Ax 3 Domaines Ski Resort

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The best access to Ax 3 Domaines ski resort is via gondola from Ax-les -Thermes
The best access to Ax 3 Domaines ski resort is via gondola from Ax-les -Thermes
Looking across steep, forested off-piste terrain at Ax toward the Savis ski area
Looking across steep, forested off-piste terrain at Ax toward the Savis ski area
Ax-les-Thermes is a wonderful town at the base of the ski resort
Ax-les-Thermes is a wonderful town at the base of the ski resort
Ax 3 Domsines mountain village at Bonascre is typically French and loaded with high-rise apartments
Ax 3 Domsines mountain village at Bonascre is typically French and loaded with high-rise apartments
Ax les Thermes has numerous excellent restaurants
Ax les Thermes has numerous excellent restaurants
Snow making covers large swathes of piste trails at Ax, including some of the steeper offerings
Snow making covers large swathes of piste trails at Ax, including some of the steeper offerings
Ax les Thermes has bubbling hot water throughout the centre of town
Ax les Thermes has bubbling hot water throughout the centre of town
Ax 3 Domaines skiing
Ax 3 Domaines skiing
Bonascre at Ax 3 Domaines provides
Bonascre at Ax 3 Domaines provides 'ski-in' convenience
Ax 3 Domaines ski trail map
Ax 3 Domaines ski trail map

Ax 3 Domaines Ski Resort

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Ax 3 Domaines

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Nearby Ski Resort

Grandvalira

     Ax 3 Domaines Ski Trail Map
  • Ax 3 Domaines Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,380m - 2,350m (970m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (20)
    2 Gondola
    7 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    December to early-April
    9:00am to 4:45pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 80km
    Longest run - 5km+
    Advanced - 20%
    Intermediate - 30%
    Beginner - 50%
  • Ski Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 21/22
    Adult - €39
    Child - €32.50
    Child u/5yr - Free

Ax 3 Domaines Ski Resort France

Ax 3 Domaines is a surprisingly expansive ski resort in the French Pyrenees near Andorra. At its base, the well-known spa town of Ax les Thermes is absolutely brilliant and is rated by us a one of the best ski resort towns in France.

Pros & Cons for Ax 3 Domaines Ski Resort

Pros

  • Authentic & vibrant French Pyrenees spa town at its base.
  • Decent skiable vertical of over 950m.
  • Increasingly modern lift system.
  • 80km of quality on-piste trails for novice, beginner & intermediate skiers, plus a few delightful steeper options for advanced riders.
  • Good value & affordable lift pass.
  • Diverse selection of accommodations in the town or one the mountain.
  • Public transport access by train is excellent.

Cons

  • An increasingly questionable snow record.
  • No valley run to Ax-les-Thermes, requires a gondola download back to the town.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • In the Pyrenees so can be boom or bust in the snow department!
  • Low elevation valley town may not have natural snow for much of winter.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lift & Terrain

The Ax 3 Domaines skiing & snowboarding terrain has over 80km of piste trails spread across three interlinked ski sectors. The terrain is generally north-aspect and ranges in altitude from 1,400m at Bonascre to 2,350m at the top of the Rebenty chair and provides for all ski & snowboard abilities. The terrain ranges from high alpine to forested runs lower down. The entire skiable vertical of over 950m is skiable in one hit but can involve some long flattish traverses on trails back to Bonascre. Snowboarders beware. Novice ski terrain is excellent around the mountain village at Bonascre and further up the mountain in the broad basin at Saquet. The pick for more advanced riders is the long runs from the Rebenty chair. Progressing beginners & intermediates can safely utilise all lift and sectors due to the widespread nature of blue & red on piste trails.

See here for the Ax 3 Domaines ski trail map.

The ski lifts at Ax 3 Domaines provide the visitor (whether a novice or expert) with a comfortable journey throughout the resort. Gondolas from Ax-les-Thermes to the mountain station at Bonascre, and then from Bonascre to the Saquet basin, allows novices & beginners easy passage to the right terrain. The many surface tows in the Saquet are perfect for learners. All of the resort’s most important chairlifts have been steadily going a thorough modernisation process in the recent past. The last major upgrade was the replacement of the old cross-valley Savis double chair with two modern quads, the Savis 2 and Bisorne, which also resulted in an expansion of the trail network. The final piece in the puzzle is the replacement of the old Rebenty triple chair with a modern 6-seater, making skiing the resort’s highest terrain way more efficient.

