Snowshoeing in the Southern Alps, France

“Send a week snowshoeing through the pristine winter wilderness that vehicles just can't reach, exploring some of the best scenery that France’s Southern Alps have to offer”

Highlights

Saint Véran | Queyras Regional Park | Molines | Gaudissard and Prats Hauts hamlets | River Guil valley | Sommet Bucher | Ecrins National Park | Curlet Ridge and the Curlet Cross viewpoint | showshoeing | optional downhill or cross-country skiing, dogsledding or paragliding

Description of Snowshoeing in the Southern Alps, France

This week long snowshoeing holiday in the Southern Alps is a walk through some of France’s most beautiful winter wilderness. Based in tiny Saint Véran, one of the highest inhabited villages in Europe, you will trek through the dramatic mountain scenery of Queyras Regional Park, where pristine pine forests are laden with snow and dazzling snowfields spread out endlessly.

Highlights include the sleepy settlements of Gaudissard and Prats Hauts, famous for their timber-framed houses, and ‘Sommet Bucher,’ a forest plateau that provides outstanding views across surrounding Ecrins National Park.

This trip is well-suited to beginners and involves five leisurely walks of five to six hours each, though if you want to increase your activity levels, there’s optional skiing, dogsledding and paragliding on offer.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Date
Price
Basis
02 Feb 2019
£ 1249
including UK flights
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09 Mar 2019
£ 1249
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21 Dec 2019
£ 1649
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Dec 2019 departure
18 Jan 2020
£ 1269
including UK flights
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01 Feb 2020
£ 1299
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 01 Feb 2020 departure
07 Mar 2020
£ 1299
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Mar 2020 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Snowshoeing in the Southern Alps, France

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip we use the Grand Tetras hotel in Saint-Véran, a small village in the Queyras region. The small family-run hotel is locally staffed, providing valuable employment in the tourism industry on which the region depends. Fresh produce (such as cheese and meat) is sourced locally as much as possible. Picnic lunches (cold meats, cheese, bread etc.) are sourced at locally supplied stores and evening meals are either taken at our accommodation or local, family-run restaurants.

Activity:
We use local leaders to help preserve the way of life in their area and offer regular training so they can also educate our travellers on how to be more responsible and respectful of local natural and cultural heritage. Walking with snowshoes requires no ski lifts, groomed pistes and leaves no impact apart from tracks in the fresh snow, very important in this area which is part of the protected national park. By visiting this remote area, we offer mountain communities alternative low impact forms of winter tourism. Our groups will visit remote mountain huts for cake and drink stops helping to support the economy of this remote community. In Saint Véran customers are encouraged to sample wares from local businesses and artisans when possible.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with active trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Water can be provided for clients on all trips and water receptacles are recycled or reused where appropriate. As tap water in the region is drinkable, clients will be encouraged to use tap water and to reuse plastic bottles, rather than buying bottled water.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

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