About Summer Activities in Val d'Isere
Whatever you choose to do on your summer holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Val d'Isere area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in Val d'Isere. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
Archery is one of those sports that people all ages love to try. There are a number of places near Val d'Isere to practice archery and become the Robin Hood of the Alps. They will provide you with bow and arrows.
The modern sports centre in Val d'Isere has a multi-activity sports hall where you can play badminton.
Facilities to practice basketball are available at the multi-activity sports hall in the sports centre at Val d'Isere
Canoeing / Kayaking
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.
A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day! You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about 8 can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids. You can choose from short beginners’ routes or longer ones for the more adventurous.
Different companies will have their own policies on age limits but usually, unless they are booked onto a children's activity course, anyone under the age of about 14 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult. A basic level of swimming ability is required for safety reasons. There are a number of adventure companies that offer guided descents down the local waterways.
Catch the latest films and releases in Val d'Isere on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Val d'Isere offers challenging mountain roads where to cycle while enjoying the stunning scenery. However, riding in the Alps is much more demanding than your favourite local route back in the UK. The roads around Val d'Isere are the setting for some of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France but they can be tackled by enthusiasts as well as professionals. To gain the most from your riding in the area it goes without saying you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. You do not need to be a super man or woman but the ability to ride comfortably for up to 3-4 hours in the UK should see you enjoy the mountain routes.
Also see: Cycling in Val d'Isere
Experience the beautiful mountain scenery with these lovely gentle animals. Guides will take you on a donkey trek around Val d'Isere giving you an opportunity to explore the Val d'Isere mountains in a fun and different way. The perfect activity for children as these timid animals take you on a journey through the mountain terrain.
Take the family into the Manchet valley and discover the Ferme de l'Adroit. It's open in summer and winter, and you can buy some of the delicious cheeses they produce on site.
If you fancy a spot of fishing whilst in Val d'Isere then there are a few local and nearby lakes where you can catch some fish and enjoy the Alpine scenery. There are many altitude lakes in the area and a multitude of small rivers near Val d'Isere. Some of the most famous are the l'Ouillette or the La Sassière Lakes, perfect for trout fishing. You must, however, ensure that you have the correct fishing permit and are aware of the local fishing regulations.
The modern sports centre in Val d'Isere has a multi-activity sports hall where you can play indoor football.
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Val d'Isere!. It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
For a truly unique experience, clamp on your crampons and go hiking on one of the Espace Killy’s Grand Motte or Pissaillas glaciers. The breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses make this an incredible adventure. There are a number of glacial hikes, of varying difficulty, in this region of the Alps. Most mountain guiding companies will run organised excursions to the most accessible.
To read more about glaciers and the environment please go to our Glacier Meltdown article.
Val d'Isere's sports centre features a modern golf simulator where you can work on your swing whatever the weather!
Gym / Fitness centres
A public gym & fitness classes can be found at the main sports centre in Val d'Isere. It comprises 320 m2 of weights and cardio equipment.
A number of companies offer helicopter tours over the mountains of Val d'Isere. Take to the skies and see the resort from a totally different perspective!
Hydro speeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river!. Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids!
This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting, but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down white water rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves.
There's plenty of protection from the icy water elements as you'll be given a wetsuit, safety helmet and flippers. You will need to bring a towel, swim wear and if you wear glasses, a cord to keep them on. Guides will brief you with a safety demonstration at the beginning and there’s a vehicle to meet you at the end of the rapids that will shuttle you back to your starting destination.
If you don't fancy climbing outdoors, or you're new to climbing and want to give it a go in an indoor centre, then Val d'Isere has somewhere for you to go. The sports centre has 7 routes graded from 5a to 6c on its 12-metres vertical indoor climbing wall. Climbing equipment is normally provided, or you can bring your own and insurance is normally needed before you hit the climbing wall.
