Snowshoe long weekend
Italian Ski Break - Plenty to smile about in the Italian snow and sunshine
Snowshoe long Weekend
Italian Ski Break - Enjoying a comfortable downhill in freshly groomed tracks
Italian Ski Breaks
Snowshoe long weekend

Snowshoe and Ski 'Combo'


SNOWSHOE AND SKI COMBO

This trip is a 'combination' of our Italian Ski Break in the stunning valley of Cogne, in Italy, and our Snowshoe Long Weekend, based in the world famous Chamonix Valley. The holiday is an introduction to cross country skiing and snowshoeing, both fabulous ways to explore the winter wonderland. We often find that our guests ask if they can book an Italian Ski Break as well as our Snowshoe Long Weekend, to create a week-long winter trip. The answer is "Yes, you can" simply read on...

Highlights

  • Explore a fabulous winter wonderland 
  • Learn to cross country ski in Italy
  • Enjoy snowshoeing in France
  • Excellent family-run hotels with spas
  • Tasty local food from both cultures  
  • First class guiding and instruction
  • Airport transfers included

This trip gives you the chance to experience two very different locations. The Chamonix Valley in France traditionally famous as a mountaineering town and home to Western Europes' highest mountain, Mont Blanc and Cogne, in Italy is a gorgeous remote village with cobbled streets which just oozes character and tradition. Two contrasting locations, each to be savoured. 


Itinerary

  • house
  • airport
  • point
  • For your convenience we have included a transfer from Geneva airport, in Switzerland to Chamonix, France and the start of your snowshoe trip. The transfer from Geneva airport to your accommodation should take approximately 1h30. Once you have confirmed your flight times we will provide details of your pick-up at the airport. 

  • This morning we travel a short distance to the alpine village of Les Houches where we take the ski lift into the mountains, a great way to save the legs! We are rewarded with excellent views of the entire mountain range, featuring the highest in Western Europe, the mighty Mont Blanc sitting at 4810m (15,776ft). Imagine being up high and surrounded by sparkling glaciated summits and jagged rocky ridges, and you have got the idea. If this is your first time in the mountains in winter we can promise you will find the experience breath-taking.  From the top of the lift we leave the skiers behind us and begin our walk to the summit of Le Prarion which sits at 1969m (6458ft). En route your guide will give any instructions necessary with regard to walking while wearing snowshoes. There is no skill required you simply walk! Snowshoes prevent you from sinking too deep into the snow, and if icy they have spikes on the under-side which gives excellent grip. The top of Le Prarion offers a wonderful vista and your guide will be able to point out the major peaks which have for centuries attracted alpine climbers from around the world. 

    Ascent: 300m (984ft) Distance: 5km (3 miles) Duration: 4h00

    Optional afternoon activities at your own cost:

    This afternoon you will have free time to visit the world famous alpine town of Chamonix where there are a multitude of options and activities.

    You might want to take a trip on the historic Montenvers rack and pinion railway train which takes you up to 1913m (6274ft) above the famous Mer de Glace glacier, the 'Sea of Ice'. The mountain views from this location are stunning, while looking down you will find yourself focusing on the Mer de Glace where you can usually see ski mountaineers descending from the high summits.

    Also at Montenvers you will find the 'Grotte de Glace', or Ice Cave which takes you into the very heart of the glacier. Re-sculpted every year, it describes the life of mountain people in the early 19th century. There is also the Glaciorium where there is a fascinating exhibition looking at the creation and evolution of the glaciers over the centuries. Well, worth a visit! Full details of ticket prices and opening times can be found here

  • After a leisurely breakfast, we take the historic Mont Blanc Express train towards the Swiss frontier for a snowshoe walk in a local valley. The train ride which takes 30 minutes is to be savoured, and you can reflect on a history which has seen climbers and mountaineers climbing aboard this train for more than 100 years. The locals regard the Mont Blanc Express with fond humour, it's called an ''Express' but travels at a very leisurely pace. To be honest it's pace is perfect as it gives you time to enjoy the beautiful views from its windows. 

