skiing in the juras
illustration by graham corcoran/grahamcorcoran.com
sLeeP at ...
sun-dappled forests and wide open latter, along with a bottle of local pastures – shedding hats, scarves Savoie wine, both of which are and layers as we go – until we delicious. reach the summit of Mont Rond at On our final afternoon, there is only one thing left to do: set off into 1,534m. The view catches my breath: the wilds to experience the dramatic a sweeping 360° panorama of peaks, jutting up through a sea of landscapes for which the cloud. Below us a fox Jura is renowned. We big darts off into the consider getting thrill distance, above a kitted up in some Head to the multimedia paraglider swoops Nordic gear for dome at the Col de La Faucille through the air. a cross-country As we start jaunt on a where the robot Coaster takes our descent, I section of the passengers on a virtual skiing, realise how much 400km Grande paragliding, mountain-biking and I have cooled Traversée du kayaking trip – complete with off and I am Jura (Great Jura wind and music effects. about to whip out Trail), which cuts €5 per person. an extra layer when its way across the Jura Francis points to a small over ice-covered summits wooden building about 45m and through crystal forests and away. A sauna? I wonder hopefully. sleepy villages. But instead we put Not quite. It is a shepherd’s chalet, on some snowshoes for a three-hour romp through the forests of Mijoux- which Francis has keys to. He lights candles and we sit around an La Faucille, following a section of the Balcon du Léman walking path old wooden table warming up on “shepherd’s moonshine”, an eyewhich loops around Lake Geneva. wateringly strong spirit made from Our guide, Francis André, leads the the roots of an alpine herb. way. It is our first time snowshoeing As we leave the chalet and and we soon find our rhythm. Every continue our descent I feel rather now and then Francis, who doesn’t overwhelmed, by the beauty of speak a word of English (but luckily the landscape and the remoteness his co-guide does), points out deer tracks or the age of a pine tree, some of it all. It could have been the moonshine. Or perhaps it was just of which are over 250 years old. We gently gain altitude, passing through the Jura. 68 |
The plush jiva hill Park hotel (+33 450 284 848; jivahill.com) if you’re looking to splash out. A chic chalet, its design has more in common with an African game lodge. Choose from one of the deluxe bedrooms or the six private lodges (sleeping up to four), which boast private Jacuzzis. Doubles from €213 per night, B&B. Tight budget? Try Bois joly (+33 450 410 196; boisjoly.com), a cosy hotel located in the centre of Gex. The accommodation is simple but comfortable and is just a two-minute walk from the Lélex-Crozet cable car. Doubles from €58, room only. Or, for somewhere in between, check out La Mainaz (+33 450 413 110; la-mainaz.com), a charming chalet-style hotel, which is also in Gex and has 21 airy rooms with mountain views, as well as a sauna, steam room and cosy lounge. Doubles from €91, half-board.
aer Lingus flies Dublin to geneva daily, and from Dublin to Lyon daily, except Sat.