Val d'Isere is a Mecca for mountain biking, with varying terrain and fantastic views it is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. With the whole of the mountain area to explore, Val d'Isere is definitely a great place for biking as the different and varied terrains suit bikers of all levels. Whether you enjoy a leisurely cycle around some of the lower level trails, or a day's hardcore downhill mountain is more your ‘thang’, Val d'Isere definitely has something to suit all tastes.
Also see: Mountain Biking in Val d'Isere
There are a number of companies who can take you mountaineering in both summer and winter, from local guides to ski schools and activity companies.
Museums & Galleries
If you want to know more about the region of Val d'Isere and its history, head to the Musée Val d'Histoire, located in the heart of the resort.
Nature Reserves & Parks
The Vanoise National Park is located in the heart of the Savoie region. Created in 1963, it was the first French national park and it covers a large territory where you can find a stunning mountain landscape with lakes, and beautiful vegetation. It is also well-known for its population of Alpine ibex, as well as many other animals like chamois, marmots and more than 100 species of birds.
If you are looking for a fun filled group activity then Val d'Isere can provide just that with its paintballing course. Paintballing is a game where two teams play against each other to try and get the scarf located in the middle of the course without getting hit by a paintball from the opposing team.
Paragliding / Parapenting
If you’ve never tried paragliding before (or maybe you’re not entirely sure what it is!) then Val d'Isere is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France, today there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to get you flying.
Val d'Isere is a great place rock climbing for both beginners and experienced climbers. Experienced climbers can tackle the mountain side rock and enjoy the fantastic views (just make sure you have all the right gear and safety equipment). For beginners there are a number of adventure companies or mountain guides who can take you out on your first climb and show you the 'ropes'! Learn all the technique and skills in the safe hands of a well-trained mountain guide. Climbing is also a great activity for all the family, just check with the guide beforehand what their minimum age is.
Taking the scenic route is a good option if time is not of the essence or if you’d like to see a bit of the countryside en route. Although what you save in motorway tolls you will lose in time, but driving the back roads can be very rewarding in terms of all the beautiful places and viewpoints you’ll discover.
Many people would not automatically think of Val d'Isere as a place to shop, however, the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports resort, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores, and plenty of shops selling traditional mountain goods.
Spas & massages
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. Unwind, relax and indulge.
In the main sports centre, there are 2 squash courts where you are also able to rent all you need. Alternatively some of the hotels or spas have their own squash courts too.
Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Val d'Isere. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. In summer and winter you should be able to find somewhere to take a dip, so don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts.
There are a couple of places to play tennis in and around Val d'Isere. In Val d'Isere village there is a small sports centre with 2 grass tennis courts which is open from 10:00 to 20:00. The Manchet sport centre is open from 9:00 until 19:30 and has 4 clay courts & 8 grass courts. There is a free shuttle bus to take you there from the centre of Val d'Isere.
Tree-top / Forest adventures
There are a number for children's play areas in Val d'Isere in summer, and one has a zipe wire for some extra thrills.
If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary, then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb.
Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 8, guides can be arranged on request and there are a number of adventure companies who can organise your via ferrata experience.
Beginners can take their first steps at Roc de Tovière, behind the residential buildings in La Daille, where you will find some fairly easy routes on which to find your head for heights. There are more challenging routes at the same site, which leave from the same point but then branch off into longer routes. If you feel like pushing yourself you can try the tougher route 'Via Ferrata des Plates', which leaves from behind the Pierre et Vacances building.
Walking & Hiking
In the summer months Val d'Isere is a mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful Alpine mountains. As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine the mountains make an excellent place to head out on a hike or walk. Walking is the perfect activity for groups, families and friends. Pick from a number of routes ranging in difficulty, from easy child friendly walks to challenging day long hikes. Along the way enjoy the fantastic mountain views, beautiful scenery and wildlife that is normally hidden in the winter months. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more details on hiking in the Alps.
Also see: Walking Routes in Val d'Isere
If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! There are a number of trained guides in resort who will let you experience some of the best white water rafting available in the Alps. From the middle of May until September, the mountain rivers flow furiously as they are fed from the melt waters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three hour adrenaline rush to a full days excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.