France’s Southern Alps Snow Train

Touristic trains are a great way to discover non-mainstream France.  During the ski season, they take you to relatively lesser-known ski destinations—which means shorter lines at the ski lift.

TER Touristic TrainEvery week-end from mid-January to mid-March the Train des Neiges, Alpes-Sud proposes to take skiers to 24 different resorts.  The train travels from the Provence countryside to the foothills of the Alps and to snow-covered slopes.

This itinerary will stop at Ancelle, la Vallee de la Claree and Briancon.

Ancelle

The lovely resort-village of Ancelle is located on a large plateau surrounded by mountains.  At an altitude of 1350 m, it boasts beautiful views of the Drac valley, Devoluy and the Ecrins National Park.  The ski area combines a variety of exposures and snow conditions that appeal to skiers of all levels and styles – from alpine to racket skiing.

Ski Facts:
28 km skiable terrain
19 runs 
one chair lift and 12 button lifts
Slalom course

The extras: snow garden for children and a fantastic sledging area for both kids and adults

Briançon Ski Resort

Briançon Ski Resort is part of the internationally-renowned Grande Galaxie Ski Area.   A convivial place to spend the day if you travel with your family; the resort also draws beginner to intermediate-level skiers.

Cross Country Skiing in the AlpsSki Facts:
24 km downhill ski
200 km cross-country trails
74 ski lifts

The extras: ski runs above 2500 meters guarantee snowboarding and skiing throughout the season.  Some ski-lift passes give access to ski or snowboard areas in the other Grande Galaxie resorts such as La Grave, a legend that lures expert skiers.

Vallée de la Clarée

Set in the impressive Massif des Ecrins and surrounded by snow and silence, Vallée de la Clarée is a true paradise for nature lovers.

Ski Facts:
two world-wide famed alpine ski resorts
80 km cross-country skiing terrain – ideal for kids and beginners
Nordic skiing with sledges and rackets
two ski lifts

The extras: Walks are led on beautifully groomed pedestrian paths. Horse-drawn carriage tours will take the whole family to fairy-tale-like scenery.

TER: Fast Facts

The train departs from:
Marseille Saint Charles, Aix-en-Provence, and Manosque.

Departure time: between 5:30 am and 6:47 am depending upon the station you depart from.
Arrival time: between 9:15 am and 11:15am depending upon the destination.   
Shuttle buses drive you to the slopes of your choice.

Return is scheduled between 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm with an arrival time at the city of origin between 7:15 p.m to 9:25pm.

Cost: 15 Euros/person.  It covers a round-trip ticket plus shuttle transportation to and from the slopes.
7,5 Euros for kids between the ages of 4 and 12.
Free for kids under the age of 4.

Reservations must be made 15 days in advance and tickets purchased at a SNCF station.

The plus: guides on board throughout the whole train ride will answer all the questions that you may have. For further information, visit Train Touristiques- Ter

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