Skate Ski Breaks
Skate Ski Breaks
Skate Ski Breaks
Skate Ski Breaks
Skate Ski Breaks
Skate Ski Breaks

Skate Ski Breaks

Trip Overview

An extended weekend dedicated to learning or improving the art of cross country 'skate skiing'. Explore picturesque, quiet alpine valleys and villages whilst gaining strength and fitness along the way!

Our instructors provide first class tuition, and we only work with small groups to ensure that you gain the most from your lessons. It's an ideal trip for Nordic or Alpine skiers who would like to learn the basics, or are looking to take their skate technique to the next level.


  • Centrally located 3* Hotel & Spa
  • First class ski professional ski instruction
  • Ski in Italy's 'Grand Paradiso' National Park
  • True Italian hospitality with good food high on the agenda
  • Ski in a remote Italian valley away from the crowds
  • Airport transfers to and from Geneva included
  • Reduced price option for 'locals' joining on Day 2

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, and is steeped in history with an eighteenth-century chapel and typical stone-houses prevalent.

What is skate skiing?

Skating takes place on a wide, evenly prepared track that has been 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. Developed in the 1980's 'skating' (or 'freestyle' as it's also known) is a form of cross country skiing where we ski on groomed trails using a motion similar to ice skating.

Hard to improve, every little thing was thought through, considered and tailored, really impressed, espcially as I ended up going on my own as my husband couldn’t make it and these trips are ideal for a single person joining a smaller or even larger group.


  • airport
  • house
  • There is a private minibus transfer from Geneva airport to Cogne, Italy, at 1630 hrs so we can arrive for dinner. It takes approximately 2 hrs along the highway (with views of Mont Blanc possible en route) before we enter the Mont Blanc tunnel at Chamonix, France. Once in Italy we join the mountain road up into the Val di Cogne and the Gran Paradiso National park. Our accommodation is the gorgeous Hotel & Spa du Gran Paradis. It's centrally located close to the shops, cafes, ski tracks and ski hire (see the Accommodation section for more info). For flights that arrive earlier in the day then please see our notes in Trip Information -> 'Getting There'.

    Your ski instructor will meet you at your hotel this evening and brief you on the days ahead. Your ski hire will also be organised for you. 

    If you live locally and do not require accommodation there is the option of a reduced price. Please ask for details.



  • Our hotel is located 5 minutes on foot from the ski tracks. After fitting skis and taking time to find our 'ski-legs' your instructor will take you through various exercises as a way of introducing (or if on an intermediate trip) refreshing you to the techniques for 'skate style' cross country skiing. Cogne has an excellent 'stadium' offering beautifully groomed tracks in a large flat area. This perfect arena for learning to skate ski offers a range of trails suitable for every skater.

    Lunch will be at a local restaurant or cafe. In the afternoon we will go back to our skis for further practice consolidating what we have learnt with options to make some short journeys.

    It's not all about the skiing! After a day on the ski trails there will still be time to explore the shops, bars for a pre-dinner apéro or relax in the hotel wellness 'Spa La Baita'. Post ski massages can be booked directly with the hotel.

  • Be inspired to ski! With is 55km's (35 miles) of ski trails many regional and national cross country ski competitions like the Marcia Gran Paradiso take place in the Cogne valley. The trails are flat or gently undulating and are the perfect training ground for beginners and racers alike.

    The free ski bus means we can explore slightly further a field today by starting in one of the neighbouring villages such as Epinel or Lillaz. After we warm back up, we can review and practice our new found skills from yesterday. Always keeping the enjoyment factor high and the fear factor low, it is our instructors aim to ensure that you progress each day at 'your' level.

    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. 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.

    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.

  • Today we plan to put all our skills into practice and make a longer tour that can be adapted to suit all levels reached so far. Our aim is to ski to the delightful upper valley of Valnontey. This snow filled valley is famous for ice climbing, and it's possible to see ice climbers tackling the spectacular frozen waterfalls that line the valley on both sides. We will stop for lunch at the charming family run Albergo of La Barme. Think heavy stone tiles on the roof, ancient woodwork, and a tiny hamlet of old wooden houses.

    After lunch we tour further on undulating trails by the rivers edge to the head of the valley. It's often possible to spot ibex and chamois on the valley slopes and in the woods close to the trails. Our return journey includes some enjoyable downhill sections which can again be adapted or avoided(!) to suit!

    A final Italian meal and over night concludes this Skate Ski Break, where we hope you have enjoyed exploring both the joy of cross country skiing and the charm of the Italian Alps.

  • Today is departure day and your private minibus transfer will collect you after an early breakfast from your hotel to take you to Geneva airport. The return transfer will leave Cogne at approximately 07h30 in order to arrive at the airport between 10h30-11h00. Your flights from Geneva airport should be booked to depart no earlier than 12-midday.

    We have chosen a Sunday for departure to avoid Geneva week-day rush hour and to minimise any chance of traffic delays.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.


On all our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. We are painstaking in our research to give you the best option possible and one that is good value. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details. 

Cogne is a small town equipped with all the facilities you might need for this trip including; a pharmacy, banks/ATMs, small supermarket, sports shops, tourist office, local produce, souvenirs, bars and cafes. Situated in the heart of the old town our accommodation is perfectly situated to easily access the ski trails, free bus to neighbouring villages, shops and bars.