Snow & Weather

The Pyrenees can be a feast & famine ski region. The feasts come often, with cold dry champagne powder the likes of which would be normally seen in Utah, Japan, or the high Alps. But after the feast, long periods of above freezing temperatures & warm cloudless days can (& do increasingly regularly) occur, impacting snow quality. Snow making technology has offset most of the issues on the pistes, but if looking to ski or board the region's amazing off-piste terrain in powder, it is best to leave your travel options to the Pyrenees flexible & go when the combination of snow base & snow forecast align. Or just do as most ordinary folk do, travel there when you can, make the most of what you have & enjoy sliding on whatever type of snow is available. With a lovely town like Ax les Thermes at its base, Ax certainly has more appeal than other local resorts.

Where is Ax 3 Domaines France?

The Ax 3 Domaines ski resort is in the Pyrenees of southern France, close to the borders of Andorra & Spain. The resort is around 130km (1¾hr) by road south of the major city of Toulouse, 200km (2¾hr) north of Barcelona, and 62km (1⅓hr) north-east of the Andorran capital, Andorra-la-Vella. The nearest major airports are Toulouse (TLS) & Barcelona (BCN).

Regular train services operate between Toulouse to Ax-les-Thermes, so if Ax is your only travel destination, the recommended mode of travel to the resort is by rail. Should you be wishing to link a visit to Ax with nearby ski areas in the region (i.e. Andorra or other French or Spanish Pyrenees ski areas), we recommend a rental car. Note that some of the roads from the south (from Andorra & The Spanish border near Puigcerdà) to Ax can be rather ‘hectic’ during winter storms!

Rail services to the region can be taken direct from the Toulouse airport station into the central city station of Gare de Toulouse Matabiau, from where trains to Ax-les-Thermes can be boarded. Travel time from the airport to Ax is around 2¾hr.

Search & book here for train tickets to Ax 3 Domaines.

For hints, tips & warnings about getting to French ski resorts in winter, see our Travel in France page.

Ax 3 Domaines Accommodation

Ski accommodation at Ax can be separated into two categories: in the valley at Ax les Thermes; and on mountain at Bonascre. Both have pros & cons.

At the base of Ax 3 Domaines, the spa town of Ax-les-Thermes is fantastic. Retaining much of its old-world charm, the vibrant town centre is loaded with wonderful bars & restaurants hidden amongst its myriad of cobbled lanes. And of course there are the thermal spa baths (if you are into that kind of thing!). Lodging includes privately rented apartments & homes in the ‘old town’ centre, several well-priced hotels, plus a few well-managed commercial holiday apartment complexes. When combined with the ease of access via train, a gondola leading up to the ski resort & a wide range of lodging options, Ax les Thermes is as good a French ski town as we have come across (maybe aside from fabulous Chamonix!). Its major downfall is its low elevation equating to a lack of snow throughout the town for of the season, proving that no matter how good a place may be, they are very rarely perfect!

The resort's mountain village on the Plateau de Bonascre is in a more snow-laden location at 1,400m altitude. Sadly typical of many French ski areas (loaded with high-rise apartments), it is nonetheless reasonably well designed, and certainly convenient to the lifts and terrain. The apartment buildings are mostly ‘ski-in’, and border a large novice learn to ski area which is itself fringed by outdoor bar & restaurant offerings. Whilst it lacks the charm & nightlife of Ax les Thermes, Bonascre will appeal to anyone wanting to stay & play close to the snow.

Search & book here for all Ax 3 Domaines ski accommodation.

Ski Rentals

Ski rentals are available via our local partners at the Les Izards complex in the resort’s mountain village of Bonascre. The shop is convenient to all the ski lifts & slopes. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Ax 3 Domaines Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

Nearby Ski Resorts

Ax 3 Domaines is very close to the Spanish & Andorran border. The Andorran ski resort of Grandvalira is a relatively short, but icy, drive up into the mountains from Ax les Thermes via L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre. You will notice the road improves dramatically once in Andorra!

Review

The Powderhounds visited the valley base village of Ax les Thermes in 2020. Unfortunately driving rain (which the next day turned to driving snow) drove us away before touching any snow on the mountain at Ax 3 Domaines. We will provide some sparkling repartee, photos & insights on the brilliant Ax les Thermes & the French Pyrenees in the near (or distant) future.

See how the rest of the European ski resorts compare on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Ax 3 Domaines
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