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One of the most beautiful ski areas in the southern Alps, and blessed with a surprisingly good snow record, Isola 2000 ski resort is a compact, purpose-built resort created in the 1970s, that makes up for its ugliness with spectacular mountain scenery and views down to the Med. 

Overview

Home to France's first ever snowboard club, Isola 2000 ski resort is one of the country's most southerly ski resorts, lying in a beautiful bowl close to the Italian border, just 90km from the French Riviera coast.

The high altitude of the slopes and a local micro-climate means Isola gets snow when many of its more northern neighbours don't, ensuring some satisfyingly reliable conditions - but there are 240 snow cannons covering nearly all its 120km of pistes just in case.

Ski area

While predominantly an intermediate's resort, Isola is also a great place to learn. There's a long, gentle slope near the resort base, with an exclusive nursery slope area and long blues to progress onto. A cut-price beginners-only lift ticket is available, giving access to just four of the key lifts serving the nursery slopes.

Of the resort's 42 runs, 11 are red and 21 blue, making this a perfect spot for intermediates. The slopes are on three faces and the Pelevos area offers the best variety, with many runs dropping down through the trees. Steeper terrain is to be found in the St Saveur sector, notably the Super Vallon and Lou Mesclun black runs,

More advanced skiers will find plenty of freeride terrain, most of it accessible from the chairs. Boarders will find an especially warm welcome here, as the resort is where France's first ever snowboard club was formed, and there are many boarder-friendly lifts and facilities, including a good high-altitude terrain park at 2,300m.

A must-do is to go to the top of the Cime de Sistron, from where, on a clear day, the views are absolutely wonderful, with the Med glistening in the far distance. There are also ski-touring possibilities into the beautiful Mercantour National Park.

Off the slopes and apres-ski

This is the only area where Isola 2000 scores badly. As a Seventies-built resort, many of its buildings are tatty and rather ugly, but the resort is investing a lot into upgrading the infrastructure and the newer architecture, much of it in an area called The Hamlet, is much prettier. 

That said, Isola is definitely fit for purpose. There are many great terraced bars and restaurants, next to the slopes as well as good-value shops and supermarkets. Downtime activities include ice driving, ice skating, bowling, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, tobogganing and snowshoe walks. There is also a modern aquacentre just 20 minutes drive away, and a cinema in the centre.

Families

Isola 2000 is an especially good bet for families, with its mostly pedestrianised centre, high convenience of facilities, and good value ski school and ski-pass. There is a good creche too - La Micro Creche, which accepts children from as young as three months, and ample child-friendly places to eat.




// HIGHLIGHTS //
Apres Ski
6
Families
6
Lift System
7
Off the slopes
6
Off-piste
7
Resort Charm
5
Ski Area
7
Vertical drop
810m
Altitude range
1,800-2,610m
Ski area
120
Parks
1
Resort height
2,000m
Summit
2,610m
Airport
Nice
Train station
Nice
beginner
18%
intermediate
75%
expert
7%