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Ready for a 5-day winter getaway that’s part fairytale, part cross-country skiing, and all Italy? Picture yourself gliding along pristine trails weaving through enchanting forests, alongside babbling streams, and beneath frozen waterfalls. Then, wander the snow-dusted streets of Cogne, a charming village renowned for lace-making and lined with cozy cafes. Like crafting intricate lace, etch your path across the serene winter wonderland of Gran Paradiso National Park, all while keeping an eye out for elusive marmots, ibexes, and chamois. And after exhilarating days on the trails, unwind in a cozy hotel featuring a spa and savor fontina cheese and hearty polenta paired with exquisite wines. Surrender to the magnetic allure of the Italian Alps in an active way!

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  • Relaxed skiing pace

    Glide through well-groomed and uncrowded trails with regular stops for sipping espresso, taking photos, or spotting wildlife

  • Alpine magic

    Take in stunning views of surrounding peaks and stay in a picture- perfect mountain village in Northwest Italy

  • Adventure in style

    Relax after a day on the trails in the spa facilities at your hotel, where you can rejuvenate in a Finnish sauna or Turkish bath

Itinerary

Discover the beauty of cross-country skiing in Gran Paradiso National Park with this 5-day adventure. An experienced BASI ski guide will lead you through three days of exhilarating skiing on perfectly groomed and uncrowded trails. Your cozy home will be the family-run spa-equipped hotel in Cogne, offering 4 nights of comfortable accommodation. Enjoy delicious breakfasts and dinners, and rest easy with airport transfers. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Italian Alps on this all-inclusive and active winter getaway.

  • Commence your journey with a group transfer from Milan Malpensa Airport, scheduled for 16:30, ensuring you arrive in Cogne just in time for dinner. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes, with a possibility of an earlier departure if it suits your group. Milan Malpensa Airport is chosen for a seamless Italian experience, eliminating potential complications due to Covid restrictions. Alternatively, arrange transport to Geneva or Turin and hire a car to reach Cogne. Stay at the charming Hotel du Grand Paradis, nestled in the heart of Cogne, close to shops, bars, and restaurants, featuring its own cozy spa.

    Meals: Dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel Gran Paradis in Cogne

    Aerial view of the Italian mountain town of Cogne during winter.
  • Your hotel’s proximity to the ski tracks allows you to dive into the snow adventure after fitting your skis. Engage in introductory exercises led by the instructor, acquainting you with classic-style cross-country skiing and the ‘diagonal stride’ technique. Cogne’s groomed tracks offer an ideal canvas for mastering this winter sport. Following a local restaurant or café lunch break, you’ll put your newfound knowledge into practice and consolidate your skills on the snow. Depending on the group’s progress, you may explore shorter routes. After a rewarding day on the ski trails, enjoy shopping, pre-dinner aperitivo, or unwinding in the hotel spa.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel Gran Paradis in Cogne

    Cross-country skiers building their skills in Italy.
  • The Cogne Valley boasts approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) of ski trails, making it a hub for cross-country skiing, hosting regional and national competitions. Using the free ski bus, explore neighboring villages like Epinel or Lillaz. Today, refine and practice the skills acquired yesterday, embarking on a short tour to your lunch destination. The goal is to ensure daily progress at your own pace, guaranteeing an enjoyable experience. In the afternoon, adapt the basic diagonal stride technique to different terrains, offering ample opportunities to learn and practice new skills along the way.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel Gran Paradis in Cogne

    Cross-country skiers on a forest path in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park.
  • Prepare for an extended tour, adaptable to the levels reached thus far, to put all your learned skills into action. The aim is to ski to the captivating upper valley of Valnontey, renowned for its ice climbing. As you make your way, you might even catch sight of daring ice climbers tackling the frozen waterfalls adorning the valley’s sides. Lunch awaits at the charming family-run Albergo La Barme, nestled in a hamlet of quaint wooden houses with stone-tiled roofs. In the afternoon, follow undulating trails along the river’s edge, heading to the valley’s head. Keep your eyes peeled for ibex and chamois on the slopes and in the nearby woods. As you descend, enjoy some delightful downhill sections that can be adjusted or skipped based on your comfort level. In the evening, savor your final Italian meal, a fitting conclusion to your cross.country adventure in Gran Paradiso National Park.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel Gran Paradis in Cogne

