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A summer holiday in the French Alps comes with so many amazing options. From water activities, to aqua parks, hiking and more. You might be surprised about the variety of activities you can try here. Bordering with Italy and Switzerland, the Alpine resorts in France have their own unique activity scene. You can enjoy many things to do all year round, with summer being just as good a time to visit as winter. Here are five surprising activities you can take part in during your holiday in the French Alps.
With all the beautiful mountain lakes in the Alps, water sports are the perfect way to make the most of them. Kayaking will get you out onto the water and give you a chance to see the Alps from a different perspective. The lakes are best for beginners who want to give kayaking a try in a safe and more relaxed environment. Kayaks are suitable for all ages, so it’s great for family fun with small children.
For those who want a little more adventure then you can take a kayak tour out on the river. Rivers and rapids come graded from 1 to 6, which means they are from easy to almost impossible. Your tour guide will advise you on what route is the best depending on the abilities of your group. The best place for lake kayaking is found at Lac Montriond in Les Gets and Morzine. But wherever you are staying you will have access to lake activities. If you book an activity holiday through a tour operator you might find that activities like Kayaking are included in your package. Check out AlpineElements.co.uk for some great activity holiday deals in the French Alps.
A popular extreme activity in the Alps, paragliding involves flying a ‘wing’ in the thermals high above the valley floor. Although it might sound like a scary experience, once you are gliding high above the ground it is surprisingly peaceful and serene. Start at a high point, jump off the mountain and then glide across the skies until you reach a safe place to land.
Paragliding is usually a tandem dive where you are strapped to an instructor who does all of the hard work for you. Your instructor will fly and land the parachute so all you do is enjoy the flight. There are also sensation flights for the brave to try. The instructor will do some exciting manoeuvres during the ride, not for the faint-hearted.
For those of you who are really keen, you can take a course over 3 to 5 days to get your own licence. That means once completed you can take to the skies on your own. Whichever resort you are staying in, your tour operator will take you to the starting points and offer all instruction, equipment and transport you need. So you don’t have to worry, you’ll be in safe experienced hands.
Water Skiing is not the first outdoor activity that comes to mind when you think of things to do in the Alps. Another extreme sport to take part in on the mountain lakes, water-skiing is not just for the beach. The calm waters of the lake provide the perfect conditions for water ski lessons and helps beginners learn quickly and safely too.
Even if you have never stepped onto a pair of water skis, you will have fun and learn in a great environment on the lakes in France. Staying up-right can take a bit of skill and practice but it all adds to the enjoyment of the experience. You can also get some good practice in if you are a more experienced skier and maybe even try out some tricks.
Water Skiing and Wake Boarding can be tried on Lake Geneva which is about 40 minutes from Morzine and Les Gets. The Ski school here has everything you need to teach every ability and provides all the equipment you need too. For those who just want to sit and watch, there are other more relaxing things to do at the lake too. They are not called the beaches of the mountains for nothing.
Caving and Canyoning
The Alps are a place where you can take part in activities underground as well as outdoors in the mountains. Caving and canyoning are some of the surprising alternative activities you can take part in here.
So what is Canyoning? Taking part in hiking, climbing, or rappelling to the bottom of a river canyon to a specific point. You follow the water as it flows downwards, which means going over drops into pools, down chutes, and through deep water. Your guide and instructor will help you as you jump scramble and slide your way to the end. You might have to be brave but the exhilarating experience is worth the fear!
Caving can be both just as exciting or a little tamer. Mysterious limestone tunnels and passageways turn into massive expansive caverns to explore under the alpine valleys and mountains. Have fun in this underground maze getting around by climbing ropes, ladders and paddling and boating through the waters. Kids especially will love to explore this amazing world. If you want to try caving then then the best seasons to visit are Spring and Autumn.
Ok, so hiking is not exactly an extreme sport to try out in the Alps but it is an excellent way to spend your time. You will be surprised at how much you’ll love the experience of walking through the mountains in this beautiful place.
If you don’t know where to start, you can take part in guided walks and hikes. Many resorts and tour operators offer free guided walking tours which are categorised according to ability. Follow your experienced local guide who will show you the best parts of the trails for amazing scenic views and wildlife spotting too.
There are ridge walks, Nordic walking and glacier walking too. All bookable through your tour operator. If you are adventurous enough then you can head out for a hike on your own but make sure you follow a well-marked trail and bring necessary supplies along with you. For the spectacular views, peace and calm, and to top it off stop at excellent mountain restaurants to refuel. What’s more you can use your lift passes to get to some excellent trails and routes so you can start at a more elevated point. With all of the resorts offering great trails, there’s no specific destination that’s the best for hiking as they are all great.
Have you taken part in any surprising activities in the Alps?
Here are just five examples of the many great things you can do in the Alpine region. When it comes to outdoor activities, the French Alps is an excellent destination to choose for an active holiday. Whether its extreme sports or some more relaxing activities you are looking for, there is something for everyone here. What would you like to try during your next activity holiday break?
Have you enjoyed an activity holiday in the French Alps? What did you do and what was your favourite activity?