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Vars Sainte-Marie

Village life

It’s known as the first gateway to the ski area, but it’s also a small village where life is good. With its local shops, typical little streets to wander through and the gentle music of the Chagne and Chagnon torrents, you’ll soon feel right at home in a mountain setting open to all the surrounding peaks.

Welcome to

Vars Sainte Marie

Vars Sainte Marie is the first gateway to the ski area: rental stores and ski lifts will take you straight to the top!
A few gourmet restaurants with vaulted ceilings bear witness to life as it was in the past, with all the comforts of the present: charming hotels with “relaxation and spa” areas, traditional or bistronomic restaurants, bakeries, mini-markets and administrative centers such as the post office and town hall, not forgetting the library. A small village life where “everyone knows everyone else”, where you can discover pretty little streets mixing modern-style chalets and old-fashioned farmhouses, with a large play area along the Chagne torrent for young and old alike.


A little history

Since the winter of 2004-2005 and the installation of the new Peyrol detachable 6-seater chairlift, the village of Vars Sainte Marie has played an increasingly important role in access to the ski area, hiking and mountain biking, reinforced by the completion of the Bois Noir 6-seater chairlift in January 2021: The village thus becomes the main gateway to the ski area, with fast, comfortable access to the heart of the Forêt Blanche. Sainte Marie is the administrative and community hub, home to the Vars town hall and post office. It is also a place of worship, thanks to the ecumenical center, which is still very active.

The first hotels were built here, most of them in old buildings featuring traditional local architecture. Restaurants welcome you under the vaulted ceilings of restored cowsheds. The floors once dedicated to hay storage are now the hotel rooms.

The first ski lifts were installed in Vars Sainte Marie in 1938. The resort’s expansion extended to Vars les Claux from 1939 onwards, with a drive to equip the resort that would resume at the end of the Second World War.

Practical information

Free shuttles

A free shuttle service is provided by the commune of Vars to enable you to get around in and between the villages. As the ski area is not directly accessible from Vars Sainte Catherine, this regular shuttle service gives you easy access to the slopes without taking your vehicle.

Where to park?

If your accommodation does not have a private parking lot, we advise you to park your vehicle in the parking lots available in Vars Sainte-Marie and use the free shuttle service.


Tourist Office

Our information point and holiday advisors welcome you all summer long from 09:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00 on the village square.

Always more

Heritage festivals

Vars is also home to heritage festivals that let you discover our villages from another angle!

Learn more