Tracks and Trails / Cross Country Skiing / The Alps: Switzerland, Italy, France / Italian Ski Breaks

Italian Ski Breaks

Ski di fondo, Italy

Fabulous Cogne!

NEW: This winter 2017 we have moved our base to the fabulous Italian village of Cogne.

Cross country skiing in Italy: it's the perfect winter get away! This trip is ideal for complete beginners or those wishing to refresh their skills in the 'classic style' of Nordic skiing.

Cogne, our base for this trip, is know as the 'Queen of Cross Country' areas in Italy. It is a truly beautiful setting offering excellent skiing away from the crowded alpine ski resorts. This picturesque location is famous for the Gran Paradiso, Italy's highest peak. With it's typical stone-house village and eighteenth-century chapel, the area is steeped in history. You will join one of our small cross country ski groups with a carefully chosen Instructor who is truly passionate about the sport. You will receive first class tuition whilst surrounded by stunning mountain views. Think cross country, cappuccino, and comfort!

  • Excellent professional ski instructors
  • Airport transfers to and from Geneva included
  • Ski in a remote Italian valley away from the crowds
  • True Italian hospitality with good food high on the agenda
  • Reduced price option for 'locals' joining on Day 2

Ski & Snowshoe Combo 

Make it a full week and for £1475 book this Italian Ski Break with our Snowshoe Long Weekend saving £65. Check out the date combinations using our Trip Planner to see if it works for you or contact us for further details.


Trip Departure date End date Price Status
ISW1 18 Wed 10 January 18 Sun 14 January 18 £845 Places available | Make a Booking
ISW2 18 Wed 17 January 18 Sun 21 January 18 £845 Places available | Make a Booking
ISW3 18 Wed 7 February 18 Sun 11 February 18 £845 Places available | Make a Booking
ISW4 18 Wed 21 February 18 Sun 25 February 18 £845 Places available | Make a Booking
ISW5 18 Wed 28 February 18 Sun 4 March 18 £845 Places available | Make a Booking
ISW6 18 Wed 7 March 18 Sun 11 March 18 £845 Places available | Make a Booking

Perfect Winter Cross Training 

Are you a downhill skier looking for something different? Perhaps enjoy the gym, hill walking, running, cycling or rowing and get the winter blues? Then read Jim's blog on how he found cross country skiing to maintain and build fitness during the winter months.

This trip gives you the opportunity to learn how to cross country ski, 'classic' style. It is accessible to all ages, and you do not have to be an 'athlete' to enjoy it. However, it is a great way to improve your fitness - at all levels!

The Ski Day 

You will be on skis for most of the day, but with stops for rests, photos, with a very leisurely Italian lunch each day. We usually are on the ski tracks from around 0945 hrs, we do not start too early to allow the sun to come up and warm up the day. There may be a morning coffee stop & lunch is usually taken any time between 1230hrs and 1400hrs. We then ski for up to two hours in the afternoon depending on how everyone is feeling and of course taking into account the weather. It is a holiday and we want you to enjoy the experience!

Day 1 Arrival Geneva, Switzerland

We begin at Geneva airport where you will meet our private minibus transfer to Cogne, in Italy. The departure to Cogne will be at 1630 hrs to allow us to arrive at your Italian Albergo in time for dinner. The drive is an interesting one as it takes us along the Autoroute Blanche with views of Mont Blanc until we arrive at the world famous alpine town of Chamonix where we take the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy. Then we take a quiet mountain road with great views as we climb steadily to Cogne. The drive takes approx. 2 hrs 15 mins. If your flight arrives earlier in the day please see our notes below under 'Getting There'. Your ski instructor will meet you at your hotel and brief you on the days ahead. They will also arrange for your hire skis and boots to be taken to your hotel

If you live locally there is the option of a reduced price without the two nights accommodation in Chamonix. Please ask for details.

Day 2 Introduction to 'cross country' and cappuccino!

Our morning will be spent fitting our skis and taking time to find our 'ski-legs'. Your instructor will take you through various exercises as a way of introducing you to the techniques needed to enjoy cross country skiing. Cogne has an excellent 'stadium' offering beautifully groomed tracks in a large flat area - no hills! We believe it is the perfect arena for learning to ski without any need for concern about 'stopping' on the first morning. We then aim to have a leisurely lunch, Italian style, which means excellent home made food and the compulsory hot chocolate and cake! The afternoon we will be relaxed about our skiing and you can choose to work more on your technique or perhaps just chill out and head back to our gorgeous hotel in the stunning Valnontey.

Day 3 Building on your skills

Cogne is an excellent venue and is where many regional and national competitions take place and where we can explore up to 80km of trails! This morning we often ski straight from the hotel door into the gorgeous Valnontey. The trails are flat or gently undulating and are a great training ground. It allows us to build on yesterday, but in a way that keeps the enjoyment factor high and the fear factor low! The valley is very famous for 'ice climbing' and you will see many ice climbers tackling the spectacular frozen waterfalls that line the valley on both sides. We return to the hotel for lunch, and then spend the afternoon cruising the trails in a leisurely fashion.

Day 4 No longer a novice!

