Skiing in the Languedoc
There are seven main ski resorts in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, near Argeles and Carcassonne: Font-Romeu, Les Angles, Cerdagne-Puigmal, Formiguères, Cambre-d’Aze, Puyvalador and Porte-Puymorens. The famous Yellow Train (built in 1910 and the first railway system to use electricity), conveniently runs through the Pyrenees (higher than any other non-cog railway in France), and after a hard days skiing, there are hot sulphur baths in nearby Dorres, Llo and St Thomas.
Font-Romeu is the largest, oldest and sunniest ski resort of the Languedoc Pyrenees. Opened in 1921, it boasts the biggest base in the Pyrenees (800 acres), the biggest snow making machine and has towering peaks that rise to 2260m. It also has 500 snow canons, 34 ski runs, 54km of downhill ski runs (the most demanding being the ‘Competition’ on the north face), 111km of cross-country ski trails and 200km of cross-country walks. This resort is perfect for beginners and families. And for those who still want more, Font-Romeu ski passes can be used at Puigmal, Les Angles, Pyrennes 2000 and Formigueres resorts, all of which are nearby.
As well as the skiing, other interesting sights in Font Romeu are: Le Grand Hotel, which stood as a flagship of the French hotel industry when it opened in 1913. The height of luxury, it welcomed royal families and celebrities from all over Europe and the East and has since been partly turned into a museum in memory of this. Le Grand Flour Salaire, which has a 40m high mirror making it one of the biggest solar furnaces in the world. L’Eglise d’Odeillo and L’Eglise de Via, churches from Roman times, L’Ermitage, a famous chapel on the Catalan pilgrimage and the National Training center, which serves elite sports people from around the world. The village also has a cinema and casino.
Les Angles is the second largest and most expensive ski resort of the Langedoc. With half of its 29 ski runs red flagged, it is ideal for advanced skiers. The resort has a beautiful lake (used for sailing in the summer), 311 snow canons, 40km of cross-country skiing, peaks reaching 2400m and a ‘Bleu-Neige’ area that sports ice-skating, ice-diving, paragliding, kite surfing and swimming. It also has a cinema, a disco and a zoo.
Cerdagne-Puigmal is the third largest and the highest ski resort of the Languedoc. Another ideal resort for advanced skiers, it has 7 black flagged ski runs and 16 red flagged (in a total of 34), 45 snow canons and 6km of cross-country skiiing. With peaks that rise to 2700m, it has magnificent views. Ski pass prices are reasonable.
Situated close to Les Angles, this is a small ski resort that is popular with cross-country skiers due to having 110km of cross-country trails. Snowshoeing is also popular here and there is the chance to do ski-mountaineering (with access to the Camporells lakes and the Carlit Massif).
Cambe d’Aze (also known as ‘ St Pierre dels Forcats’) is the most economical ski resort of the Languedoc. Situated close to the small town of Err (which has a railway station), it is a perfect place for beginners and families due to its peaceful ski runs along tree-lined pistes (25 in total) and special beginners areas that have 8 green flagged runs. Most encouraging is the fact that snow is always guaranteed due to the 164 snow guns in place.
Puyvalador is the closest resort to Carcassone and Argeles. Like Les Angles, it has a lake ( Lake Puyvalador) and it offers 16 varieties of ski runs. There is also a snow park, a restaurant on site, a shop that rents equipment and a selection of south-facing chalets to be let situated directly opposite the slopes.
Porte Puymorens is one of the smallest and cheapest resorts in the Pyrénées. Situated in a pretty Catalan village, it has wide slopes, suitable for a range of ski levels, 17 ski runs and peaks reaching 2500m. The Font Vives valley is nearby, which is ideal for those who like hiking.
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property near the Pyrenees. All of our agents in Languedoc-Roussillon are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: flat, gite, B&B, villa, castle or mansion, we will do our best to find a property in the Pyrenees matching your requirements.