Cross-country skiing in Chamonix
For many people, cross country skiing (also known as Nordic skiing) remains an undiscovered sport, but it’s a great way to enjoy the snow. It’s perfect if you want to try something a little different and take a day away from the slopes. Careful though, you might not want to put your alpine skis back on once you’ve tried it!
There are 4 main cross country skiing areas in the Chamonix valley, at Les Houches, Chamonix, Argentière and Vallorcine, and those of Chamonix and Argentière can link up when snow conditions allow. All this means there is an excellent choice of varied and picturesque circuits that run through the forests and along the turquoise rivers. There are gentle pistes linking Chamonix with the village of Les Bois, or further up the valley try the tranquil pine forests of Argentière, which are better suited to more accomplished cross-country skiers. In Les Houches, the pistes are at the top of the Prarion lift in the heart of the ski area, meaning you can enjoy this sport while still getting some altitude. All of the pistes in the valley offer both skating and classic, the two styles of cross-country skiing.
Ski cross-country – in another country!
If you fancy trying out your techniques a little further afield, why not head through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Courmayeur in Italy, where the Val Veny circuit is served, naturally, by an excellent mountain restaurant! Half-way along the track, the restaurant is a welcome break to refuel and serves some fabulous local dishes such as polenta and their famous hot chocolate – so thick you can stand your spoon up in it!
Our Courmayeur day trips can also be booked for a mixed group of alpine and cross-country skiers, and can be combined with a thermal spa visit for total indulgence. Or book a private guide to take you through for the day and put you through your paces.
Equipment & lessons
Ski hire can be obtained at the hire shops close to the starting areas. We can also help you to arrange lessons no matter what your level – learn the basics or perfect your technique, in a group or with a private instructor. Our lesson guide gives details of all the options, plus biathlon – combine cross-country skiing with rifle target shooting!
There is a charge to use the valley trails which are regularly patrolled. The passes and tickets are on sale at the cross-country ski lodges of Chamonix (opposite MBC bar), at the Chosalets lift desk (Argentière) or the Vallorcine cross-country ski office (close to Tourist Information). In Les Houches, you need a pedestrian return ticket for the Prarion gondola, available from the ticket office at the bottom of the lift.
Guide to prices: Adult 11€, discount apply with your tourist guest card
Address: Route du Bouchet, 74400 Chamonix Mont-Blanc
Tel: +33 (0) 4 50 53 11 15
Web: for more information and maps www.chamonix.com and www.leshouches.com