Airboard - La Pierre Saint Martin

Ski-free winter breaks: 5 different ways to enjoy the mountains

If, like me, you just don’t feel right on skis, and think that while snowball fights are fun, they don’t stay fun for a whole week, never fear: there’s still lots to do in the mountains when you don’t like skiing!
We’re off to the Pyrenees where I’ll show you my Top 5 in the Barétous, Ossau and Iraty valleys.

Raquettes en forêt d'Iraty

Quiet contemplation in Iraty

Need to find time to breathe? With beech woodland and ridgelines, Iraty blends beauty and serenity in a majestic setting. Out here, a day spent snowshoeing provides plenty of time for contemplation, with unbeatable views over the Pyrenees. And as an added extra: all of the snowshoeing trails are perfectly safe.

Come nightfall, the fireplace in your chalet provides a warm mountain getaway. There’s no place like it, and it’s a break that does you good!

La Pierre Saint-Martin - Chiens de traîneau

Dogsledding

Come on, who hasn’t dreamed of it? And there’s no need to go to Canada, Lapland, or Alaska... look no further than Nordic’Espace in La Pierre Saint-Martin! A pack of 40 huskies and Alaskan malamutes are waiting for you. You can either cry “Mush!” at the reins yourself, or simply enjoy the ride as a passenger, wrapped up safe and warm inside your blanket.

There’s even a baby mushing course so that kids aged 3-8 can get their first taste of dogsledding. The kids will love it... and so will you!

Gourette bain nordique

Wellness break

Why not let the kids or your friends hit the slopes while you take some time to recharge your batteries? You can relax in the spa, jacuzzi, or swimming pool, all with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. In Gourette, you can even soak in a hot tub at L’aventure Nordique. It’s a unique experience, relaxing in a wooden barrel filled with 38°C water. Just what you need to help you fend off those winter chills!

Gourette - Snake gliss

Slopes without skis

Just because you don’t ski, it doesn’t mean you have to skip that feeling of sliding down the slopes. Safe sledging grounds can be found in every ski resort, and you can try something new with Snake Gliss in Gourette: sledges are joined together to form a train, which then snakes its way down the slopes… Then there’s Airboarding in Pierre Saint-Martin: Comfortably cushioned on an inflatable sledge, you rocket headfirst down the slope. Guaranteed thrills.

Snow grooming by dusk

Ever wanted to try it? In Gourette, in the Ossau Valley, you can try your hands at the controls of a snow groomer, or just sit back and enjoy the ride to the resort’s high-point to take in the sunset with amazing views. Don’t forget your camera ;)

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