In the middle of summer, heading to the mountains for an action packed activity holiday could be the last thing on your mind; the mountain sports holiday is surely only the realm of the winter vacation? Well, there may just be more going on out there at this time of year for the thrill seekers and sports enthusiasts than you think.
Plus what could better prepare you for a winter on the slopes? It pays to keep up the fitness levels now… Here’s our top 5 sporty ways to experience the mountains during the summer months:
1. Glacier Skiing
An obvious past time for a summer trip to the mountains, but one which many skiers never consider, or don’t even know is a possibility: skiing! Many resorts are open in part over the summer, offering glacier skiing and often great park skiing, for example in Les Deux Alpes. Being one of the highest ski areas in the world, from 2800 to 3600 metres, and with the largest skiable glacier in Europe, Les Deux Alpes could be said to be Europe’s capital of summer skiing. With 16 ski lifts open from 7.15am to 12.30pm daily, giving access to a purpose built snow-park and a sizeable area of marked pistes covering an 800 metre vertical descent, Les Deux Alpes offers a summer ski area bigger and better than many small winter resorts. Do a few runs in the morning, then head back into town to find a nice sunny spot for an afternoon drink and tanning session; surely the perfect summer holiday!
Zermatt, Switzerland / Tignes, France
The quadriceps and gluteal muscles at the front and back of your thighs are the main power muscles used during skiing. Cycling is a great way of training them during the summer months whilst enjoying being in the mountains, rather than stuck in the gym. Mountain biking has long been a favourite of the out-of-season ski-bum, however road cycling should not be ignored as a summer pastime for the avid skier. Road cycling tours are becoming readily available to book as package holidays, and what better way could there be to stay ski-fit in between winter seasons, enjoy some fresh mountain air, and of course enjoy some great local cuisine and summer sunshine.
Italian Dolomites / Arlberg region, Austria
3. Riverboarding (also known as Hydrospeed)
One mountain activity you may not have heard of; leave the safety of a raft behind, instead make your way down-river armed with nothing but a wetsuit, a pair of scuba diver’s flippers, and a piece of foam apparatus equal parts surfboard, toboggan, and one of the floats we all used to cling onto to help us learn breast-stroke kicks as kids – a Riverboard. (And probably best grab a helmet too). There’s no fear of falling in with this relatively new watersport, as you’re already in the water! Just surf the currents and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery.
Arve River through Chamonix, in the canyons of the Mont Blanc valley, French Alps
As well as being a great summer skiing location, Tignes boasts the highest golf course in Europe at 2100 metres above sea level, open every day from 8.30am to 6.30pm from June 27th to September 6th 2015. Golfing holidays can even involve all the family; Tignes has a mini-golf course which children and adults alike will enjoy, scattered with information boards telling you about the local flora and fauna. And you don’t have to be an expert to get involved, there is a driving range for practice, and you can take beginner courses from 3 to 5 days. Advanced players can hone their skills while on holiday with courses from 3 to 5 days.
Another mountain sport you may not have tried yet; Canyoning consists of navigating your way along a river in a natural gorge, sliding down waterfalls, swimming through white water, jumping into whirlpools, and generally getting the adrenaline pumping. One exhilarating way of refreshing yourself on a hot summer’s day in the mountains!
Angon canyon, Lake Annecy, French Alps
IF LIKE US, YOU CAN’T GET SNOW OFF THE BRAIN, TAKE A LOOK AT OUR GREAT DEALS FOR WINTER SKI HOLIDAYS IN 2015/16!
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