I went skiing twice this year, once in mid-March and once at the beginning of April. That’s right, skiing in April in the south of France! And thus is the magic of mountains. The first time, I went to a ski resort called Valberg, and the second, to one called Isola 2000. Here’s a handy-dandy map I created to show you people where I was:
34 miles may not seem far, but when you’re on a bus in the mountains it takes quite awhile and feels much longer, especially when you’re terribly motion sick and fighting to not throw up… yeah, that happened to me the first time. I did my best to sleep as much as I could on all the trips, but I think they each took 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Luckily the second time I wised up and took some motion-sickness pills, so I felt much better after the trip to Isola!
Four of us went to Valberg together one Saturday.
A quick FYI for anyone who happens to find this post that needs info about how to go skiing here:
- the bus to the ski resorts is called 100% Neige. You must reserve ahead of time on the Lignes d’Azur website; it costs four euros each way and there is one bus in the morning to go there, and one in the evening to come home. It leaves from outside the Nice Ville SNCF Gare; go out the front doors to the right and it’s in front of the Ibis hotel.
- You can rent boots and skis (or a snowboard), but not coats or anything, so you need to have your own. That’s the same as in the US but I heard a few people say it was possible to rent coats and gloves and stuff, which isn’t true. Renting is different than in the US though; instead of renting from the resort, there are a ton of little shops and stuff in the ski resort town, always close to the slopes, and they rent skis and boots. Just do some Googling to find the cheapest one and reserve it ahead of time.
- There might not be a lodge or public bathrooms. Isola had a kind of shopping mall/collection of stores thing with some benches and bathrooms, but Valberg had nothing like that. The only bathrooms or places to sit were in the restaurants in the town.
- There also might not be lockers to store your stuff, so to be safe carry only what you can keep in your pockets. I did see lockers near our ski shop at Isola, but there were none at Valberg; I even asked. I brought a bag though because I SURELY thought there would be lockers; luckily the worker at the ski shop where we rented our stuff was nice enough to keep my non-valuable stuff behind the counter.
Okay side note over, that was just all stuff that I had to figure out on my own, so hopefully it helps some other people!
Valberg had some beautiful views.
And my friends and I took some silly photos:
When we got back into Nice, Chloe and I ran to catch the train to the station in Nice closest to our apartments… and ended up getting on one going the wrong direction! Soo we had to get off at Antibes and take another train back, which wasn’t fun for a certain motion-sick girl! I survived, though, and made it home with only a sunburn to show for the day.
Luckily, it had faded by the next morning.
For the next trip, my friend Ann and I went to Isola 2000 together.
Fun fact, Isola has “flash sales” on Tuesdays after 8 PM where you can get lift tickets for half price! So I skiied for the whole day for 15.50€. Scooore.
Isola seemed to be higher in the mountains than Valberg.
As you can see, a storm was rolling in…
By the afternoon we were getting absolutely pelted with snow. Before we were forced off the slopes, though, we rode in a cool enclosed ski lift to near the top.
Apparently avalanches are fairly common in Isola…
Not that day, though, luckily. We also noticed barricades put up in the sides of the mountains, presumably to try to prevent avalanches.
It was a wonderful, avalanche-free day. I was really glad I got the opportunity to ski in the Cote d’Azur, and for a discount both times! One more cheesy self-pic 🙂