Nordic skiing, more commonly known as cross-country skiing, is one of the oldest snow activities. Before its sporting connotation, it in fact had a purely practical purpose, which was to enable movement around countries that for many months of the year had roads completely covered by snow.
In what is called the classic, one proceeds straight, moving arms and legs alternately and diagonally with a movement that is very similar to that of a normal walk.
There is however, a second technique defined freestyle or skating. It was introduced in the 80s and it is very similar to the movement one makes when ice-skating:the legs push forwards and outwards while the arms help the body move forwards.
For beginners of cross-country skiing, the classical technique is certainly the best one, because you need an excellent balance to practice skating and managing skis and sticks with confidence.Today, most ski resorts enjoy Nordic skiing trails, but there are some places in particular that are known for practicing this discipline. Here are just a few
• Val di Fassa. From Moena to Canazei, this area offers about 50 km of Nordic skiing trails. There are four areas in particular: Mazzin-Campitello di Fassa, Canazei, Passo San Pellegrino-Alochet and Pozza di Fassa-Ciancoal. Snow is guaranteed from December to April and allows you to dive into breathtaking landscapes, much like those in Northern Europe.
• Val Gardena. A valley particularly appreciated by Nordic skiers thanks to the 133 km of tracks that cover every level of difficulty. Here you can enjoy the enchanting views of the Dolomites while practicing sports. The landmarks are Vallunga, Selva Gardena, Monte Pana, St. Cristina and the Alpe di Siusi.
• St. Moritz. Situated in the Canton of Grisons, this location is one of the most famous in Europe for all winter sports. The cross-country trails cover 42 km and the fame achieved in the field from this station is mainly from the Engadine Ski Marathon, which attracts 13,000 skiers and enthusiasts every year.
• Val di Fiemme. Offers a good 150 km of trails which meander through enchanting forests and have hosted three Nordic skiing championships over the years. Here, this discipline is so practiced and loved that regular courses of free beginner classes are offered. But Val di Fiemme is most famous for the Marcialonga, one of Europe's most loved cross-country races, which involves the crossing of almost all the countries in the area.
• Davos. This Swiss ski resort boasts 78 km of slopes of various difficulties. It is also part of the Davos-Klosters ski district, which in total offers 100 km of trails made to meet every need of a Nordic ski lover.