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The best Nordic skiing areas in the Alps

A fast-growing activity, Nordic skiing in the Alps offers an unforgettable winter experience, combining winter sports with the discovery of France’s majestic mountains. Quite different from downhill skiing, and closer to cross-country skiing, Nordic skiing requires techniques for descending, turning, climbing and progressing.

The choice of area is crucial if you’re looking for the best holiday. So here are some of the most beautiful Nordic ski areas for breathtaking panoramas and varied itineraries for all levels.


Nordic skiing – a combination of traditional and modern

The Aravis Mountains, a centre for Nordic skiing

The Aravis mountains, famous for their mountain scenery, are the perfect embodiment of the blend of tradition and modernity in the world of Nordic skiing.

Visitors will discover perfectly groomed trails, such as the La Clusaz circuit, where skating and classic styles co-exist harmoniously. This area offers a subtle balance between traditional skiing and cutting-edge techniques.

As well as the slopes, Les Aravis offers a series of events that reflect this unique combination. Classic Nordic skiing and skating competitions attract skiers from far and wide. These events celebrate both classic techniques and modern innovations in the sport.

The Aravis is an experience that pays tribute to the sport’s historic roots while incorporating modern advances and it’s here that you’ll find an experience as enriching as it is varied!

Two people Nordic skiing
© C. Hudry, Aravis.com

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The Nordic ski pistes of La Clusaz

As one of the most beautiful Nordic ski areas, La Clusaz has a lot to offer. Skiers can choose between hand-groomed trails and more imposing slopes. The trails, for example, are an authentic reminder of traditional Nordic skiing. The wider, perfectly groomed runs, meanwhile, are ideal for the contemporary style of skating.

One of the most popular trails is the picturesque Vallée des Confins, which takes skiers on a journey through snow-covered landscapes. For thrill-seekers, the “Col des Aravis” route offers challenging climbs and thrilling descents. And, of course, there are exceptional views of the surrounding peaks.

This collection of trails offers much more than just a skiing experience: it’s a unique opportunity to experience the link between the past and present of Nordic sports. Skiers who explore these trails immerse themselves in the rich history of Nordic skiing as well as the modern advances that make this activity as captivating as ever.

So go ahead and book your ski pass here!

Two people Nordic skiing in the sun
© D.Machet, Aravis.com

Nordic ski trails in Manigod

The Nordic ski trails in the village of Manigod offer an equally diverse experience. Here, skiers can choose between classic trails that follow the natural contours of the valley, and more modern routes, precisely designed to suit skating style.

Among Manigod’s iconic trails is the “Vallée Blanche” circuit, which winds its way through beautiful snow-covered landscapes, immersing skiers in unspoiled nature. Then, for thrill-seekers, the “Aiguille Doran” route offers challenging climbs and exhilarating descents.

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Altitude and adventure guaranteed!

Stay in the Haute Maurienne

The high-altitude Haute Maurienne offers Nordic ski enthusiasts some breathtaking scenery. Imagine gliding along the Bessans course, where every bend offers panoramic views of the majestic mountains. This unique experience allows skiers to immerse themselves in the heart of traditional villages such as Bessans.

And for adventure-seeking Nordic skiers, the Haute Maurienne also offers off-piste skiing opportunities. Carve your own path through pristine conifer forests or along picturesque valleys. These itineraries offer an intimate experience with the natural landscapes and virgin snow of the French mountains, creating unforgettable memories of your visit.

Finally, the picturesque architecture and rustic atmosphere add to the magic of this winter adventure.

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Nordic ski trails in Névache

High altitude adds a unique dimension to the Nordic skiing experience in Névache. Skiers can enjoy well-groomed runs that wind through enchanting scenery while savouring the fresh mountain air and admiring the French mountains on the horizon.

If you choose the Haute Maurienne for your Nordic skiing experience, you’ll be embarking on an adventure that combines the beauty of altitude with the exhilarating joys of getting out in the open air. Between the well-groomed pistes and the off-piste trails, you’ll make some amazing memories.

To find out more about Névache, click here!

Two people Nordic skiing
Photo by Aaron Doucett

The tradition of Nordic skiing

The Vanoise National Park

Nordic skiing is the perfect way to explore immaculate landscapes in the heart of this unspoilt natural treasure. The Pralognan-la-Vanoise slopes, like the captivating Lacs Merlet circuit, will lead you through beautiful valleys and coniferous forests. So enjoy a plunge into unspoilt nature, where every corner reveals unspoilt beauty.

You will also have plenty of opportunities to observe the wildlife. Ermines or chamois may be found at the bend in the trails, and wildlife reveals its secrets to those who watch carefully and silently. Skiing then becomes an adventure that mixes exercise with observation and total immersion in this unique ecosystem.

Nordic skiing in the unspoilt mountains of Beaufortain

In the heart unspoilt mountain landscape of the Beaufortain, tradition reigns supreme. Frozen lakes, such as the majestic Lac de Roselend, provide a spectacular backdrop to the Nordic ski trails. You won’t be able to resist stopping to take in these impressive winter scenes.

Let yourself be guided by picturesque itineraries such as the captivating Tour des Refuges. Not just a Nordic hike, it’s a journey through typical mountain villages, where you’ll find a warm welcome from the locals. It’s an experience where you’ll discover friendliness and genuine hospitality.

Black and white image of someone Nordic skiing
Photo by Tom Dils

Discover the serenity of the mountains in Champsaur

In the peaceful valleys of Champsaur, where a spellbinding serenity reigns, a panorama of majestic larch trees unfolds. In the heart of these beautiful natural settings, you’ll find family-friendly itineraries such as the charming tour of Lac du Sautet. These scenic trails also offer an authentic insight into the region.

However, for daring skiers seeking the epic dimension of Nordic skiing, the adventure intensifies. The more demanding trails, such as the Crête de l’Autane, offer an experience on a par with the finest Nordic ski areas. This powerful combination of awe-inspiring nature and demanding trails pushes the limits. It’s in these alpine heights that wonder meets adrenalin, creating an unforgettable experience.

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There’s a huge variety of terrain for Nordic ski enthusiasts in the French Alps. The Aravis has a charming blend of the traditional and modern, with well-maintained, accessible runs. As for the Haute Maurienne, its high altitude and breathtaking views will win you over. It offers adventures both in the heart of the villages and off-piste.

Each of these areas offers a unique experience, combining the natural beauty of the mountains with the pleasure of skiing. So don’t wait any longer – have a look at OVO Network’s partner chalets and book your stay!

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About Author

Hi, I'm Lindsay, and I work on the editorial side of the OVO Network team. I'm based in Kent, England and love this job as it combines my passions for words and travelling to beautiful places.

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