News from the snow
Just 90km (56 miles) north of the Mediterranean and the city of Nice lies Auron, the skiing capital of the Maritime Alps. People have been skiing for pleasure in the valley of the Haute Tinee since the beginning of the 20th century but there has been a settlement here for hundreds of years. Although the resort amenities are up-to-the-minute for 21st century holidaymakers, the little town has managed to retain many interesting old features, most notably its 13th century church which is well worth a visit. Since opening its first lift in 1937 Auron has developed not only the extent of its lifts and amenities but also its reputation until today it is known as a fairly glamorous resort. It is indeed very French and not surprisingly, given its proximity to the French Riviera, the resort boasts many celebrity patrons, including Jacques Chirac, Sacha Distel and Marc Chagall. And despite its southerly location and plentiful sunshine, its northly aspect ensures Auron has reliable snow; skiing usually lasts well into the month of May. Quite apart from skiing, Auron, along with its sister community St Etienne de Tinee, has a vast array of non-ski activities, including sports, shops, restaurants & bars, museums and sights. The locals of Auron love a party and have several festivals during the year.
An historic ski centre within easy driving distance of the Mediterranean. Good variety of terrain, all within the tree line and a wide-ranging list of non-ski alternatives.
With the help of the local ski school, beginners should soon be able to graduate onto some of the pleasant, cruising runs which wend all over the mountain. Intermediates, no matter what standard, will find many wide open routes to enjoy, while the more adventurous might want to challenge themselves in the area around the tiny, high altitude village of Demandols. For the expert skier, Auron has plenty to offer in terms of challenge and excitement with black runs to be found all over the resort.
The good snow fall also allows for some very fine off piste skiing, especially in the early months of the season. In terms of hardwear, the resort has 22 lifts; three cable cars (one which brings skiers up from St Etienne de Tinee to the main ski area), 9 chairs and 9 draglifts.
Scattered throughout the skiing area are 11 restaurants serving good French food and Provencale specialities.
In 1999, the station opened a dedicated snowboard park with half pipe. In addition, the area has a network of motorway-like runs which are perfect for fast (and not so fast) carving and the steep descents from the Col du Bouchiet and the Secteur las Donnas will be tough enough to thrill most boarders.