19.06
2019 Mountain activities

If you think that hiking and marmot-watching are the full extent of what the mountains have to offer in summer, stop right there. We’ve selected ten brilliant summer activities that can only be done in the mountains:

1. Tease the summits in a paraglider

Run, leap, fly and be carried along on air currents… Soar like a bird over Alpine pastures and summits and discover the beautiful wildlife beneath your feet. There’s nothing more thrilling than the sight of your paraglider shadow dancing between ibexes and chamois goats clambering over the rocks below.

2. Try a whirlpool bath in a white-water raft

If you do just one activity in the mountains with family or friends, it has to be rafting. In a large inflatable raft, follow the course of the river, either peacefully or at a more exciting pace depending on the route you choose. You’re guaranteed a great time!

3. Stay in shape with mountain biking

We’re all familiar with the wealth of gourmet delights in the mountains: cheese, cured meats, blueberry tarts…and the best way to tuck in guilt-free is to get moving. On the trails, go for a mountain bike for a fun, sporty way to discover the summits and Alpine pastures. For the less experienced, there are plenty of ski lifts offer access to high-altitude routes, so you won’t face too much of a climb. And if that doesn’t suit, then an e-mountain bike is another great option.

4. Take it easy on a stand-up paddle board

Imagine the sound of gently lapping water, a clear pool beneath your feet, surrounded by majestic mountains and a sense of perfect calm: that’s the mountain stand-up paddle boarding effect. Even if a bit of paddling is required to get you around, it’s only gentle exertion and it doesn’t take long to get to grips with balancing on the board. Totally Zen!

5. Play the daredevil in a mountain kart

If you love the adrenaline rush of hurtling down slopes at full pelt, try out mountain karting in Serre-Chevalier. This vehicle, mounted on four all-terrain wheels, guarantees thrills and amazing laughs.

6. Climb around a fort on a via-ferrata

There are plenty of via ferrata routes offering a chance to discover the mountains from a new angle. Or have you tried climbing a historic monument (legally)? In Aussois, in Haute-Maurienne, the routes (also accessible to children) starting at Fort Victor Emmanuel take you past battlements and cannons. Extraordinary!

7. Watch the sunset from a hot air balloon

Wouldn’t it be stunning to fly over the peaks at the end of the day as the last rays of sunshine light up the mountains with pink and orange? The magic of hot air balloons is their meditative nature – simply watch the beauty of the summits unveil as the shadows disperse. And don’t forget your camera!

8. Jump in the water while canyoning

Need a little freshening up in the summer heat? Try canyoning.  Only available in the mountains, this activity combines hiking through gorges and cascades with jumping into waterfalls! The routes’ physical difficulty varies but the thrills are always incredible.

9. Go walking in the air through the trees

Was ‘The Jungle Book’ a childhood favourite? Then you’re going to love the treetop courses on offer in the mountains. Rope bridges, cable walks and zipline descents…all in a day’s forest walk. In the Vosges mountains, Bol d’Air offers several aerial activities to discover, including Le Fantasticable, a zipline descent that goes over 100 km an hour. Hold on tight!

10. Sleep in a mountain refuge or under the stars

If you’re seeking calm, peace and quiet and a chance to be at one with nature, then try a night in a mountain refuge or bivouac. Far away from any light pollution, admire the Milky Way and wake up to natural light at dawn. No alarm clock, no phone, just the rhythm of nature. Revitalising!