Skiing in Montgenevre
Only 2 kilometres away from the Italian border, Montgenèvre forms both part of the local Mont de la Lune ski area in France and the expansive Italian Milky Way ski area. It is France’s very first officially recognised ski resort, commissioned in 1907 and was a top ski holiday destination up until the 1930s and ’40s. The mid to late 2000s has since seen Montgenèvre make a renaissance to its old charming persona and has quietly grown with each passing ski season.
Montgenèvre cuts an unassuming figure with its traditional, modest reputation but what you actually get at this resort is a lot more bang for your buck. Sitting high on the French-Italian border and only an hour away from Turin airport, Montgenèvre has some of the most snow-sure pistes in the French and Italian Alps. Forming part of the Italian Milky Way ski area ( also popularly known as the Via Lattea), a ski pass at Montgenèvre gives you access to up to 400 kilometres of pistes including the Italian resorts of Sestriere ( 2006 Turin Winter Olympics hosts), Sansicario, Claviere, Sauze d’Oulx and Pragelato. If you are craving an authentic Italian pizza for lunch while at Montegenvre, you can whizz over the border, have your delicious meal and be back just in time for a soupe à l'oignon back at the resort. Not only is Montgenèvre blessed with an expansive ski area, but the pistes also range between an impressive 1860 metres and 2580 metres altitude, guaranteeing great snow conditions over the majority of the ski season.
The ski area occupies both sides of Montgenèvre; Le Gondrans is the north-facing side of the valley which is also the gateway to the Milky Way and Le Chalvet on the French side and frequented more often by locals. The majority of the runs at Montgenèvre are located above the tree line. The terrain has long cruisy blues and reds perfect for beginners and confident intermediates. Advanced skiers can find some challenging tree-lined black runs just above Claviere in the Milky Way. There is also a wealth of piste opportunities to explore.
Beginners have fantastic nursery slopes with a dedicated “beginners zone” in Montgenèvre. There is a gentle green run down to the village from Les Grondrans which is perfect for building confidence as it is specifically designed to allow beginners to apply some of the turns they have been taught by instructors.
Intermediates will find a lot of joy in the Milky Way and its wide selection of cruisy reds. AIn addition, the prospect of skiing over the birder is sure to excite a few intermediates looking to push themselves. The Milky Way pass also gives access to other French resorts like the Alps d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes.
Advanced skiers can find a good amount of challenging runs in both Montgenèvre and the Milky Way starting with the Rocher de L’Aigle run which is largely regarded as the most difficult runs in the area; starting from the Rocher de L’Aigle and down to the Claviere village. Expert skiers should also hire a local guide to show them the fantastic off-piste opportunities available in some of the areas like Les Bois des Brousset or Le Tremplin.
Montgenèvre is freeride heaven. It has excellent freeriding terrain and there is even a freeride zone specifically designed for just for freeriders. Montgenèvre also has a great snow park fully equipped for all ski ability level snowboarders. It has 2 fun runs, a border cross an international standard half pipe specifically designed by experts from within the French national snowboard association. If you are hitting the slopes you can find great carving trails on Les Anges and Le Querelay. These are both very easy but if you are an expert snowboarder and are after a challenge, try your skills on the black runs leading back to the Claviere.
Snow Conditions in Montgenèvre
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Le Graal Café
Le Graal Café ( translates as the Grail Bar in English) is a great family-friendly cafe/pub for an apres-ski evening. Perfectly located in the village centre at the foot of the slopes on the Place des Escartons, Le Graal Cafe is essentially a cafe, pub, and bar all rolled up into one. Open every day from 7:30 am to midnight, breakfast is served from 8 am to 10:30 am every day, lunch between noon and 3 pm and when evening rolls in the cafe is transformed into a lively bar with an English pub atmosphere. It’s one of Montgenèvre’s busiest bars featuring live music and live sports and a very friendly atmosphere. There are baby chairs and children’s menus if you are visiting during the day. The food menu also features pub favourites like burgers, stakes and tasty salads. You can also enjoy the wonderful views of the mountainside from a cosy heated outside terrace. The party kicks off later in the evening with DJ sets as well as live music kicks in at night with local crowd favourites, 2 Fat Men gracing the stage every Monday and Wednesday.
A small and trendy bar, La Tourmente combines a cosy, rustic vibe with a chic, cosmopolitan look at first glance. Considered one of Montgenèvre’s hidden gems, Le Tourmente has a buzzing undertone which is helped by its atmospheric illuminating lights and upbeat music. The ideal place for great cocktails, wine, tapas and a vibrant evening. For the party faithful who find themselves in a quiet family-friendly ski resort like Montgenèvre, Le Tourmente will come as a breath of fresh air. Tapas is served between 6 pm and 9 pm, and the bar stays open till midnight. Expect friendly staff, happy hours and a lively atmosphere.
