uncrowded slopes and lifts, awesome views
french kept secret, opening of liason between Mont Dore and Super Besse erratic
Super Besse is located in The Massif Central in Auvergne, France.
The Resort is located in the beautiful Volcanic Regional Park and has lovely views of dormant volcanoes, quite different from The Alpine Resorts...you can even ski into one!
Situated about 40km from Clermont Ferrand with excellent road links, it is a relatively uncrowded off season and even during this years February holidays, lift queues were minimal.
Parking is at the foot of the slopes around the lake and there are many 'over flow' car parks although I found it easier to park in Besse and catch the 'free bus' up the last 1.5 miles..it drops you right at the foot of the pistes.
Skiing here is very different from The Alps, with several challenging reds and a lots of nice blues and a couple of nice blacks, one called 'The Bitch'! The resort is made up of one large fast bubble lift and lots of chairs. It is situated at 1200m? and the summit is 1850m.
The liason which links Super Besse with Le Mont Dore, which really opens up the skiing, is unpredictable so check first if it's open as it's pointless buying a whole area pass..it was closed the whole week we were there!
The total skiable area is 43km increased to 85km with Mont Dore. It has 299 ski cannons covering 60% of the area + 85 at Mont Dore. 61 runs in total area, 22 greens, 17 blues, 15 reds and 7 blacks.
There are lots of nice, reasonably priced restaurants in town and a few situated on the slopes with the usual ski fare of everything with 'frites' for about 7-8 euros..try the local Truffade, a dish with cheese and potatoes, often served from your own 'fry pan' and it usually is accompanied by a green salad and some bread..delicious!!!
The ski village is made up of a long street and has plenty of restaurants, bars and ski shops and also a Pizzeria.
You can swim or ice skate in the leisure centre by the lake and even dog sled if you wish.
All in all, this area is on the 'up'..Super Besse was included in a British Newspaper last year, as one of the most desirable places to but ski property. It is still mainly French who return here year after year but is definitely opening up to the British..I heard several English voices this year!!
The people are genuine and welcoming..if you have time 'apres-ski' visit the lower Medieval town of Besse which has a lovely mix of shops and cafe' restaurants set around a central square and has lovely cobbled streets to wander around. It even has a Ski Museum!!
We will definitely return...shhhh..don't tell anyone!