Vars Ski Resort
Vars includes several small, old villages on or near the approach road, chief among them Vars-Ste-Marie. There are lifts on the fringe of this village, but the focus for most visitors is the higher, purpose-built Vars-les-Claux.
The combined Vars/Risoul ski area has 185km of pistes which offer skiing and boarding for all abilities. Beginners have plenty of areas to learn their skills around the bases of Vars and Risoul. Intermediates need to head further up the mountain to find the majority of the blue runs - the Col Des Saluces in particular has a great range of blues. There are also plenty of red runs; the steepest of these drop from the summit of the mountain. Whilst there are a few black pistes, advanced skiers will have to head off piste for a real challenge - the Eyssina and Chabrières areas have a over a hundred skiable couloirs.
Vars has a lot of purpose-built apartments from the 1970s and, despite recent improvements, is still not the prettiest resort. Most of the accommodation is in self-catering apartments, making the resort perfect for families. Turin is the closest airport to Vars and is just under a three hour drive away.
Resort website: www.vars.com