Are you looking for inspiration for your next mountain holiday? Are you looking for a resort that is quiet but offers plenty of après-ski activities, with lots of green slopes for beginners but also challenging slopes? For you, this winter, Pays de Gex is undoubtedly the right choice for unique experiences.
With a large surface area but on a human scale, the Pays de Gex – Monts Jura resort is a secret paradise for families. It offers numerous activities and experiences during the winter season. You will experience magical moments and powerful sensations. You will discover unique landscapes and one of the most beautiful views of Mont Blanc in Europe. Let yourself be carried away by the diversity of this unique place and live the moment in the heart of a preserved mountain.
ILoveSki has prepared a selection of 10 experiences to enjoy in the Pays de Gex – Monts Jura that will allow you to take the height, fill up with sensations and enjoy a breathtaking view.
1. A paragliding flight with a view of Mont Blanc
To begin with, how about a gentle flight in a dream setting above the snowy peaks? From up there, you will be able to admire Mont Blanc like a free bird. In a two-seater flight, your pilot will fly you to the areas with the most lift, then turn in order to climb or at least maintain altitude. And up there, there is no risk of feeling vertigo because it is only felt on contact with the ground. As proof, this activity is accessible from the age of 5. Something to reassure even the most timid among you!
2. A descent on the steepest zip line in France!
For those who love aerial sensations, don’t miss the giant tyrolienne of La Faucille! This time, it is the strong sensations which are with the meeting to live a single moment. The giant tyrolienne of the Faucille is indeed the steepest in France.
This zip line links the summit of the Col de la Faucille (1,323 metres above sea level) to the village of Mijoux located at an altitude of 1,000 metres. With a length of 905 metres, a difference in level of 312 metres and a slope of 37%, it propels its visitors into a whirlwind of sensations, lasting almost a minute. Accessible to all those who are taller than 1.35 metres, this activity should be tried at least once in your life.
3. More than a kilometre of descent… on a sledge on rails
Finally, for those who thought they knew everything about sledging, leave behind the sliding sensations of yesteryear! You will no longer need to pull the sled to go back up, the mechanical rails will take you to the top. In a unique setting at the Col de la Faucille, take to the slopes for one of the longest sledding runs on rails in Europe! Indeed, the course measures more than one kilometre with slopes reaching 37% and having an average gradient of 12%, enough to seduce speed and thrill seekers.
4. A dog sled ride
To satisfy your need for nature, how about slipping into the shoes of Davy Crockett and experiencing the adventure of the Great North? In the Pays de Gex – Monts Jura the immersion in nature is immediate.
In the Valserine valley, in Mijoux, you can discover the feeling of sharing and gliding during a dog sled ride. At the rhythm of the pack, you will be pulled by a team of Nordic dogs, and drive the sled like an experienced musher. This 75-minute activity includes 10 minutes of learning and one hour of driving for adults with courses adapted to their level. Children over 8 years old can also drive a sled and enjoy the contact with these fascinating animals.
5. Practice Nordic skiing like a champion
The Pays de Gex – Monts Jura has an internationally renowned Nordic centre, which is one of the largest in France. The pistes are located in the National Reserve of the Haute Chaîne du Jura.
They stretch from the Plateau de la Vattay to the forests of the canton of Vaud (Switzerland) and into the Valserine valley, along the river.
All along the 130 kilometres of the Nordic area, you can enjoy Nordic skiing, which is conducive to the sensation of speed and the pleasure of effort.
6. A ride on a harnessed sledge, an unusual experience to discover in the Pays de Gex
Another activity that will allow you to immerse yourself in nature! But this time in the company of horses thanks to the sledging. This ride in a wild and authentic environment will be done with a Comtois draught horse. The ride will take place with a guide who will introduce you to his farm and his work. It will also be an opportunity to discover more about the history of the Valserine valley.
This timeless ride is accessible to children from two years old, and allows you to experience a memorable moment with your family or friends.
7. A gastronomic experience at altitude
What could be better than enjoying a good mountain meal after a day full of sensations, discovery and sport? When it comes to eating out in the Pays de Gex – Monts Jura, there’s plenty to choose from. Numerous restaurants offer dishes concocted in different settings.
For those who like to diner out, the restaurant La Mainaz is likely to appeal to many. This Michelin-starred restaurant with its elegant cuisine and local and seasonal products is located at an altitude of 1250 metres, 35 minutes from Geneva and close to the slopes.
If you wish to repeat these gastronomic experiences, you can also immerse yourself in a chalet atmosphere with the Refuge de Florimont and the Restaurant des Bergers, and a restaurant on the slopes with the Yéti. Other establishments in the resort offer homemade local products, a micro-brasserie and an organic restaurant with vegetarian and vegan dishes.
8. Taste the Gex blue cheese with snowshoes
Here, the expression “after the effort, the comfort” takes all its meaning. After a snowshoe hike in the middle of nature, starting from Mijoux, you will reach Lajoux. There, it’s time for a reward! You will discover an old mountain pasture lodge where Bleu de Gex cheese was made. During this walk, you will visit a farm and you will be able to taste the mythical “bleu de Gex” cheese, the blue-veined cow’s milk cheese produced in the Haut-Jura plateaus. And if you are not a cheese fan, there is all the more reason to discover the Bleu de Gex. Specialists say that this cheese reconciles people who do not like strong cheeses!
9. Enjoy a fondue by candlelight
The most intrepid and adventurous will leave at nightfall for a snowshoe walk by torchlight. After observing the magic of the mountain while redoubling your efforts, it is time to warm up and enjoy the moment. The adventure is rewarded with a fondue in a chalet heated by a wood stove and lit by candlelight. Conveniently, the fondue is a recipe that can be made with only a candle under the caquelon. Up there, the authentic decor (and the good company) increases the flavours tenfold!
10. Preparing your own fondue in the forest, a gourmet experience to enjoy in the Pays de Gex
Finally, the icing on the cake, the Pays de Gex – Monts Jura offers you the opportunity to prepare your own fondue in the forest. This is certainly one of the most unusual experiences because everything is done in the middle of nature. The snowshoe hike starts in the morning with a mountain guide. After the morning hike, participants will be rewarded with a home-made fondue in the forest where only you and the animals can smell this typical mountain dish.