    We then arrive at Vallorcine, this is the 'Valley of the Bears' due to the high numbers of bears in the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, at that time the locals paid their taxes in bear meat, hence there are no bears today! However, if you take a careful look at some of the ancient chalets you will see many a 'bear' motif carved into the wood. We can choose from several excellent snowshoe options here, most of which take us past some characterful hidden chalets and hamlets. We may also explore the Berard Valley, walking beside the gorge and waterfalls where the ice is frozen into fantastic shapes.

    Ascent: 450m (1476ft) Distance: 5 km (3 miles) Duration: 4h30

    Optional afternoon activities at your own cost:

    This afternoon you have further free time to explore the valley. You may want to take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to 3800m (12,464ft) where you will feel the altitude and experience what it is like to see Mont Blanc up close, or at least as close as you can get without further effort. For more than 60 years, the Aiguille has been a world attraction. 

    There is also the alpine museum which chronicles the history of Chamonix, and the famous climbers who have made their mark on the mountaineering world. 

    Or if you would like some luxury you could visit the new QC Terme wellness and spa centre. The spa is indeed a wonderful place to spend an afternoon and you will feel brand new after the experience! Any aching muscles will soon disappear. You should consider booking on-line in advance of your visit if you want to be guaranteed a reservation. On-line reservations can easily be cancelled if necessary.

  • Today we ascend to an 'alpage' - a beautiful, high alpine meadow where sheep and cattle graze in the summer months, but in winter is a wonderful place to enjoy the snow. The ancient Chalets de Chailloux farm also offers a fabulous panorama of the glaciers and peaks dominating the Chamonix valley. To be honest we think it offers one of the best views of Mont Blanc and the other stunning alpine peaks of this wonderful part of the French Alps. We being with a steady climb through lovely larch forests before we reach the high ground, en route we pass ancient chalets which for generations have been the summer homes of local people. Often the tell tale aroma of wood-smoke means that someone has come up for the night to enjoy the solitude of this snow covered world. On our way back down we can do an excellent loop through the silent forest which sees few other people. We should arrive back in Chamonix with some time for some apres 'snow' and a sauna before dinner. 

    Ascent: 570m (1869ft) Distance: 8km (5 miles) Duration: 5h00

    Optional afternoon activities at your own cost:

    Todays snowshoe hike will have been longer than the previous two days, but it may still allow time to further explore Chamonix, or simply to relax in the hotel sauna. 

  • Late this afternoon you will transfer by private minibus to your new hotel in Cogne, Italy for the start of the second part of your trip. You will be able to leave your luggage at your hotel in Chamonix, and spend the day relaxing, shopping, visiting the museums, the luxury spa, or taking in the sights! There is plenty to do in this bustling cosmopolitan alpine town.

    Your transfer will first collect the incoming guests at Geneva airport, who are joining the Italian Ski Break, and will then collect you at your hotel in Chamonix. This transfer will be organised for you, and full details will be confirmed after booking. 

    Via the famous Mont Blanc road tunnel it takes approximately 1h30 to reach Cogne in Italy from Chamonix, France. Once in Italy we join the mountain road at Aosta up into the Val di Cogne and the Gran Paradiso National park. Our accommodation is the gorgeous Hotel & Spa du Gran Paradis.

  • In Cogne, Italy our hotel is located a very short walk from the ski tracks. After ski fitting and finding our 'ski-legs,' your instructor will take you through various exercises to introduce you to the techniques for 'classic style' cross country skiing, and what we call a basic 'diagonal stride'. Cogne has an excellent 'stadium' offering beautifully groomed tracks in a large flat area. This perfect arena for learning to ski offers a range of trails suitable for every level of skier. Lunch will be at a local restaurant or cafe, and there will be opportunities for cappuccino. In the afternoon we return 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 55km (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 main 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 the neighbouring villages such as Epinel or Lillaz. After a warm-up and review of our new found skills from yesterday, we can make a short tour to reach our lunch venue. Our afternoon will be spent adapting our basic diagonal stride for different types of terrain. There will be plenty of opportunities for learning new skills or practising along the way. Our instructors aim to ensure that you progress each day at 'your' level while maximising enjoyment of the activity.

