My Week in Isola 2000 - by Ski Expert Alex Hutchins
It is a relatively unknown fact that the Alps extend down to the South of France, almost meeting the Mediterranean. When many of us think about flying into Nice, we picture topping up our tan in the likes of St. Tropez and Monte Carlo. Until recently, I thought this too. This was until I learnt of the existence of Isola 2000. Skiing within a stone’s throw of the Cote d’Azur? Surely not! I had heard about the perfect recipe of blue skies, quiet slopes and a fantastic snow record. Curiosity got the better of me in March, so I decided to see what this Southern outpost of the Alps was all about.
Just a 1-and-a-half-hour drive from Nice, Isola 2000 is a firm favourite with French families, who make their way up to the resort situated in Mercantour National Park. This is often just for the weekend. With 120km of piste and skiing up to 2600m, it is easy to see the appeal.
This purpose-built resort was definitely designed with accessibility and convenience in mind. The 3 main properties are ski in/ski out and the green beginner “Front de Neige” slope runs through the centre between bars and restaurants. These establishments possess sun terraces and deck chairs, ideal for a spot of lunch or a post-skiing beverage. The layout does not get much better- you can ski in and out between morning, lunchtime and après activities. The Front de Neige, a haven for beginners/children, includes ski school and toboggan areas. The après is very laid back here.
In the main ski area, which consists mainly of blue runs, visitors are met with terrain that is best suited to confident intermediates. It is quite normal to ski with no one else in sight midweek and the queues for lifts are non-existent. In fact, I did not encounter any in the whole 4 days I was there!
Another treat is the stunning scenery on offer. There are a number of panoramic viewpoints you can choose to visit whilst skiing, with Cime de Sistron at 2603m definitely being the pick of the bunch. After a long button lift and chairlift journey, you are rewarded with stunning views that make you feel as though you are on top of the world. If 360 degrees views of nothing but mountains are your thing, then get yourself up here!
The viewing area at Cime de Sistron (2603m)
If you are feeling adventurous and the skiing is not enough for you, then there are other activities on offer. You can try your hand at snowshoeing, ice driving and snowmobiling. For something extra special, how about the snow groomer by night experience? You are whisked away to a restaurant at altitude for a 3-course meal!
Whilst there is enough to keep you occupied, the resort is definitely a small and family-friendly location, where skiing is the main attraction. It suits those looking for a short, great value for money break with minimal fuss. Three words will always resonate with me when I think about this resort. Snow, sunshine and silence.
Try something different next winter and explore Isola 2000.
To find out more about Isola 2000 or how you can book a short ski break, call one of our ski experts on 023 8020 6971 or email email@example.com.
Alex joined the Ski Weekends team as a ski expert and is a keen member of the sales team. You can usually find Alex on a sunny terrace with a few beers, bringing the atmosphere to the apres ski. Known as King of the snow plough, he claims to have truly mastered this technique – give him a nice tree lined green run any day!