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Just 90km (56 miles) north of the Mediterranean and the city of Nice lies Auron, the skiing capital of the Maritime Alps.   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.

Overview

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.

Mountain

The slopes of Auron have a north/north-westerly aspect which ensures a good snow coverage from early December to mid May. There are more than 130kms of pistes for all levels of skier. Two excellent beginners' areas, one at the middle station of the Chastellares and the other at the foot of the Secteur Colombier are perfect for novices. 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.

Families

With the wide range of snow terrain and an almost endless list of non-ski activities, this is a great resort for families of all age ranges. Babies and toddlers can be looked after in the local creche and children of 4 years and over will have fun in their own ski school, the 'Mini Club'. Both the creche and the ski school are closed at midday so, no matter how great the skiing is, parents must remember to pick up their little darlings for lunch.

Eating Out

There is an enormous choice of eateries in the resort, with over thirty restaurants and a similar number of bars. Take your pick from pizzerias, creperies and several good French restaurants specialising in Provencale cuisine.

Apres

There is plenty in the way of evening entertainment in Auron. Much of the informal, lively nightlife takes place in and around the many bars and restaurants, including piano and cocktail bars and two nightclubs. There is also quite a bit of family entertainment - the resort puts on shows such as concerts, circus acts and magicians.

Boarding

While Auron is not exactly a snowboarding mecca, there is much here for boarders to enjoy. 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.

// HIGHLIGHTS //
Vertical drop
850m
Ski area
135
Resort height
1600m
Airport
Nice
Train station
Nice
beginner
10%
intermediate
50%
expert
40%