    Valnontey valley in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park during winter.
  • Your journey concludes after an early breakfast, with a group transfer to Milan Malpensa airport. The plan is to arrive at the airport between 10:30-11:00, catering to flights departing from midday onwards. This timing may be adjusted slightly if all group members’ flights are scheduled for later in the day. Say goodbye to your cross-country skiing guide, to fellow adventurers and to Italy—or continue touring on your own.

    Meals: Breakfast

    A winter scene with snow-dusted conifer trees in the Italian Alps.
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Meet your guide

Cloud 9 Adventure
5.00
Cloud 9 Adventure
Offering a diverse range of trips in the Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites, Jura and beyond, Cloud 9 Adventure is all about conveying their passion for adventure travel among some of the world’s most magnificent mountain landscapes—and as far away from the crowds as possible.  

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, certified BASI ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 3 days of cross country skiing in Gran Paradiso National Park
      • Accommodation in a 3* family-run Hotel du Grand Paradis based on twin-share basis (4 nights, single rooms available for an additional fee)
      • Breakfasts and dinners
      • Transportation between Cogne and Milan Malpensa Airport at the beginning and end of the trip

    What’s not included:

      • Airfare costs
      • Travel insurance
      • Lunches, personal drinks, and snacks
      • Ski hire and track pass
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To join this guided Gran Paradiso cross-country skiing trip, you don’t need to be a top athlete, but a basic level of fitness is crucial. The trip is graded as suitable for beginners, making it an excellent choice for individuals who are new to cross-country skiing or seeking to refresh their skills. It caters to active participants looking for an enjoyable and not overly strenuous experience. As the trip progresses, you’ll gradually ski longer distances at a pace that suits your comfort level. You can expect to spend up to 5 hours a day on your feet with a lunch break, coffee stops and regular breaks in between. So, while being in good general health and having a reasonable level of fitness is beneficial, you don’t need to be a seasoned skier or an elite athlete to take part in this adventure.

    To prepare for the trip, we recommend building a weekly exercise routine leading up to your departure. Activities like jogging, circuit training, swimming, or using the elliptic cross-trainer at the gym can help build stamina and prepare you for the adventure. A bit of strength training for the arms can be beneficial to prevent injury during the journey. By following this preparation, you’ll enhance your experience and ensure a more enjoyable time on the Gran Paradiso cross-country skiing trip.

  • If you’ve never tried cross-country skiing before, don’t worry; this guided Gran Paradiso cross country skiing tour is an excellent opportunity to learn and enjoy this activity!

    It’s specifically designed for beginners with experience of skiing in resorts who are new to cross-country skiing. You’ll receive instruction from a qualified ski instructor who will teach you the basic classic technique, allowing you to move efficiently across flat or slightly undulating terrain. This trip is an ideal starting point for your cross-country skiing journey, and as you gain confidence and experience, you can explore more challenging trips in the future. We encourage newcomers to embrace this adventure, and we’re here to ensure you have a rewarding and enjoyable experience in the breathtaking Gran Paradiso region.

  • For technical cross country gear, you will need to bring:

      • Classic cross country track skis (fish scales recommended) — can be rented
      • Ski poles specific to classic cross country skiing — can be rented
      • Classic cross country ski boots — can be rented

    Other essential personal items include:

