Montgenèvre is an historic ski village in the Southern Alps which recently celebrated a century of winter sports. Sitting on the Italian border, it marked its snow sports centenary by returning some of the feel of the resort to the pre-car era, by diverting the cross-border road around the resort and revitalising the snow front.
Superb new community facilities have also recently opened in Montgenevre village including nurseries, cinema and multi-purpose space. The main road traffic is now directed through a tunnel making Montgenevre a fine family resort.
Part of one of the world’s largest ski areas, the Milky Way, Montgenevre is the only French resort on the circuit, the rest of which extends in to Italy, with over 400km (250 miles) of piste and includes the 2006 Winter Olympic resorts of Sauze d’Oulx and Sestriere. As well as being one of the worlds’s oldest ski resorts it is also one of the highest at 1850m, and the slopes extend on up to nearly 2700m. Thanks to its geographical location and high altitude, Montgenevre and the area benefit from maximum snow coverage and the fantastic sunshine of the Mediterranean climate claiming 300 sunny days a year!
The free travelator in conveyor opposite the Office du Tourisme accesses toboggan areas for two to six year olds, and there’s a second hill for older adventurers. Other facilities in Montgenevre include an ice rink, supermarket, boulangerie, newsagents, butcher, post office, doctors and there are 17 restaurants/bars and a nightclub.
Activities available in Montgenevre include sleigh rides, snowmobiling and there’s a variety of snow shoeing and cross country routes. A map with all the cross country tracks and walking trails is available at the Montgenevre Tourist Office and at ski pass sales points.
Value for money skiing
Listed in ski resort bible “Where to Ski & Snowboard 2011 guide” as one of 50 resorts in the world "where you can save money".
The resort is actually part of the Provence Cote d’Azur region (ok at a stretch!) but the average number of days of sunshine is greater than most resort in the Alps. That said snow conditions have a track record of being excellent too.
Good snow record
Plenty of intermediate cruising
Links to Italian ski resorts (Milky Way ski domain)
Interested in buying an apartment at this residence? See our Buying in the Alps section
Recent investment at Montgenèvre on the mountain as well as off has greatly enhanced the ease of getting from one area of the huge domain to another and across the border to the skiing of Claviere in Italy. Not only has the main road been diverted, but tunnels and bridges or high speed lifts over it mean you can speed your way around the extensive local slopes and, if you wish, carry on in to Italy.
The alpine area of Montgenevre spans two sides: south Chalvet / Serre Thibaud sector and north Chalmettes / Gondrans/ Eagle area, both are connected to the slopes. Slopes for all levels unfold between 1860m and 2450m above sea level. The snow front, that includes the Nordic skiing area also has a toboggan area, a 50,000m2 beginners area and a half pipe.
Additional ski facts info, main ski info listed above in box
Montgenevre local area has 85km of piste
No. of slopes – 52 runs |
Largest area - Via Lattea - 400km (209 pistes) - Italy and France
MONTGENEVRE SKI AREA
Montgenevre village is a popular destination with plenty of après ski and multitude of slopes to keep the whole family happy. Montgenevre ski resort offers something for everyone. The north-facing slopes above Montgenevre and Claviere are divided into 3 sectors:
- high open slopes reached by Chalmettes chondola with a green bringing you back
- via the same gondola as above and links you to Claviere
- sunny sector, mainly open slopes. Blue and green runs back to Montgenevre and a blue run to Claviere.
For beginners there is a fine selection of convenient gentle nursery slopes for skiing in Montgenevre with reliable snow at the foot of the north facing area. Progression to longer runs could not be easier with a very easy blue starting at Les Anges, leading on to a green. Skiing in Montgenevre is not a problem for beginners.
Montgenevre has an area dedicated to families & beginners. 50 000m ² situated on the snow front in the heart of Montgenevre village. This is secured and the area is composed of travelator, a free ski lift (La Durance)
, a snow garden…
The whole family can enjoy the Montgenevre ski resort which includes a discovery trail, half pipe, free-ride zones and children's play area at the top of the Chalvet gondola.
The local slopes are best suited to leisurely intermediates with lots of easy cruising on blues and greens, both above and in the woods. The major north-facing Montgenevre Les Gondrans sector offers easy intermediate slopes above the mid-mountain gondola station, with more of a mix of runs lower down. Montgenevre has extensive intermediate slopes with big lift networks.
MONTGENEVRE EXPERTS & OFF-PISTE
There are very few challenging pistes, but on the other hand there is ample off-piste terrain.
There’s the option of off-piste skiing with a mountain guide to show you the way and keep you safe which is very popular in the area. From classic runs like the Doire and the La Vachette valleys to the highly technical gullies of Le Janus, there are just so many opportunities to get off the beaten track.
It's just a question of choosing which magic run, from the nearest in Les Bois des Brousset or Le Tremplin, the fantastic curves of Les Mamelons to the gentle 1000-metre descent to Cervières via Les Gondrans… it never stops. Or get more athletic on the slopes of La Plane or the Le Janus gullies… and a thousand other possibilities that one trip just isn't enough to enjoy.
For boarders there are good local beginner slopes in Mongenevre and long runs on varied terrain for intermediates. There are some excellent off-piste areas for more advanced boarders and a dedicated free-ride area at Les Gondrans.
For freestylers the half-pipe and boarder cross are located near the Prarial chair and there’s also a freeride zone higher up on the Gondrans sector, next to the Observatoire chair.
MONTGENEVRE SNOW RECORD
The snow record in Montgenevre is generally excellent being set in a minor pass between France and Italy where the storms funnel up the valleys. This makes for its excellent snowfall. The high north facing slopes naturally keep their snow and snow cannons cover 55% of the area including most of the lower slopes.
The neighbouring French resorts of Serre Chevalier and Puy Saint Vincent are easily reached by car and a joint lift pass is available. However if you prefer to keep your skis on, simply ski over the border first to Claviere, then Cesana and on to the 2006 Olympic biathlon venue of Sansicario before reaching Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx. Although there’s little skiing to make it worth your while, if you wish to almost complete your 2006 Olympic set, you can take the new gondola on to Pragelato, the Nordic centre. Altogether there are almost 100 lifts in the region.