Activity Holidays in the Alps Vanoise National Park

Activity holidays in the Alps

09 March 2015

Activity holidays in the Alps offer some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable, surrounded by mountains blanketed with snow in the winter and flourishing greenary in the summer, Meribel is the perfect playground for the adventurous.

Meribel is at the heart of the Three Valleys, one of the world’s largest skiing areas. The resort is a Mecca for skiers, who return year after year. With a vast and varied choice of ski runs the Three Valleys provide all the skiing and snowboarding activity you could wish for, but what many visitors don’t realise is that Meribel isn’t limited to just skiing or snowboarding.

Summer in Meribel offers active families and adrenaline junkies the same challenging activities that winter at the resort promises. Throughout the year there’s plenty of opportunities for you to invigorate your senses with everything from mountain biking and hiking to paragliding and hot air balloon rides. 

On the ground

In terms of mountain biking in the Alps, Meribel is a hidden gem. It offers something a little different to its busier alpine neighbours by focussing on trail and enduro style riding. Meribel is part of an extensive network of downhill tracks, singletrack trails, freeride areas and fire roads with something for every level of experience. All of these trails can be accessed via two main lifts open throughout July and August - the Tougnete and the Pas Du Lac.

Hiking in the Alps is a wonderful, calming experience with a combination of awe-inspiring views and fresh mountain air. Hikes vary from easy, shorter journeys to challenging climbs and family friendly trails throughout the Alps. Meribel offers spectacular hiking; there are weekly programmes available from the central information office, highlights include exploring the Tueda Nature Reserve or Vanoise National Park and a nighttime hike finishing at dawn.

Horse riding, both in winter and the summer is a fantastic activity, offering a different perspective of Meribel without the hustle and bustle of the slopes. Choose from pony riding, perfect for little ones or horse riding lessons suitable for all of the family. 

In the air

Get a different view of Meribel’s mountains while paragliding or parapenting (as its known in France). You can glide down to the bottom of the valley in tandem with an instructor or fly on your own if you’re more experienced. In the winter, you take off with skis or a snowboard, while in summer you simply run down the slope to launch into the sky. Ski Vol offer both paragliding and hot air balloon trips, a sunrise or sunset balloon ride is the most romantic way to experience the incredible scenery of Meribel and shouldn’t be missed.

If you want a bird’s eye view of the resort without such an adrenaline rush, why not try a helicopter tour to experience spectacular panoramic views of the mountains. The Aero Club also offer scenic tourist flights in their small planes, you can even hop in the driver’s seat and take a flying lesson with one of their instructors.

On the water

In the Alps you don’t have to go far before coming face to face with a beautiful stretch of water. River Runners offer exhilarating water sports in Meribel including canoeing on the Isere River, hydro speeding (similar to body-boarding) and ‘canyoning’ which is a combination of walking, climbing, jumping, swimming and abseiling.