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Dog Sledding in Vallandry: La Grande Odyssee Savoie Mont Blanc

What is Dog Sledding?

Dog sledding, otherwise known as dog sleighing, is a sled pulled by a pack of dogs connected by ropes to travel across snow or ice. There are many different types of sled and the ones used will depend on its function.

There was a time when dog teams were commonly used for transport in the Arctic. This transportation was especially useful for delivering goods, for reaching areas harder to access by other methods and reached speeds of 20mph.

While some rural communities in Alaska still use sled dogs, they are better known for recreational racing events.

What is La Grande Odyssee Savoie Mont Blanc?

La Grande Odyssee Savoie Mont Blanc is Europe’s annual dog sled race and is known as the most demanding dog sled race since its first edition in 2005.

Once a year, this challenging international dog sled race is held in the French and Swiss Alps, bringing some of the best athletes, and their teams of Huskies, together to compete.

Every January contestants from all other the world travel 1,000 kilometres through the Savoie and Haute-Savoie. The race takes place in nine stages over five days. Athletes are accompanied with teams of 14 dogs, achieving over 30,000m of altitude along their route.

These athletes, known as Mushers, tour through 20 resorts and villages where onlookers equipped with snowshoes or skis can watch their progress and join in on the festivities.

There is usually music, stalls and refreshments to enhance the atmosphere for all the family to enjoy. If you’re lucky, you may even meet some of the friendly, retired dogs in the crowd. If you don’t fancy getting chilly feet, however, the race can be viewed on screens from a toasty pub.

Inspired by the Alaskan dog sled races, the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, watching the athletes and their huskies glide through the floodlit ski resorts is a sight to behold. Judging by how much the retired dogs love the attention from the audience, we can see how much the dogs love being a part of this race. What’s more touching is the connection between the athletes and the huskies in a beautiful demonstration of the ancient bond between man and dog.

This year’s race saw more than fifty-five mushers and 500 dogs take part in the unique alpine sled race. The opening ceremony took place in Samoëns which is the best opportunity to get close to the action. Ending in Val Cenis, French athlete, Val Cenis Rémy Coste broke the record of being the first person to win the race four times in a row.

Paradiski Dog Sledding

Sounds cool, right? Great news - you don’t have to wait until next January to experience dog sledding. In Vallandry (Les Arcs), dog sledding takes places in December through until April. Better still, you don’t just have to watch it - you can try it for yourself!

Experience the mountains in a new way and discover the natural world as you speed down the slopes in another way from skiing. From Chamois and Mountain Goats to Bearded Vultures, you’ll even be given binoculars to observe the breath-taking views we’re so proud of.

What to Expect

Dog sledding in Vallandry can be an indulgent experience in a cosy ‘big dog sled’ that allows up to 3 people (two adults and one child). Escorted by an experienced Musher, you can sit back and relax while being steered safely along the trail.

Hauled through the snow by ten Nordic dogs, you’ll have 30 minutes to enjoy the scenery on a shady trail with stunning views. This is one of the most memorable alpine activities for couples, families or solo holiday-makers alike.

Whether you’re looking for a thrill or a way to unwind after a day on the slopes, the pace of your ride is accommodated to you. Either way, be sure to wrap up warm!

We've Reached the Finishing Line

Hucksters offer very cheap ski holidays all season. We’d recommend making your holiday more special with a dog sled ride with all that extra holiday money you’ve saved with booking with us! Remember to check ahead before you book to ensure availability as slots can fill up well in advance.

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Customer Reviews

My girlfriend and I stayed in Vallandry with Hucksters for 6 days and had a great time with a very friendly environment including not only the staff, but also the other customers. The room was also nice, warm and very functional with the slopes only few meters away from the chalet. Therefore and acc...

Johann Delauney

You don't have to buy the snowshoes, ice grippers and trekking poles you'll need on mountain walks. If you don't have the necessary kit for hiking, Evolution 2 offer kit for hire.

Top Tip

Always wear your helmet and be mindful of the position your skis are pointing when carrying them around to avoid accidentally hitting anyone.

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I look each year to find a better value ski holiday and fail. I love the staff, the resort and the accomodation. And the coach, to me it makes flying very uncomfortable and un civilised, Dont change a thing Hucksters you are providing exactly what I want. Roll on next season......

Gilbert Leaver

We have travelled with Hucksters as both a school group and a family for an incredible 18 years. Never have I worked with a company who is so flexible and accommodating to individual needs. The ski and board options are exciting and varied to suit all abilities, from novice to the extreme, from door...

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