While the days are getting darker and the weather increasingly horrible, I can’t help but think back to July this summer when I went on a crazy adventure in the French Alps. Images of skiing, snowboarding, lots of snow, hot chocolate and other winter activities might pop into your head when thinking of this area, but the opposite was proven during my time there: summer is the perfect time to visit the Alps! From typical summer activities such as rafting and sunbathing to snowy ski slopes and paragliding, mountainbiking and hiking: I can guarantee you will never get bored here.
Because there is such a large height difference (0-3300m), it is possible to ski or snowboard in the morning, until about 12.30, and in the afternoon enjoy the warm sun and take part in more summery activities. Ski in the morning, sunbathe, hike, raft or mountainbike in the afternoon; it’s the best of both worlds! The French Alps are heaven for all adrenaline junkies. There are many different activities available:
1. Downhill mountainbiking
“Don’t look at the view, or you will become the view!” was the first thing our guide told us when we got on our mountainbikes. It was my first time downhill mountainbiking, and although I was scared shitless in the beginning, after a couple of minutes I started to really enjoy the adrenaline rush going through my veins. Les Deux Alps hosts one of the toughest mountainbike competitions every year on Pic Blanc – once you’ve seen that track, the normal ones look like a piece of cake! When you’re a complete newbie I’d recommend to cycle with a guide for an hour or so, to get taught the basics. After that you’re ready to go! We hired our bikes at Bike Infinity in Les Deux Alps, but Alpe d’Huez also has several cool tracks.
2. Skiing / Snowboarding / Glacier hiking
Do you love skiing or snowboarding and would you rather do that the whole year round than just in the winter months? Then the French Alps are the perfect place for you! Even in summer, it is possible to summerski or snowboard in Les Deux Alpes. Next to that, you have the ability to go on a glacier hike – pretty cool!
The icy water of Alpine rivers isn’t for the fainthearted; even so, I’d highly recommend you to go on an afternoon raft if you visit the French Alps. You’ll wear a thick wetsuit so the cold isn’t too bad, and the rough river is just too much fun to miss out on! We went with Vénéon Eaux Vives.
No explanation needed… you’ll never forget the feeling of flying between the impressive backdrop of endless mountains. Check out Alpe Sports Loisirs!
5. Climb the Alpe D’Huez
Whether you’re there to prove yourself on a race bike or just to enjoy the view on an e-bike… Regardless of your vehicle of choice, the views whilst climbing the Alpe d’Huez are incredible.
Which adventurous activity would you like to do in the French Alps? Have you ever been there during summertime?