Bessans, the Nordic soul

Bessans is the village resort with a Nordic soul. The wide-open spaces of the high plateau, with cross-country ski trails all winter long and hiking or mountain biking trails all year round, offer a real bubble of oxygen. Swimming in the lakes in the summer, ice climbing and dog sledding in the winter, preserved hamlets surrounded by larch forests that turn golden in the fall: you can enjoy a Nordic atmosphere in the heart of the Alps.

A high altitude village

Located at an altitude of 1750 m, Bessans is a traditional village, typical of Haute Maurienne Vanoise, bordering the Vanoise National Park and Italy. This authentic and family village perpetuates the traditions through nature in its wild state, religious celebrations (the festival of August 15 is a must with traditional costumes) and sculpture, including those of the famous devils that you will see on the village square. Bessans is also endowed with a rich cultural heritage with its hamlets, mountain pasture houses, engraved stones, and religious buildings such as the Saint-Antoine chapel and its famous frescoes.


The cross-country skiing village

Which Bessanais has never put on cross-country skis? Here, winter lasts half the year and, inevitably, you learn to ski at the same time as you start walking. With its immense altitude plateau, Bessans is a natural land for cross-country skiing. The inhabitants have almost all participated in the International Marathon which takes place every year in January and which is practiced in classic or skating style. The route has of course varied over the years, but the sporting prowess has always been there, and it is always a pleasure to remember it with family and friends.

So Bessans, the Nordic soul, you need other arguments? Well, with its international biathlon stadium, you can learn, with an instructor, the practice of this sport, which is very popular with the French. It is not uncommon to come across high level athletes training on this magnificent plateau in an exceptional setting.

Nordic capital of the Alps

Labelled Nordic France, Bessans is 133 km of groomed trails that will take you to the heart of a high plateau that has nothing to envy to the Great North: immaculate valleys, glaciers and peaks culminating at more than 3000 m of altitude! On skis, on foot or with snowshoes, this vast high altitude plateau is technical, pleasant and perfectly equipped. You will be delighted by its change of scenery and its natural majesty.

If sports activities, rejuvenation and oxygenation are at the heart of Bessans, the village also offers a rich heritage steeped in history and legends. Discover fascinating stories, unusual anecdotes and little secrets through the alleys that have made Bessans a popular and magical place.

Athletes of the French biathlon team under the snow

The sporting soul

  • The paradise of cross-country skiing in winter with more than 133km of groomed tracks in classic and skating.
  • A superb playground for snowshoeing! The Bessans plateau offers many possibilities for snowshoeing, towards the lakes, the hamlets...
  • Groomed slopes for ski-joering or just skiing with your dog.
  • Regular departures for the discovery of the plateau in sled dogs.
  • An ideal place to discover Nordic walking. In free access: 15 km of discovery trails (marked and secured) are offered for relaxing walks.
  • An ice fall for all levels located right next to the biathlon stadium.



Label Terre d'alpinisme

Recently labeled "Land of Mountaineering", the people of Bessans continue to commit themselves to help as many people as possible discover the assets of this beautiful mountain.
Label Terre d'alpinisme

Averole and hamlets of Bessans

The valley of Averole is an important valley that you can discover on the right side at the exit of Bessans in the direction of Bonneval sur Arc.
Hamlet and Refuge of Avérole

The devil of Bessans

Country of altitude and legends, it is said that Bessans is the country of the Devil! Do you know why ? Let us tell you the story...
The devil of Bessans

The International Biathlon Stadium

Thanks to the advantages of the altitude and snow cover of the Bessans plateau, the inter-communal project for an international biathlon stadium, supported by the Community of Communes of Haute Maurienne, was born in 1998, with the help of the medal-winning athlete Hervé Flandin, a native of the valley.