Monday, 27 January 2014

Winter Snow and Sunshine with a South of France Villa Rental

The skiing in the Southern Alps is often underestimated.  The sun tends to shine more, it is warmer and the snow record is excellent. Of course if you stay below the mountain you are in tantalising reach of the beaches of Cannes and Nice.  This area is one of the few in the world where you can have a morning skiing and still get down to the beach for a late lunch in the sunshine!


Antibes with the snow covered mountains in the background

The best known resort is Isola 2000 which as its name suggests is quite high at 2000 metres, and with some northern facing slopes, skiing can continue until the end of April some years.  Against Isola is the fact that it is a purpose-built resort so often lacks the alpine charm of older, more traditional resorts. Other nearby ski stationsinclude Auron, which is a smaller and slightly more charming.  Further down the hill are several smaller resorts which can be very popular if conditions allow.

Whilst Nice is 2 hours drive down the hill, some of the smaller resorts can be reached in under 90 minutes from the coast, which means that renting a villa in the hinterland of Cannes can give you opportunities to combine some skiing with more leisurely pursuits when the limbs get a bit tired, or the weather is slightly less promising.  Often, when the weather is poor on the mountains it is still sunny at the coast, so lunch on the beach at one of the many restaurants in Cannes can be a very nice distraction from getting cold on the mountain!

Greolieres  is a small resort with a dozen lifts and maybe 20 runs, but it is within and hour and half drive from Cannes and although quite low at 1400-1800 metres, it has a great snow record and a daily pass is not much over 20 Euros.  A great choice for those with small children who just want a day in the snow.
The Val D'Allos is a little further inland with an even better snow record, in fact you are just about guaranteed snow in this resort, but perhaps a little too far from the coast if you wish to combine snow and sun. The resort of Limone just over the Italian border is also under 2 hours from Cannes and can give you a taste of skiing in Italy.

So why not combine a winter break with some winter sunshine? Villas to rent in the South of France offer excellent value out of the summer season and you are promised the best of both worlds.