Overview for Vercors Massif Winter Walking
Located at the foothills of the French Alps, the Vercors Massif offers one of the most accessible terrains for winter exploration. Our classic Vercors Massif winter walking itinerary will take you on a week-long snow-shoeing adventure starting from the village of Méaudre, surrounded by huge pine forests, to the village Lans en Vercors, the gateway to the Parc du Vercors. Along the way, you will discover one of the most beautiful, safe and varied regions for snow-shoeing in France: ridges, valleys, villages and remote high-altitude plateaus. Vercors is also known for its abundant wildlife: is one of the very few regions in western Europe harbouring six species of wild ungulates — Ibex, Chamois, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Mouflon and Wild Boar all occurring here.
- A classic itinerary taking you through the best winter routes in the area
- Genuine and cosy accommodation in 2* and 3* hotels
Itinerary for Vercors Massif Winter WalkingGo to top of page
Day 1: Méaudre
Arriving on your own and settling down at your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you can do a preliminary hike and test your snow-shoes.
Overnight in Méaudre, 2* hotel
Day 2: Méaudre – Autrans
Today you find your way across the Claret Hill that separates the two villages and culminates at the summit of the Olympic ski jumps dominating the village of Autrans, one of the sites of the Olympic Winter Games in 1968. If you feel fit and if the conditions are favourable, you can choose a longer hike by the hamlets to the East of the village: le Bouchet, le Truc and Villeneuve, small hamlets with typical farmhouses in a gently hilly and well-exposed landscape.
Walking for the day: 4 to 6 hrs, +300 m, -300 m
Overnight in Autrans, 3* hotel
Day 3: Autrans – Circular walk on the plateau of Gève
Discover the vast domain of Autrans and the plateau of Gève, the snowiest corner of Vercors at this altitude! If you have time, you can continue up to the edge of the cliffs at Pas de la Clé where you will find scenic views over the valley of the Isère river.
Walking for the day: 4 to 6 hrs, +300/ +600 m, -300/ -600 m according to the chosen itinerary
Overnight in Autrans, 3* hotel
Day 4: Autrans – La Croix Perrin. By the plateau of la Molière
Transfer to the ski lift of la Sure for a long hike through the ridges dominating the valley of Autrans and the valley of Lans-Villard. They lead you to the pasture lands of la Molière, the most important pasture of the Four Mountains region where you can expect breath-taking views of the best of the Alps, Belledonne, le Taillefer, la Chartreuse and more. With a little luck and clear weather, you may even get a glimpse of Mont Blanc!
Walking for the day: 4 to 6 hrs of hiking, +200 to +450 m
Overnight at Col de la Croix Perrin pass, at Auberge de la Croix Perrin (2*)
Day 5: La Croix Perrin – Lans en Vercors
On this day, you will discover the neighbouring valley of Lans en Vercors/Villard de Lans from where you descend by la Cordelière and Bouilly before crossing the plain of Villard de Lans up to Blanc. From here, you have the choice between two routes: direct return to Lans en Vercors by the Suif forest (route 1) or ascent of the Collet du Furon (1449 m) and descent to the village of Lans (route 2).
Walking for the day (route 1): 4 hrs of hiking, +100 m, -300 m
Walking for the day (route 2): 6 to 7 hours of hiking, +500 m, -700 m
Overnight in Lans en Vercors, hotel 2*
Day 6: Lans en Vercors – Le Moucherotte – Lans en Vercors
A short transfer (15 minutes) by bus to the ski resort of Lans. From here, there will be a gentle ascent to the Moucherotte (1901 m), with great panorama over the Alpes. Another option is the summit of Croix des Ramées (1631 m). Return to Lans en Vercors by the Jaux.
Walking for the day: 4 to 6 hours of hiking, +300 to +550 m, -300 to -850 m
Overnight in Lans en Vercors, hotel 2*
Day 7: Departure
End of the stay following breakfast.
Hotels for Vercors Massif Winter WalkingGo to top of page
Comfortable 2-star and 3-star hotels with en-suite private rooms.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates it will be replaced with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide to you full accommodation details after booking confirmation.
Breakfast and dinner served at the accommodation. Packed lunches are available at an extra cost.
Travel for Vercors Massif Winter WalkingGo to top of page
Train to Grenoble (T.G.V), and then bus to Autrans and Méaudre by VFD buses. The bus station is right next to the train station. Return by bus from Lans to Grenoble. For train schedules, see www.oui.sncf. For bus schedules, see www.transisere.fr.
Lyon St Exupéry airport is located at 1 hour of Grenoble.
Shuttle service info: http://fr.ouibus.com/fr/franchise/bus-faure-ouibus-lyon
Highway Lyon – Grenoble, exit Saint Egrève “Centre Commercial” (shopping centre) and then direction, Villard de Lans ; in Lans en Vercors, turn right, to Autrans-Méaudre over la Croix Perrin pass and then, at the bottom of the descent turn to the left to Méaudre (30 km de Grenoble).
