Haute Savoie Ski Safari
Haute Savoie Ski Safari
Haute Savoie Ski Safari
Haute Savoie Ski Safari
Haute Savoie Ski Safari
Haute Savoie Ski Safari
Haute Savoie Ski Safari

Haute Savoie Ski Safari

Cross country skiing in France

We base this trip in the beautiful Aravis Mountains, the heart of the Haute Savoie. Situated between Mont Blanc, Lake Annecy, and Switzerland the peaks and summits of the Aravis offer a true alpine experience.

All of our trips feature first class instruction, but for this particular week we place more emphasis on developing your cross country ski technique. Our guide for these weeks is Tania Noakes an International Mountain Guide (IFMGA) and BASI Level 3 ISIA Teacher.  Tania is passionate about all aspects of nordic skiing with her enthusiasm and love of the sport shining through her teaching. She not only loves to ski long distances and coach to a high standard but is also a former member of the GB cross country ski-team.


  • Be inspired with first class instruction
  • Discover the Alps on nordic skis
  • Optional video analysis
  • Try a shot at biathlon!
  • Flexibility to ski at a variety of locations
  • 3* Hotel accommodation with sauna
  • Evening talk: Tania's solo ski traverse of Norway

Deep gorges, mountain plateaus, glacial lakes and excellent snowfall make the Chaîne des Aravis a nordic skiers paradise. Covering approximately 20km (12.5 miles) per day experience first class instruction including optional video analysis and a taster in biathlon as part of this 'classic' track skiing week.

Proud of it's history the Haute Savoie region enjoys a distinctive lifestyle rooted in it's mountain tradition. From the small towns of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand we explore new trails every day winding through pine forests, farmland and over high points for views of the Mont Blanc region. After our ski day soak up village life in the bars or cafes, sample the local wine and Reblochon cheese or simply ease the muscles at the hotel sauna.


  • accommodation
  • airport
  • meet in
  • route
  • We have two choices of hotel and base for this trip, either La Clusaz at 1200m (3937ft) or the Grand Bornand 1000m (3280ft) both of which are within easy reach of each other and the different ski locations. Each town is in the heart of the Aravis mountains with plenty of bars and eateries, an ATM, post office, sport shops, bakery and supermarkets.

    La Clusaz (originally from the word cluse meaning a narrow path between two mountains) was connected to Annecy by road in 1902 allowing it to become the perfect mountain holiday destination and has been hosting winter sports since 1907.

    La Grand Bornand is a typical Savoyard market town which has the stunning backdrop of the Pointe Percée 2750m (9022ft), the regions highest peak.

    Your guide, Tania Noakes, will meet you at your 3* hotel accommodation this evening, and brief you on the days ahead.

  • A short bus ride takes us to the Les Confins nordic arena where we have over 30km (18.7 miles) of perfectly groomed tracks starting at 1360m (4461ft).  After hiring skis and organsing ski passes we join the trails. Tour the glacial lake, visit ancient farmsteads and climb through thick pine forests. Panoramic views and a selection of delightful mountains restaurants and specialist nordic ski shops makes Les Confins the perfect first day venue. After our ski day we return for some après ski time.


  • Our destination today is the beautiful Plateau de Beauregard. First we take the local ski bus up to the Croix Fry mountain pass at 1467m (4812ft) and the Chalet Nordique. We join a network of ski trails perfectly laid out for working on different ski techniques. Keeping our height the tracks opens up onto the 'Plateau de Beauregard' at 1700m (5576ft) where we are rewarded by fine views of panoramic jagged glaciated peaks, blue skies and sunshine! Skiing all above the tree line makes for the ideal area for coaching and optional video feedback. Lunch will be at one of the mountain restaurants where relaxing in the sun could be on the menu! We can return to the valley either by bus or via the Beauregard cable car.

  • We start today from the typical Savoyard market town of Le Grand Bornand which has the stunning backdrop of the Pointe Percée 2750m (9022ft), the regions highest peak. The ski trails leave the town at 1000m (3280ft) and gently wind their way along the charming Bouchet Valley first through woodland, along the Borne River to reach snow covered farmland or summer 'alpages' where the local Reblochon cheese is made. The terrain is gently ascends offering the perfect nordic skiing terrain. A convenient coffee stops awaits on route to the craggy and forested head of the valley at Lormay 1130m (3707ft), home to the IBU World Cup Biathlon event. It's here we have the opportunity to experience a session in biathlon ourselves! Step-by-step Tania will introduce the equipment, teach you the skills to 'shoot' then put it together with some skiing. Learn top tips and tactics from our experienced biathlete on how to overcome challenging the mind and body to get a true feeling of this Olympic nordic sport. We complete our day with an enjoyable return ski back down to Le Grand Bornand.


  • Our next two days are all about practising any new learnt skills and journeying. A private taxi today takes us to the historic Plateau des Glières. The Glières is a limestone plateau in the neighbouring Bornes Massif at 1400m (4592ft) and offers some 35km (21.8 miles) of first class skiing. On the plateau stands as a 'symbol of honour' as this was the place 150 French resistance fighters fought for freedom during the Second World War. The trails link two wide open plateaus which pass well situated mountain cafes. Our day tour offers something for every skier combining rolling terrain and stunning views of the Aravis and more technical hilly woodland terrain. A private taxi takes us back to our accommodation.

    After dinner join Tania as she recalls "the most beautiful and memorable journey" of her life. In 2018 from January until April and over 82 days Tania skied 2533km (1583 miles) completing a 'solo' winter crossing of the entire length of Norway. The route from Lindesnes lighthouse in the south to Nordkapp on the arctic coast in the north has long been established as one of Europes best long distance summer treks. It is far less frequently completed in winter, and rarely completed solo. Tania will talk about her unforgettabe journey, highlighting some of the most rewarding aspects, but also discussing some moments which tested all of her mountaineering and skiing skills. This is not to be missed! You can read more about Tania on our guides About Us page.

