15 km South of Guillestre via the D902 road
Discover Vars mountain resort in the Southern Alps
Population : 637 inh. - Altitude : 1,850 m.
Vars shares the skiing area of Foret Blanche with Risoul, offering skiers 180 km of ski runs.
Vars-La Foret Blanche is one of the high mountain ski resorts with the best snow cover in France, where all the surrounding peaks, belonging to the massifs of Ecrins and Queyras, are over 3,000 metres in altitude. In addition it benefits from the bright light of a climate that is definitely Mediterranean.
With its 104 ski runs and its 45 km of cross-country routes, its permanent high-speed skiing stadium and its half-pipes, Vars is a paradise for the experienced winter sportsma.
But less strenuous leisure activities are also on offer, such as excursions in sledges pulled by dogs, or even better a little relaxation session in the "cool zone", an area where game consoles have been installed, and you can listen to music, relaxing in a deck chair !
If you're interested in nature you can don snow shoes and go off to discover the winter wildlife and vegetation. Trees are transformed into larders for squirrels, and housing for whitecoats.
You can also go round the botanical trail at the Val d'Escreins nature reserve to observe the different animals and plants.
Finally, Vars also boasts a famous pass, perched at an altitude of 2100 metres, a stopping point along the mythical Route des Grandes Alpes.
The Napoléon Refuge standing by a lake has a story to tell. It was built in 1855, 34 years after the Emperor's death, in accordance with his testament; paying posthumous homage to the region for the reception it had given him on his return from the island of Elba.
What to see
Col de Vars (2,108 m).
The Val d'Escreins Nature Reserve: from Guillestre, take the D902 heading for Col de Vars.
Just before St Marcellin, take a little road on your left signposted to the reserve (car park charge).
Downhill skiing : 57 ski lifts, 104 ski runs including 10 black, 37 red, 40 blue, and 17 greens.
A permanent speed-skiing stadium.
Nordic skiing: 45 km of ski runs, 20 km of Nordic routes 8 ski runs- 35 km of routes for walkers and snow shoe excursions.
Snowpark (Boarder Cross, "jump area", half Pipe), Snowmobile trips.
Toboggan areas. Dog sleds. Waterfall ice climbing. Skating rink.
Hang-gliding. Games room, Internet areas.
Helicopter (air baptisms).
A "Cool Zone " which is a relaxation area with games consoleswhere you can listen
to some music while lolling on a deckchair, drinks machines and barbecue facilities.
Bed and breakfast.
Inns, High altitude gîtes and boarding house.
Hotel club, hotel residences and tourist residences.
Holiday centres, family holiday centres.
Rental of furnished accommodation and chalets.