Picture the French Riviera and immediately the first image that will most likely pop into your head is that of a cloudless blue sky over palm-lined shores lapped by sparkling blue seas — all lit up by the summer sun. Yet, this gorgeous region doesn’t only come alive in the warmer months of the year, it also thrives during the wintertime as well. While the rest of Europe might be gloomy and grey in the winter, this glorious corner of France is usually remains bathed in sunshine, albeit with cooler temperatures than you’ll typically find from May through September.
In fact, some could argue that winter is the perfect season to pay a visit to the South of France. Why? Because not only can you bask in the brightness, as you wander through charming seaside spots filled with chic eateries, sophisticated boutiques and quaint architecture, but you can also ski or snowboard. Indeed, you’ll be able to take your pick of a whole host of world-class skiing destinations within a short drive and be on the slopes in no time at all.
And, when you’ve decided to winter in the South of France, the best, indeed the only way, to truly take advantage of all that this area has to offer is to rent a holiday home on the French Riviera. Here are some of the most spectacular places to ski and snowboard when you rent your luxury villa on the Cote d’Azur.
Nestled in the Southern Alps, only 90 kilometres from Nice, Auron boasts majestic scenery and promises thrilling skiing and snowboarding for all levels and capabilities – but especially for those with the most advanced skills. Sporting varied terrain across 135 kilometres of ski runs – with 10 black pistes and 16 red – Auron won’t disappoint those who love nothing more than to spend hours whizzing down snow-clad slopes.
Isola 2000, France
Less than a two-hour drive from the Cote d’Azur, family-friendly Isola 2000 is set in the midst of Mercantour National Park. Because of its north-facing aspect and high altitude, Isola provides a large degree of snow reliability across its 120 kilometres of pistes. Excellent for beginners and intermediates, because of the many blue and green runs amongst its 42 slopes, Isola also features a snowpark designed to put advanced skiers and snowboarders through their paces. As well as stellar skiing, you can also take in panoramic views that, on clear days, stretch all the way to the Mediterranean.
Limone Piemonte, Italy
For those who wish to combine outstanding skiing and snowboarding with a distinctly Italian flavour, Limone Piemonte beckons. Located under two hours from the French Riviera, this ski resort showcases approximately 80 kilometres of pistes and its snow canons virtually guarantee a good day out on the slopes. And, when you’re done schussing down powdery runs, there’s plenty of après-ski options to choose from – Italian style. Dine on delectable local cuisine or raise a glass or two in one of Limone’s lively bars.
The only ideal way to truly enjoy the South of France’s many amazing winter delights – especially for those who are avid skiers or snowboarders – is to rent a luxury villa on the Cote d’Azur. From the cosy, yet lavish, environs of your own pied-a-terre on the French Riviera – complete with sumptuous furnishings, opulent accents, swimming pool and breathtaking Mediterranean vistas, you’ll be perfectly set up to explore all the wonders of this magical region