The weekend of Dec. 12 and 13, 2009, [R591R, 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 [R2397R, 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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