Montgenèvre has adequate facilities available to suit all visiting skiers. There is a good selection of shops, restaurants, ski hire and much more. We have provided a few suggestions that may be helpful for your holiday visit.
For a small ski resort, Montgenèvre has a good number of ski hire equipment shops to select from. If you prefer travelling light without any ski equipment and are looking to hire your ski’s and snowboarding gear on arrival, why not make your ski equipment with us online as part of your overall ski holiday package. Not only is it a quick and easy way of securing your ski equipment but is by far the most convenient way of booking your ski equipment. Time at ski resorts are best-spent on the slopes and not going from store to store trying to hire ski equipment. When you secure your ski hire from us as part of your holiday booking, , all you need to do when you arrive at the Montgenèvre, is pick up your equipment and hit the slopes.
You can secure your ski pass at any of the ticket offices or tills usually located at the bottom of the lifts on the resort. Why not travel with the peace of mind that your ski pass has been secured ahead of time and is ready and waiting for you at Montgenèvre? When making your holiday booking with us, you can secure your ski pass for you and your family very easily online. Avoid the queue at the ticket office when you arrive at Montgenèvre and head straight for the slopes with your pre-booked ski pass which will be available to pick up when you get to the resort. For any further information on how to secure your ski pass, do not hesitate to contact us or inquire directly as you make your holiday booking to Montgenèvre.
If you have had as much thrilling fun on the slopes as we would expect at Montgenèvre, you should have a few aching thighs and arms in dire need of some soothing spa treatments. A few hotels at the resort have indoor swimming pools and facilities for example Hotel Le Chalet Blanche, Hotel Bes and Hotel Anova to name a few. They all have spa services consisting of a sauna, hot tubs and steam rooms. Massage treatments can also be booked and services are not exclusive to guests at the hotels. Another option for a great spa and swimming pool day will be the impressive Durancia Balneotherapy and Spa centre. This very impressive facility provides unrivalled thermal treatment and relaxation services. The full relaxation experience takes you through a balneo thermal treatment with whirlpool beds, massage jets, hot tubs, sauna and hammam and then unto Nuxe spa with a salt mist cabin, Kneip course, outdoor heated pool and more before concluding with a trip to the apotheosis area for dedicated massages. A truly relaxing experience.
There is an impressive selection different of shops in Montgenèvre to satisfy your need for some retail therapy or sightseeing around the resort. There are small and local corner shops to large retail stores for grocery shopping; lovely local bakeries and cafe shops for a bit of indulging and a few souvenirs shops for charming pieces you can remember Montgenerve by. There are also a few pharmacies, food stalls and a wine shop.
Montgenèvre is a Plus Familie certified resort which means that it is recognised for its child-friendly facilities. There are activities at Montgenèvre that are specifically designed for children entertainment and general welfare. We have listed a few of these here.
There are a few ski schools for children where they can learn the basics of skiing and further train to be more confident on the slopes. There is everything from organised ski schools to private instructors at Montgenèvre however, you can save time finding a suitable ski school when you arrive and book your children’s ski lessons with us directly. We have very great relationships and partnerships with accredited and certified ski schools and instructors who are excellent at providing ski lessons to children from the tender age of 3 years and above. The benefit of this is that it makes finding a trustworthy ski school so much easier for you and your children, knowing that their lessons are booked and all they need to do is show up as planned.
There is a wealth of children’s entertainment at Montgenèvre. There are dedicated play areas for children at Montgenèvre 1860 and Montgenèvre 1400. These are specifically designed to keep the children well entertained with slides, climbing walls and other play structures. Families are not left out of the fun either as there are snow games that involve families such as mini snow golf and Molkky on Snow ( a Finnish snow bowling game played outside on the snow) Montgenèvre also has a large ice skating rink which is a huge favourite among families. If you are visiting around Christmas, look out for the Santas parade procession in the village. Away from the snow and cold outdoors, families can attend the Guignol show, an entertaining and educating puppet show held often at the J.Gabin Cultural Space at Montgenèvre. There is also a cinema which routinely plays children’s favourites. For non-ski and snow activities the Durancia Balneotherapy and Spa centre also has a children’s indoor heated swimming pool and play area. There is so much more children’s entertainment at Montgenèvre; the list is almost endless.
There is no shortage of English speaking childcare services in Montgenèvre. The tourist offices at the resort have a roster of multilingual childcare services and childminders available on request.
Montgenèvre village resort height is 1850 metres with the pistes climbing up as high as 2589 metres. Forming part of the Milky Way as well as the skiing takes place on both sides of the mountain with Le Chalvet on the sunnier side and Les Gondrams on the north-facing side of the mountain.