One of the southern French resorts, Risoul started up in 1977. It is linked to neighbouring Vars 1850 for a combined total of 174km of pistes, collectively called the Domaine de la Foret Blanche. Risoul is beginning to feature in more brochures, especially in Eastern Europe, because of its good value, great sunshine and surprisingly late season. For such a southern resort, it has a remarkably good snow record, also offering tree-line skiing and good boarding at the Surfland Park.
This is one of the largest skiing areas in the Southern French Alps and the resort of Vars is actually larger than Risoul. But there are traditional chalet-style buildings as well as modern apartment complexes and although both resorts are purpose-built, woodland has been preserved to ensure they remain attractive. The area enjoys a good sunshine record throughout the winter as well as getting plenty of snowfall.
First time skiers will find gentle slopes at both Risoul and Vars with "friendly" tree-lined runs. The childrens area is set aside and protected from the main skiing runs and there is a "moving carpet lift" which you just stand on and it takes them to the top of the gentle beginners slope.
For intermediate skiers, there is a tremendous choice of runs and when the Editor visited a few years ago he was impressed with the variety ranging from challenging reds to more gentle tree-lined runs back to the resorts. The area lends itself to a full days skiing crossing to Vars and back again. For black-run enthusiasts there are plenty of challenges as well as mogul fields which will test the best skiers. On the Vars side of of the Crete des Chabrieres can be found some of the most "testing runs" but when skiing back on the Risoul side, there are off-piste areas within the wooded area as well as those within the higher snow bowls. The skiing area covers 180kms of runs of which 11 are difficult; 36 for intermediate; and 57 can be described as easy. The highest lift rises to 2,750m.
Apres ski life is brisk with a range of cafes, bars and night clubs. Outdoors there are ice-skating facilities at both Risoul and Vars, snow-shoe walks and skidoo rides. The resort also has a cinema. For eating out choices range from pizzas and fondue as well as a selection of local cuisine and great French wines.Special Offer:
We have teamed up with PV Holidays, leading supplier of French Skiing accommodation to offer a Christmas offer of one night free with every booking.