The Pyrenees mountain range runs along the border between France and Spain, with the small country of Andorra nestling in the middle. It is about 400km long and 70km wide. Although the Alps attract millions of tourists each winter season the ski slopes of the Pyrenees tend to be less crowded and less expensive than some of the best-known French resorts. There are 200 summits in the Pyrenées over 2000m, and Pico d’Aneto (on the Spanish side) at 3404m is the highest point.
Although Quillan is not situated high in the mountains it is an ideal base for those wanting to do some skiing or other winter sports such as snow boarding on their holiday, whilst taking in other activities too. The nearest slope is just thirty minutes away, and we’ve listed a few favourites below with links to their websites.
Les Angles (overview) is 58km or just over an hour from Quillan. At an altitude of 1600 – 2400m, Les Angles offers excellent skiing and stunning views. Even if you don’t like skiing it’s well worth a trip up in the cable car to the restaurant and bar at the top. Try out the café on the left, in the village just before you get to the télécabin (ski lift). They do a delicious hot chocolate and with one of their pastries to accompany it, you’ll have a great breakfast.
Puyvalador (overview) is 50km or about an hour from Quillan. Altitudes of 1700 – 2400m make for great skiing and beautiful views. You can also ask us how good the ski rescue team is, and what the ambulance ride is like from here to the nearest hospital…
Mont d’Olmes (overview) is a smaller resort just 36 km or about 40 minutes from Quillan. Nestled in Arierge just behind Montsegur the famous bastion of the Cathares, Mont d’Holmes resort (with altitudes of 1500 – 2100m) has a lovely friendly feel to it.
Camurac (overview) is another small resort 37 km or about 45 minutes from Quillan. At an altitude of 1400 – 1800m, Camurac mixes the charm of a mountain village with the pleasure of skiing, allowing you to enjoy skiing in a tranquil environment.
Of course there are many more resorts within a comfortable drive from here. When driving up into the mountains, remember that in France, it is a legal requirement to have a set of snow chains in your car if you intend to drive to a mountain resort that has the possibility of snow. (More advice on winter driving in our region can be found here.)