If you come by car, you can leave your car for free at the hotel in Méaudre. Bus or taxi from Lans to Méaudre.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers (up to 20 kg per person) on walking days are included in your package.
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Up-to-date travel advice on France is available here.
Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for Vercors Massif Winter WalkingGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
While snow-shoeing does not require specific skills andyou will get used to the equipment on the first day, you may expect to hike around 3 to 6 hours/day, 10 to 18 km.
You will receive a detailed travel pack at the first accommodation including your maps, roadbook, accommodations list, and vouchers. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available to commence on any date between 2 February and 17 March. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date within the season – so please indicate desired starting date when booking.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc). Below is our recommendation list of what you should bring. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- A mobile phone – useful in case of unexpected problems and the network is fairly reliable in the borth of the massif.
- A power bank
- A 40L backpack with a belly-band to carry your personal belongings and the picnic during the day.
- Another bag that will be carried: a backpack or travel bag (not too big nor not too heavy) 10kg maximum!
- Hiking clothes, loose-fitting, comfortable and warm, comfortable trousers (Gore-Tex), please avoid jeans!
- A wool sweater or a fleece jacket
- A Gore-Tex jacket or a waterproof windstopper
- A jumpsuit
- A pair of mittens and a pair of gloves.
- A hat
- Alpine skiing mask (recommended in case of bad weather).
- Acrylic tights (LIFA)
- 3 pairs of woollen socks
- Shoes: a good pair of hiking shoes, not too flexible but warm and comfortable
- We advise you to buy telescopic poles that can be used in winter for snowshoeing and for hiking in summer
- Mountain sunglasses (4 or more)
- Sunscreen (skin and lips), SPF 15 minimum
- Tupperware, + fork, spoon and knife
- 1,5L flask (optional). Beware of the dehydration on the snow.
- Camera + cover (for the cold). Do not forget to bring some batteries.
- A pair of sneakers for the evening
- Spare clothes
- Towels, Kleenex, toilet paper
- A small toiletry bag
- A small first aid kit
Included for Vercors Massif Winter WalkingGo to top of page
- Accommodation in half-board on 6 nights
- The transfer from Autrans to the Sure Ski lift
- Ski lift ascent
- Luggage transfer on all walking days
- Detailed info pack
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
Options and Extras
- Private airport transfers
- Extra nights
- Optional five picnic lunches (can also be bought on-site)
- Snowshoes and hiking poles rental
Single Room Supplement
- Single room supplement is available at an additional cost
Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates
- Lunch meals
- Shuttle in Gève (if necessary)
- Round-trip by bus from the skiing resort to Lans
- Return transfer back from Lans to Méaudre
Gallery for Vercors Massif Winter WalkingGo to top of page
Reviews for Vercors Massif Winter WalkingGo to top of page
Mostly a good experience although there wasn’t actually any snow in Vercors when we arrived! A decent snowfall on day 3 made this better. Thank you very much for the feedback which is much appreciated and useful for the improvement of our services.
Hotels all good with decent accommodation and food, friendly and helpful.
A couple of negatives were that the routes were not always suitable for snowshoeing including some road walking, so there was no way snowshoeing would have possible all of the time, even if snow present. Therefore because unfortunately the kit list makes no reference to taking a pack for day trips that could carry the raquettes (which are very large), we sometimes had to carry these in our hands along with poles - sometimes on stony paths. This wasn’t well thought through by the organisers. There were also areas at higher altitudes where we could have gone snowshoeing instead of walking on routes without snow - providing alternative routes for no/minimal snow would be useful.
The last comment is about the plotted routes - these frequently appeared to be directing us into areas marked with a symbol saying ‘not suitable for snowshoeing’ which was very confusing. Making it clearer in the trek directions would help
What is specific for this type of winter tours is that the snow conditions can vary depending on the amount of the last snowfall. In cases when there is not much snow or the snow is rather hard, it is actually better to walk without the snowshoes, attaching them to your backpack. This is why we have listed a "40L backpack with a belly-band to carry your personal belongings" in the "what to bring" section of the tour description on our website.
As for the remark about the routes, most of the time the cross country skiing paths and the snowshoeing paths are next to each other and in some places, there are signs that you can’t go on the cross country track with your snowshoes in order to protect it. We will thoroughly review the route book and the GPS tracks about this to see if they are misleading in some way, but the fact is that there are no parts of the route where snowshoes are not allowed.
Nonetheless, we are sorry for the inconvenience you experienced, but we hope that nevertheless you managed to enjoy the rest of your holiday after the assistance of our local team and the improvement of the weather during the second part of your trip.
Mostly a good experience although there wasn’t actually any snow in Vercors when we arrived! A decent snowfall on day 3 made this better.
Thank you very much for the feedback which is much appreciated and useful for the improvement of our services.