Top 5 Activities in the Alps for Families
Sally Guillaume, owner and director of Undiscovered Mountains has lived and worked in the Southern French Alps with her family for 12 years and shares her top 5 activities for families to do in the alps
The Alps is an outdoor lovers’ paradise with a multitude of different activities and adventures available for all experiences and fitness levels. It really is a true adventure playground for everyone from extreme sports lovers through to families looking for bonding experiences and fun together.
It is worth pointing out that the Southern French Alps boasts the best weather of all the Alpine regions with 300 days of sunshine per year and has the greatest variety of activities thanks to its unique topography so we are spoilt for choice. It also explains why our summer activity holiday where we provide all these activities and more is so popular!
Canyoning can be an extreme sport but if you choose the right canyon and get a good guide you can have hilarious fun with your family. There are kiddie canyons available for younger children aged 6 – 10 and larger canyons for older children and teenagers and parents of course!
Jump into clear alpine pools, slide down natural toboggans and abseil down gushing waterfalls. To make the most of canyoning you need to have a sense of fun and adventure and a ‘go for it’ attitude. You need to be able to swim.
Via ferratas require a head for heights but are a fantastic experience to share en famille. Scale otherwise inaccessible cliffs following the via ferrata bars, ladders and monkey bridges whilst safely attached to the lifeline.
It is highly recommended to take a guide for a via ferrata to look after your safety so you can enjoy the experience without worrying about everyone else in your party and then forgetting to clip on yourself. If via ferratas are not done correctly they can be fatal.
There are kiddie via ferratas which are great for smaller children from age 7 as the holds are lower, but don’t be fooled into thinking they will be easy for you. Read Undiscovered Mountains blog on via ferrata for children for more info
This is one of our favourite adventures to experience with a family. The trip uses sit on top kayaks which are stable and easy to navigate for novices and the river is a constant grade 1 – 2 river offering some tranquil flat bits as well as some exciting but easy rapids.
It is self guided, which is what makes it such a great adventure. You get dropped off at the top with your equipment and basically have the day to work your way down. You feel like you are really in the wilds of the Alps.
The minimum age is 7 and all children under 12 need to share a 2 person kayak with an adult. You need to be able to swim.
A NIGHT IN A REFUGE
Another great adventure and even babies can participate as some refuges are equipped with cots!
Walking is rarely an easy sell to children or teenagers, but when you are walking into a remote mountain refuge for a sleep over with the marmots, it becomes tempting!
Once there, in the middle of no-where void of all internet and phone connection, there is no other way to pass your time than to play games, chat and interact with each other – a rare gem of an experience in today’s society!
TREE CLIMBING WITH A NIGHT IN TREE HAMMOCKS
Last but not least, tree climbing with a night in tree hammocks! This is a totally unique activity that an innovative entrepreneur in the Southern French Alps has created.
It is not like high apes or other high ropes adventure activities, this is real tree climbing on real trees without anything fixed in. You are roped up and sometimes rope ladders are put in to help with some of the branchless starts but after that you are in the leaves and branches.
To finalise your experience in the wild woods of the Alps where wild boar, deer, foxes and wolves roam you can opt to spend the night under the stars in special tree hammocks.