10 August 2019 from Danielle in Ski areas | 0 Comments

If you find yourself pining after the Alps in summer, you're not alone. Every true skier and snowboarder can relate to the frustrating wait for winter, when it seems like the useless summer will never end! And while other people are content to go to the beach or on a city trip, you know it's not the same. There's just something about the mountains that calls to you. But there is a solution: visiting the Alps in summer! In the last century we've invented plenty of adrenaline-filled sports to keep us busy, even in sunny and warm weather. I know, it sounds crazy! The best part is that apart from the snow, everything you miss about the Alps is still there: the sense of community, the incredible views, the delicious food in the quaint mountain huts... It's like ski season! (only, without skiing...). Here are 10 of our favourite summertime activities in the Alps. Bet you'll love them too!

Mountain biking

More and more skiers are discovering the joys of mountain biking during the long summer months as we wait for ski season to begin again. You might have noticed some snow-covered mountain biking trails on your ski holidays last winter. Well, in the summer, you can take the very same lifts up the mountain and explore these trails for yourself! Mountain biking is 100% adrenaline, just like skiing and snowboarding, and the cardio and balance training will even help you prepare for ski season. As ski resorts transition to a summer-oriented offering in hopes of boosting business all year long, mountain biking trails are one of the first things they install. There's a pretty good chance your favourite ski resort already has all the mountain biking infrastructure set up.

Mountain biking in Soelden
You can go mountain biking in the summer at Sölden

Stand-up paddling

Stand-up paddling is amazing for your core muscles, which is helpful for skiing and snowboarding. But it's also a great sport in its own right. If you've ever wished you could slow down and actually enjoy the alpine views instead of whizzing down the pistes at breakneck speed, stand-up paddling might be your ticket. Easy to learn and one of the best ways to relax in the mountains in summer, there's a reason stand-up paddling is becoming increasingly popular!

Via ferrata

Via ferratas took the Dolomites by storm a few years ago and have enjoyed an astronomical surge of popularity since then, with via ferratas routes cropping up all over the world. Italian for "iron way", a via ferrata is a cross between hiking and mountain climbing, where you strap onto a cord and scramble your way over the mountains. It's a great introduction to alpinism and a wonderful way to conquer your fear of heights!

via ferrata savoie mont blanc
Tackling a via ferrata in the Savoie Mont Blanc

Ziplining

Not quite up for skydiving yet, but looking for a way to get your heart pumping and your adrenaline levels up? Ziplining ticks all the boxes. Ziplining is also possible in the winter in many ski resorts, but the views are just as spectacular in summer. Definitely an adventure sport to try at least once in your lifetime!

Skydiving

Nothing beats the thrill of skydiving - just look at that huge grin! That adrenaline spike as you jump out of the airplane, followed by a strange calmness as you float above the mountains, with a bird's-eye view of the beautiful nature down below... is there any better feeling in the world? This is definitely one sport for which you'll need a head for heights, though. Are you brave enough?

skydiving achensee
Skydiving in Achensee

Paragliding

For a slightly more relaxed version of flying, you can try paragliding, which you can more or less control along with the currents of wind. You'll have seen many people paragliding over the ski areas in the winter, but this is another sport that's just as fun in the summer months. Better, even, because you don't have to take time out of your ski holiday to do it!

Hill walking

Whether in winter or summer, hill walking is a lovely way to explore the environment and get back to nature. And the good news is, you don't even need to go all the way to the Alps to do it - there are some breathtaking views right here in our very own Cairngorms! As a bonus, finding these patches of snow at higher altitudes will help you get your stoke on for ski season!

Hill walking in Cairngorms
Hill walking in the Cairngorms

Waterskiing

The sport of waterskiing was developed throughout the 1920's by various American skiers who just couldn't wait the whole winter to get back on their skis. Its close cousin, wakeboarding, was developed half a century later by surfers who had a similar problem with the calm water. Nowadays, there are plenty of places to practise waterskiing in the Alps. It takes a bit to get used to the sensation but once you do, it's amazing! 

Kayaking

If stand-up paddling is too slow for you, kayaking is the way to go. This sport gives you total liberty to explore the lakes of the Alps on your own terms and at your own speed while enjoying the views around you. It's also a great workout for your core and arm muscles - especially useful for snowboarders or for newbies who will be using their arm muscles lots to get themselves off the ground after a fall!

kayaking achensee
Kayaking is a wonderful way to disconnect from it all

Windsurfing

The alpine lakes might be a bit calm for real surfing, but windsurfing is a great alternative! In learning how to steer your board following the whims of the air currents, you'll feel like you really connect to the nature around you. It's just you, your board, the wind and the water. And you can definitely count on some mini adrenaline rushes on windy days! 

windsurfing achensee
Windsurfing is challenging at first but very rewarding when you get the hang of it!

What's your favourite summer activity in the Alps?

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Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!

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