Val Cenis Activities

Val Cenis and the Haut Maurienne valley offer extensive snowsports opportunities including ski touring and heli-skiing. There are plenty of other activities, however, for non-skiers and for those who want to take a break from skiing.

Husky Adventure
In mid January, the Haut Maurienne forms one of the major legs of the Grand Odysee, the 900km international dog sledding race, a contest worth coinciding your trip for. Due to the influence of this extreme endurance test mushing is big business in the valley. Stéphane Caron, a professional musher, takes first timers and shows them how. Once you've got the hang of the basics, you can move on to learn how to keep the sled balanced and under control with two or four dogs. There are 77 "powerful and devoted" dogs in the Husky Adventure pack. Prices start at around €100 per half day.

Husky Adventure
Tel +33 6 70 80 72 78

Ice Climbing
Ice Climbing is an exhilarating pastime, and the Maurienne is an ideal starting point for beginners. The resort offers Ruisseling, which is essentially an opportunity to try crampons walking over iced rivers and streams. Once mastered, you can progress on to ice-climbing proper, scaling sculpted waterfalls throughout the valley. Contact the ESI ski school for more information:

ESI-Val Cenis Ski School
Tel: +33 6 43 49 87 97

Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon

There are extensive cross-country ski trails at Bessans, both classic and Nordic, but visitors are often inspired by the International Biathlon stadium in the village. Each week there are biathlon instructors on standby for skiers to try their hand at shooting an air rifle at 10m as well as improve their cross-country technique. Contact ESF ski school in Bessans for more information:

ESF Bessans
Tel: +33 4 79 05 80 05

Snow making and mountain safety
Every week, the resort invites people who want to discover what goes on behind the scenes of a ski resort. The presentation is done in two parts; the first stage shows off all the equipment needed for snow making. In the second part, experts talk about the importance of avoiding natural avalanches and how avalanches are caused in strategic places. It also instructs visitors on how to use ARVA transceiver equipment. Contact the Val Cenis tourist office for more information:

Val Cenis tourist office:
Tel: +33 4 79 05 23 66

Cheese and wine tasting

If the kids need a day off, the Haute Maurienne Vanoise Dairy Cooperative offers visitors the chance to watch the various stages of production of Beaufort cheese, the prince of Gruyere. Located at the centre of Val Cenis Lanslebourg visits are free every morning although there is a small charge for guided tours. Adults visiting on their own can also request cheese and wine tastings in the maturing cellars. In Bessans you can also discover the traditional methods of curing and salting charcuterie during a free visit. Meet at the Fringale du Pontet shop, every Monday at 6pm. Contact the Val Cenis or Bessan tourist offices for more information:

Val Cenis Tourist Office: 
Tel: + 33 4 79 05 23 66

Bessans Tourist Office: 
Tel: +33 4 79 05 96 52

Nightfall is the perfect time to spot ibex. As the skiers head home, the last lift of the day offers a great chance to take to the peaks to enjoy the natural fauna with an experienced Vanoise National Park ranger and a guide. For the perfect end to a delightful evening, enjoy a warming aperitif drink in a slopeside restaurant before the torchlit descent back to the village!

Bonneval sur Arc Tourist Office:
Tel: +33 4 79 05 95 95

Fresco Art Workshops
Completed by Lombard and Piémontais artists, the wall paintings adorning religious edifices within the Haute Maurienne Vanoise region are resplendent. Armelle Filliol offers a workshop that follows in the footsteps of artists and painters of the 15th century St Sébastien chapel in Lanslevillard, which is officially listed amongst the great historic monuments of France. Next it's your turn to try your hand at the art form, with Armelle helping you to reproduce iconographies, working with sand, pigments and lime. Contact Armelle for more information:

Armelle Filliol 
Tel: +33 4 79 05 98 67