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Pra Loup

Not France’s best known resort, but nonetheless one of the biggest and best in the Southern Alps. Pra has a gloriously sunny 180km ski area, shared with Foux d’Allos.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • 180km Espace Lumière ski area • Sunny skiing • Southern Alps

Great for: • Families • Quiet ski holidays

Not France’s best known resort, but nonetheless one of the biggest and best in the Southern Alps. Pra has a gloriously sunny 180km ski area, shared with Foux d’Allos.

Pra Loup Resort

Pra Loup forms one half of the Espace Lumière ski area - the other belonging to Val d’Allos. Named for the gorgeously sunny nature of the mountains (thanks to the nearness of the Mediterranean) the Lumière has 180km of pistes in the hilly and forested Ubaye and Allos Valleys.

Known as the Queen of the Southern Alps, this is one of the biggest ski resorts in the region – divided between the bases of 1500 and 1600, with a shuttle bus running between them.

The first village you reach is 1500 (sometimes called Molanès), a quiet and traditional settlement where new builds have been carefully constructed to match the old ones.

2km up the valley and surrounded by larch forest, 1600 is the main hub of activity, with shops in a commercial gallery and all manner of bars and restaurants. The architecture’s a lot more modern over here, with tall blocks in the centre and chalets scattered around the edges.

Both villages are served by ski lifts – 1500 has the Telecabine Molanes while The Telemix de la Clappe and Telecabine de Costebelle lifts provide access to the slopes from 1600. You can ski back to 1600 on red and blue runs, but to get home to 1500 you’ll need to take the ski lift or shuttle.

The resort opened in the sixties, and quickly rose in popularity as a wintery escape for snow lovers living in Marseille and Toulon. Before being a ski destination, it was a collection of tiddly hamlets built by monks and farmers – in 1500 you’ll find pretty Les Molanès with its ancient bell tower.

Location-wise, the city of Barcelonnette is ten minutes away, with shuttle bus links from both bases. Marseille-Provence (226km, 2-hour drive) and Nice côte d'Azur (158km, 3 hours 10 mins) are the closest airports, and the nearest rail station is Gap (72km, 1 hour 20) for those travelling by rail.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Alpes de Haute Provence, France

Established:

Open: December – April

Downhill: 180km / 80 pistes

View our detailed Pra Loup snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Pra Loup snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Marseille-Provence (MRS)226km, 2 hours
Nice côte d'Azur (NCE)158km, 3 hours 10
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 38 runs

  • 34 runs

  • 8 runs

Top Altitude:2600m
Bottom Altitude:1500m
Resort Altitude:1600m
Longest run:
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

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  • Base
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  • Forecast
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Web Cam

Pra Loup web cams
Downhill Runs:180km / 80 pistes
Beginner slopes:
Intermediate:
Advanced slopes:
Lift Pass Price: €196 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Val d'Allos, Vars, Les Orres

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Pra Loup

There’s a choice between getting a pass for the Pra Loup area alone (covering 100km of slopes) and the Espace Lumière pass with opens up an extra 80km.

Learners can get to grips with their snowploughs on the Clapiers and Sorbiers slopes near 1600, or head up on the Clappe and Costebelle lifts for more short and easy beginner runs above 2000m. The Bergeries-Chemin du Bull and Clappe pistes take you back to the base station when you’re blue-run ready, while confidence-boosting favourites include the Marmottes from 2500m and Peguieou from 2479m.

Red piste skiers can really roam here, with runs streaming from every lift station. We love the Serre de l’Homme on Gimmette and the Quartiers-Chemin des Agneliers on the other side where you can really build up a rhythm on the wide stretches before dipping into the trees. The Pouret chair and Sources du Verdon run provide access into the Val d’Allos sector, where plenty more pistes can be conquered.

Some of the most challenging runs in the area lie in the Vallon du Pouret and up at Le Lac. There’s also the Surf run in Gimette, which is left ungroomed on good snow days. A mountain guide will be able to show you the best freeriding in the area and the DVA Park runs avalanche awareness courses on certain days of the week.

There’s also a snowpark for freestylers, who have blue and red level kickers, boxes and rails as well as a big air bag.

Pra Loup Apres Ski

1600 has the biggest après ski scene, with snooker tables at Le Piege a Loup and a traditional pubby environment at Edouard’s. Le Loup Blanc’s popular for good wines and nibbles, while New Gray’s has a gorgeous sun terrace with loungers where you can bask in the Mediterranean sunshine.

For food, nab one of the outdoor tables at Le Coq Noir for a pizza at the foot of the ski slopes, or grab a burger at La Pause. Le Down Hill is a good option for groups, with a range of Savoyard, European and American dishes.

You’ll find oodles of other activities to get stuck into, from relaxing at the Loup Blanc and Marmotel spas to bowling, pool, table football and video games at Bowling du Bachelard. There’s an outdoor ice rink in 1600 while snowshoeing and snowscooting are other fun things to try.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Pra Loup

When is the best time to ski Pra Loup?

This isn’t the most snow sure ski area in France, but with top heights of 2600m it tends to do a good job at holding onto the snow. A number of the pistes, including red Quartiers and Lac and the blue Peguieou and Clappe have snowmaking, to provide an extra layer of whiteness whenever needed.

Peak Dates

Fairy lights are usually everywhere over Christmas in Pra Loup, and there may well be an appearance of a certain, white bearded fellow...

Fireworks welcome in the New Year in Pra Loup, when we’ve seen a brilliant family atmosphere and gorgeously sunny skies even in the midst of winter.

You’ll usually ski some of the best snow of the season during Half Term in Pra Loup, and for families, the offerings are excellent.

If the snow holds out,Easter in Pra Loup is a brilliant combination of winter sports and Mediterranean sunshine.

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Families in Pra Loup

Pra deservedly gained the Famille Plus label in 2006, for its warm welcome and the excellent offerings on and off the slopes for children.

For tots too small to ski, the Chalet halte garderie provides day-care for 6 month to 6 year olds on a half or full day basis. Meanwhile, those ready to clip into their bindings will love the Piou Piou club with its rope tow, magic carpets and fun features – you’ll find them in 1600 and 1500 (at Clos du Serre), to make the ski school run easy wherever you’re staying.

Teens will love evenings in the Bowling du Bachelard, where activities besides bowling include table football, video games and watching sports on big screens. If your youngsters are taller than 1.25m, take them to the Snake Gliss for a terrific 5km ride down the mountain. There are two sledding areas near the bottom of the pistes in 1600, with another at the Molanès cable car top station.

GroupsGroup Holidays Pra Loup

This is the slightly livelier half of the Espace Lumiere – not St Anton by any stretch, but with some decent bars to spend evenings together in. Make Edouard’s your local for the week, or spend the night challenging each other to pool at Le Piege. The bowling centre has oodles of activities from games tables to screens showing live sports, making it a great base for group activities – if you’re not already zooming down the mountain on the Snake Glisse.

With a good sized ski area at your fingertips, there’s enough to explore for each level of skier or snowboarder. Non skiers can wander around the two Pra Loup villages and the town of Barcelonnette, or spend all week in the Marmotel and Loup Blanc wellness centres…

More Pra Loup Holiday Resources


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