One of the biggest French ski resorts, Pra Loup sits in the Vallee de L'Ubaye (Ubaye Valley) amid the Alps of Haute-Provence, also known as the Southern Alps which shares a small part of its eastern border with Italy. Its main claim to fame is its splendid, unspoilt scenery featuring craggy outcrops, larch woods and and brilliant Mediterranean sunshine so characteristic of the mountains of Provence. Pra Loup is the major ski area in the Southern Alps with a friendly, laid back reputation and excellent lift systems. The strong emphasis on family facilities has earned it the prestigious French Label Kid award. Purpose-built in 1961 the resort was named after the previous inhabitants of this spectacular site - the mountain wolves. Pra Loup is made up of 2 villages, Molanes at 1500m (Pra Loup 1500) and Pra Loup 1600m which are lift linked to another ski area La Foux d'Allos at 1800m with Les Agneliers nestled in between. Towering at 2600m is the Haute Provence Research Observatory which can be reached by gondola if you ski over from neighbouring Pra Loup or make the long drive up the Upper Verdon Valley past the fortified city of Colmar les Alpes which is said to be breathtaking. Pra Loup 1600 is the biggest of all the villages with most of its shops, café’s and bars within easy reach of the slopes. The north-facing slopes and height ensure a long season and state of the art snowmaking facilities provide extra cover on access routes to the wide open bowl over at La Foux d'Allos. As a family oriented resort Pra Loup is very supportive of its young talent, Christel Pascal, 1995 winner of the Junior World Ski Championships and joint World Champion in 2000 and 2001 is a native of Pra Loup. Always fashionable with French skiers but off the beaten track, as yet, to the British who probably associate the south of France more with summer holidays and beach resorts like Cannes and St Tropez on the Cote d'Azur 240km (150 miles) south.
Pra Loup is one of the major ski areas in the Southern Alps with a friendly, laid back reputation and excellent lift systems. Lively, sunny, purpose built centre with two bases - the larger Pra Loup 1600 and the smaller "Molanes" at 1500m. Strong emphasis on family facilities and an excellent lift system linked to La Foux d'Allos in 'La Liberté de l'Espace'. The Pra Loup gondola is ideal for boarders and beginners as it goes straight up from the village at 1600 to sunny nursery slopes with nearby restaurant and stunning views. The easy green "clappe" run down from the gondola is fitted with permanent snow cannons ensuring snow cover at early and late season. Intermediates can easily get around the area on the numerous blue and red runs. Developing skiers will particularly enjoy this resort with its long open runs and lack of queues which makes it so much easier to ski non-stop and put miles under the skis. The off-piste is easily accessible and because the area is so huge compared to the tourist capacity theres often untracked powder which stays light and dry much longer on the north-facing slopes. Freeriders will love Pra Loup too - plenty of wide open fast runs with the occasional tricky stretch to hold your attention. Reputed to have some of the best snowmaking facilities in France, most of the runs back to the village have snow cannons which are used early season to provide a good base and then late season to keep access open. Purpose-built in 1961 the resort was named after the previous inhabitants of this spectacular site - the mountain wolves. Pra Loup is made up of 2 villages, Molanes at 1500m (Pra Loup 1500) and Pra Loup 1600m - the larger of the two - with most of its shops, café's and bars within easy reach of the slopes.