Worldwide Ski ResortsFranceVars

ski insurance cover for winter sports enthusiasts travelling to Vars in France


The village of Vars is in reality a collection of small hamlets that are situated close together at the edge of the Col de Vars. The central village is Vars les Claux that is a purposely designed ski village that is surrounded by trees and that together with the neighbouring resort of Risoul forms the Foret Blanche ski region in the Southern French Alps.

Although the resort suffers from a number of rather ugly apartment blocks, it is rich in amenities and is certainly conveniently placed for the slopes, which rise up on either side of the village and has its own central lift stations. It’s central Point Show is where most of the shops, bars, restaurants and hotels are found. Most of the accommodation here takes the form of self catered apartments, but there are a number of comfortable hotels and there is plenty of alternative accommodation in the other villages further down the mountain. Vars also benefits from a surprising number of excellent restaurants.


The resort stands at 1850m and provides access to the 180 km of pistes within the Foret Blanche area that are served by a total of 57 lifts. It is reasonably snow sure, although the main south eastern facing slopes can be affected by strong morning sun. This is not too bad a problem however, as snow making facilities exist over 29 km of slopes and in any case, there are plenty of alternative slopes within easy reach. Experts will find little on piste to keep their interest for long, but there are some good off piste areas that are well worth a try.

The whole ski area is well suited to medium standard intermediate skiers who will find that the reds and blues provide plenty of comfortable, enjoyable sport without too many hair raising surprises. Snowboarders have a number of terrain parks at Foret Blanche and those looking for some extensive free riding country will enjoy it here, but beginners will hate the rather too frequent drag lifts. Cross country skiers will find 25 km of trails in Vars and a total of 45 km throughout the region. Facilities for beginners are excellent with a choice of nursery slopes and plenty of suitable slopes to graduate to. Ski schools are understood to be of an average standard and there are good facilities for children.

Mountain Information

The local slopes at Vars are divided into the smallish Penier area that stands alone from the rest of the slopes and contains a couple of excellent long runs down to the small villages of Les Claux and its neighbour, Ste Marie. Var’s main slopes are on the Pic de Chabrieres that provides the link for the slopes at Risoul. The Vars slopes are generally the sunnier with those at Risoul being more frequently tree lined and better in poor weather conditions. One run not to be missed by experts and confident intermediates is the long Olympic red that drops down to Ste Marie from the top of La Mayt.

Apres Ski

Frankly, during the week, the scene is virtually non-existent. There are plenty of bars that get reasonably busy with skiers straight from the slopes, but late night frolics tend not to happen except occasionally, when the discos get busy at the weekends.

French Resort Guide

Resort Information • Vars

Resort Height Resort Height 1650m
Top Station Top Station 2750m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1650m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1100m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 21
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 8
High Capacity High Capacity 1
Opening Dates Opening Dates Dec - April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 6
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 8
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 6
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 6
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 7

Travel Insurance

Wintersports Advice

Ski Resort Guides

Ski Resort Guides

Useful Information