Battle of the ski resorts: Montgenèvre

How does Montgenèvre, France, fare in our Battle of the Ski Resorts?

Nominated by Will

Ease of access 7/10

Calais is a 10hr 30min drive away, but take the sleeper train from London to Briançon (with an easy transfer in Paris) if you can. Flying is easiest via Turin airport (90 minutes by car).

Sense of scale and epicness 6/10

Montgenèvre is above the historic city of Briançon, the highest in France at 1326m. Around it a ring of mountain-top ancient forts adds to the drama of the place. The French military trains nearby, staying in barracks above the L’Observatoire lift. There’s a rifle range too and some guides have found themselves hurrying clients across a slope when it has nothing to do with snow conditions: a ‘wow’ factor of a different sort.

Variety and quality of the pistes 7/10

Montgenèvre is not well known to Brits but locals flock there when the snow’s good. It’s part of the cross-border Milky Way area (which includes Sauze d’Oulx) and has pistes to suit all abilities, a top altitude of 2577m and runs on all aspects.

Off-piste potential 6/10

Though it’s not a widely known freeride centre, the terrain offers a lot of possibilities off-piste and it’s a bit of a snow pocket: guides from nearby La Grave and Serre Chevalier regularly bring clients here.

Lapability 8/10

If you include the Milky Way in your pass you can ski for days with limited repetition.

On-hill grub 8/10

Spanning two countries provides epic eating opportunities, but Italy is best. Drop into Claviere just over the border and visit Kilt restaurant – it’s so much more than a pizzeria. In Montgenèvre, the best on the mountain is the self-service Les Anges which does a great steak, but as restaurants aren’t even marked on the piste map you may discover your very own gem.

Après scene 6/10

Montgenèvre is a quiet family village. There’s The Graal for beers and TV sport, and the Chaberton later in the evening, but for more lively action, take a taxi down to Briançon and enter the citadel, where you’ll find a smattering of bars and restaurants.

Base suitability 9/10

Montgenèvre scores well as a value-for-money safari and touring base. You can stay at the Ibis hotel in Briançon for €60 a night, or opt for self-catering in the resort. With your own wheels and a guide, you can cover a lot of ground from Montgenèvre or Briançon. La Grave is just over the Col du Lautaret, and then there’s the Milky Way’s huge domain to explore.

Family friendly? 7/10

A great place for families on a budget. There are three ski schools and while beginners are smashing the green runs, you can access the mighty variety of terrain on and off-piste. Crystal runs chalet package holidays in Montgenèvre, as does Ski Etoile.

TOTAL: 64/90
RANK: Joint 12th