  • Our last journey starts back at the nordic arena of Les Confins and links a number of familiar trails from the high plateaus then crosses the thick pine forests for a fun run down to reach the neighbouring Bouchet Valley. A great trail for practising descending, turning and stopping techniques. After lunch at the Auberge Nordique we pick up the trails along the Borne River and valley to complete our circuit arriving at the church and market square of Le Grand Bornand. The perfect location for some end of trip après-ski time!

  • Today is your departure day but if you would like to add on extra nights then contact us and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

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 of our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, comfortable, characterful, family run accommodation. 

We take time to research, update and view the best options available to us on every trip. Detailed below are examples of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable at the time of booking we will use alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

The trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. However on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee.

Depending on the availability of accommodation at the time we have two choices of hotel and base for this trip, either La Clusaz at 1200m (3937ft) or the Grand Bornand 1000m (3280ft) both of which are within easy reach of Geneva airport and the different ski locations on our itinerary. Both towns are in the heart of the Aravis mountains with plenty of bars and restaurants, an ATM, post office, sport shops, bakery and supermarkets.

Hotel Christiania, La Clusaz


Our hotel in La Clusaz is the Hotel Christiania. This 3*** hotel has comfortable rooms all with ensuite bathrooms, a television and free WiFi. There is also a sauna for easing those muscles and a relaxation area. The award winning restaurant is well know in the area, and provides us with a excellent and plentiful three course dinner of regional cuisine. 

During winter 'Le Bistro' restaurant has an impressive selection of shellfish and sea food with oysters, whelks and lobsters. With the daily arrival of fresh products it has developed a reputation for seafood.

In 2015, Le Bistro restaurant was proud to receive the Maître Restaurateur award in recognition of the quality of its service, and good practice. The buffet breakfast has a large selection of hot drinks, fruit juice, pastries, cereals, yogurts and a selection of local cold meats and cheeses.

Hotel Ecureuils, Le Grand Bornand


In Le Grand Bornand we stay at Hotel Ecureuils. This lovely 3*** hotel is a perfect base offering a spa and swimming pool to relax at the end of the day. Imagine a sauna and jacuzzi with mountain views! The owner is also the chef and you can be assured of delicious Savoyard food, perhaps including local specialities such as fondue, raclette and tartiflette. 

The bedrooms are all with ensuite bathrooms, a television and free WiFi. We believe that comfort is important at the end of a day of cross country skiing and we choose our hotels with care. 

  • Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz Valleys are easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. Annecy is 35kms (20 miles) away and Bonneville is 30km (20 miles) by road. The closest airport is Geneva, which is just 50km (35 miles) by road. 

    Buses from Annecy to the Aravis can be booked with Altus. Buses from Geneva Airport to La Clusaz bus station can be booked with Aravis Shuttle who offer several shuttles per day and boast the best price throughout the winter season. Prices are approximately 40 Euros one way and takes 1h45 and need to be booked in advance. Please visit La Clusaz Tourism Information website for more details on bus transfers.

    Please visit La Grand Bornand Tourist Information website for further transfer links.

  • 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.

  • The cross country ski style for this week is 'classic' technique. We can order equipment, to include skis, boots and poles in advance. Rental is usually about 15 Euros per day from the Chalet Nordic in Les Confins. Payment can be make either in cash Euros or by credit card.

    Classic style rental skis will either be fishscale or skintec bases (not skates or waxable skis). The bindings could be compatible either with Salomon SNS or NNN boots. Please contact us if you plan on bringing your own boots and would like to confirm that they are suitable for this trip.

    Please make note of any equipment hire on your 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.

    The cost for your ski pass is expected to be 45 Euros for the 5 days and should be paid for in cash. You will need to buy a 3 day & 1 day pass for the Grand Bornand area plus a 1 day pass for the Plateau des Glieres.

  • 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 and safety of the group.

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

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed 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.

  • 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 each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. It depends on the particular trip in question, but it is normally 4. The maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    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.

  • 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 £435 due to the limited number of rooms available to us.

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, 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 this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea.

  • 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. 

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout your day of activity. If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. 

    Each evening you can choose to order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market and whether you need to purchase items in the evening or if the shop/market is open early enough the next morning not to delay your start. In all cases we would always ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks in the evening before you depart, and not on the morning of your last day when there may be a queue.

  • 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. 

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country 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. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you 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 apologise, but 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.


    The countries we visit all have tap water which 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:


    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. 

  • 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. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. 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. 

  • Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies 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 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 one of our partners. 

    We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they 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.


Spaces available Book

What's Included

  • Half-board accommodation for 6 nights, based on two people sharing in a 3* hotel
  • Three course evening meal with a selection of local dishes
  • Five full days of days of first class 'classic' ski instruction by an experienced Instructor
  • Optional video analysis & 1:1 feedback
  • Evening talk
  • Biathlon session and equipment
  • Hotel facilities including the sauna
  • Transport between ski venues
  • Tracks and Trails memento; a gift to take home

What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Lunch and drinks
  • Ski hire 
  • Ski passes 
  • Cable cars
Return to Search Print Trip Notes

Grade: Intermediate


At a Glance

From Price £1395
Holiday Type Cross Country Ski Lessons
Duration 7 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 1750m (5740ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In La Clusaz or Le Grand Bornand, France
View all Cross Country Ski Lessons Holidays

Haute Savoie Cross Country Skiing

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
Read More