When you think of the South of France, you might not immediately connect it with skiing. Well, I have a great surprise for you: you can actually ski here! There are several ski resorts in the Pyrénées-Orientales department, and Font-Romeu and Les Angles are the most well-known. With over 3000 hours of sunshine per year, they are the sunniest ski resorts in France.
Last weekend, I took Oldest on a little ski trip to Font-Romeu in the French Pyrenees. This ski resort, officially called Font-Romeu Pyrénées 2000, is at 1,800 meters altitude. It has 23 lifts to take you to 41 slopes in a beautiful forest setting. As I planned our expedition at the last minute, I was delighted to have found the B&B La Petite Chapelle in Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via. Oldest wanted to get up early, and after a lovely breakfast, we headed in five minutes to Font-Romeu. To find out that we should have gotten out of bed earlier as the lines for the ski pass as well as the ski equipment rentals were already huge!
Luckily, we could skip the ski pass line by buying them at the ticket machine. But we had to wait for an hour at Intersport Télécabine to get Oldest’s skis, even though I had reserved them online. So, if you want to hit the slopes as soon as possible, I suggest you arrive early. This means 08h30 for the Intersport shop if you need to rent skis, the ticket machine for ski passes is open 24/7, and the ski lifts run from 09h00. Finally, we made it to the télécabine gondola, which brought us to the Les Airelles chairlift. You can also park directly at Les Airelles, the Plateau de la Calme, Col del Pam, or Pyrénées 2000. And if you’re not into skiing, you can also go nordic skiing, hiking, sledging, or on a husky sleigh ride. The possibilities are infinite!
It was a gorgeous day to go skiing, with a bright blue sky above the snow-covered pistes. Oldest wanted to take some black and red ski runs. Now, I am no hero. So, after I had proved this with a nosedive on a red slope, we stayed on the blue ones (yeah!). After a couple of runs, we found a lovely route that we did a couple of times. Of course, the ski resort of Font-Romeu Pyrénées 2000 can’t be compared with the slopes of the Alps. However, at only 2.5 hours from home, we spent a great day in a real winter wonderland! And another plus of going to the Pyrenees is that you can end your stay in one of the nearby hot springs. We went to the Bains de Saint-Thomas in Fontpédrouse before going home, relaxing our muscles after a hard day of skiing.