If you love the thought of the fresh air, stunning mountain views and outdoor exercise of a ski holiday but speed and thrills don’t really appeal, then cross country skiing could be the perfect sport for you. |
At Courchevel there is a great selection of cross country trails from each of the resort’s four main villages and lots of opportunity to learn this gentle yet demanding sport either in ski school or with a private guide or instructor.
Cross country skiing is a discipline which takes place on predominately flat trails. The skier uses the narrow skis to slide forward with the help of their sticks. There are two different forms or techniques within the sport; classic or skating.
The classic style uses long thin skis with lightweight boots and involves the practitioner moving their legs backwards and forwards while their skis remain in a parallel position, almost like walking.
The skating style is a slightly more difficult technique and may require instruction. It involves the skier using shorter, stiffer skis and moving their legs out in a diagonal motion, similar to ice skating.
Special Trails in Courchevel
Courchevel has a number of cross country skiing trails which will allow you to explore the resort in different locations with different scenery and at different altitudes, so you’ll never get bored by doing the same route.
The routes include:
From Courchevel • Col de la Loze – 2.5km (a high altitude trail at 2250m) • Bouc Blanc – 5km (a forest trail) • Méribel Altiport – 17km • La Tania – 15km
From Moriond • Belvédère – 4.5km
From Courchevel Village • Les Brigues / Chantery – 5km (a forest track)
From Le Praz • Le Praz cross country area (three circuits used for the Winter Olympics in Albertville in 1992)
Renting the Equipment
It is possible to rent either classic or skating cross country skiing equipment from most of the sports shops in the resort. You will need specialised skis which release your heel for both disciplines.
Where to Learn
Contact the local ski schools in the resort to find out about lessons. Most schools, including ESF, will have several instructors who specialise in teaching cross country techniques or offer a guide service. The ‘classic’ style does not require too much instruction and you will pretty quickly feel confident enough to step out on your own.
How to Get to Courchevel
As ski resorts go, Courchevel is very easy to get to with four airports within a relatively short drive away. The closest to the resort is Chambéry, only an hour and 15 minutes’ drive. The others include Grenoble and Lyon airports, which are both around two hours’ drive away, and Geneva, which despite being the furthest away is served by a good, fast road network.
Chambéry is well served by charter and low cost airlines during the ski season but if you want to travel in style and comfort then its worth using one of the larger airports which are served by the premium carriers including British Airways, Swiss, Air France and KLM.
The most convenient, and comfortable, way to get from any of these four airports to your resort is to book a private airport transfer with a company like Shuttle Direct. Let us know when you make your booking what equipment you will be travelling with and we’ll ensure that a driver with an appropriate vehicle will be waiting for you when you land.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re heading off for some cross country skiing in Europe, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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