With 15 Alpine ski resorts to choose from there are some extraordinary choices, with Nordic skiing down in the quieter Southern Alps too, including cross-country, trekking, and snowshoeing. The French Riviera promises close to 660 kilometers of ski slopes. Inland, the Hautes Alpes is a major skiing area too with top resorts and impressive facilities.

 

Gréolières-les-Neiges

Just over a 66 kilometer drive from Monaco, and just over 20 kilometers in a direct line to the Riviera’s coast, Gréolières offers Monaco residents their own ski resort right  in their backyard; and what a stunning backyard that is with spectacular views across the Riviera. A family-friendly resort, Gréolières-les-Neiges offers all types of ski and slope activities, as well as a ski school.

 

Isola 2000

Isola 2000 is situated by the Mercantour Park area which covers 2,000 square kilometers with incredible mountain lakes and high peaks. The Southern Alps resort is an easy drive from the Riviera’s coast, close to the Italian border. The beautiful resort boasts 120 kilometers of pistes, 42 slopes, and lots of winter sports action.

 

Auron

In Mercantour National Park, Auron boasts 43 slopes and 135 kilometers of slopes. A newly developed Family Park for kids enables little ones to learn skiing and have fun on the snow in a safe, relaxed way with slides and bumps creating engaging obstacles. Auron attracts the Riviera residents and is a celebrity hang-out too. Close to the pretty town of Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée, there are plenty of shops and restaurants for enjoyment off the slopes too, with a more laid-back feel than Isola 2000.

 

Valberg

A favorite amongst Monaco families, Valberg in the Mercantour Massif and 1,700 meters above sea level is the only resort in the Alpes-Maritimes to boast the P’tits Montagnards and Famille Plus stamps of child-friendliness. With 60 alpine slopes and some 30 kilometers of cross-country routes, Valberg has a family-focused ambiance and has a well-kept touch of class too, while catering for snowboarders, snow-trekkers too. In the summer, Valberg’s green pastures are packed with outdoor activities for all.

The above three resorts are all around a two-hour drive from Monaco, making them accessible for a mini-break, long weekend or even a day-trip for residents. By helicopter they can be easily reached within a quick 15 minutes too. Limone Piemonte is also around the same distance, a popular and gorgeous resort just over the border in Italy. 

Renowned high-profile resorts, Courchevel, Méribel, and Megève are just an hour’s flight away too, opening up a big, wide world of winter sports and some of the best skiing in the world to Monaco residents.

While Monaco may be small its special location puts it in a destination that stretches from sandy beaches to snowy peaks with the sun shining down 300 plus days of the year, inspiring glorious outdoor pursuits.

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