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Family Alpine Sports Holiday Guide

About Alpine Sports Holidays - Holiday Companies
Family Alpine Sports Holidays

If you have never thought of visiting the Alps in summer, then think again. With activities ranging from the obvious such as hiking and mountain biking to the more exhilarating paragliding and white water rafting - the Alps are a paradise for active families in the summer. There are a whole host of activities to be enjoyed together as a family such as hiking, biking, abseiling and swimming in mountain lakes. Many of the Alpine resorts also have adventure parks with activities such as tree top obstacle courses and open-air trampolines to enjoy.

Types of Alpine Sports Holiday

Many of the ski tour operators have now started to provide summer alpine sports holidays using the same chalet and hotel accommodation. Comprehensive childcare and childrens’ clubs are often provided as part of the package. There are also companies offering a more personal service, maybe just operating from one or two chalets in a single resort. Childcare is often available at the accommodation or in the resort.

Age Ranges

Children of any age are able to go on a holiday to the Alps. There are minimum age restrictions for the different activities, but you will be surprised at the number of activities that can be enjoyed together as a family.

Alpine Activities

For those less obvious Alpine activities, here is an explanation of what is involved:

> Abseiling – Descending steep and near vertical rock faces using a rope and specialist climbing equipment to control your descent.
> Canyoning/Gorge Walking – This activity is not for the faint hearted. Canyoning is jumping, sliding, swimming and abseiling your way down a river gorge. Participants get fully kitted out in wetsuits, helmets and lifejackets before they set off.
> Donkey/Pony Trekking – The donkey or pony can carry your child and luggage whilst adults lead the way.
> Grass Skiing – Skiing using specially designed skis with caterpillar tracks for skiing on grass.
> High Ropes – Participants negotiate a treetop adventure course involving zip lines, cable bridges and giant ladders.
> Hydrospeeding – Participants use a short surfboard to float and swim down a fast flowing river. Helmets, wetsuits and flippers are worn.
> Mountainboarding – A mountain board is like a snowboard with large sturdy wheels. Participants wear helmets and kneepads and descend a hill in a similar fashion to a snowboarder.
> Paragliding – This involves running off the top of a mountain pulling a specially constructed piece of lightweight material, rather like a large kite, behind you. As you run, a canopy opens up above your head and you will be flying. It is possible to do a tandem paraglide with an instructor at the controls or to learn the basics for yourself in under a week.
> Rock Climbing – Climbing steep and near vertical rock faces using specialist climbing equipment and attached to ropes to break your fall if needed.
> Scrambling – Climbing low level rock climbs using specialist climbing ropes where required.
> Tubing – Floating lazily down a river in a large inflatable tube or ring.
> White water rafting – This involves paddling down river in a large inflatable boat taking up to 8 participants. You bump and glide your way along the natural course of the river and then work hard on the rapids. You will be kitted out in wetsuits, helmets and lifejackets.
Alpine Sports Gear
You will need a good pair of walking boots if hiking is your thing. Other specialist equipment such as wetsuits and helmets is provided by the activity companies.

If you are keen walkers or mountain bikers, be sure to invest in a lift pass. Chairlifts and telecabines usually operate in the summer, allowing you access to the higher mountain walks and cycle trails.

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