Cross Country Skiing in Chamonix

Desiree Michels


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Chamonix is known for being a fantastic ski resort, but it also has something extra special for those who want to push themselves to try something different on this year’s winter break. Cross country skiing is a challenging fitness test that allows you to soak up the beautiful winter scenery as you glide through the snowy wilderness, while giving you an amazing workout at the same time!

The Different Techniques

You can either opt for the traditional method of having your skis parallel and taking exaggerated steps, or go for the skating technique which allows for greater speed and involves emulating a skating movement with your skis diagonal and the tails almost touching. Chamonix is fully set up for both types, with several ski shops offering rental skis of both designs for you to try out. The pistes in Chamonix are shared by both kinds of cross country skiiers, with the skaters having a designated 2-5 metre-wide area next to the adjacent tracks. Anyone trying the skating method needs to be sure they can handle the higher speed, and must be careful not to let a ski cross any of the grooves as they leave a ‘herringbone’ design in the snow.

For the Fit, Not the Faint-Hearted!

Cross country skiing is thought to be among some of the best full body workouts on the planet! It is a test of endurance and you should have a very good level of fitness before attempting the cross country tracks in and around Chamonix if you’re going to enjoy yourself at all. Leave the kids in the creche for this one, you’ll enjoy the exertion more without worrying about them being unable to keep up.

The Logistics

The trails for cross country skiing are all circuits. They begin at a Foyer de Ski de Fond and follow the same grading system as is used in downhill skiing – with green being the easiest, progressing to blue, then red, and black being the most difficult. You can buy a day ticket quite cheaply at the Foyer, where you can also take a route map. Even if the Foyer is closed, you can head on out, and piste patrollers will take payment somewhere along the way (cash only!).

How to Get There

Getting to Chamonix from Geneva couldn’t be easier. First, hop on one of the many daily flights from the UK to Geneva. Then, with a Shuttle Direct transfer, one of our friendly and professional local drivers will pick you up at arrivals, help you with your bags, and take you straight to Chamonix. From Geneva, the journey time is only around 90 minutes! There are plenty of budget airlines offering the route, and our shuttles are very economical. You could be in Chamonix in as little as 2-3 hours after take off!

Author Plate

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable transfer to Chamonix from Geneva, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.


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