In the Southern Alps, at the centre of the Hautes-Alps region, lies the Vars ski resort. Located at an altitude of 1,850m and nestled into the grand peaks of Massif des Ecrins, the Queyras and Ubaye, Vars boasts a stunning location and perfect snow.
Vars la Foret Blanche (The White Forest), to give it its full name, comprises of Vars and the Risoul ski areas, which together span the Route des Grandes Alpes. Since the world speed skiing record was set on its pistes and the development of a world-renowned snow park, Vars’ reputation has grown. Additionally, it is smaller than other resorts in the French Alps, so it has a quaint, Alpine village atmosphere.
Buying a property in Vars gives the potential proprietor boundless choice and excitement. From convenient apartments to luxury chalets, no matter your price range or your interests there is ample opportunity in this renowned resort. As it is such a desirable destination, it continues to attract investments into new development in the area.
Living in Vars and Things To Do
Vars is a refuge for snow lovers. With 115 pistes and 185 km of runs, it offers skiers plenty to explore. Famously, the Varspark is a series of 6 freestyle areas with over 50 obstacles to skiers and snowboarders to tackle. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the Varspark is where you can hone your skills. Even if you’re not into freestyle yourself, Vars often host entertaining, world-class freestyle competitions for the public to catch a glimpse of professional winter Olympians.
Or, if you’re really looking for an adrenaline rush, why not try the world-class speed skiing slope, the Chabrieres piste, which is open to the public. Of course, the highest slopes are reserved for the professionals, however, the public lower slopes are exhilarating enough to satisfy your need for speed.
If you’re not a fan of skiing or would like to experience something else outside the pistes, then you have an array of other snowbound activities like snow shoe walks, winter walks, ice climbing and ice skating.
Vars itself is comprised of four small hamlets (Saint Marcellia, Sainte Marie, Sainte Cathrine and Les Claux) located at various altitudes. This gives visitors a range of activities to do outside the ski season. As the white forest becomes a lush, green vista, visitors and residents can enjoy activities outside the ski season. The Alpine village offers mountain biking, fell running, hiking and walking available to all levels and abilities. But if you’re just looking to relax, Vars has ample spas, pools and retreats for you as well.
Vars Snow and Weather Report
In mid-December 2018, peak conditions led to an accumulation of snow with snow depth greater than 60cm. In 2017, maximum snow depth occurred in March, where it almost reached 3 metres. Historic snow reports show that snow falls from December through to April. However, to sustain snow quality, Vars has a system of snow cannons to keep you skiing. Even in late season, you can escape up to the powdery snow at the summit. Check out our live snow reports by visiting our Vars resort guide here
Vars enjoys typical continental and Alpine weather conditions, which means regular, powdery snow and consistent sunshine throughout the winter season. Summer temperatures reach over 20°C and with peak rainfall in the month of August. For updated weather reports, take a look at our Vars resort guide here.
Transport to Vars
Vars is conveniently accessible from the following airports: Marseille-Provence, Grenoble Saint Geoirs, Lyon Saint Exupery, Cuneo-Levaldigi, or Turin-Caselle. However, the best connected airport is Marseille, since it has both the train connection, Train Des Neiges, and a Saturday shuttle bus, Navettes Blanches.
Hire cars are also available from airports, so you can drive from Marseille (3hrs via A51), Grenoble (2hrs 58mins via D1091), or from Turin (2hrs 34mins). However, driving condition can be difficult due to weather, so checking traffic and snow reports before driving is advised.