Have you heard of cross-country skiing? This is not the first sport that comes to mind when thinking of alpine holidays, and yet it offers a fantastic way of staying active while admiring the peaceful splendour of les 3 vallées in one of the finest forests in the region. What’s more, a number of magnificent routes have been marked out, much to the delight of cross- country skiers everywhere!
In the Nordic skiing area of Courchevel Le Praz, where the Olympic Nordic Combined events were held in 1992, three loops of 1, 4.5 and 5.2 miles mean there is something for everyone.
In Courchevel Village, a 3-mile loop from Les Brigues to Chantery can be discovered by crossing the legendary downhill ski slopes of Jean Blanc, Jockeys and Murette. A little higher in the resort of Courchevel Moriond, the Belvédère loop (3 miles) is perfect for those who like skiing in the sun!
And from Courchevel 1850, there are several routes including some leading to the col de la Loze, Courchevel-La Tania and Méribel.
Méribel is a Nordic skiing paradise with two major areas, Tuéda and the Altiport. The latter features marvellous pistes that snake between the fir trees to reach the biathlon site. Against a stunning natural backdrop, the shooting range offers 27 targets at the official competition distance of 165 feet. Undoubtedly thanks to the sport’s reigning champion, Frenchman Martin Fourcade, the biathlon is now increasingly popular, with more and more people trying it every winter. Les 3 Vallées Enduro competition, held every April, now even includes a biathlon event!
In Les Menuires, the native resort of Olympic biathlon champion Vincent Jay (gold medal in the sprint and bronze in the pursuit at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics), cross-country skiing can be enjoyed at the Plan de l’Eau des Bruyères. Running along the River Doron, the piste continues through the villages of Le Châtelard, Saint- Martin-de-Belleville, and Le Bettaix.
Orelle has the highest Nordic skiing piste in Les 3 Vallées! The new La Braiz piste, in Plan Bouchet is located at over 7700 feet of altitude! All you need for a great cardio workout on this moderate route, stretching over half a mile against the backdrop of breathtaking panoramas! Accessible with a pedestrian pass.