Hotel du Grand Paradis, Cogne


You will be guests of Filippo Gérard, our host whose family owns and runs our gorgeous 3* hotel. Built in19th century the Hotel du Gran Paradis, is Cogne's oldest hotel. It boasts traditional architecture, local Italian cuisine all in a relaxed alpine setting. Make yourself at home with access to their living room with fireplace, little bibliothèque, bar, heated ski room plus it has a small private wellness Spa La Baita.

Dinner is delicious, typical food from the Aosta valley region of Italy, eaten at our hotel's other restaurant at the Hotel Sant'Orso. You may feel that on this trip you spend a lot of time contemplating the local tastes!  Breakfast is taken in our own hotel dining room and is buffet style. 

Massages and single room requests are possible but do incur an additional fee. 

  • For convenience we have included a transfer from Geneva airport, in Switzerland direct to Cogne. Although the local Italian airports of Milan and Turin are also only a few hours away from Cogne the flights are limited in comparison to Geneva which has a huge range of airlines with daily scheduled flights at relatively low cost. Geneva is also only a 2 hour drive to Cogne taking a beautiful route through the mountains. Our departure/pick up time from Geneva airport is scheduled for 16h30, however, once we have all the guest arrival times we may bring this forward if it suits all the other members of the group. If your flight arrives earlier in the day you can use the time to explore Geneva.

    On your departure day your private minibus transfer will collect you after an early breakfast from your hotel to take you to Geneva airport. The return transfer will leave Cogne at approximately 07h30 in order to arrive at the airport between 10h30-11h00. Your flights from Geneva airport should be booked to depart no earlier than 12-midday.

    We have chosen a Sunday for departure to avoid Geneva week-day rush hour and to minimise any chance of traffic delays.

    If you are booking onto a combined Skate Ski Break and Snowshoe Long Weekend then both your transfer to and from the airport will be included in the trip price.

    It is important that you inform us of your flight times as soon as possible after booking.

    Early arrivals - time in Geneva

    Geneva airport is just 4 km's (2.5 miles) away from Geneva city centre. You can find details of the airport and public transport here. It is easily reached by train or bus using the united network of public transport Unireso. You can pick up a free ticket for public transport from the machine in the baggage collection area at the airport arrivals. It gives free transport for a period of 80 minutes. Only one single ticket is required to travel by train, tram, bus or boat in the area France-Vaud-Geneva. It only takes 6 minutes from/to Geneva city centre by train (every 12 minutes at rush hours). All trains stop at Geneva-Cornavin station (city centre). The buses stop every 8-15 minutes at rush hours at the airport (bus stops at the Check-in level, in front of or beside the train station). Full details can be found here.

    Left luggage lockers in Geneva 

    There are two left luggage facilities, both in the Railway Station which is attached to the airport building. The office beside the CFF/SBB counter takes luggage of all dimensions for a fee of approximately CHF10 per day per item. It is open 7 days a week from 07h30 to 20h15. The automatic lockers are in front of the CFF/SBB counter and just behind the Chicorée Shop and come in 3 sizes (245mm x 420mm x 765mm / 350mm x 600mm x 770mm / 445mm x 610mm x 895mm); they are accessible from 05h00 to 23h50.The cost is from 6-9 CHF per day depending on the size. You can find details here.


  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you to take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip for whatever reason. NB: The insurance referred to below should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed that your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    For ease of reference the clause relating to Insurance as set out in our Terms and Conditions is given below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency event shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres, except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m. You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • The cross country skiing equipment includes lightweight track skating skis (not fishscale or waxing skis), Salomon (or similar) boots, bindings and poles. The total ski hire for the weekend is expected to be 45 Euros per person. Please make your ski rental payment directly to rental shop.

    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).

    Your ski pass for the total 3 days is expected to be around 20 Euros. 

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

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. You can read our full policy here.

  • Due to the specialised nature of many of our holidays, we co-sell a number of our trips with 'partner' companies. Our partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. By encouraging our partners to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.

    There may be occasions when our partners have helped to book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of our partners. 

    We guarantee that any partners with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails. The price will be the same, though occasionally our partners may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee will also be the same. 

    We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 


Prices may vary depending on date.


Wed 16 Jan - Sun 20 Jan
Code: SKS1 19 Beginner
Price: £845 Book
Wed 30 Jan - Sun 03 Feb
Code: SKS2 19 Intermediate
Price: £895 Book
Wed 13 Feb - Sun 17 Feb
Code: SKS3 19 Intermediate
Price: £895 Book
Wed 20 Feb - Sun 24 Feb
Code: SKS4 19 Beginner
Price: £895 Book

What's Included

  • Half-board accommodation for 4 nights, based on two people sharing in a 3* hotel
  • Use of the hotel Spa la Baita (jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna, relax area etc) with bathrobe, towels and slippers included during your stay
  • Four course evening meal with a selection of typical Italian dishes at the Hotel Sant’Orso
  • A card for discounts in shops, ski rental and restaurants
  • Three full days of days of 'skate' instruction by an first class/experienced Instructor
  • Transport between the ski venues
  • Transfers to/from Geneva airport to your hotel on the arrival and departure days
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Massages
  • Ski hire 
  • Ski passes 

Hard to improve, every little thing was thought through, considered and tailored, really impressed, espcially as I ended up going on my own as my husband couldn’t make it and these trips are ideal for a single person joining a smaller or even larger group.

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Grade: Beginners


At a Glance

From Price £845
Holiday Type Cross Country Skiing
Duration 5 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 17
Maximum Altitude 1682m (5516ft)
Countries Visited Italy
Meet In Geneva Airport, Switzerland
View all Cross Country Skiing Holidays