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Our pick of Nordic activities for a winter break to remember

Expansive Nordic domains, intimate family resorts and vast natural spaces… The ski resorts of the Southern Alps are a fabulous, XXL winter playground. The many Nordic activities on offer promise something for every profile: families, friends, adventurers and sports fans alike. Make the most of our snowy pleasures without forgetting the local gourmet delights, with a host of takeaway specialities such as tourtons and blueberry tart washed down with a glass of mulled wine.
In view of the current health situation and restrictions, please check your chosen resort so you can tailor your winter programme.

Published on 15 January 2021

Polish up your cross-country style

Skating, alternating or biathlon at the Southern Alps resorts!

Cross-country skiing has been the star of Nordic activities for many years. Whether you’re aiming for an easy-going excursion or personal challenge, you’ll need to pick a technique: skating or alternating steps – easier and ideal for getting a breath of fresh air while you chat! Offering a range of loops, the Nordic ski domains of the Southern Alps invite visitors to head out to explore the local forests and vast, snowy expanses dotted with Alpine flora and fauna. If you like to keep your hands busy too, opt for a biathlon course! This fabulously fun variation on cross-country skiing is particularly popular with youngsters. Get geared up with your laser gun or rifle and get ready to roll! Our fave:Névacheand its 50 km Nordic domain, plus 3 trails of over 35 km for all levels and a biathlon stadium for a fantastic all-round experience.

Choose your resort

  • Crévoux
  • Névache Val-des-Prés
  • Le Grand Puy / Chabanon – Selonnet
  • Le Dévoluy
  • Valberg

High-altitude snowshoeing

Varied trails exploring the riches of the mountains

An ideal activity for beginners, families or friends, snowshoeing is the perfect way to explorethe fairytale snowy pathways and signposted trails of the Southern Alps, and promises a tranquil immersion in nature’s inimitable peace and quiet. And along the way you’re bound to come across a few marmots, deer and chamois as you admire the distant relief, drawing comfort and serenity from the mountainscapes while sharing a unique moment of togetherness. Our fave:Pra Loupand its 5 snowshoeing trails through majestic larch forests, facing Ubaye Valley.

Choose your resort

Cross-country with an instructor

Sporty outings with expert company!

Very popular in the Ecrins and Queyras areas, cross-country skiing is one of the star activities of the Southern Alps, allowing skiers to explore sumptuous off-piste trails where you can opt to slip out of your skis or get in some downhill fun too. Because although it doesn’t involve a ski lift, cross-country skiing is still skiing – with skis coated with anti-slip “sealskin” – and requires a reasonable level of fitness and technique. So if it’s your first time, we definitely recommend heading out with a guide: French and International Ski School instructors are at your disposal to help you progress and make the most of each outing. Our faves: Montgenèvre and its “pack trace” allowing you to draw up your own itinerary accompanied by a French Ski School (ESF) instructor, or the reputed Dévoluy, home to the Pic de Bure astronomical observatory perched at an altitude of 2,550 metres.

Choose your resort

Adapting to every terrain

Toboganning, ice waterfalls or ice driving?

Among the vast palette of activities on offer while you’re holidaying or visiting for a weekend, tobogganing is a definite must. And there’s not just one way to do it! Although rides at the bottom of the slopes immediately spring to mind, you’ll also find versions on rails plus bobsleighs for even more thrills, spills, jumps and bumps. Our fave:The 4-seasons toboggan at Pra Loup open from December 18th. The Southern Alps resorts like to play with ice as well as snow, so if you’ve always been tempted by ice waterfalls, grab your ice axe and crampons and try your hand at a challenging ascent to the summit. Our fave: the acclaimed Boréon ice waterfall inSaint-Martin-Vésubie. Last but not least, adrenalin freaks will definitely want to opt for an ice-driving lesson on the Isola 2000 track. A blast!

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Guided by furry friends

Dog sledding and skijoring: watch the scenery whoosh by!

If you’ve read White Fang and are fascinated by the world of wolfhounds, or you’ve always dreamed of making friends with a pack of doggies, how about letting them lead you on the adventure of a lifetime?! Dog sledding is a truly exceptional experience now open to all. There’s nothing quite like seeing the pack waiting to welcome you, so get ready to wipe away a tear or two! After saying hi to the musher and all the family, hop on board and get ready to whoosh silently along the slopes to the pace of the dogs, in an atmosphere out of this world… Our faves:Risoul and dog sledding in the Forêt Blanche, or Orcières, offering introductory courses for children.
And dogs aren’t your only companions: you can get pulled along by a horse too! Skijoring is an amazing sport that allow you to ski and drive a horse at the same time. Simply breathtaking.

Choose your resort

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