When we began planning our first motorhome ski adventure, every forum we came across mentioned Montgenèvre. We put it on the to-do list and when we arrive, weren’t disappointed to discover a fantastic aire and everything we needed close by.
How to go motorhome skiing in Montgenèvre, France? Montgenèvre is one of the easiest places to take your motorhome skiing with all the facilities you need:
- Large, inexpensive aire for motorhome parking
- Electric hook up for each pitch
- Fresh water
- Waste disposal
- Easy access for even the largest motorhomes
Popular with families, groups and solo skiers alike, Montgenèvre in the Southern French Alps is an excellent place to take your motorhome skiing. Montgenèvre is well set up for those of you new to motorhome skiing or those considering staying on an aire for the first time.
Where to Park Your Motorhome in Montgenèvre
There is an excellent, inexpensive aire a few minutes walk from the centre of Montgenèvre which is a small ski town resting on the boarder between France and Italy in the Haute Alpes.
Just a few kilometres down the road towards Briançon in France, there is also a winter campsite which, whilst outside of the ski area itself, is excellent for those looking for a few more facilities than offered at the aire.
Facilities in Montgenèvre for Motorhome Skiers
Well-loved by Italian and French families alike, Montgenèvre itself is relatively cheap for a French resort and has some excellent restaurants and bars that won’t break the bank. The skiing is brilliant for beginners – intermediates and advanced skiers will find they can keep themselves entertained for a few days in resort, but can also stretch their legs in the Milky Way ski area once Montgenèvre itself has become a little samey.
The Aire at Montgenèvre
The aire at Montgenèvre is extremely popular – with good reason. As well as being vast (offering 220 parking positions each with electric hook up), it’s ski-in ski-out and is less than an hour from busy cities on both the Italian and French sides of the boarder. This means that it can get chocka at the weekends and during school holidays. Very occasionally you’ll see motorhomes parked in the municipal car park below waiting for someone to leave, but this is rare.
We have a full review of the aire at Montgenèvre here where you can view maps, get directions and read all the details on the facilities available.
One of the reasons we like this aire so much is that it has excellent facilities for those looking to venture away from campsites for the first time, with the security of having reliable shore power and many others around you should you need a little assistance.
You can stay as long as you wish (although re-entering every 7 days is recommended otherwise you will get a surprise when you come to pay!) and it really is a nice place to park. It’s got gorgeous views and benefits from sunshine all day which is great if you have solar power.
The Campsite – Le Bois des Alberts
Just 7km downhill on the main road towards Briançon, the hamlet of Les Alberts has an all season campsite called Camping du Bois des Alberts. It’s got all the usual facilities and is perfect for accessing the Montgenèvre ski area if you like a few more creature comforts. It’s also a good place for those travelling without an onboard toilet.
You catch the bus (goes 8 times a day) from nearby up to the resort – 20 minutes up, 10 minutes down!
One of the limiting factors on motorhome ski aires is their proximity to LPG supplies. Montgenèvre is just 25 minutes from Briançon in the valley below where you can get a wide range of gas bottles, LPG for refillable systems, petrol and diesel at the Total garage. If you’re staying for an extended period of time it’s easy to drive down to Briançon, top up on fuels and take advantage of the Casino supermarket next door.
Supermarkets and shops
There are two main supermarkets in Montgenèvre – both small but well stocked and perfect for top-up shops. The Spar on the main road is a 10 minute walk and a little further into town there is a Sherpa which has a better variety of fruit and veg.
If you’re treating yourself to local delicacies, you will find an amazing deli and restaurant called the Le Cave de Montgenèvre on the main street where you can pick up some amazing saucisson.
Bus to Briançon
There’s a regular bus to Briançon that departs from opposite the Office de Tourism and will cost you €5.50 return for an adult. Briançon has everything you’d expect from a small alpine city and it also hold the position of highest city in France. It’s a station in the Serre Chevalier Valley with a bubble from town into the ski area, so if you fancy a day on a different hill during your stay at Montgenèvre, then you can catch the bus without having to up-sticks and move your home too.
This is also the bus that you get from the campsite Du Bois des Alberts to the ski area and if you’re planning to ski daily, you can get a book of tickets at a discounted rate.
