Via Ferrata des Etroits, Hautes-AlpesVia Ferrata des Etroits, Hautes-Alpes
©Via Ferrata des Etroits, Hautes-Alpes |AD05 / Estelle Perdu

Top mountain activities in summer

Whether for a change of scene or fun, the southern French Alps offer some extraordinary playgrounds. Explore the different environments: peaks, racing rivers and underground worlds. Let’s take a look at activities with a thrill to make the most of your summer.

A high speed rafting descent

Tame the white water of the Ubaye, Durance or Roya rivers

If you can take some cold and you love thrills, set off on a rafting adventure, the ideal activity to boost your summer holidays in the mountains. Hurtle down the river in the decor of the Ubaye Valley, on one of Ubay Aventure‘s rafts which can take up to 8 people. There are courses for all levels: if you’re rafting with the family, choose the parcours découverte (discovery course), and for extreme sports fanatics, launch off into the parcours sport. Adrenalin rush guaranteed! In the Hautes-Alpes, Eau Vive Passion also offers lovely rafting outings. Climb on board a 4-10 seater inflatable raft for €30, paddle away and ride the waters along the valley. All equipment provided on the spot. A little further south, get your fill of thrills with Roya Evasion and the Roya’s rapids. An outing of two hours in a magnificent natural and safe setting for even more pleasure.

Canyoning for water-adventurers

Jump, slide, climb

Canyoning means pure pleasure with waterfalls, canyons and sun-kissed pools. Moving around and having fun in the water: the “canyoneers” motto! We are all set to greet you – on foot and with the right dry-suit – and take you off to discover the Val d’Allos, a real paradise for canyoneers, accompanied by the guides at Pro Verdon. There are different canyons in half or whole day programmes according to what you want and can do. Near Saint-Clément-sur-Durance, Ecrins Eaux Vives leads the expedition on the Couleau course. All aboard for a unique 1½ hour outing, with walking and jumps in the crystal-clear water, with family or friends. And if you were dreaming of doing canyoneering near Nice, head for Nice Canyon. Are you more into gentle, athletic or extreme sports exploration? Choose your course in the Tinée Valley and surrounding valleys.

Somewhere between climbing and treetop adventure

Concentration and contemplation on the programme

Take to the heights on one of the most beautiful via ferrata in France. Come and join the professionals at Vertical Ubaye which bears its name well: the landscape becomes more and more vertiginous as you make headway from ladders to footbridges and zip-lines. Be ready for the adrenalin burst when you reach the cliff! But despite all this, your whole family is welcome and the course is accessible from age 12. With Marc Casali, the via ferrata winds its way underground in the middle of the Dévoluy. Make your way through a world of rocks and water and discover out-of-the-ordinary thrills. And last but not least, tackle the via ferrata des Comtes Lascaris above Tende. The ideal course for beginners on monkey bridges and Himalayan bridges.

Mountain biking along the trails to meet the peaks

Strengthening your calf muscles between mountains and valleys

Could the Fat tracks du Seignus be the new “in” mount to visit the Southern French Alps and the Val d’Allos? For a half or whole day outing, gear up for an athletic mountain bike excursion on the steep paths. Make the most of the pleasure of sport and the mountains with Pierre, a qualified instructor. Head for Les Orres; Horizons Tout Terrain has several choices of outings from the Queyras to Serre-Ponçon, by bike or electric bike! And for added thrills, take a ride on the Roubion Bike Park chairlift before hurtling down the runs at top speed. Follow your chosen circuit in complete freedom, there are circuits for all tastes and levels.

Walking in the open air and spelunking in the Southern French Alps

Hikes above and below ground

Off to the Vallée de la Blanche where Clément is waiting. On the menu: unusual hikes towards the Massif des Monges, the Ubaye and even the Lake of Serre-Ponçon. On the water or in the dead of night, the landscape and the sensations are different each time, but you’re sure to leave with stars in your eyes! Exploring the Dévoluy with Marc is a timeless experience, through caves and cavities on what has been called a “via souterrata” course. Lou Païs takes you to the spelunking lands of the Alpes-Maritimes. An adventure 45 metres underground in the Parc de la Moulière, ideal for “connecting with nature”.

Paragliding for a real breath of fresh air at high altitude

Take to the sky and have your breath taken away by the beauty of the panorama

For those of you who love thrill-filled activities, get your adrenalin burst in a memorable paragliding session high above the Alpine peaks. Seen from the sky, nature is even more beautiful and one flight alone will have you convinced. Rendez-vous at the Belvéd’air school for a colourful session over the lake of Serre-Ponçon and the peaks of Haute-Provence. Guillaume will be with you throughout this experience and all you have to do is enjoy the feeling of freedom to the full. Near Briançon, fly up high and look down over the valley of Serre-Chevalier with Origin’Air . From maiden flight to more technical flights, the team will keep you safe so that you can enjoy this out-of-the-ordinary adventure! And to share the pleasure, Imagin’air takes you off to touch the Mercantour and admire the exceptional view of the valley and the sea… not so far away!