  • Today we plan to put all our skills into practice and make a longer tour that can be adapted to suit everyone's level. 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 characterful 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.

  • 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. The drive time is approximately 2h45. 

    Your flights from Geneva airport should be booked to depart no earlier than 12-midday. We have chosen a Sunday 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.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for years, and it’s like visiting friends. 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.

Hotel Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix

Hotel

While in Chamonix we usually use the 3* Hotel Aiguille du Midi which is a lovely place to stay with excellent food and sauna/spa facilities. This trip will include Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and meals can be adapted to suit any dietary requirement. To ensure that we are able to book the Hotel Aiguille du Midi we advise you to book early. If this hotel is not available then we will stay somewhere similar in Chamonix and always where possible we use family run hotels, with plenty of comfort and character!

Hotel du Grand Paradis, Cogne

Hotel

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 to the trip location. Whether your trip begins in Chamonix, in France or in Cogne, Italy will depend on the set of dates you have selected. 

    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 members of the group. If your flight arrives earlier in the day you can use the time to explore Geneva.

    The towns of Chamonix, and Cogne, are linked by a transfer which is also included in your trip fee and will be organised for you. The drive is approximately 2h15 between the two resorts.  

    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.

    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.

     

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is 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 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 (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). 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.

  • Winter mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    In winter the weather can deliver everything from clear blue skies, and glorious sunshine, to heavy snowfall and strong winds. Essentially, as with all mountain journeys, you should be prepared for any eventuality.

    Temperatures vary depending on the month, generally December, January, and February are colder, but by March and April the temperatures are warming up and spring is on the way. 

    In December and January they can range from -10°Celsius (14°F) to 3°Celsius (37.4F), in February from -5°Celsius (23°F) to 7°Celsius (44.6°F), and in March from 0°Celsius (32°F) to 13°Celsius (55.4°F). 

    The above figures are a general indication only as the weather can vary considerably year on year for any given month.

     

  • Cogne, in Italy has an excellent reputation for good snow cover. There are over 55km (35 miles) of ski trails, and IF for any reason the weather has not delivered sufficient snow Cogne has excellent snow-making facilities. The Italians have become experts at the production of so-called 'artificial snow' and the quality of skiing on this snow is superb. Cogne also boasts a fabulous 'stadium' providing the perfect flat open training ground for beginners. 

    In Chamonix, in France the snow usually begins in December, runs through until April, and sometimes into May. As we are snowshoeing and not therefore tied to specific tracks, as with the cross country skiing, we will aim to provide the best options for a good day out. 

     

     

  • The cross country skiing equipment we will use features lightweight track fishscale classic skis (not skate skis or waxables), NNN (or similar) boots, bindings and poles. The total ski hire for the weekend is approximately 40 Euros per person. We ask that you pay this sum directly to the ski shop. Ski 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).

    Ski passes can be purchased once you arrive and are expected to cost approximately 20 Euros in total for the 3 days. Normally, we ask your hotel to organise your ski pass. The hotel will require payment for the ski pass in cash Euros. 

  • For each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. This is normally 4, and on some occasions 5. 

    In the 'Dates and Prices' section you can hover over the 'Status' button to see how many more bookings are required for your trip to be confirmed. 

    The maximum number of guests that we take on any given trip is indicated in the 'At a Glance' box on the right hand side of the trip page. 

    We will, on occasion, run trips that have not reached the minimum number because our guests have agreed to pay a supplement to allow the trip to go ahead, enabling them to book their travel. If the trip then reaches its minimum number we refund the difference. Do contact us if you wish to discuss this option. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • After we have processed your booking we will send you a comprehensive clothing and equipment list that is appropriate to your trip and activity. There will be some items on this list that we strongly recommend and others which are suggested. Our list is based on our experience of what is needed for any particular trip, but it is not the definitive article! If you have items you like to use then do bring them, but be aware of over-loading your 'day' rucksack with items that are heavy and therefore making the trip more challenging.

