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Vars

Vars for an ice cream resort with all the sprinkles, a treat for family and group ski holidays alike. You’ll be spoilt for choice of ski things to do, with so many beginners’ runs, so many snow parks and so much fun! Experts, head to the Pic de Chabrieres piste for the resort’s speed skiing stadium, guaranteed to blow your mind!

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • 66 beginners’ runs • Great snow parks • Speed skiing slope

Great for: • Families • Young groups • Snow parks • Freestyling

Vars for an ice cream resort with all the sprinkles, a treat for family and group ski holidays alike. You’ll be spoilt for choice of ski things to do, with so many beginners’ runs, so many snow parks and so much fun! Experts, head to the Pic de Chabrieres piste for the resort’s speed skiing stadium, guaranteed to blow your mind!

Vars Resort

Quiet reigns over this idyllic resort which is cradled in the Hautes-Alpes – the ideal destination for a relaxed holiday of high quality skiing in a through-and-through French resort.

Vars is made up of four clusters of traditional Alpine villages: the oldest village is Saint-Marcellin, Sainte-Catherine is sunny and authentic, Sainte-Marie is known as the administrative centre and finally the main town, purpose-built Les Claux has all the usual resort attractions including most of the restaurants and nightlife.

Running between traditional wood and modern buildings, the resort’s muffled and traffic-free streets offer a range of boutiques and petite supermarchés as well as cosy pubs and restaurants serving up local dishes - the perfect accompaniment to an already perfect evening.

Alongside neighbouring resort Risoul, Vars is part of La Forêt Blanche - a ski area to be enjoyed all season long with sky high altitudes above 2,000m. The area lift pass gives skiers and ‘boarders access to the 52 lifts serving multitude of downhill runs for all levels spanning 180km.

The tourist office continue to come up with new ideas to keep this resort entertaining for eager skiers and boarders and recent additions include a big air bag for a safe landing to all your tricks and turns. The cherry on top of the cake is quite possibly the speed skiing stadium found at the top of the Pic de Chabrières, smooth and ready for advanced skiers to test out their speed.

If you fancy a day off the slopes, or you’re looking for some eve time entertainment, Vars has a selection of indoor entertainment in its cinema, spas and library and multimedia centre.

Stats & FAQ

Location: France, Alps.

Established: 1936

Open: Mid-December- mid-April

Downhill: 185 km

View our detailed Vars 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 Vars snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Turin Airport170 km, 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 66runs 57%

  • 40runs 34%

  • 10runs 9%

Top Altitude:2750m
Bottom Altitude:1650m
Resort Altitude:1850m
Longest run:3.4km
Slope Orientation:N S E W
Vertical Drop:1100m
Skiable Vertical:1100m
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 40cm
  • Base
  • 25cm
  • Forecast
  • 110cm

Web Cam

Vars web cams
Downhill Runs:185 km
Beginner slopes:57%
Intermediate:34%
Advanced slopes:9%
Lift Pass Price: 180€ adult 6 days
Nearby resorts: Risoul, Les Orres, Molines en Queyras

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Vars

Beginners have their pick of the mountains with sixty six green and blue runs. The ESF base can be found at Vars les Claux, with La Mayt above giving an all blue descent back to the village. Get to grips with the basics on runs such as the blue Heureux, which really will have debutants feeling heureux (happy) with the progress they’re making on long, gentle runs. For boarders, this resort is more about the chairlifts and gondolas and less about drag lifts - music to snowboarding ears. Beginners take the TS Cesier chairlift in the Risoul domain for gliding green runs that’ll have you going back time and time again.

At the top of the Sibières lift, more advanced skiers will find the red classified slalom Ubac to get schussing up to speed. Take the long Sibière run- ideal for intermediates- cutting West for further red runs at the Peynier. Over in the domaine of Risoul, combat the ominous Homme de Pierre (man of stone) for bends and natural lake views.

Experts can scurry down the lengthy écureuils (squirrel) black run. Seek some of the finest powder in all the lands from the Pic de Chabrieres and Eyssina. The most enticing point on the map for advanced skiers is without a doubt the stadium of speed skiing, where a maximum slope angle of 98 degrees creates an inhuman rush.

A variety of snow parks offer a playing field for freestylers: Totem Park, Girly Park, Alfa Park with tricks arranged in the shape of letters: V-A-R-S has thought of it all! Head on down to the Zako Park for budding riders and rail slides and webcams wait to capture memories made. With moonlit freestyling offered too, Vars shows us that snow fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down.

Vars Apres Ski

Vars: an escape with family and friends from the hubbub of everyday life.

Appreciate the finer things in life with in station’s laidback surroundings. What’s better than being sat around a fire of melted cheese with family and friends? Enjoy a communal raclette at Le Rocky Mountain, exchanging melting pans over a table spread with endless supplies of fluffy potatoes, meats and the freshest salads. Le Refuge Napoléon’s chimney side table is set and ready for couples to enjoy Savoyard dishes sheltered from the cold outside. For a spot of music, the Escondus hotel’s piano bar plays at just the right setting for a sweet-sounding accompaniment to an evening of the venue’s infamous beer. If you’re looking for somewhere even more up tempo, Le Lem can be found in the village of Vars les Claux. Set in a chalet style club, Le Lem plays all your European dance tunes.

