Villar d’Arène has the Southern Alps Village Resort Label. The Nordic Area Villar d’Arène /Pays de la Meije offers beautiful cross-country trails both for skate skiing and classic skiing in an unspoiled, out-of-the-way corner of the valley. At the threshold of the Ecrins National Park, the cross country tracks blend into the landscape, between the river and the forest at the foot of the glaciers.
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ℹ️ On site you can buy your Nordic ski passa at the Juge Sports shop in Villar d’Arène or at the Reception Chalet in the Nordic Area.
In Villar d’Arène, 5 minutes from La Grave, you will find a 10 km loop for skate skiing and classic skiing, with 3 km of green trails, 7 km of blue trails and 10 km of red trails (the entire loop).
In the Pays de la Meije Nordic Area, you will ski cross-country at the foot of the Ecrins Massif, with the high mountains as backdrop. You will skate along the Romanche River that weaves between rocks and ice sculptures, under the hills where the chamois are looking for the last few straws, memories of a summer long gone. Here the wild animals are at home. The old mill bears witness to a past where the work on the land left little time for leisure. To round it all off you will pass through the quiet hamlet of Arsine before heading back to Villar d’Arène over hibernating fields - gliding softly or skating swiftly.
You have the choice between week passes, day passes and 3 hour passes for adults or children / young adults. Free access for children under 10 years. If you come regularly, get a seasons pass, which you can buy at a discount price before November 15th.
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Here you will find the snow report and the webcam of the Villar d'Arène / Pays de la Meije Nordic Area, with the dates of the latest snow fall, the snow quality, the trails that are open…
What are the advantages of the Pays de la Meije Nordic Area ?
You can of course cross-country ski, but there are also a whole lot of other outdoor activities that you can try out in the area around the traditional alpine mountain village Villar d’Arène. Located at the foot of the Lautaret mountain pass, at the northern end of the Hautes-Alpes, it is an ideal spot for winter walks, only 5 minutes from La Grave. You have the choice between several Nordic disciplines : cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, nordic walking, sledging or ice skating.
To challenge your balance skills, try ski hockey with family or friends. A hockey match with cross-country skis on you feet guarantees both tumbles and a good laugh !
Hockey equipment for loan at the Nordic recpetion chalet that is open in the mornings during the Winter school holidays and on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays the rest of the season. Bring your own skis or rent them in the sport shops.
There is a groomed and signposted nordic walking trail from Villar d’Arène to the head of the valley, 8 km return. There are two sledging hills: one at the start of the cross-country trails in Arsine and one by the Jouvencelles building, opposite Villar d’Arène, on the far side of the main road.
There is also an outdoor ice skating rink at Arsine that is open when the weather conditions permit. It is possible to rent ice skates for adults and children at the Pas de l’Ane Gîte.
The Pays de la Meije Nordic Area also has three waymarked snowhoeing trails in an exceptional setting, around and above Villar d’Arène.
Two routes take you towards the Pontet Lake or the Aiguillon Ridge (310 m to 420 m of ascent), offering stunning views on the Ecrins Massif and La Meije. The third route will take you through the hamlets of Villar d’Arène (10 km), past traditional bread ovens, chapels and churches.