Slow skiing: everything for an eco-responsible mountain holiday

It’s the ‘in’ thing to do this winter: slow skiing! Meaning: “the mountains differently’, slower, closer to nature and more eco-friendly too. Check out my tips to enjoy 100% local, more eco-friendly winter holidays. Another great reason to come and ski in Nouvelle-Aquitaine!

1. Head for a “Flocon vert” (Green Snowflake) labelled resort

La Pierre Saint-Martin snowboard

Take time out in La Pierre Saint Martin ski area, the only Pyrénées resort to be granted the “Flocon vert” (Green Snowflake) label. Located 70 km south Pau (on the Arette commune), gateway to the Pyrénées.

It’s part of the N’PY community of resorts. This resort has been committed to undertaking actions for several years now focused on all the themes of sustainable development.

Find out more about La Pierre-Saint-Martin

2. Enjoy the pure pleasures of snow

Iraty balade raquettes

As well as downhill skiing, why not have a go at other sports like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sleigh rides… and admire the natural, white wide open spaces covered with snow!

In the Béarn Pyrénées, snowshoeing is a great way for trekking across high and medium mountains, whilst taking in the snow-covered scenescapes and unforgettable panoramas.

Three Nordic areas are on hand: La Pierre Saint-Martin, Issarbe and Le Somport. The region invites to discover some 90 kilometres of waymarked tracks, with itineraries accessible for all levels, free-as-you-please or with a guide.

The resorts propose one-of-a-kind offers like “Snowshoeing raclette” (enjoy a tasty raclette with ewe’s cheese after a snowshoe trek) and “Snowshoeing and overnight stay in an igloo” (learn to build your own igloo and discover what it’s like to spend a night in wide open snow-covered spaces). Find out more about these offers from the local guides!

Find out more: www.pyrenees-bearnaises.com

3. Ski with 100% eco-friendly wooden skis

Villacampa

The fully-committed, nature-friendly Villacampa skis, created in the Pyrénées, limit their impact on the environment and are dedicated to eco-friendly, artisanal manufacturing.

Villacampa quests stylistic and technical exception. The skis are made from natural, organic species of wood which have outstanding stability, flexibility and fibre-resistant properties.
The skis are handmade and numbered; all pieces are unique.

For every pair of skis sold, two trees are planted on the mountain range in partnership with the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Conservatory of Natural Areas and Pépinière-Environnement.

Find out more about Villacampa

4. Choose a down jacket made of down or feathers

Les doudounes Pyrenex

Pyrenex is a Nouvelle-Aquitaine ready-to-wear and home-furnishings brand, specialized in down. Pyrenex’s manufacturing facility located in the Landes, has been ennobling goose and duck feathers and down for almost 160 years. This exceptional raw material comes from a local, traditional network committed to animal and environmental wellness. The Oeko-Tex label ensures items are free from substances harmful for health.

Pyrenex proposes a wide selection of down jackets and other garments for women and men: from the highly-classical, extremely-comfortable to up-to-the-minute designer-style clothing using state-of-the-art, innovative fabrics.

Twice a year, in February and November, Pyrenex proposes a factory sale of its products from Friday afternoon through to Sunday. The factory shop is open all year round in Saint-Sever in the Landes.

E.Shop Pyrenex

5. Go for a Pyrénées woolly bonnet

Pipolaki - Premium-BonnetPaule

The Pipolaki brand was created in 1962 in the Pyrénées. Focusing on 200-year-old regional traditional beret-making know-how, Pipolaki’s bonnets are knit with pure Pyrénées wool, acknowledged for its comfort and long life. These bonnets’ incomparable quality led them to be rapidly adopted by the greatest skiers such as Jean-Claude Killy.

The cups and accessories Pipolaki are made with a real attention to detail: hand-finished, invisible interior seams, fleece lining... and the brand attaches great importance to style and the search for new materials.

Pipolaki also proposes scarves, gloves, ponchos, etc. great accessories to ensure you stay warm all winter through!

Pipolaki e-shop

6. Protect your skin with organic care products

Laboratoires de Biarritz - Crèmes

On the Atlantic Coast, the Laboratoires de Biarritz create organic-certified cosmetics which are health- and environmentally-friendly.

The Laboratoires de Biarritz skincare range is made with 99.5% ingredients of natural origin, which are biodegradable and sourced from organic farming (96%). They are 100% made in France and their packaging is 100% recyclable.

Discover the extensive range of products to take care of your skin in the mountains: organic-certified SPF50 face sunscreen, organic-certified lip balm, organic-certified repair cream...

Laboratoires de Biarritz e-shop

For an absolutely eco-friendly stay in the mountains, please remember to:
- respect protected areas
- eat local
- take your waste with you, don’t litter nature…

Now that I’ve given you all my tips, I hope you fully enjoy all the Pyrénées Mountains have to offer you this winter!

Pau - Pyrénées 

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