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7 unusual ways to experience the mountains as a family

Defy the rules of the day and ski at twilight, hit the snowy mountain on horseback, slip into the shoes of a musher: try something out of the ordinary. This year, your challenge – should you choose to accept it – is to trade your traditional mountain activities and your carefully prepped schedule to dig into at least one of these seven proposals.
Eat Savoyard fondue in a gondola in Méribel

Sitting in a cosy suspended decor, hardcore cheese lovers can enjoy a ‘telefondue’ in one of the gondola lifts at the family resort of Méribel (External link) – accompanied by a range of charcuterie and AOC white wine (just for the parents, of course). This ‘dinner in the air’ takes in ever-changing 360° views over the valley under a starry sky. The evening takes place in three stages: after meeting in a giant igloo, you proceed for an apéritif in a soup bar before boarding for the panoramic gondola experience. Back on the ground, you finish with a sweet treat at the Sapin Bar.

Get off the mountain on horseback in Pralognan-la-Vanoise

Just as Hugues Aufray says in his beloved song, getting off the mountain on horseback is indeed possible. And it’s best with family. The resort of Pralognan-la-Vanoise in Savoie offers rides on horseback or pony (External link), ranging from one hour to a whole day. Set out with your family from Ancolie Ranch, where horses, a passionate team and an authentic setting rub shoulders, and enjoy the sweet perfumes of the region, surrounded by the majestic landscape of the Vanoise.

Jump in the air aboard a sledge buoy in Les Arcs 1800
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Warning: for adventurous families only! Hot off the press this winter is L’Air Tubing (External link), one of the new attractions to try at the Arcs 1800 snowpark. The principle: sit in a buoy, hit the track and fly away from an obstacle, then fall back on a giant airbag. To celebrate the novelty, the activity will be free during February half-term. Pedestrian access is available from the Villards gondola.

Ski at twilight in L’Alpe d’Huez

Twilight is that magical time of day when the sun fades and gives way to the moon. While most ski resorts close their lifts at 16:30, Alpe d’Huez stands out by offering nature lovers the chance to ski for longer. From the foot of the Herpie (2,712m), you can ski for two more hours under the first stars to reach the summit, facing the Grandes Rousses. Once at the top, watch the colours change over the valley – a full-fledged nature show. Find out more about hiking and booking (External link).

Lounge in a hot tub under the stars

At the Centre Balnéa (External link) close to the resort of Peyragudes (External link), it’s now possible to take a ‘musical bath’ under the stars. Nestled in the Réserve Internationale de Ciel Etoilé in the Pic du Midi, the place directly overlooks the Pyrenean mountains. Relax in the open-air bath, raise your head to the sky and watch the sunset and the emergence of the stars. A moment as magical as it is soothing – and perfect to enjoy with the family (children permitted from 12 years and over).

Meet dog sledders in the Jura

Who hasn’t dreamed of slipping into the shoes of a famous dog sledder and gliding along the snow at the heart of nature? With its bright valleys and forests preserved as far as the eye can see, there are few better places to do it than in Croc-Blanc in the Jura. For a day or a weekend, learn to drive a team of dogs through the peaks with the family. The Jura offers children an immersion with four-legged friends, learning pack life and participating in their mealtimes. Just choose your favourite musher (External link)!
Find out more about skiing in the Jura. (External link)

Snowshoe among the fir trees in the Vosges

Known as ‘the pearl of the Vosges’, the Domaine de Gérardmer is ideal for strolling as a family among the fir trees and alongside its typical chalets, and relaxing at the lake’s edge. There are many trails dedicated to snowshoeing, sometimes in places usually inaccessible on foot. Three spaces are available: the Mauselaine, Xonrupt and the Bas-Rupts. Children as young as three can still enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, thanks to specially adapted walks. It’s up to you to choose your snowshoe hike!
Find out more about the Vosges mountains. (External link)