The Principality of Monaco is renowned the world over for its glamour and prestige. Not only does it have a myriad of attractive streets that are lined with designer boutiques, five-star hotels and elegant bars, but it is also host to an array of famous events such as the F1 Grand Prix. However, its coastal location and superyacht-filled port mean that many fail to realise just how close the tiny sovereign state is to some of France’s finest skiing regions. Skiing near the French Riviera and Monaco is easy to access and varied.
We have handpicked the most exclusive resorts that are situated within a two-hour radius from the Principality and offer skiing for all levels and ages. In fact, there are so many ski stations within reach that the hardest decision of the week can be where to head to for a weekend of first-class skiing. If you own real estate in Monaco, you’re on the doorstep of some world-class ski slopes.
Here is a list of the spots that offer the best skiing near Monaco to help you decide:
- Isola 2000 is probably the best-known resort that offers skiing near Monaco. Located 110km away, the purpose-built resort has more than 120km of lift-served runs. Its high altitude (above 2500 metres) means that skiing and snowboarding are guaranteed throughout the season. Isola is the home of France’s first snowboard club, the Back to Back Club, which is affiliated to the AFS (French Snowboard Association). The club offers a special Snowboard Passport which provides both slope insurance and preferential rates for lift tickets. It offers easy access to the pistes whether you are coming from Monaco or Nice Airport is just over an hour’s drive away.
- The resort of Auron shares a joint lift pass with Isola 2000, although it is situated across the valley in the Mercantour National Park. Auron is the skiing capital of the Maritime Alps. It boasts a good range of terrains all within the tree line. The resort is perched 1.6km high and has 135km of lift-served runs, including 15 reds and nine blacks. Built around a traditional Alpine village, the resort of Auron offers great family skiing near Monaco. The ambience is more peaceful than at Isola 2000. Non-skiers will find a variety of activities to keep them occupied, including sports, shops, restaurants, bars and museums.
Auron. Video credit: Youtube/ Krystel Biret
- The Italian resort of Limone Piemonte is 90 km in the opposite direction. With 80km of runs, of which 75% are red or black, it’s a fairly sizeable resort with what many describe as a more laid-back atmosphere than its French counterparts. Known as the “Queen of the Maritime Alps,” Limone Piemonte is situated in an important position close to Col de Tende, a mountain pass that divides the Maritime Alps from the Ligurian Alps. Its geographic position ensures good snow conditions throughout the season, but the artificial snowmaking system guarantees that skiers won’t miss out on the action if the weather lets them down.
- A favourite with locals is Valberg, which was built in 1936, making it one of France’s oldest ski resorts. Despite its snowy location in the mountains, the resort has a Mediterranean feel thanks to its sunny position. Valberg is within two hours drive of Monaco and has more than 90km of runs – over 52 pistes. It offers a good range of slopes for beginners and intermediates. Many of the pistes run down through shady gorges above 2,000m, meaning that the snow tends to last later into the season than other resorts. Enjoy direct access to 91km of downhill skiing, with 52 individual pistes, served by 22 ski lifts.
Skiing Valberg. Video credit: Tanguy Debanne
- Another smaller resort is Gréolières, which is an hour away by car. The south-facing slopes of the Cheiron range are open from Christmas to Easter and benefit from snow cannons to ensure good skiing. There are 12 ski lifts and one 1 chairlift, which take you to 28 signed slopes. The ski station has more than 26 kilometres of pistes with a view of the Mediterranean from the top. On a particularly clear day, one can see Corsica from the summit. A small resort, Gréolières is very family-oriented. It is an ideal destination for day trips with children. The drive to the resort is stunning and takes you along clifftops and rock formations. You’ll also pass through the old medieval town of Gréolières with its castle perched on the edge of the mountainside.
For more information on any of these ski resorts close to Monaco, contact La Costa Properties Monaco.