Cross country skiing is an activity that is not only a great excuse for a getaway but is a great family vacation, can be a romantic couples retreat and offers an amazing escape to solo travellers. With so many places to choose from here are 7 we think you should add to your bucket list.
Norway is the birthplace of cross country skiing. The 70km Peer Gynt Trail and Espedalen Valley are true winter wonderlands, as are and the stunning Rondane and Jotunheimen National Parks. Lillehammer is the winter sports hub which was home to the 1994 Winter Olympics. The trail systems are world-class, as are the guides. These excursions will take you into remote valleys, across lakes and through the ultimate snowy Norwegian Wood (enter notes of the Beatles).
Flowing through ancient thoroughfares and isolated valleys of the Pyrenees National Park is France’s cross country skiing paradise. These are some of France’s sunniest trails that attract large crowds while the 100km of trails around the 1,400m high peak of the Cerdagne and Capcir regions offer a more relaxed snowy seclusion. And no ski trip to France is complete without visiting the UNESCO-rated Cirque du Gavarnie, a haven for ski touring.
Offering an incredible guided wilderness option (while your bags are transported for you) travelling from hut to hut in far northern Finnish wilderness on the Russian border. You will ski through pristine heathland, across frozen lakes and deserted forests. You can also go for the rolling hills of the Finnish Lapland to combine cross country skiing with other winter activities; including the Northern Lights in Pallas Ylläs National Park.
As Canada’s largest cross-country center the Mont Saint Anne area boasts 208km of classic trails as well as 125km of skate skied trails. Mont Saint Anne sees 400cm of snow a year and enjoys a very long season spanning from late November through until early April. It’s located just 7km from the downhill area so you will be surrounded by the same amazing Laurentian forest scenery. The area is home to a ton of wildlife so keep your head up and enjoy the scenery.
Surprisingly Estonia has a long tradition of winter sports but is off the beaten track when it comes to skiing. Cross country is ingrained in the local culture and plenty of trails await you in the form of both wild landscapes and historic sites. You’re free to explore tracks around the 14th-century walled city of Tallinn, as well as the remote landscapes of Otepaa, home to snowy forests and hearty Estonian food.
This area around Winthrop WA is well known as North America’s largest cross-country ski area. The Methow Trails deliver everything you might expect from the mighty Cascade Mountains. It offers over five distinct sections of trails, unique lodging & resorts and incredibly scenic mountain hamlets nestled in the snowy landscape. The trail system includes over 200km of cross-country ski trails while the Nordic ski trail system is divided into four areas. These areas are connected by the Methow Community Trail which includes a suspension bridge crossing the Methow River, trailheads, and a number of cozy lodges along the way.