skiing in the juras
eat at …
Even sections of the off-piste are skiable; every now and then we duck past the piste poles for a few turns amongst the pines. The Jura has a unique microclimate – you’ll find snow here at just 915m, unlike slopes at the same altitude in most areas of the Alps. And if at any point during the winter the snow-clouds just don’t play ball, Monts Jura has 33 hectares of artificial snow – so you’re guaranteed skiing. There’ll be no need for the snow cannons just yet though; after a few more runs, it starts snowing –
lightly, but enough that I have to stop mid-run to put on my goggles. Time for lunch. We opt for the rustic La Catheline restaurant, which serves a stellar onion soup for under €8 and has a terrace that is buzzing with couples and families, despite the weather. Tummies full, we get back on our skis and follow Les Lys (piste M), a green trail that twists and turns through the forest, before giving way to a steep black that fires you out at the Lelex base station. Legs suitably burning, we decide to call it a day, and hop in our
Ski bliss, above – the Jura has a unique microclimate with snow at just 915m.
If you’re skiing at Lélex-Crozet, there are several good mountain restaurants to choose from. For views head to the Panoramic restaurant (think big glass windows overlooking the valley), which is perched at the top of the Crozet gondola and serves hearty Jurassian cuisine as well as snacks such as hamburgers and chips. For something more rustic try La Catheline – the onion soup is a winner. It’s also the place to stop mid-morning or afternoon for a vin chaud. No chalet girl on hand to provide afternoon tea? Get your cake-fix from La Baguette Magique in Crozet. It is the only shop in the village and serves yummy, calorific cakes and pastries – just the ticket after a hard day’s ski. For supper, shamwari restaurant at Jiva Hill Park Hotel has a range of set menus as well as an à la carte menu, serving up exquisite French dishes – such as polenta with Beaufort cheese, and beef sirloin picatta – supervised by chef Sullivan Breton. The Bois joly hotel (+33 450 410 196; boisjoly.com) has its own cosy restaurant serving everything from meat fondue to omelette au jambon, alongside fixed menus. La Mainaz (+33 450 413 110; la-mainaz.com) also has its own wood-panelled restaurant, headed by chef François Part, where you can refuel on dishes such as Jurassian trout and mushroom cassolette. For traditional Alpine fare away from the hotels, head for Le refuge de Florimont (+33 450 418 859; restaurant-paysde-gex.net), situated on the mountain pass road towards Paris and Dijon. Unpretentious, traditionally decorated, with some of the tastiest tartiflette in town.