The weekend of Dec. 12 and 13, 2009, Vars opens its pistes with a southern flair. A festive launch is planned with all sorts of activities, notably two concerts starring hot groups from Marseille's vivacious music scene - Massilia Sound System and Oaï Star.

The resort has created a package deal to mark the event. Come celebrate the opening of this resort, located in France's Hautes-Alpes department, with a pack starting at €70 per person. The offer includes two nights' rental accommodation, two day passes, and access to the concerts and other activities. Upgrade and stay in a two star hotel (breakfast included) for €144 per person.

Skiers can also take advantage of the opening weekend to explore the Forêt Blance ski area, born of the union between Vars and Risoul resorts. The resorts are located at 1850 metres, and thanks to their privileged location in the southern Alps, benefit from a climate that's more Mediterranean than mountain. This doesn't however mean that the resort suffers from a lack of snow. With its 1100-metre vertical drop and pistes approaching 3000 metres, the area has one of the region's best snow covers.

On the all-level pistes, skiers owe it to themselves to take a moment to savour the awesome panoramas of the surrounding summits: la Durance, les Ecrins, l'Ubaye, Serre Ponçon, la Meije, and the legendary Mont Blanc. The pause will offer a taste of majestic tranquillity before darting down the pistes to the party below.

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