Take up the challenge of a snowmobile race the next day, speeding through forest trails as you burst out onto the open pistes, mounting the snowy curbs. Soar above the mountains with Aventure Parapente’s paragliding experiences to appreciate the natural beauty of the pines and lakes of this toy village. Huddle together for a walk through the parade of shops of Vars’ central areas, as you head for a night on Vars les Claux’s ice rink. Check out their dance party nights for all the twirling and European music you can think of!

For a taste of luxury away from the snow, book a helicopter ride over the valleys and indulge in the sights of the smooth morning slopes, yet to be touched. At Les Bains de Vars, leave your wellbeing in the magical hands of their staff for exfoliation, massages and body wraps that’ll have you feeling reenergised ready to attack the slopes the next day.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Vars

When is the best time to ski Vars?

Hit the snow kissed slopes of Vars right through the ski season. In the months of winter, South facing Peynier mountain is kept a little warmer, whilst retaining its coat of snow as its peak stands at 2273m. The les Claux mountains catch the sun later on during the Springtime season with its Northern orientation. And with top peaks of 2750m and snow canons labouring to keep the snow at Vars until mid-April, this resort is snow sure throughout the ski season calendar. Find heart-warming Alpine activities here at winter, and ample rider and speed competitions come Easter time, guaranteeing a fun-filled trip for your Vars visit.

Peak Dates

Spend a festive evening wrapped in tinsel skiing in the moonlight at Christmas in Vars. Wander through the shining streets of the villages as you sip on a steaming cup of chocolat chaud, destination Father Christmas and his sleigh! Browse Vars Christmas ski holidays ‣

Watch the fireworks from the shelter of an igloo this New Year in Vars. With dinner dances and festive meals, there’s no place you’d rather be celebrating! Browse Vars New Year ski holidays ‣

There’s something for everyone this February half-term in Vars. Children young and old alike have a whale of a time with instructors and in the resort’s snow parks. Browse Vars Half Term ski holidays ‣

Feel like a winner this Easter in Vars at 2000 snowy metres high! Compete for prizes to be named the best rider and take part in speed skiing challenges. Browse Vars Easter ski holidays ‣

Vars Ratings & Customer Feedback
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Average Rating 4 out of 5
I snowboarded in Vars (linked with Risoul) during the first week of the Easter holidays in 2009. The resort height (marketed as snow-sure) and decent price provided the initial lure, but we were so pleasantly surprised by the quietness on the slopes, the lovely little off-piste finds and the quality of the slop... + more
Rory,
4 out of 5
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Families in Vars

Vars’ ski resort has been designed with children and parents in mind. Family deals on lift passes can usually be found throughout the season, so a family ski trip doesn’t have to be as expensive as you first thought. Our apartments keep in this budget margin, housing more people for less, with kitchenettes allowing for giant dinners without the giant prices.

If your kids love nothing better than a buffet breakfast of a morning, how about staying in a hotel for grandiose breakfast, lunch and dinner feasts where you can really relax without a workload? Ask us about hotels with childcare services if this is part of your criteria.

Holidays with flights and transfers are great for kids who a little young for long distance journeys, while self drive means you have the scenic route option and the chance to stop off overnight on the way. If you’re travelling with other families from different parts of the country, our accommodation only holidays may be more convenient. Ask us today for the best prices!

Shoot down the slopes together after the lifts have been closed for the day as you have a great time pushing each other along on sledges. A varied terrain of runs means the whole family can hit the slopes this winter, no matter what their level may be. The ESF and Ecole de Ski Vars show little ones the ropes on the slopes for the moments when older children and parents fancy seeing what the resort’s choice of snow parks and off piste have to offer. Regroup at lunchtime in the Ludi Park for climbing fun on the 9m inflatable mountain, built for all the gang!

GroupsGroup Holidays Vars

Vars is great for groups of varied abilities who are all about the skiing and snow activities rather than the night life.

Apartments are great for groups on a budget or groups who want to host their own party to celebrate a special occasion. Not forgetting the all-important issue of food, with apartment kitchenettes providing the ideal solution to cooking economically for many hungry mouths. If you have too many mouths to feed, stay in a hotel with either B & B, half board or full board and let helpful hotel staff take the load off your shoulders. Friends can fly or drive together with Sno- and if you’re all coming from different parts of the country, maybe an accommodation-only holiday is worth looking into? Ask us for all the best options for your ideal ski vacation today!

Beginner areas and 66 blue and green slopes can be found in the ski area covering Vars and Risoul, providing first time skiers and boarders with the confidence to progress in a safe environment.

Intermediate skiers are like fireflies to the night with 40 red runs and collection of snow park tricks running the lengths of the Forêt Blanche. Any advanced members of your group are sure to be found in the speed skiing stadium: catch them if you can! Get the group together for a friendly snowmobile race: who will be named the fastest of you all?


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"Unexpected excellence"

Rory
4/ out of 5
I snowboarded in Vars (linked with Risoul) during the first week of the Easter holidays in 2009. The resort height (marketed as snow-sure) and decent price provided the initial lure, but we were so pleasantly surprised by the quietness on the slopes, the lovely little off-piste finds and the quality of the slopes and park. We stuck to Vars, as opposed to neighbouring village Risoul, in the evenings, which had a few fun options for après ski, but it was nothing too hectic. I imagine this would be a good family resort (I did not travel with a family!). I've boarded in seven French resorts now and all have their own qualities, but Vars wins on several levels: value for money, quiet slopes during peak holiday and the pistes make this a real find.
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Rory