It all started with an international skiing competition in 1907. Back then the French mountain village Montgenèvre was officially declared the first ski-resort in the French Alps and with this it laid its important cornerstone. This history can clearly be seen in the numerous old buildings in the town’s centre even today, which remain preserved and have been combined with new chalets in the regional typical style. In this way Montgenèvre has retained its traditional charm and at the same time it has developed into a modern and appealing ski-resort.
The classical mountain village idyll in a high valley at an altitude of 1850 meters is reinforced through the remarkable climatic conditions on site. On the one hand the southern location of Montgenèvre ensures an average 300 days of sunshine per year. On the other hand the historical ski-resort owes its abundance of snow throughout the whole season to the east wind „Lombarde.“
The third advantage of the picturesque winter ski-resort on the italian border is the direct connection to the XXL skiing area Vialattea. As the single French station in the west of the Franco-Italian piste-district, Montgenèvre is directly connected to the subareas of the Italian stations Claviere, Sestriere, Sansicario and Sauze d’Oulx, which have made a name for themselves as the venue of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
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Montgenèvre’s piste-district and the Italian neighbour station Claviere have around 100 kilometers of pistes and offer a wide variety of activities. The skiing area Monts de la Lune or Monti della Luna, the so-called Moon Mountains, extend between altitudes of 1350 and 2680 meters. Ski-tourists can reach the northern slopes of the Chalvet and Serre-Thibaud summits directly from Montgenèvre. There are nice and easy to intermediate slopes here, which are perfect for practising and there are also a few black pistes directly below the Chalvet summit.
Several challenging slopes await winter sports enthusiasts of all levels south of the ski-resort. In the Prarial area, beginners can find several practice pistes and the experienced wintersportsmen and women can find exciting slalom slopes. The spacious plateau in the Les Anges area also offers idea pistes for average to proficient skiers, whereas the pass from France into Italy at Rocher d l’Aigle clearly appears more challenging. Above all, the black downhill run is a real challenge due to ist many moguls and hollows.
Skiing pros can experience even more adventures on the numerous off-piste slopes. Demanding off-piste areas are mostly located in the Rocher de l’Aigle, Chalvet and La Plane areas. Those who want to go even higher can also be brought by helicopter to the untouched areas of snow in the highest altitudes.The ski-resort itself is very busy. A 50,000m² practice area for beginners has been constructed at the foot of the pistes in Montgenèvre, it also has a ski-nursery and its own children’s lift.
Next door to this, snowboarders and freestylers can get their money’s worth and can have a whale of a time in the resort’s own snowpark with a halfpipe. An additional boardercross trail is located below the Col de l’Alpet summit.
The BigAirBag is available directly by the resort as a further funzone. This massive air bag enables snowboarders and skiers to practice their jumps and stunts and guarantees them a safe and soft landing.
Nordic winter sports enthusiasts from Montgenèvre have the option to choose between the 17 kilometer long cross country track to Claviere or to enjoy the beautiful landscape whilst cross country skiing in the opposing Vallée de la Clarée.
Those who have lived it up in Montgenèvre’s piste district, kann conquer the rest of the „Milky Way.“ The XXL ski area Vialattea with a total of 400 kilometers of pistes is accessible over the Rocher de l’Aigle-Pass and after that through the Colle Bercia. Initially, ski-tourists went to Cesana and from there they accessed the subdomaines of Sansicario and Sauze d’Oulx. Then it leads finally into the piste district of Sestriere. In addition to 250 pistes, the whole skiing area also has 4 additional snowparks and further cross country skiing trails, most notably in the Pragelato area.
Those who fancy even more variety, in spite of the huge range of classical winter sporting activities, can also choose from the diverse leisure activities in and around Montgenèvre. For toboggan fans alone there are numerous sledging possibilities. In addition to three normal sledging slopes, which are all equipped with carpet lifts, ski-tourists can dash downhill on extremely fast air-tyres or try out a yooner, an innovative sledge, that looks a little bit like a Monoski with a raised seat.
The new toboggan run, the „Monty Express“, is a real highlight, which starts on the Chalvet peak and goes 1400 meters until finally arriving at the bottom in the resort. Those who are daring should also not pass up the chance of an excursion to Cesana. Speed lovers from the age of 16 can venture on the ice there on the olympic bobsled and luge run.
Skiers can also set a new speed record in Montgenèvre, letting themselves be pulled whilst speed-skiing by a special stunt kite. Snowshoe hikes and snowmobile tours round off the winter leisure facilities. For plenty of fun away from the pistes, there is a natural ice rink available in the resort itself from December to the start of March as well as a tree-climbing zone.
Ski-tourists can relax in several spas with hammams, jacuzzis, saunas, spa and beauty treatments as well as in the cinema. Numerous cosy restaurants and bars are available for an enjoyable evening activity.
Incidentally, young ski-tourists and families can be pleased with plenty of special offers and services, as Montgenèvre has been awarded with the „Famille Plus Montagne“ label. Thus up-and-coming skiers below the age of 6 can travel completely free and there are cheaper rates for those under 14. On top of this there is a free ride on the toboggan run, the „Monty Express“, and two large play areas at the foot of the slopes and by the Chalvet gondola lift’s mountain station. Child care facilities, such as a day care centre, nursery and ski-school are offered for young holiday guests from the age of 6 months.