2011 Advice and tips

No need for a big budget for a mountain vacation in the summer.  In addition to the classic mountain pastimes - walking and hiking - the mountain stations propose a wide choice of free activities to their guests.

Mountain biking at Tignes

No need for a big budget for a mountain vacation in the summer.  In addition to the classic mountain pastimes - walking and hiking - the mountain stations propose a wide choice of free activities to their guests.

Mountain biking at Tignes

For the second year running, Tignes is allowing free access to its « bike park, » which counts 100 km of trails.  Narrow, highly technical trails for exciting descents, wider, easier trails to enjoy as a group, cross-country excursions, fun zones…there is something for every taste and every skill level.  All of the trails are accessible by two chairlifts, unlimited and free of charge, at Tovière and Palafour.

Multi-activities at Praloup

At Praloup, you can take advantage of free access to ping-pong tables, football fields and beach volleyball courts.  Borrow your equipment from the tourist office, free of charge. Other free activities include fishing at high-altitude lakes, the pump track (a motocross course adapted to mountain biking) and numerous workshops, including many for kids, such as theatre, circus, painting, etc.

…and at Méaudre

Here, you can take advantage of a free access leisure space next to the pool.  The leisure space includes two beach-volleyball courts, a skate park, games for kids, rope pyramids, a bowling pitch and picnic tables.  You will be spoiled for choice !

Rando ferrata at Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle

Midway between hiking and via ferrata, rando ferrata is a mix of hiking and climbing along a cable, to which you are attached with a carabiner.  Ladders, foot bridges and other equipment are installed along the path to facilitate the climb.  Access to the course is free, the equipment (harness, helmet and carabiner) must be rented.

Searching for medicinal plants at Gets

Did you know that oregano (otherwise known as mountain marjoram) is not only a powerful antiseptic, but also makes an excellent tea ?  Or that hawthorn can be used as a natural relaxant and sedative ?  Learn more about the medicinal plants, as well as the legends, of the Alps, during guided outings with resident expert Pierre Chaix.  2 euros per person.

Ice skating…without the ice..at Auris-en-Oisans

A 300 square metre arena, which operates without water or electricity, welcomes you free of charge during the summer months.  Built from recycled polythene, it produces no harmful pollution and requires only minimal upkeep.  Open summer and winter, even in extreme temperatures, and provides the same sensation as a traditional skating rink.

The Urban Park at la Plagne

Situated on the Plagne-Bellecôte, this « Urban Park » is a meeting point for all those who love skateboarding, rollerblading and BMX.  The giant skatepark is composed of a « street » area of 1500 m², and a « flat » area of 500 m²,  with free access from June until September.  Numerous activities – also free of charge – are programmed throughout the summer : learn skateboarding and mountain biking techniques, participate in collective games, trampoline, graffiti workshops, etc.

Make-believe builders at Serre-Chevalier

Have you ever tried Kapla ?  Using these small rectangles of wood (8 cm x 10 cm x 4 cm), kids can build forts, bridges, animals, and all the other figures they can imagine. At 10 free Kapla days throughout the summer, in the station’s three villages, monitors will be present for help and advice.  The first workshop is set for the 6th of July, at the place du téléphérique at Chantemerle. 

The Asque interpretive trail at la Mongie

Follow this 6km round-trip trail along the torrent of Arros and discover the flora, fauna and geography of one of the most remote baronies of the Pyrenees.  Signs along the way allow you to discover the history of this magical forest.  The visit begins at the ruins of an ancient sawmill which functioned by hydraulic power.

Family fun at la Rosière

Every week, the entertainment section of the tourist office organises a family olympics.  On the programme : tug of war, the waiters’ race, biathlon laser challenge, bowling, and sac races.   Fun and free !

Visit a dairy at Métabief

Before tasting the famous local Comté cheese, you can learn how it is made.  The Sancey-Richard dairy (also known as the Grange aux Fromages) opens its doors to you for an audio-guided visit of the production rooms and a film about the history of the dairy.

Discover the champions of tomorrow at Contamines-Monjtoie

What do Marion Bartoli, Alizé Corner and Yanina Wickmayer have in common, aside from the fact that they were all among the top 12 female tennis players in the world ?  During their careers, they all played at the international open at Contamines-Montjoie, which is part of the ITF circuit (second division worldwide).  Every year, the tournament welcomes players classed between 100 and 300 worldwide.  July 17th until 24th 2011, free access all week long.

At la Clusaz, kids are kings !

For all accommodation rentals (apartments or hotels) of a minimum of 7 days for 2 adults, kids under 12 stay and eat for free, and also receive the Detente Plus card, which gives them unlimited access to a number of activities as well as the chairlifts : summer luge, aquatic centre, arena, tennis, archery, mini golf, leisure centre with zip lines, trampoline, etc.  One card per rental.  Read about the conditions and participating locations at www.laclusaz.com.

A multipass activity card for one euro per day at Valloire

The Pass’Loisirs card, available at participating locations, gives you unlimited access to the pool, arena, and gondola lift (on foot.)  It also allows you to take advantage of reduced prices on numerous activities such as tennis, bowling, golf, paragliding, mountain bike rentals, cultural outings, and more.

…and at the Portes du Soleil stations

The Portes du Soleil multipass (1 euro per day for guests of participating accommodation, 6 euros per day without package) allows you to take advantage of unlimited activities in all the stations of the Portes du Soleil (Morzine, Avoriaz, les Gets, Châtel, Abondance, la Chapelle d’Abondance, Montriond et Saint-Jean-d’Aulps French side, Champéry, Morgins, Torgon, Val d’Iliez-les Crosets – Champoussin Swiss side).  Tennis, skating, chairlifts (on foot), shuttle buses, cultural sites and tourist trains are among the activities proposed.  You can also take advantage of reduced prices on other activities such as zip lines, collective mountain biking courses, scooters, adventure courses, etc.

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