The French Alps may be the destination of choice for ski-bunnies by the million over the winter months, but if you think this gorgeous area of the world sleeps all summer long, think again. In fact, the peaks and valleys of the French Alps take on a whole new life in the warmer months while the snow makes its annual retreat, therefore if you’re looking for something to keep your inner fire burning until winter once again rolls around, consider the following top-five…which happen to be in no particular order:
White Water Rafting
Various regions across the French Alps offer white water rafting opportunities of varying degrees of severity. Right at the top of the ladder is the kind of adventure you literally have to battle for your life to survive, while further down can be found some wonderfully tamer options that see punters whizzing their merry ways down fast-moving rapids on craft not dissimilar to inflatable hotdogs! Given the delightful weather and the fastest river speeds it is best to go for a rafting trip in the deep of summer, though September is usually a pretty safe bet too.
Not the kind of tree climbing you probably got up to as a child, but more on an industrial level. There are dozens of outdoor pursuit centres across the French Alps that offer heavy-duty tree climbing adventures that pit you against truly ginormous trees, while armed with the kind of gear you’d need to scale Everest. And if the excitement all get too much, you can even arranged to sleep in the trees overnight in a hammock dangling a good hundred feet or so in the air – marvelous!
Sort of like a version of climbing made considerably more accessible and fun, Via Ferrata was created by the Italian Military nearly a century ago as a means by which to travel across the Alps with ease. Think your usual rock climbing only with various tools, ladders and safety features to eliminate most risks and dangers. The panoramas offered by this particular pursuit in the French Alps are simply unrivalled.
With four feet firmly on the ground, the horse riding opportunities spanning the length of the French Alps in the summertime are not only some of the finest in the world, but also suitable for practically anyone of any age. Tracks and routes rage from stunning lakes to rugged mountainsides to glorious meadows and dense forests, while extended trips can be organised with traditional teepee accommodation and more campfire songs than you can shake a stick at…as they say.
And finally, a sizeable nod simply has to go to canyoning in the French Alps, which for those new to the idea is a bit like treating a rugged mountain range as the most stunning and enormous naturally occurring waterpark imaginable. Basically, the sport is one whereby countless activities such as climbing and abseiling take place in naturally occurring water features, with participants gradually traversing down while enjoying slides, jumping obstacles and generally having a splashing time. Routes are available for all ages and abilities, including young children.