In the heart of Catalan country, a quick two-hour car trip from Capestang, you will find the pretty ski village of Eyne, Pyrénées Orientales. Winding roads lead you up towards snow-capped peaks with beautiful views of the valley below.
Joining three other families from Capestang on this weekend getaway, we had 6 kids and 8 adults in our group. The perfect combination to keep everyone entertained.
We stopped at the Villefranche-de-Conflent on the ride up to visit the intact 1098 fortified city. Close to the Spanish boarder, its position changed hands over time between French and Spain rule. Nestled along the river Têt, it’s only 800 metres from the nearest mountaintop, making this the ideal inland location.
The famous yellow train, Ligne de Cerdagne, starts and stops its route in the town’s station. It boasts as the highest train route in France climbing 1,593 feet and takes you the 63 kilometres to Mont-Louis.
Another 40-before-40 accomplishment, we take the kids skiing. Alfonz and I haven’t been on skis for twenty years. Quickly, we carved it up in fresh powder as if there were no hiatus at all.
Angelina took her first lesson, managed to get the hang of it in about 5 minutes and she was going down blue and green runs with us afterwards. She was too small to manage the towrope on her own, and I doubled her up tot he runs.
During our two days, we all had so much fun. I felt 20 again, and both Alfonz and I commented on how happy we were to ski with our children.
Two days later I definitely felt 40, but still worth every ache and pain.
Funny moment, I was suiting up the kids and getting ready for the hills, as Alfonz took to the Red runs. I carefully checked their equipment thinking I can do this alone. We went up to the top of the hill, and I watched them carefully go down. My turn, on my first left turn I tumbled, forgetting to buckle my boot and wiped out in front of the children. They couldn’t stop laughing, as I tried to stand up. C’est la vie!
Brutally bruising my shin, I’m covered in black and blue marks. You haven’t really been skiing hard enough, if you walk away without a few dings.
The ski lodge, Centre Du Vacances La Clé Des Champs, where we stayed is the same type of accommodations the school kids go with their class for their ski trips. Last year Daniel did a week with his class just a bit further North from here. The rooms are set up with two bunk beds, sleeping four with a little in room sink. Very basic but a good deal for the 40€/person, which includes dinner your first night, breakfast and lunch the next day. All the meals were delicious and they give you lots of healthy food. In addition, you have access to beverages after skiing, in front of a warm fireplace.
Downstairs, there is a community room, full of books, couches and tables with chairs. After skiing the children played down stairs, and set the tables up for make shift ping-pong. Later Daniel and the other boys ran around in a gang, exploring, while the two girls, Angelina and her best buddy Garance, played dolls in the rooms. We drank wine and shared our snacks before dinner and hang out around the table and made our way down stairs to chat.
I had an incredible sleep, didn’t move all night. In the morning, I joined other guests for a yoga hour downstairs before breakfast and another day of skiing. It felt so good to stretch my muscles and have a moment to myself while the rest of my family slept.
I would recommend this location for the price point and location alone, directly across from the children’s hill and the rental shop Europsport shop. The staff, where we met Dany and his lovely family, spoke English and really helped set us up quickly for the day.
Half day lift tickets for four cost 60€ plus 20€ rental. Not bad for the Pyrenees, where you would expect to pay at least double that! A great local find.
That’s Hamori recommends Eyne, Pyrénées!