      • Daypack with side straps to carry your skis (max. 30 L capacity)
      • Waterproof jacket and and waterproof pants (Gore-tex or similar)
      • Socks (normal hiking socks and a couple of pairs of warmer merino wool socks)
      • Underwear
      • Cross country ski pants
      • Thermal base layer trousers (thermal leggings or similar)
      • Base layer moisture-wicking t-shirts
      • Base layer top (long-sleeved merino wool or similar)
      • Mid layer top (fleece jacket is good)
      • Warm jacket (lightweight down jacket)
      • Warm hat (wool or fleece hat)
      • Buff or fleece neckwarmer
      • Gloves (a pair of lighter gloves, an insulated mid-range pair, and a much warmer pair for cold weather)
      • Sunglasses, sunscreen, and SPF lip balm
      • Water bottle (Nalgene bottles are recommended)
      • Goggles or cross country ski visor
      • Toiletries (shower gel, toothpaste, etc.)
      • Head torch
      • Plastic bags / dry sacks (to keep essentials dry)
      • Basic first aid kit (containing plasters, blister treatment, painkillers, etc.)

    Optional items:

      • Headband, buff, and gaiters
      • Camera
      • Casual trainers for the evenings
      • Casual clothes for when you’re not skiing
      • Earplugs
      • Swimwear
      • Boot dryers
      • Travel kettle and flask
  • Ski passes for the three-day period typically come to a total of approximately 30 dollars, and you can conveniently settle this amount directly with the hotel in cash.

    When it comes to equipment rental, you have the option to hire classic cross-country track skis compatible with NNN boots and bindings, typically equipped with skin or fish scales (as opposed to skate skis or waxables). The cost for renting ski and boot packages for the weekend amounts to approximately 60 dollars per person, payable directly to the ski shop (prices are estimates and subject to change). Your guide will be on hand to assist you in collecting your rental gear on the first morning.

    To ensure a seamless process, kindly provide your height, weight, everyday shoe size (excluding any personal boot adjustments), and the measurement of your height up to your armpits as a note during the booking. Please note that renting equipment this way is a hassle-free option, but should you prefer to make arrangements independently, there are numerous ski rental places in Cogne.

  • Your accommodation is a 3* family-run Hotel du Grand Paradis in the Italian Alps. Nestled in the heart of Cogne, it offers both comfort and convenience. But that’s not all; your stay here includes access to the hotel’s serene spa — La Baita.

    This oasis of relaxation boasts a range of options, from the invigorating Finnish sauna and the soothing Turkish bath to the refreshing Scottish shower and a tranquil mezzanine relaxation area. For those seeking even more indulgence, massages are available and can be easily arranged through the hotel. Buffet breakfast and dinners are included and you’ll be able to savor both Italian and more international delicacies.

    You will stay in twin rooms with someone you are arriving or with a fellow skier. If you seek more privacy, you can opt for a single room which is available for an additional fee.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this group adventure, the maximum number of participants is 8.
      • The minimum number of participants for this tour to operate si 4.
      • The cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    Cross country skiing in Gran Paradiso National Park can be arranged for private and for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Cogne, most people fly into Milan Malpensa Airport , which is 3 hours away. Once there, you will meet your guide and fellow cross-country skiers.

    The tour conveniently includes group transportation to Cogne, usually departing from the airport at 4:30 PM. The schedule can be flexible to accommodate the group’s preferences. If you arrive earlier, you have the option to explore the vibrant city of Milan. Alternatively, you can arrange your own transportation from Turin or Geneva if it better suits your plans, though please note that only group transfers from Milan are covered in the tour price.

  • For this cross-country skiing tour in Italy, participants are required to cover all their bases with emergency rescue/medical insurance. With rescue insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more for a price of approximately $15 per person per day (for US citizens).

    We also suggest arranging travel insurance to cover canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A $960 deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 10 weeks (70 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to seventy (70) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, only the Client’s deposit will be forfeited.
      • For cancellations thirty-one (31) to seventy (70) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total price of the trip.
      • For cancellations thirty or less days in advance, Client is not entitled to any refund.
      • Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

    Secure your spot for 2025 with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you can rest assured you’ve booked your dream adventure in time.

    • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you. This can be done by the end of the year.
    • Another 20% needs to be paid by the end of this year.
    • The remaining balance is due 10 weeks (70 days) prior to departure.
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