Dolomites Cross-country Skills Week

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Improve your skills with expert tuition

If you enjoy cross-country skiing but would like to develop your skills and improve your technique, this is the holiday for you. Located in the Alta Pusteria, Versciaco is ideal for cross-country skiers of all abilities, with access to loipes directly from our hotel and easy transport to other great tracks around Sesto, San Candido or Dobbiaco. Every day consists of a mix of instruction and touring on some of the 200km of cross-country trails in the scenic valleys of the Sextner Dolomites. In the evening, the hospitality of our family-run hotel awaits us, along with great local food and a relaxing spa. 

The first departure is a marathon special lead by Andy McKee: suitable for both those in training for a race in 2018 and those who are tempted by the races but not sure of their ability. There will be some technical tuition to improve efficiency during a race and long tours to work on endurance. 


  • Improve your skiing skills
  • Comfortable family-run hotel with spa
  • Marathon special week

Key information

  • 5 days guided cross-country skiing
  • 7 nights 3-star Hotel Helm
  • Cross-country skiing classic grade 2 or 3 - Improvers or Intermediates
  • All breakfasts and 7 dinners included
  • Classic cross-country skis, boots and poles included

What's included

  • 7 nights half board at Hotel Helm
  • 5 days of ski instruction/guiding 
  • Cross-country ski hire
  • Loipe and bus pass
  • Airport transfers (for group flights only)
  • Return flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck with Thomson Airways


What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation - (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


  • Day 1

    Fly to Innsbruck; transfer to Versciaco.

    Fly from Gatwick to Innsbruck; transfer by road to Versciaco (approx. 1hr45).

  • Days 2-4

    Three days of ski tuition

    This week is focused on improving our skiing skills. Technical tuition will usually take place in the mornings and the afternoon may be spent doing slightly longer tours to apply what we have learned.

    The marathon week will focus more on long distances and endurance.

    We prefer not to specify in advance where we will ski each day. This is to enhance the flexibility and adapt to weather and snow conditions and to some extent the ability of each group. When choosing routes, the leader's priority will be to take in a variety of scenery and to ensure that participants become better and more confident skiers as the week progresses.

    Examples of skiing options:
    Versciaco di Sopra is on the gently undulating long-distance loipe that leads from Dobbiaco into Austria, and is a particularly good base for exploring the more easterly loipe when not concentrating on technique sessions. Centred on the Sexten Valley system, these well-maintained tracks take us into the scenic Fiscalina valley or up to 1600m at the Monte Croce pass where we have both track and off-track options. We can also ski down to the village of Sillian in Austria, and perhaps sample some of the varied routes in its neighbouring valleys.

  • Day 5

    Free day

    Usually the free day to get some rest or enjoy some optional activities such as self guided snowshoeing or perhaps a visit to one of the local museums. 

  • Days 6-7

    Two further days of skiing

    We continue building up our technical knowledge and skills in classic cross-country skiing with further tuition and touring. 

  • Day 8

    Transfer to Innsbruck; fly to London.

    Transfer by coach to Innsbruck airport; fly to London. 

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.


No visa required for British passport holders.



There are no specific health risks.


There are no specific health risks.


Versciaco is situated at 1150m and at this height snow can lie from December to mid-March, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter are around -5ºC, though they can fall as low as -15ºC with approximately 8 to 10 hours of daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun. Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day.

Snow conditions have been quite unpredictable across Europe for several years now and on occasions not all loipes (tracks) are open. The snow conditions may mean that at times we have to travel further away to find good tracks. While this has so far never been necessary in the region, we also recommend taking trekking boots in case conditions are simply not good enough for skiing.

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been designed for classic cross-country skiers who would like to focus more on their technique and improve (perhaps to later join a higher grade). Whilst there will still be some touring during the week, there will be more time spent practising drills and learning new technical aspects. The longer tours will be opportunities to try these new elements of technique and see the progress we have made. 

The marathon departure is open to skiers who have booked a race in 2018, those who haven't but want to keep their fitness level, or even those who are curious about racing and want to find out more and test how they cope with longer distances. There will be a strong focus on long tours and endurance as well as some technical tuition in order to be the most efficient and faster on race day (fast reps over 1km distance for instance).


Grade 2 - Improvers
These weeks are ideal for those who have enjoyed at least one grade 1 holiday and grasped the basics. They offer tuition to refresh and improve technique and typically will ski a little further than Grade 1 weeks, and over more varied terrain, i.e. more ups and downs and therefore requiring a slightly higher level of fitness.

Grade 3 - Intermediates
A grade 3 week is ideal for those looking to push on, tackle some slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be tuition on these weeks, at the required level.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotel Helm ***

Hotel Helm in Versciaco di Sopra is a very comfortable base for this holiday. Recently renovated, but beautifully styled in the traditional way, the attractive building has a delightful sun terrace with great mountain views, comfortable lounges and a cosy bar. After the day's exertions we can relax in the steam bath, sauna and hot tub. We also have free entrance to the public swimming pool complex in San Candido. Twin and single rooms have shower and WC, telephone and satellite TV. There is excellent access to the trails as skating tracks begin at the rear of the hotel. Single rooms available for a supplement (depending on availability)

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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  • Reviewed February 2018
    (Claire) Louise Goodbody

    Great skills week with great leader in awe-inspiring scenery

    This was a very well organised and orchestrated trip. Travel arrangements were smooth and made the best use of time, and the Hotel Helm was lovely. The food was generous and imaginative, the refurbishment of the hotel made it an attractive environment to relax in (- as if the views of the mountains weren't enough!) and the staff were friendly and helpful. It was great to be able to get directly onto the loipe from the hotel for some easy extra skiing and to be so well situated for transport for trips further afield. Our leader Ingrid was highly skilled and knowledgeable, about skiing and the local area. She was a very good teacher and managed the mixed ability nature of the group well. Her sense of humour combined with her serious commitment to her role really helped me get the most out of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Generally just skiing through the landscape and soaking up the beauty

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant - I can't commend her highly enough.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mainly just go! Check in at Tui desks at airport - not Thompson as suggested in the Exodus information. Rooms at back of hotel are beautifully quiet - at front, less so.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936