Cross country skiing holiday in the French Alps
Description of Cross country skiing holiday in the French Alps
This cross country ski holiday in the French Alps makes the most of 130km of terrain across four Nordic domaines in the the Champsaur and Valgaudemar valleys, which remain refreshingly under-explored.
Staying in a locally owned hotel you’ll join a small group to roam landscapes composed of frozen rivers and waterfalls, trees whose branches bend with snow, and imposing cliffs. And all of this in an atmosphere of utter tranquillity, a world away from the bustle of downhill resorts.
Your group will be accompanied throughout by an experienced local guide, familiar with the terrain and the communities in the area. They will not only offer advice on routes and lead the way, but also organise meals at local restaurants. You will be skiing in a different place each day, such as around the pretty village of Ancelle, along the bank of the Rouanne River, and through the fabulous, forested terrain of Col Bayard.
No experience is required of cross country skiing – your fully qualified guide will give the group a few hours of training every morning, helping you to develop and perfect your skills. You will want a good level of fitness however: regular participants in cardiovascular exercise such as rowing, swimming, running, hiking or cycling should be fine.
Most people will opt for the classic ‘one foot in front of the other in parallel’ style of cross country skiing, but if you’re more advanced or feeling confident, you can also try ‘skating’ – with your guide happy to provide tips.
For your convenience, all transfers, including pick-up from the Gap train station, are included, as are your ski passes, and all the equipment you’ll need. You’ll be staying in characterful accommodation on a twin sharing, bed-and-breakfast basis, and groups tend to eat together in the evenings making for a very friendly and bonding environment.
A couple of other little extras worth pointing out that make this French Alps cross country skiing holiday stand out: a tree is planted for every traveller, helping to offset the carbon footprint of your tour. And, on booking, you’ll be given access to a helpful smartphone app that gives information on itinerary, packing list, weather forecasts and other pertinent details.
If you’re searching for an active winter holiday that has minimal impact on the environment, and will leave you feeling energised but also relaxed, cross country skiing in the French Alps just that in a wonderfully attractive setting.
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1 Reviews of Cross country skiing holiday in the French Alps
Reviewed on 27 Jan 2023 by Sue Kay
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
it was all lovely and the cross country skiing in the mountains with blue skies and plenty of snow was the most memorable.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
get fit if you can
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I hope so. I used local accommodation and bought food locally and used the train for more than half of the travel
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
We offer a three percent discount to all participants who travel to the cross country ski tour using a train instead of plane travel in order to encourage more sustainable travel for long distance routes. There are several options to get here including a night rain from Paris which was at one point going to be taken off-line and now has a future thanks to the pandemic and people using it!
We plant a tree with our partners Mossy Earth to help offset the carbon footprint of the trip and journey there.
Waste: We operate a paper free office and all the paperwork and information for the trip is communicated electronically and via a specific holiday app for participant's smart phones.
Water: Our cross country ski domains are chosen for their respect for the environment and their innovative ways to protect snow using snow stocking and grooming processes to reduce reliance on artificial snow. Ancelle is a leader in this technique.
Suppliers: All our suppliers sign a commitment to the environment in their partner contract with us with for example eliminating single use plastics for picnics.
PeopleSuppliers: All our suppliers are local family run accommodations and local guides, living in destination where this is their main living, rather than a holiday job. We pay them the market rates and are not interested in cheap labour or people willing to work for nothing for a 'free holiday' as this undermines professional guides and services who have trained and invested in their skills to make a living out of their activity! We believe in paying properly for high quality services and out of respect for our suppliers.
Travelling with respect: As we use local people for all our services, their passion for the local area and ability to share this with our clients is paramount. We believe this engenders a mutual respect for the area and a deeper understanding of the community for our clients.
Campaigning for Change: We are aware that the Alpine community is very dependent on the downhill ski industry and as a company we try to promote more sustainable options to help provide employment and generate the economy outside of these resorts.
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