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France’s Southern Alps Snow Train

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.


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

Win Cool Travel Prizes!

Today’s stop on the Travel Bloggers’ Caravan is: Visit the blog and comment on today’s post for a chance to win Imagine: A Vagabond Story by Grant Lingel and a $50 Magellan’s Travel Supplies gift certificate.

Booking Your Train Tickets

It’s very easy to get confused or lost in translation when purchasing train tickets. You might find yourself with the wrong train or the wrong time on your ticket. Omio makes it easy, taking you step by step in the ticket purchasing process. The site compares prices from multiple railways so you can get the best bang for your buck. 

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