Today we have many options and can choose between heading to the valley of Lillaz with a stop at the lovely woodland restaurant, the Sylvenoire, or heading down the valley to Epinel. Actually, there is too much to choose from and your instructor will make a decision based on where the best skiing is to be found. Another Italian lunch will be on the cards, followed by an afternoon of working it off!

Day 5 Departure Day

Today is departure day and your private minibus transfer will collect you at 0730 hrs at your hotel to take you to Geneva airport. You will arrive by 1000 hrs to allow you to catch your flights home. We have chosen a Sunday for departure to avoid Geneva week-day rush hour and to minimise any chance of traffic delays.


In Cogne we stay in the remote and beautiful Valnontey at the family run and ancient Albergo of La Barme. Think heavy stone tiles on the roof, ancient woodwork, and a tiny hamlet of old world houses. Our accommodation at La Barme is just a few km's from the town of Cogne and if you wish to stay in town at the end of your day of skiing then you simply catch the free bus back to the hotel. Or you head straight to your hotel to chill out and enjoy the jacuzzi and sauna, and a well earned aperitif. If for any reason La Barme is fully booked then we will stay in Cogne itself in one of its many hotels.


Included: The price includes half-board accommodation for 4 nights, based on two people sharing in a 2* hotel, transport between ski venues and 3 full days of instruction by a fully qualified and experienced BASI Nordic Instructor. It also includes a transfer between Geneva airport and your hotel on your arrival and departure days.

Not included: Insurance, flights, lunch and drinks, ski hire (approximately 40 Euros for the 3 days) and ski passes (approximately 24 Euros in total).

Minimum Numbers

This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We will take a maximum of 8 clients.

Getting there

For convenience we have included a transfer from Geneva airport, in Switzerland direct to Cogne. Although the local Italian airports of Milan and Turin are only a few hours away from Cogne the flights are limited in comparison to Geneva which has a huge range of airlines with daily scheduled flights at relatively low cost. Geneva is also only 2 hrs 15 mins drive to Cogne taking a beautiful route through the mountains. Our departure/pick up time from Geneva airport is scheduled for 16h30, however, once we have all the guest arrival times we may bring this forward if it suits all the other members of the group. NB: It is important that you inform us of your flight times as soon as possible after booking. If your flight arrives earlier in the day you can use the time to explore Geneva. The departure transfer will leave Cogne at approximately 7h00 in order to meet flights leaving Geneva from 11h30.

The airport is just 4 km from Geneva city centre. It is easily reached by train or by bus using the united network of public transport Unireso. You can pick up a free ticket for public transport from the machine in the baggage collection area at the Arrival level. It gives free transport for a period of 80 minutes. Only one single ticket is required to travel by train, tram, bus or boat in the area France-Vaud-Geneva. It takes only 6 minutes from/to Geneva city center by train (every 12 minutes at rush hours). All trains stop at Geneva-Cornavin station (city centre). The buses stop every 8-15 minutes at rush hours at the airport (bus stops at the Check-in level, in front of or beside the train station). Full details here.

Please note that if you are booking onto a combined Italian Ski Break and Snowshoe Long Weekend then both your transfer to and from the airport will be included in the trip price.

Left luggage lockers at Geneva

There are two left luggage facilities, both in the Railway Station which is attached to the airport building. The office beside the CFF/SBB counter takes luggage of all dimensions for a fee of CHF10 per day per item. It is open 7 days a week from 07h30 to 20h15. The automatic lockers are in front of the CFF/SBB counter and just behind the Chicorée Shop and come in 3 sizes (245mm x 420mm x 765mm / 350mm x 600mm x 770mm / 445mm x 610mm x 895mm); they are accessible from 05h00 to 23h50.The cost is from 6-9 CHF per day depending on the size.


Please ensure that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this requirement please be sure you have read the Insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.

Further Information

Upon booking a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided. This itinerary is dependent on the weather and snow conditions at the time therefore changes to the itinerary may occur if necessary.

Previous cross country or alpine ski experience is an advantage, but not at all necessary. Your instructor will offer structured 'on snow' time for about 4-5 hours per day. We roughly break the days down to a morning skills session, then a rest, further developing travelling skills to lunch and then an afternoon session all of which is easily accompanied with a cappuccino or hot chocolate break!

Ski Rental

The cross country skiing equipment includes lightweight track fishscale classic skis (not skate skis or waxables), Salomon (or similar) boots, bindings and poles. Your instructor will collect your ski equipment, and deliver it to your hotel in Italy. We choose to hire outwith Cogne valley as the ski hire equipment is superior to that available locally. For this reason we ask you to be precise about your sizes when completing your booking form. If for any reason the boots provided are not a good fit, then there is a small hire shop in Cogne itself where you will be able to hire additional boots if really necessary. The total ski hire for the weekend is expected to be 40 Euros per person. Prices will be confirmed at the start of winter 2017. We ask that you pay this sum direct to your ski instructor on the first evening in cash Euros.

NB: Your ski equipment hire is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our 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).

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as our Italian Ski Breaks are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us

Download PDF Download PDF version of this page