Tracks and Trails / Cross Country Skiing / Alpine Dates / Skate Ski Breaks

Skate Ski Breaks

Skate Nordic Skiing Alps

All smiles with a trip to Italy!

Skate style cross country skiing in Italy, an extended weekend dedicated to learning or improving the art of 'skate skiing'.

Developed in the 1980's 'skating' or 'freestyle' as it's known is a form of Nordic 'cross country skiing' where we ski on groomed trails using a motion similar to ice skating. Enjoy mastering this technique enjoy stunning surroundings whilst gaining strength and fitness along the way.

Cogne, our base for this trip, is know as the 'Queen of Cross Country' areas in Italy. It is a truly beautiful setting offering excellent skiing away from the crowded alpine ski resorts.This picturesque location is famous for the Gran Paradiso, Italy's highest peak. With it's typical stone-house village and eighteenth-century chapel, the area is steeped in history.

These weekends suit either Nordic or Alpine skiers wishing to learn the basics or take their skating to the next level. Once mastered, a 'skate' is both fun and improves fitness. Enjoy the freedom to explore the quieter corners of your local resort, mountains & valleys.

  • Learn or improve skate skiing with first class instruction
  • Enjoy skiing in a quiet alpine valleys
  • True Italian hospitality and cuisine
  • Meet in Chamonix, France for easy access from Geneva airport
  • Reduced price option for 'locals' joining on Day 2

Departures

Trip Departure date End date Price Status
SKS1 Inter 17 Wed 25 January 17 Sun 29 January 17 £725 Places available | Make a Booking
SKS2 Intro 17 Wed 8 February 17 Sun 12 February 17 £725 Places available | Make a Booking
SKS3 Inter 17 Wed 15 February 17 Sun 19 February 17 £725 Places available | Make a Booking
SKS4 Intro 17 Wed 1 March 17 Sun 5 March 17 £725 Places available | Make a Booking

Ski & Snowshoe Combo 

Make it a full week and for £1270 book this Skate Ski Break with our Snowshoe Long Weekend saving £100. Check out the date combinations to see if it works for you!

Trip Grading 

Please note with regard to the dates above we are offering two 'Introductory' weekends, and two 'Intermediate' weekends. Be sure to book on the one which suits your skill level.

We base these long weekend breaks in the small Italian town of Cogne, a true gem with cobbled streets, and excellent cafes and bars. This picturesque location in the Aosta Valley has traditional stone built houses, and a community which dates back many hundreds of years. Enjoy exploring up to 80km of trails, both in Cogne, and on the last day in Val Ferret, near Courmayeur. We have plenty of options for varying lengths of excursions and terrain to practice our skills while enjoying the mountain and woodland scenery.

Skating takes place on a wide, evenly prepared track that has been well groomed and pressed. The skis are shorter, stiffer and lighter than classic skis, and are narrower at the tip and tail than in the centre.

The Ski Day 

You will be on skis for most of the day, but with stops for rests, photos, with a very leisurely Italian lunch each day. We usually are on the ski tracks from about 0945 hrs, we do not start too early to allow the sun to come up and warm up the day. There may be a morning coffee stop & lunch is usually taken any time between 1230hrs and 1400hrs. We then ski for up to two hours in the afternoon depending on how everyone is feeling and of course taking into account the weather. It is a holiday and we want you to enjoy the experience!

Day 1 Arrival Chamonix, France

We meet in Chamonix, France due to its easy access from Geneva airport. Regular flights to Geneva from around Europe, and multiple transfer options to Chamonix make this the best meeting point for your skate weekend. Italy is in fact just 30 minutes from Chamonix via the Mont Blanc Tunnel. We meet you at your hotel the evening you arrive to brief you on the days ahead and answer any questions.

If you live locally there is the option of a reduced price without the two nights accommodation in Chamonix. Please ask for further details.

Day 2 Cogne & The Gran Paradiso National Park

This morning we drive through the famous Mont Blanc Tunnel to reach Cogne. Our morning will be spent fitting our skis and taking time to find our 'ski-legs'. We will introduce you to the skating technique learning step-by-step the most efficient way to master this graceful sport. Due to our gradual approach, it makes skating very achievable to pick up. Ideal for those also wishing to refresh their skating skills and knowledge.

We will spend the day in the nordic ski stadium which is perfect for practising skills and drills and going on short skate-ski journeys. This excellent venue, famous for the Gran Paradiso (Italy's highest mountain), is where many regional and national cross country ski competitions take place. It is the start and finish point for the Euroloppet 'Marciagranparadiso' race and where we can explore up to 80km of trails! Lunch will be in one of Cogne's delightful cafes and after our ski day we will check into Hotel La Barme, our accommodation for the next two nights.

