Everybody thinks of Provence as the land of sunshine and lavender. It’s also a great place to live because of a handful of delightful small ski-resorts in the Alpes de Haute Provence. These resorts offer the kind of traditional village base usually only found in Swiss and Austrian resorts. Here the Guru highlights the best skiing villages. They’re perfect for families and also people whose idea of skiing is not piste bashing but rather enjoying the mountain air with the odd trundle down a non-too-challenging run.

1. Champsaur ski-area near Gap.

Just north of Gap the Champsaur valley begins. The D944 road winds west through the mountain valley ending at the ski resort of Orcieres. On the way are several delightful village ski resorts:



Saint Leger les Melezes

Serre Eyraud

Saint Bonnett (Laye)

For more information and holiday bookings see Undiscovered Alps

2. Parc National des Ecrins

Accessed by the D94 from Gap, just to the south of Ancelle, with beautiful views of the Lac de Serre Poncon


Les Orres

3. North of Digne

Head north of Digne on the D900 for:

Chabanon Selonnet


4. Around Barcelonnette

Sainte Anne and Larche, info on the Barcelonette website

5. Larger resorts

And finally a list of the more well known resorts:

Risoul south of Briancon towards Embrun

Vars near Embrun

Serre Chevalier – now with lift access from Briancon

Pra Loup nr Barcelonnette

La Sauze nr Barcelonnette

Orcierre end of the Champsaur valley, Gap.

Val D’Allos 80km from Dignes

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