Risoul remains a predominantly family-oriented and traditional French-dominated self-catering resort; so although British, Dutch and Scandinavian guests tend to liven-up some of the après-ski bars, this is not the best choice for those looking for hedonistic nightlife akin to the likes of Chamonix or Val d'Isere That said; the bars lining the base of the slopes are usually animated come the end of the ski day.
La Grotte du Yeti (www.lagrotteduyeti.com) is one of the livelier options, entertaining guests until 0200 each morning, while Le Morgan nightclub (tel: +33 492 460 990) is also open every night into the early hours.
Risoul has a moderate selection of restaurants, most of which are fairly simple establishments serving what the majority of the resort's family visitors require (pizza, fondue and the like), generally at lower prices than in the Northern Alps.
L'Assiette Gourmande (tel: +33 492 460 972) is one of the best choices for both traditional and imaginative French cuisine, while Le Chalet (tel: +33 492 461 128) has an atmospheric chalet-style wooden interior and a reputation for its Gruyère fondues, local raclette and hearty rösti. La Marmite (tel: +33 492 466 650; www.facebook.com/LaMarmiteRisoul) is another popular option for high quality French cuisine.
For crêpes, La Crêperie (tel: +33 492 460 948) is the place to go; or for pizza, try Le Cherine (tel: +33 492 460 871). L'Ecureuil (tel: +33 492 460 096) and Restaurant Snow Board Café (tel: +33 492 461 865) both serve affordable fast fodder.
Beyond the slopes
Risoul is primarily a ski resort and sticks to the traditional model of 'ski, eat and sleep'. There is some attempt at diversification however, and a year-round toboggan run allows participants to travel downhill at speeds of up to 40kph (25mph).
Most of the resort's organised activities are outdoors, and include snowmobiling excursions (each evening between 1700 and 2100), as well as horse riding, skijoring (being towed behind a horse on skis), snowshoeing and paragliding. The resort has also invested in an ice skating rink with a synthetic surface, allowing it to operate year round.
Among the indoor options is the two-screen Cinéma de Forêt Blanche (tel: +33 492 460 980), which shows some English-language films.
Risoul is a pleasant location for a simple family ski holiday. The close proximity of slopes, services and family-friendly restaurants is a major draw, while much of the self-catering accommodation is either slopeside or near to the lifts.
The wide, sunny bowl above the village provides extensive family-friendly areas. Children can learn to ski at the École du ski Français (ESF) (tel: +33 492 461 922; www.esf-risoul.com), which offers young children tailored ski lessons combined with indoor or outdoor play. Children aged three and above can take lessons that follow the French national programme structure.
Childcare is available for babies aged from six months, and a separate service for children aged from three to 12; both are run by Espace Enfants (tel: +33 492 460 005).
Shopping in Risoul is purely functional with the 20 or so shops existing to serve two basic needs: snow sports and food. There is an épicerie (grocery), two butchers shops and the Banette boulangerie (bakery) (tel: +33 492 462 553), which is the first stop for every wise Francophile each morning.
Less purely practical offerings include the Tout En Doucers sweet shop (tel: +33 4 9245 1583) and a newsagent and photographic store that also sell souvenirs.
Paragliding high above the slopes is always exciting for those who enjoy being airborne. The École de Parapente du Queyras (tel: +33 492 452 643,www.parapente05.com) offers daily first-time tandem paragliding flights with an experienced instructor, or more advanced flights for those who have already experienced the thrill of soaring high up above the slopes in the thermals.
Almost all of the accommodation in Risoul is in the form of convenient slopeside self-catering apartment complexes. There are several small, basic hotels and a year-round camping centre in the wider region, but most are 13km to 25km (9 to 16 miles) away in the valley – therefore requiring public transport connections.
These comfortable 4-star apartments sleep three to six people. The complex has an inviting lounge with an open fireplace, a good-sized indoor pool, and sauna and spa facilities.Address: , Residence Cassiopee, Risoul, F 05600
Telephone: +33 171 096 371
Le Chardon Bleu
One of the few hotels in Risoul actually on the slopes, Le Chardon Bleu offers 2-star accommodation with a breakfast buffet, car parking and sauna facilities.Address: , Secteur de Chérine, Risoul, F 05600
Telephone: +33 492 460 727
Luxe Véga à Risoul
One of the newest apartment complexes in the resort, Luxe Véga à Risoul is close to the luxurious Les Balcons de Sirius and is officially rated as a 3-star. Units sleep between three and seven people, with the larger units being laid out over two levels.Address: , Central Station, Risoul, F 05600
Telephone: +33 492 462 929
This large 2-star slopeside building has apartments available for three to six people. Les Mélèzes is in a superb location and provides on-site shops, restaurants and a mini-supermarket.Address: , Station, Risoul, F 05600
Telephone: +33 492 462 929
Village Club Touristra
This 130-room apartment complex boasts an on-site restaurant, games room and children's club. Rooms sleep up to six and there are three apartments available that are specially equipped for disabled guests.Address: , L'Église, Risoul, F 05600
Telephone: +33 492 460 052
La Maison de Josephine
A wonderful gîte for the health-conscious, La Maison de Josephine offers vegetarian meals and yoga classes, as well as a swimming pool and sauna. The residence is in a quiet location in the 'old village' area of Risoul, some distance from the slopes.Address: , L'Église, Risoul, F 05600
Telephone: +33 492 452 801
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