Day 3 Valnontey & Going through the Gears

Situated at 1665m the Hotel La Barme is located in the quiet, picturesque 'Valnontey valley'. The cool crisp air here not only offers us reliable snow conditions for skiing but is also famous amongst climbers for frozen ice fall climbing! The ski tracks run straight past our hotel door and the terrain is ideal for both practising technique and going on different length journeys. Today we aim to improve our skills further by starting to look at how we 'change gear' to adapt to the changes in terrain and snow conditions.

Skate skiing enables the skier to transfer weight from ski to ski to travel over a variety of terrain. Learning to skate also helps with other sports that you may already do making it an excellent form of 'cross-training'. It will enhance your balance, co-ordination, aerobic and muscular strength and tone all whilst enjoying gliding along amongst beautiful views.

Lunch today can be taken at one of the village restaurants. In the afternoon we will spend time consolidating our skills but at your own pace. We will make short tours over easy angled terrain through stunning mountain and woodland scenery. It's quite likely we will spot wild ibex and chamois along the way! After a second day of exercising in fresh mountain air return to the hotel for some chill out time and making use of the hotel jacuzzi and sauna before dinner.

Day 4 Val Ferret, Courmayeur

We leave Cogne today and start making our way back to Chamonix, France but before crossing the border will stop to ski in the beautiful Val Ferret near Courmayeur. The Val Ferret valley is the perfect location to enable us to put all of our new skating skills together. Our aim is to take our time and skate ski along the length of the valley. Starting at 1560m, at Plan Planpincieux, the ski trail rises gradually following a winding river in the direction of the Swiss border. Our ski passes some delightful coffee shops all under the watchful eye of some famous 4,000m alpine peaks Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco!) and the Gran Jorasses. The views are simply amazing!

Upon reaching the hamlet of Lavachey, at 1642m, we will stop to have a leisurely lunch, Italian style, which means excellent home made food and the compulsory hot chocolate and cake! The pistes, which are always well tracked and groomed, have many detours where we can lengthen or shorten our journey all giving us fantastic views of the Mont Blanc range.

At the end of the day we travel back to Chamonix, in France which gives you the chance to experience the 'apres ski' in this vibrant alpine town and easy access back to Geneva airport.

Day 5 Departure Day, Chamonix, France

Today is departure day. If you wish to stay for additional days then we can help arrange accommodation in Chamonix. You may even feel you want to continue skiing. We aim to use the only hotel in Chamonix which sits right on the cross country tracks.

Accommodation

For these weekends we spend the first and last night in Chamonix Valley, France which gives easy access to Geneva airport. In Italy we stay in a characterful family run hotel in Valnontey, a really stunning location and right on the ski tracks. Our hotel offers a true Italian experience, as we always aim to use family hotels offering excellent hospitality. Single rooms are available on request for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details.

Price

Included: The price includes half-board accommodation for 4 nights, based on two people sharing in a 2* hotel, transport between ski venues and 3 full days of instruction by a fully qualified BASI Nordic Instructor.

Not included: Insurance, flights and transfers, lunch and drinks, ski hire (approximately 35 Euros for the 3 days) and ski passes (approximately 18 Euros in total), any ski lift tickets which may be used as an alternative in bad snow conditions.

Fitness

Please be aware that 'skating' does require a reasonable fitness and you be active for between 4 - 5 hours per day. You do not need to be a super athlete, but you do need enthusiasm, determination and a willingness to put a good degree of effort into this activity. We would expect you to be someone who does exercise several times a week.

Minimum Numbers

This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We will take a maximum of 8 clients.

Insurance

Please ensure that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this requirement please be sure you have read the Insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.

Further Information

Upon booking a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided. Please note that this itinerary is dependent on the weather and snow conditions at the time. Therefore changes to the itinerary may occur. Previous cross country or alpine ski experience is an advantage but is not essential. Please contact us is you are unsure about your suitability to join this trip.

Your instructor will offer structured 'on snow' time for about 4-5 hours per day. We roughly break the days down to a morning skills session, then a rest, further developing travelling skills to lunch and then an afternoon session all of which is easily accompanied with a cappuccino or hot chocolate break!

This trip has two nights in France and two nights in Italy. The ski tuition takes place in the Italian Aosta Valley where we stay in the ski resort of Cogne and is situated only 1h15 mins away from Chamonix.

We meet in Chamonix, France which is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. The nearest airport to Chamonix is Geneva, in Switzerland, which is approx 1 hr and 15 mins from Chamonix by road. The two middle nights are spent in Italy. The departure day is also from Chamonix.

Ski Rental

The cross country skiing equipment includes lightweight track skating skis (not fishscale or waxing skis), Salomon (or similar) boots, bindings and poles. Your instructor will help with organising the ski rental on the morning of your first ski day in France. The total ski hire for the weekend is expected to be 35 Euros per person. Please make your payment directly to rental shop (credit cards are accepted).

To ensure we get the correct sizes equipment hire is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits (for ski pole hire).

Please contact us so that we can help you arrange your specific travel requirements.


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