You don’t have to wait until next winter to enjoy your next Alps adventure – come back in summer for even more adrenaline activities. You’ll see a whole different side to your mountain playground; swap skiing for watersports and winter wonderland for Alpine pastures.
The Vanoise National Park was the first in France to be designated a protected natural area. All around our resorts are stunning hiking routes and manned mountain refuges that welcome you with beds, food and drink. Some are so isolated all their supplies are helicoptered in and there’s no electricity so your evening meal is eaten by candlelight. That’s really getting away from it all.
La Plagne is a world-leading trail running resort in summer. It hosts the 6000D – a week-long 63km race up to the glacier at 3200m. Its marked trails have stunning views that will leave you breathless – if you’re not already.
You need a head for heights to tackle the Via Ferrata – a series of iron rungs, cables and bridges set into rock to make climbing routes for all abilities. Scale sheer cliff faces hundreds of feet above the resort and tackle aerial obstacle courses; the reward is a huge thrill and sense of achievement. Find some great routes in Val d’Isere and La Plagne.
Hire a harness and all other safety equipment for the day from Val d’Isere’s Mountain Pro Shop.
Le Lac de L’Ouillette at 2500m on the Val d’Isere Solaise and Tignes lake are much loved by trout fishermen and make perfect family picnic areas. Fishing passes are available from resort tourist information centres.
Tee off on the highest golf course in Europe in Tignes Le Lac. It boasts 5km of fairways with spectacular views, lakes and a restaurant.
Les Arcs’ 18 and 9-hole golf courses are set in stunning surroundings with greens facing Mont Blanc. Mille8’s impressive new Lodge is the Club House from next summer.
All the chairlifts are adapted to carry bikes and free to use over the summer. Across the Espace Killy, downhill biking trails criss-cross the pistes – from beginner greens to tree-lined enduro routes and cross-country.
The Col de l’Iseran that towers over Val d’Isere is a popular cyclists challenge as it’s famed for being used in the Tour de France. It’s also the highest paved road in Europe.
Across Paradiski downhill biking trails criss-cross the pistes – from beginner greens to tree-lined enduro routes and cross-country. Route 66 is one of the longest enduro trails in the world – a thrilling 33km run from Arc 2000 down to Bourg Saint Maurice. Last summer La Plagne opened eight electric mountain bike trails, suitable for all levels.
Gravity Lab offers bike servicing and parts from its premises in the Rue de la Poste gallery in Tignes Le Lac over summer.
Fire yourself into Tignes lake from the huge waterslide or by bouncing off a massive floating airbag. Alternatively, simply watch the hilarious splashdowns of others from your pedaloe, paddle board, catamaran, zorb or kayak.
Lake activities have been free in recent years with the Sportignes card if you’re staying in resort.
Les Arcs’ new Aqua-Leisure Centre at the heart of Mille8 is open year-round. Plus there are stunning lakes and outdoor pools to enjoy – some have inflatable water games like zorbing available. Montchavin’s Espace Paradiso is a particularly impressive aqua centre –its huge outdoor pool has slides and a jacuzzi.
Mini golf, an inflatable play park, archery, trampolining, treetop adventure courses, tennis and guided walks are just some more than 30 activities offered by the Les Arcs Club des Sports. La Plagne boasts a similarly varied range as well dance and art workshops.
Yes, you can still ski on Tignes glacier in summer! There’s 20km of open pistes plus the snow park – and you can sunbathe in your ski boots on the terrace of the Panoramic restaurant at 3032m.
Flyboarding and helicopter lake diving are some of the spectacular shows put on in Tignes in recent years. Staples of the summer calendar are stunt biking, firework displays and traditional markets and fetes.
Winemakers from all over the nation converge on Tignes’ summer Fete des Vins de France to offer tastings and expert advice on your tipple. For even more culture, classical music festivals take place in Tignes and Val d’Isere.
The next generation in mountain transport is available for testing at the Electric Vehicle Show held in Val d’Isere in July – from e-bikes and even e-unicycles to cars and snowploughs.
Hens & Stags
Tignes is increasingly popular with stag and hen groups that want an adventure that’s memorable for all the right reasons. A huge variety of unique adrenaline activities, plus the bars creating a summer apres scene, makes for the perfect group getaway. Day trips are available for white water rafting, canyonning, paintballing and more.
The bonds you make while helping each other scale a Val d’Isere cliff-face, or commiserating over a belly flop from Tignes’ lake slide, are the kind that will last forever.
Alpine Antics (www.alpineantics.com) can tailor a package to your group and preferred activities – they’re now taking bookings for Summer 2016.
Alongside the adrenaline activities the program is also designed to educate the children in an informal, fun and engaging manner. The children are given the choice of French or English lessons, which last 45 minutes every morning and include participating in debates, performing short plays, word scavenger hunts and even a trip to the local market where the children can put their skills into practice. The children also have an hour and a half of sports each morning learning new skills, building teamwork and learning the important lesson of losing as well as winning! Subjects such as geography, science, geology and history are introduced during the afternoon activities and implemented wherever possible. This is a successful way of teaching the children as it means they are learning all day without even realising it.
In 2013 and again in 2015 Mountain Adventure Camps were awarded the UK National accreditation, Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge. Which recognises good quality educational provision where risk is effectively managed.