British skiers and snowboarders are familiar with all the popular resorts in the Alps but most rarely take much notice of which mountain range or area they are actually located in.
Navigating the diverse mountain areas in the Alps can be confusing for the one-week-a-year visitor as the extensive ranges span multiple countries, each boasting its own collection of resorts which are often marketed under different brand names making it even more confusing.
To give a few examples, in the Swiss Alps you’ll find names such as the Bernese Oberland and Valais regions, and in France, you have the slopes of Mont Blanc Massif and Tarentaise Valley. Italy has the Dolomites and Aosta Valley, and Austria has Tyrol and Salzburgland. Slovenia’s Julian Alps and Liechtenstein’s Rätikon Range contribute their own unique offerings.
For now, let’s take a look at an area which broadly falls under the umbrella of the Southern Alps. This stretches from the east, taking in parts of Austria and Slovenia, through France, to regions of Italy in the west.
The Southern Alps are part of a larger Alpine Mountain range, and the area is not defined by strict political or geographical boundaries. It does offer fantastic opportunities for skiing and snowboarding in the many resorts of varying sizes you will find there because of its key attractions.
The Southern Alps has breathtaking alpine landscapes with snow-covered peaks, dense forests, and pristine valleys. The diverse range of terrain is suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, from gentle slopes for beginners to challenging, steep descents, and off-piste areas for experts.
The numerous resorts each offer their own set of amenities, accommodation options, unique atmosphere, and après ski. Visitors can explore charming alpine villages and enjoy traditional local cuisine.
Resorts in the Southern Alps are accessible from major European city airports and train stations. Ski drive is also an option.
Here are just a few examples of resorts in The Southern Alps and some of the attractions you can find there during the rest of the season.
This ski area, better known to Brits as The Milky Way, straddles the French-Italian border and includes the five Piedmontese resorts of Claviere, San Sicario, Sauze d’Oulx, Pragelato and Sestriere, and the French resort Montgenèvre.
Club Med, which already has a resort in Pragelato, is opening a new resort in San Sicario next season.
In Sestriere, after skiing and snowboarding, why not snowshoe, snowcat, or snowmobile in the moonlight to a special supper at the Refuge Alpette which sits above the town.
Club Med also has a resort in Serre Chevalier. This season visitors have been able to take advantage of a new gondola lift which has replaced two older lifts. It gives skiers and snowboarders faster access to slopes on the Méa plateau.
The redesigned beginner areas on the slopes in the village already have two free – yes free! – lifts and next season another new free magic carpet is being added to help skiers and snowboarders find their feet.
Elsewhere, new or replacement lifts are being added to improve the flow around the ski area. The plans include a new Jandri 3S cable car which will be completed in time for the 24/25 season.
After a day on the slopes try a fun way of sledging with a difference. Sledging is usually an individual pastime, but Snake Gliss allows up to 10 people to weave their way down the mountain as one.
A new indoor sports and innovation centre offers a mixture of traditional activities as well as five virtual reality simulators where visitors can experience ski racing, mountain biking, paragliding, speed riding, and tackling rapids in a canoe-kayak.
Making an airbag jump is one of the attractions available throughout this season along with taking part in an avalanche rescue simulation, torchlight descent, and discovering the secrets of the snow.
The Peynier 2-seater chairlift, built in 1981, has been replaced by two new chairlifts. Plans chairlift will link with the main Claux area, and the Peynier chairlift will take skiers and snowboarders to the summit of Peynier area, known for its ski forest.
There are many resorts to choose from and you will find more information on them on the skiline.co.uk website. Plus, as always, the experts at Ski Line can help you choose the right one to suit all your needs.
Discovering the Southern Alps: A Summary
British skiers and snowboarders often overlook the specific mountain ranges and regions in the Alps, causing confusion for those exploring the diverse areas spanning multiple countries. The Southern Alps, a part of the larger Alpine Mountain range, offer a range of skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Austria, Slovenia, France, and Italy. The Southern Alps boast breathtaking landscapes with diverse terrains suitable for all skill levels. Various resorts, such as Via Lattea in Italy and Serre Chevalier in France, provide unique attractions and amenities. Additional attractions in Pra Loup, Les Orres, Risoul, and Vars include innovative activities like Snake Gliss sledding and virtual reality simulators. The Southern Alps’ accessibility from major European cities, diverse resorts, and exciting activities make it an appealing destination for winter sports enthusiasts. More information on resorts can be found on the skiline.co.uk website, and Ski Line experts can assist in selecting the right destination based on individual needs.
Chat with our experts
For more tips when booking your next ski holiday to the Southern Alps, call our expert sales team on:020 8313 3999