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Vars Ski Resort Guide

Vars, France

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForBeginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Highest Lift2,750m
Resort Height1,850m
 Nearest AirportsTurin Cuneo and Turin Caselle
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Vars has been a predominantly domestic destination resort until recently, it shares the largest ski area in the Southern French Alps with neighbouring Risoul, and has the more interesting part. The main Vars station is made up of a mixture of concrete blocks and traditional chalet designs. There are many good restaurants and the nightlife can be very lively, especially at weekends.


The French ski resort of Vars is in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,850m.

Vars is part of the La Forêt Blanche ski area with access to 180km of downhill skiing, with 108 marked pistes, served by a total of 59 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Vars itself (64 pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other La Forêt Blanche ski resort of Risoul.

The ski resort itself is at 1,850m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 2,750m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Vars?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Vars.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Vars

Ski Area Stats

Vars Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
Cross Country
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

La Forêt Blanche Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Vars Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,750m
Resort Altitude (Vars)1,850m
Lowest Piste1,650m
Max Vertical1,100m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Vars
Intermediate Skiers

Vars Overview

Vars shares the giant Foret Blanche ski area with neighbouring Risoul, one of the most affordable of the giant French ski regions. Whilst Risoul is a major British destination, Vars has a longer history and a predominantly French feel.

Vars is situated on the other side of the Pic de Chabrièresr to Risoul and claims to enjoy 300 days of sunshine a year. The resort is divided in to four bases, although the original centre, Les Claux (often just known as Vars), is by far the largest and has the lion's share of facilities. Its 1900m altitude makes it one of the higher resorts in the Alps too, a particular strength given the southerly latitude of the area compared to many of the other well known French resorts.

Les Claux is made up of a mixture of concrete blocks and traditional chalet designs.

Smaller settlements are at Sainte Catherine, Sainte Marie and Saint Marcellin, all but Sainte Catherine have lifts and runs down to the edge of the village.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Vars is 8km long and the most difficult run is the 'Coni'.


This giant ski area has a good selection of runs for all ability levels. In Vars itself beginners have wide sunny nursery slopes at the edge of the village with dedicated beginner lifts. There's then the opportunity to progress further up the mountain returning on long easy greens and blues.

Intermediates will get the most pleasure from the Foret Blanche however, with long, fast 'motorway' pistes joining Risoul and Vars, some reaching a knee shattering eight kilometres (five miles) in length. There are rather more runs on the Vars side including some excellent swooping reds down to the villages.

Vars does have the tougher runs in the area, including a notorious mogul run down to the resort. There are about a dozen trails graded black in total, the thoughest is generally agreed to be Cuni. Freeriders will enjoy the powder bowls at the top of the ski area after a fresh fall.

The resort has a speed skiing course, open every day of the season, allowing users to reach up to 160 kilometres per hour (100 mph). Accessed via the Crévoux chair, the course has been designed by speed skiing professionals.

The resort also has a permanent parallel slalom course which is used for 'boarder cross races and offers regular shows and demonstrations from freestylers and 'boarders.

Vars offers good sking, particularly, for Intermediate and Beginner skiers.


There is an excellent snowboard park in the Foret Blanche beneath the De Cezier chair. This 'Surfland' has many attractions including some interesting kickers, rails and several quarter pipes. Pipe lovers will find two natural half pipes and a full size machine made pipe.

In the evenings, there are regular night-time snowboard jump competitions.

Location and Map

Where is Vars?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in La Foret Blanche, Hautes-Alpes.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Vars is Turin Cuneo, 129 minutes drive away.

Turin Caselle and Marseille Provence airports are all within three hours drive.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 33 ski lifts are able to uplift 51,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 14km of ski runs, with 9 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Vars open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is mid December, and usual closing is Mid April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Vars, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Vars Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Vars

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Vars les Claux is a very French compact resort, comprising two small shopping parades, each with its own selection of shops, bars, restaurants, night club, skating and games hall. Bars are mostly hotel based but can get lively by French standards, especially at weekends when the crowds arrive from Provence.

There are more than 20 bars to choose from. For occasional live music in try the piano bar Le Gruate in the Hotel Les Escondus. Nightclubs open to the early hours include Le Lem, Le Lynx and Le Look.