    Please contact us if in any doubt about what to bring.

    For cross country skiing your clothing should be similar to that required for a winter walking day, but it should allow you mobility, and your trousers should ideally have some degree of 'stretch' to them. You need freedom of movement without any restrictions. If you are a runner then winter running gear is suitable. We will send you a full clothing and kit list upon booking. You will be required to hire skis and pay for a ski pass; these are not included. Please read the section 'Ski Rental and Ski Pass' for details. 

    For snowshoeing we suggest that clothing for a day of winter walking is perfect. We do not advise 'downhill' ski clothes as these are generally too restrictive for these activities and too warm. All snowshoe equipment will be supplied by us and is included in your trip fee. This will include snowshoes, avalanche transceiver, snow shovel, and snow probe. You will need to wear warm and waterproof walking boots that reach above the ankle. 'Low cut' boots or trainers are not appropriate for snowshoeing. 

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. This trip has a single supplement of £365. 

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and simply a case of sharing out a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. On a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    On many of our cross country ski trips to remote areas there will also be a few additional items to share such as the grip waxes/klisters, spare pole, and snow shovel. These items are shared in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, and insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide/instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    For our walking, family, and snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. For our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader, and an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.

    If you have booked on a cross country ski trip you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors. 

    For the cross country ski element of your trip you will have a fully qualified professional cross country ski instructor. We only use first class instructors who are experienced, enthusiastic and supportive of beginners learning to ski. All our team are BASI qualified (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) or equivalent. 

    With regard to the snowshoeing we employ excellent guides who are all qualified International Mountain Leaders or equivalent. Please refer to the About Us page to confirm the standard of guides/instructors who are part of our team. 

  • Please note that our Snowshoe and Ski Combo is designed to be an introduction to these activities and therefore you do not require previous experience, but you do require a reasonable level of fitness and be used to taking exercise. All our grades are available here but for ease of reference we have also provided the description below. 

    Cross Country Skiing - Grade: Beginners

    These trips are for newcomers to cross country skiing, those who have had some time away from cross country skiing, or cross country skiers wanting a refresher before moving on to more challenging trips. Previous alpine ski experience could be helpful, but is not essential. Full instruction is given on the ski techniques and equipment. All skiing will take place on prepared tracks on flat and undulating terrain. Instruction will also be given on how to control speed and direction. You will be taught how to initiate a basic 'snowplough' to enable you to control your speed when travelling downhill. We will expect you to have a reasonable level of fitness so that you can be active and on skis over the course of the day for approximately 4 hours. 

    Snowshoeing - Grade: Moderate

    This is for you if you would like to walk in the mountains in winter, but your experience of snowshoeing is limited or zero! On these trips full instruction is given on snowshoe technique and equipment. In reality you just need to be able to walk, it is that easy. However, we will be walking in the mountains and we expect that you take regular exercise that involves climbing up hills and have a reasonable level of fitness. We will walk on a variety of terrain from flat to steeply undulating, most of the time we will be walking on a trail, but if there is fresh snow we will enjoy making our own track. We may on rare occasions reach an altitude of up to 2500m (8200ft), but we will sometimes take a cable car to get there. We may complete ascents/descents of between 300–500m (984-1640ft) per day with one longer day of up to 750m (2460ft). Expect to be out on the mountain for between 4 – 6 hours per day.

  • This is a general statement with regard to luggage and is not specific to your trip. Please read on.

    Point to Point

    The majority of our point-to-point trips have luggage support which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to wear a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. 

    On some trips which feature a night in a refuge/rifugio/hut your main luggage may not be available that evening due to lack of vehicle access. Your rucksack should be of sufficient capacity to carry a few extra items required for this overnight. Your trip itinerary will indicate on which nights you do not have access to your main luggage. If in any doubt please contact us

    Centre Based

    For our centre based trips, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, do refer to the note below with regard to 'size' and the lack of elevators in some hotels. 

    Size of Luggage

    Please note that many hotels do not have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom. 

