A STONE'S throw from the Jura mountains, Pays de Gex straddles France and Switzerland, and is handily just 20 minutes’ drive from Geneva airport.

So if you fancy giving skiing a go, this area can be a fab place to start.


Warm up by the fire

Lin et Confitures is a quaint, family-run guest house in Mijoux village with traditionally styled rooms, from £76 B&B, and a roaring log fire in the communal living area.

Come morning, fill up on a spread of pastries, breads and preserves before hitting the nearby slopes (Lin-et-confitures.com).

Alternatively, the luxe, beautifully designed Jiva Hill Resort, with its two restaurants and chic spa, offers up a full English brekkie and is just 10 minutes from Crozet’s slopes.

Double rooms cost from £190 B&B (Jivahill.com).

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Find your ski legs

Mijoux’s 12 slopes, which range from nursery green to pro black, are great to learn on.

If it’s not your first time, hit Lélex-Crozet.

With 22 runs – including the mountains’ longest and steepest – it’s the main ski site of the Jura mountains, plus you’ll get panoramic views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc.

Fancy a spot of culture?

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Ditch the skis and drop by Château de Voltaire in Ferney, the former home of philosopher Voltaire, 15 minutes’ drive away.

Take a guided tour, plus explore the immaculate gardens and snap views of both the Alps and Jura mountains. Entry costs £6.70 per adult (Chateau-ferney-voltaire.fr).

Eat all the cheese

Pays de Gex is mad for the locally made mild and nutty blue cheese, bleu de gex.

Try a salade jurassienne, £12 – leaves topped with the famous cheese, plus comte and ham – at La Petite Chaumière in La Faucille (Petitechaumiere.com).

Or opt for a traditional fondue served with bread, meats and pickles, £20, paired with regional Rouget de Lisle Blonde beer at Hôtel-Restaurant Le Centre in Lélex (Hotelducentre-montsjura.fr).

For an equally cheesy alternative, order raclette at Bois Joly in Crozet, £21 (Boisjoly.com).

Wash it down with Grimbergen Brassin de Noël, a winter beer full of caramel, liquorice and ripe fruit flavours.

Don’t Miss!

Take a 41/2-hour guided hike from Mijoux through the snowy landscapes, while keeping an eye out for the tracks of wolves and lynx.

You’ll also visit an organic farm in neighbouring Lajoux, whose cows produce the milk for all those cheese feasts.

Group tours cost from £18.50 per person (Juraventure.com).

Book it

Plan your trip at Paysdegex-tourisme.com.

Ski and boot hire cost from £30 a day (Ski-hire-sport2000.co.uk) and lift passes cost from £28 a day (Paysdegex-montsjura.com).

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Take ESF ski lessons from £40 an hour (Esf-mijouxlafaucille.com).

Return flights from the UK to Geneva cost from £32 (Easyjet.com). 


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