Think the locals would let their fabulous ski resorts sit idle all summer? Assuredly not. The Riviera’s big three resorts of Auron, Isola and Valberg flip into sunshine mode each June to welcome downhill mountain bikers, cross-country hikers and food foragers from across France.
Better still, while the coast swelters through July and August, these 2,000m-high ski stations are cooled by a pine-scented breeze.
There’s one problem. The resorts may be just a 90-minute €4 bus ride from Nice (a little further from Cannes). But it’s only the Niçois that know about them. Fortunately each resort recently embarked on a major advertising campaign. And as you’d expect, Pebbles also have the inside scoop on these secret – and dramatic – daytrips.
The adventure resort: Isola
Kayaking. Horseriding. Mountain climbing. Rafting. Archery. That’s Isola. The most white-knuckle of these family-friendly ski stations has a summer program that also includes parcours forest trails (think ropes and swings 50m up in the trees) and bubble football (where your head is encased in a giant inflatable bubble – with hilarious viewing guaranteed).
The action is best seen with Isola’s summer-only Activity Pass. The €35 ticket grants you access to three guided hikes, yoga lessons, mini golf, archery and much more, over six consecutive days.
The family resort: Valberg
The summer ski station where parents can soak in the spa – while their offspring tour the treetop adventure park. Or, brand new for 2016, Valberg‘s 3,000m2 skateboard and wheels zone.
The largest of the Cote d’Azur ski resorts also hosts high octane activities aplenty. Think two toboggan runs. Quad bike tours. And ferociously thrilling downhill mountain biking.
The tranquil mountain air also hosts several zero stress activities. We’re talking trout lakes. A golf course at 1,700m. And, again new for 2016, an electric mountain bike trail. Easy life.
The biking resort: Auron
When thermometers on the coast hit 32ºc, it will be a tranquil 20ºc up in Auron. This clement climate allows visitors to run around playing laser tag, horse riding and trampolining – all without working up a sweat.
Auron is deservedly famous for its downhill cycle routes. In summer the resort’s five ski lifts transport your mountain bike up to 3,000m – from where you can bomb downhill like a rocket over 50km of descents that cover 16 marked trails. A two-day lift pass (€25) also grants visitors free climbing and archery practise.