Toulouse Skiing

Toulouse skiing doesn't offer much in the way of local resorts, but that's not to say that France's fourth largest city can't make for an excellent point of arrival for a European ski vacation. The city is only some 70 miles from the numerous ski areas that are found in the Pyrenees Mountains, and this high-rising mountain region is quickly becoming one of Europe's hottest ski vacation destinations.

Toulouse is the capital of the Midi-Pyrenees region, which is found in southern France and is the country's largest region. Not too far south of the city are the lofty Pyrenees Mountains, and Toulouse offers an excellent airport that can serve as an entry point to the general region. From Toulouse, travelers can rent a car or find a train or bus that is destined for the Pyrenees, and the trip should only take a few hours at the most. Once in the high mountains, skiers and snowboarders should find the air to be dry, which often lends to the natural creation of soft, fluffy snow. In fact, the Pyrenees are known to offer some of the best skiing in Europe. The best snow is usually to be had between November and April.

Three different countries claim portions of the Pyrenees Mountains. These countries include France, Spain, and the much smaller Andorra. As such, skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts who are trying to find ski resorts near Toulouse France might consider a border crossing at some point. Within France, St Lary Soulan, Font Romeu, and La Mongie are just some of the ski resort choices. St Lary Soulan has a reputation for being one of the largest French Pyrenees ski resorts, while Font Romeu is the oldest ski resort in all the Pyrenees Mountains. As for La Mongie, it is even larger than St Lary Soulan. In fact, this ski resort at the base of Col du Tourmalet Mountain offers the region's largest skiable area.

Moving over to Andorra, those who are looking to ski near Toulouse might start with the resorts of Pas de la Casa, Soldeau-El Tartar, and Arisnal-Pas. Pas de la Casa is the highest ski resort in Andorra, and travelers might also interest themselves in the fact that is known for its excellent snow and its accessibility. Of all the Andorra ski resorts, Pas de la Casa is certainly the easiest to get to from either the Toulouse Airport or the airport in Barcelona. Over at Soldeau-El Tartar, visitors will find one of the region's largest ski areas, and it should also be noted that the resort town figures among the top spots for a budget European ski vacation.

Some of the ski areas and villages in the Pyrenees have combined to offer a more comprehensive region for visitors to explore and enjoy. This is the case with Andorra's Arisnal-Pas ski area, which has teamed up with Ordino-Arcalis to form a larger ski area known as Vallnord. Among other things, this ski area boasts more than 60 runs, approximately 40 lifts, and a collection of restaurants.

When a Toulouse skiing adventure is the aim, travelers who decide to head for the Pyrenees Mountains will also do well to consider Spanish resorts such as Alp 2500 and Espot Esqui. The towns of Masella and La Molina combined their ski areas to create Alp 2500, and the resort has hosted world skiing and snowboarding events. As for Espot Esqui, it opened in 1967 and offers just over 20 different runs. As is true of other ski resorts in the Pyrenees, Espot Esqui isn't just a downhill skiing or snowboarding destination in the winter, however. Cross country trails are in good supply, and other cold weather activity options include snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding.

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