Free Ski Bus
Whilst the aire at Montgenèvre is ski-in ski-out, if you or your family members are enrolled in ski school or want to try the free green runs that are in resort, you’ll want to get the ski-bus. Whilst officially it’s an hourly service, it seems to be far more frequent than that. It’s free and is also useful for getting to the Durancia Spa if you’re after a dip.
5 Reasons Why Montgenevre Aire is So Popular With Motorhome Skiers and Snowboarders
To sum it up, Montgenèvre offers a lot for motorhome skiers but above all, it’s easy.
We use it as a respite from travelling and as refuge from some of the more brutal weather the Alps can throw at you.
- It’s Big– that means that you don’t really need to worry about getting a spot but it’s advisable to arrive mid-week if you want your pick of the three tiers. The nice thing is that if you do end up arriving when it’s full, there are a few other aires nearby and of course the campsite a little further down the valley.
- It’s Sunny – and that makes a difference! The aire itself is a little exposed and that means that night time freezing up is not uncommon for even the best vans when it gets very cold. However, if you position your motorhome or van strategically, you can benefit from direct sun for a good chunk of the day which loosens up those solid pipes!
- It’s accessible– the road between Briançon and Oulx on the Italian side is kept clear. It is the main route in this area from France to Italy and is an important trunk road for lorries. Only once did we see the Col closed and this was in extreme weather. What this means is that if it’s wide enough for artic-trucks, it’s wide enough for your motorhome! The entrance to the aire itself is a tiny bit more challenging if you have a big rig but most things under 9m will work it out without any drama. We’ve seen double deck coach conversion parked up too so as long as the access road is clear, you’ll be just fine.
- Lot’s around– The great thing about Montgenèvre is how much there is in the area. Cesana and Clavier on the Italian side not only have lovely restaurants but both have sostas where you can park and remain within the Milky Way ski area. Drop down into France and you have the whole Serre Chevalier area with three different motorhome parking places.
- It’s cheap!– Anyone who’s been motorhome skiing knows that whilst it may offer some cost savings in resort, it’s certainly not a cheap way to take a ski holiday! Once you’ve invested in your chalet on wheels, you might as well have bought an apartment in the mountains but that’s not why we do it. Skiing in France is notoriously expensive compared with Italy and Austria so finding excellent resorts like Montgenèvre that offer both camping and aires at affordable prices is one of the reasons that this alpine gem is a favourite for us and many others.
A Few Helpful Tips for Motorhome Skiing in Montgenèvre
- If you’re staying in the aire, check out every 7 days and circle round to get another ticket. This is the best way to benefit from the cheapest per night tariff.
- If you’re going to use the Frejus Tunnel, stop at the booth and speak to them. Depending on the size of your vehicle, they may try to charge you commercial vehicle rates however, stopping to tell them you are a campervan can in some instances save you a fortune.
- If you’re touring in a van that doesn’t have a toilet, the aire at Montgenevre is probably not for you. There is no toilet facility on site and the nearest WC is next to the tourist office, a good 10 minute walk away.
- There’s a bakery closer than you think! Le Chalet Des Gourmandises has lovely fresh bread and pastries and is a good bit closer to the aire than the others in town for your morning croissant.
- If you want free wifi during your stay, invest in a Motorhome Wifi i-Boost and log onto the free resort wifi. It’s not perfect and you might have to forgo your 4k Netflix but it’s certainly strong enough for watching the odd YouTube video and downloading your emails.
Are campsites open in ski resorts in winter? Some. It’s worth doing your research before you go and choose sites that specifically advertise that they offer winter camping. You should expect to see a different tariff.
Can I take my caravan to a ski resort in winter? If you want to take your caravan skiing there are a number of campsites that accept caravans in winter, some even allow season long camping.
Can I take my caravan to the aire at Montgenevre? No is the simple answer. Municipal aires are subject to a reasonably strict code – one of which is that caravans are not permitted and neither is ‘camping behaviour’. Some places are a little more lenient (Monetier Les Bains for example) but this is not common place. Caravans are welcomed in many campsites however.