Snowshoeing in the French Alps
Saturday 19th - Sunday 20th January 2019
If you're looking for a winter holiday that you can fit into a weekend, that's kind on the mountains and takes you away from the crowds then come and explore the beautiful French Alps by snowshoe!
Get truly off the beaten track on this serene guided snowshoeing holiday exploring the Southern French Alps in all their winter glory. All you'll hear is the crunch of snow beneath your feet as you trek through the pristine mountain wilderness...
If you've never been before, snowshoeing is simply... walking or trekking in the snow! The people who live in countries with heavy, long winters have been using snowshoes for centuries to get around - wearing them makes walking easier by stopping you sinking in soft snow and also gives you good grip if the snow is hard or icy. Over the last few years it has grown in popularity, mainly because snowshoeing is an activity that is easy to master and you don't actually need any ski skills - it's a winter sport anyone can do and you get access to landscapes that go way beyond the limits of the piste skier. You can walk through pine forests, over frozen lakes, across open snow meadows, up to a summit, or along the valley floor with the snow-capped mountains all around you.
You don't need to be super fit but we recommend you should be capable of a good day hill-walking. Like summer hiking, you can make the route as easy or challenging as you wish, but the fitter you are the more you'll enjoy it! The snowshoes themselves adjust to almost any boot size and are very easy to walk in - after a quick fitting, most people are comfortable on their snowshoes in around 10 minutes.
EC adventures are informal, friendly and great fun! They're made up of singles, couples and small sets of friends with ages typically ranging from mid 20s to mid 40s but anyone over 18 years old and young at heart is welcome. Whether it's your first time exploring the outdoors or you're an adventure professional, EC adventures are a great way to meet like-minded people in a safe, welcoming and fun environment.
There are numerous possibilities for snowshoeing in and around the area - throughout the weekend your guides will decide where to go to make the most of the conditions on the day.
Saturday 19th January: You'll meet your EC host and get picked up at 7am from Gap Train Station (find out about how to get here on the overnight sleeper train from Paris below!). You'll be taken to your hotel in the small mountain town of Saint Michel de Chaillol to drop off your bags and have a hearty breakfast before your first day of adventure begins! After you've fuelled up you'll spend the whole day out in the mountains snowshoeing - expect jaw-dropping vistas and look out for alpine wildlife! In the evening you'll be taken back to the hotel where you'll share a meal as a group and have the rest of the evening to relax.
Sunday 20th January: You'll have another full day snowshoeing, before collecting your bags and being dropped back off in Gap town where you can have dinner before heading back to the station to catch your train or plane (transfer time TBC).
Download our recommended kit list for snowshoeing HERE. Please read this carefully to make sure you have everything you need for the trip. A top tip for snowshoeing clothing is that bulky downhill skiing gear isn’t suitable - layers are the way forward!
- Return group transfer from Gap Train Station to your hotel and to the snowshoeing start/end points
- One night's hotel accommodation staying 2 or 3 to a room in the Auberge Le Vieux Chaillol in the village of Saint Michel de Chaillol
- One dinner at the hotel on Saturday night
- Two breakfasts at the hotel on Saturday and Sunday morning
- Two picnic lunches on Saturday and Sunday
- Two days guided snowshoeing with UIAGM high mountain guides
- The use of snowshoes and poles throughout the weekend
- EC Host for the weekend
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- International return transport to Gap Train Station
- Personal travel insurance
- Dinner in Gap town on Sunday night
HOW TO GET THERE
On Saturday morning you'll need to be at Gap Train Station (Gare du Gap) at 7am local time. We recommend you travel on Friday night to make sure you're there on time on Saturday morning - the two options we suggest are:
1. Overnight Sleeper Train (recommended)
The first step is getting to Paris - you can either fly or take the Eurostar that leaves London St Pancras at 16:30 on the Friday night. Once in Paris you'll then need to get the Metro Subway Train to Paris Austerlitz - please allow at least an hour if not two for this.
The night train leaves Paris Austerlitz at around 21:55 on the Friday night and a couchette costs on average €60 one way. It arrives at 07:00 in Gap on the Saturday morning. On Sunday night it leaves Gap at around 21:55 and gets into Paris at 07:00 on Monday morning.
The main advantages of taking the night train are that: if you tie it in with the Eurostar you only need to take Friday afternoon and Monday morning off work, you don't need to pay for any additional nights accommodation in hotels, it is one of the last remaining night trains in France so it is fun and has novelty value, and it is more environmentally friendly.
2. Flight Option
The easiest airport to fly to is Marseille and there are regular flights from all the London airports every day of the week. From Marseille airport, there is a regular coach transfer directly from the airport to Gap Train Station about 4 times a day which costs €41 return. A night in Gap in a local hotel will cost around €80.
BOOK NOW to take advantage of our discounted earlybird pricing!
- Discounted Earlybird price for EC CLUB Members - £329 (if deposit paid before 19th September 2018)
- Discounted Earlybird price for non EC CLUB Members - £349 (if deposit paid before 19th September 2018)
- Standard price for EC CLUB Members - £349
- Standard price for non EC CLUB Members - £369
You'll need to pay a £100 deposit when booking with the balance due by 19th November 2018.
If you'd like to know more about this weekend or have a particular question about this or any of our adventures, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 0117 405 7497 during normal office hours and we'll do our best to help you.