Station Val d'Allos Activités Insolites Neige
©L.Leroy

Top unusual activities for all the family

6 descents, an elegant final bend, quick sprint and hot chocolate later, it’s time to slip out of your skis and change the pace as you test the plethora of family après-ski activities on offer at the Southern Alps ski resorts!

Published on 12 January 2021

A balancing act in the snow on your gyropod

Leave your mark – even without skis!

Opt for a fun and easy-to-handle gyropod at the family-style resort of Pra Loup in the Southern Alps: this bizarre, 100%-electric contraption comprises two wheels and a platform to stand on. Once you’ve mastered the basic twists and turns, you’ll be able to enjoy lapping up the panoramic views over the valley as you go along. Fun and planet-friendly, the gyropod promises zero noise and zero carbon emissions. The excursions over the plateau depart at 4.20 p.m., so delay your afternoon snack for today and make the most of the scenery and sensations instead.

Refreshing sculptures…

A genuine ice museum

The Vars Forêt Blanche ski domain is reputed for its high-quality snow. But that’s not all: its ice sculptures created by artists kitted out with an eclectic range of tools including irons, hair straighteners and saws are a genuine sight to behold… An artistic DIY job requiring immense skill and dexterity. You can reach this fairytale world on the Chabrières hybrid lift, running at the same times as the normal ski lifts. Put aside plenty of time to roam around the icy exhibition and take turns guessing the various depicted shapes, objects and animals.

A close encounter… of the furry kind!

A commitment to the fauna of yesteryear

Located 1 hour from Nice, the Réserve Biologique des Monts d‘Azur bio-reserve spans 1,730 acres and brings together around 500 endangered European animals. The reserve has a unique vocation: it is Europe’s first animal reserve dedicated to reintroducing ancient plant and animal species dating back to the Neolithic Age. European bison, Przewalski’s horses, stags and wolves rub shoulders here in total freedom, while eagles and vultures soar over their peers. Visitors can enjoy an Indiana Jones-style safari on foot or in a horse-drawn cart. And if you want to take your time, prolong the pleasure by booking a top-comfort manor house, bioclimatic villa or eco-lodge.

Réserve des Monts d’Azur

Test the via souterrata, a mix of climbing and caving

In the belly of the mountain

If you’re keen to make the most of the mountains without skis, forget the heavy shoes and test your agility with a Via Souterrata session in the Massif du Dévoluy. Reputed for its many natural cavities, this mountain range offers visitors a chance to enjoy a 1-hour adventure in a truly exceptional 300-metre secure cave, attached to a lifeline. The walls continue to seep, unveiling patterns carved out by water. Gather your courage for the heart-stopping monkey bridge a little further on – the sheer verticality of the surrounding rocks is truly breathtaking. The via souterrata is classified as “Fairly Difficult +”, so budding explorers are accompanied by professional caving instructors on their first foray (minimum height 1.40m).

Via Souterrata, Dévoluy

Beat the speed records on a bobsleigh

Boarding now on the Verdon Express

Perched at an altitude of 1,800 metres, the family-style ski resort of Val d’Allos-La Foux boasts a vast palette of activities at the foot of Col d’Allos. And what wins the family vote? The bobsleigh of course! Pick your teams, then climb aboard for a 330-metre ascent with an average 25% incline, followed by a 665-metres descent with an average 12% incline and 995-metre loop interspersed with jumps, bumps and hairpin bends – in all safety of course. Climb aboard and get set for a memorable shot of adrenalin – you’ll also want to bet on who will shout the loudest during the 4-7 minute ride! Afterwards, you might need another vote on where to ski tomorrow: the Domaine de l’Espace Lumière is a magnificent ski domain shared by Val d’Allos-La Foux and Pra Loup, with a total of 90 slopes. An XXL winter playground for all the family.

Sledge on trail, Val d’Allos-La Foux

Into thin air on the zipline

3, 2, 1… Lift off!

It’s definitely one of the stars of the Southern Alps: the Colmiane giant zipline is on every thrills and spills lover’s bucket list. Featuring two lines and two slope options (6.5% and 13.5%), the zipline allows you to travel at speeds of up to 130 km/hour. It’s enough to make your eyes water – but you’ll still be able to admire the views over the ski resort and Colmiane lakes as meadows, forests, peaks and blue skies whoosh by. Simply superb. And if you want to give your other half a surprise or reassure a hesitant friend, opt for a tandem flight for a guaranteed mega memory and twice the fun!

Oser la tyrolienne géante à la Colmiane

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