    On our point-to-point trips where your luggage is moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number because they have to unload and reload the vehicle each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. 

    Luggage on wheels is a good idea, and as stated you need to be able to carry your luggage to your bedroom which may involve climbing several flights of stairs.  

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons. We have found our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you choose and buy what you require. Buying supplies and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with the local people and to practise your language skills. 

    While on your snowshoe trip in Chamonix, France we suggest that you order a sandwich or packed lunch from the hotel the evening before your day out. When in town it is a good idea to also stock up on a few snacks, and high energy food. 

    In Cogne, in Italy where you will be skiing there are many cafes and restaurants and we usually eat lunch in one of them. This is the best way to warm up, and hydrate and enjoy the best local dishes. The meals in Cogne are relatively cheap, and you can indulge in an Italian experience with fresh pasta, and polenta dishes. Great fuel for skiing, just don't eat too much before getting back on your skis or you will find the afternoon hard work. 

     

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • For both of these trips you will require Euros. The hotels will take a credit card for any payments necessary, but ski hire and your ski pass usually require a cash payment. Please refer to the Ski Rental and Ski Pass section for the cost. There are cash points in both Cogne, and in Chamonix if you require to withdraw cash Euros. 

  • Food

    On all our trips we prefer if you can experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country we are visiting and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. 

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. This trip is not suitable for those who follow a vegan diet or those with other more specific dietary requirements. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but you would need to bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness. 

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water that is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly. 

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • This trip features two lovely family-run hotels with spa facilities. At both hotels massages are available upon request, and should ideally be booked as soon as you arrive. 

    On the day to day itinerary we have given details of our suggestions on how to spend any free time in the afternoons. Chamonix has a large range of activities on offer, and there is plenty to see and do. You will find many recommendations on the local Tourist Office website

    In Chamonix you also might enjoy visiting the newly opened QC Terme a luxury wellness and spa experience offering a large range of treatments. This can be booked by yourself on-line in advance of arriving in Chamonix. It is possible to cancel your booking without incurring cost. If making appointments for the late afternoon or early evening please give thought to the impact on your evening meal and if you have sufficient time. The last train back to our hotel in Chamonix is at 20h14 and is approximately a 10 minute ride. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    UK residents should obtain and bring with them the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • 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. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Sat 05 Jan - Sun 13 Jan
Code: SSC
Price: £1740 Spaces available Book
Sat 12 Jan - Sun 20 Jan
Code: SSC
Price: £1740 Spaces available Book
Sat 02 Feb - Sun 10 Feb
Code: SSC
Price: £1740 Spaces available Book
Sat 16 Feb - Sun 24 Feb
Code: SSC
Price: £1740 Spaces available Book
Sat 23 Feb - Sun 03 Mar
Code: SSC
Price: £1740 Spaces available Book
Sat 02 Mar - Sun 10 Mar
Code: SSC
Price: £1740 Spaces available Book

What's Included

  • The services of a qualified International Mountain Leader 
  • The services of a qualified Cross Country Ski Instructor
  • Three full days of cross country ski instruction
  • Three excellent days of walking on snowshoes  
  • Half board accommodation: in a 3 star hotel based on twin rooms
  • Transport between all venues as stated on the itinerary
  • Snowshoe equipment - snowshoes, walking poles, snow shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver
  • Use of the hotel spas and wellness areas 
  • Excellent evening meals featuring local dishes
  • In Chamonix, guest card for free local bus/train travel 
  • In Cogne, a card for discounts in shops, ski rental and restaurants
  • Geneva airport transfers to/from your hotel
  • Single rooms available, but incur a supplement
  • Tracks and Trails memento; a gift to take home

What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Massages
  • Ski hire 
  • Ski passes
  • Any optional activities
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Grade: Beginners

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £1740
Holiday Type Snowshoeing
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 1969m (6458ft)
Countries Visited Italy, France
Meet In Geneva airport, Switzerland
View all Snowshoeing Holidays

Free time in Chamonix: Montenvers Railway

Free time in Chamonix: Aiguille du Midi