Summer Activities in La Tania

If you ask people who live here, or have a chalet, most will tell you that they prefer the summer to the winter. The weather is usually lovely, surprisingly hot, and there are more activities for the whole family to do than can be attempted in only a week. 

If your family likes to be active rather than sitting on a beach, a week in the chalet could be the thing for you – white water rafting, canyoning, via ferrata (safe mountaineering), mountain biking (VTT), hiking, road biking, tennis, golf, swimming, or visiting local villages and markets, lakes etc. – and then coming back to bake on our terrace before having a BBQ.

Mountain biking

You take the chairlifts and gondolas, some of which are open in the summer to the top of pisted runs to bike down – with pistes signed and graded in difficulty just like in the winter. 

There are maps showing VTT trails of differing difficulty in La Tania, Courchevel and Meribel. We have a bike carrier to attach to the car, and cycling accessories, pump etc.. and 10 sets of helmets, and knee and elbow pads.  These must be used! I particularly enjoy the run from Courchevel down to La Tania. A relatively easy one to start is a twenty minute ride from the top of the La Tania bubble back to the chalet. Take water – its hot, hard work! 

Please remember you are high in the mountains and the weather can change rapidly, and you should carry a rucksack with provisions, raingear, medical stuff (pack in chalet) for grazes etc. We find talking the chalet Motorola walkie-talkies very useful. An easy family start is to take La Tania gondola (with bikes) up to the Bouc Blanc restaurant for lunch, and have a fairly easy 30 minute ride back to the chalet through the trees. Bikes can be prepared, or additional bikes hired from Flavien Carrieu (06 14 35 94 11) in the centre of La Tania. He also organises fantastic VTT tours – ask him about them. 

Tennis

Free. The court is 100m from the chalet – tickets and key are available from the tourist office. You can book one day in advance only.  The Tourist Office opens at 9.00am. We normally book as we buy the bread in the morning. There are 4 tennis rackets and balls at the chalet for your use. Please replace the balls for the next guests if these are worn out/used. The Kids can walkie-talkie to the chalet. The keys are passed from group to group hour by hour.  You can contact the Office du Tourisme on 04 79 08 40 40

Quad bike scrambling. 

This departs from the car park on the left as one comes into La Tania, and takes place on the trails below La Tania.  Good fun! Kids can’t drive, but perch on the back. 06 81 10 77 61

Hiking

We particularly recommend a walk around La Rosiere – Cascades des Poux, to the left of Courchevel 1650 in the Vanoise National Park. Trail maps are available from the tourist offices in each village. Good boots are advised; also, remember you are high in the mountains and the weather can change rapidly. You should carry a rucksack with provisions, raingear etc.

A second great walk is a day hike (3 hrs out, 3 hours back with small children) with lunch at the “refuge du soul”. The walk starts at the from the car park at the top of Mottaret, and then veers left after passing the Lake du Tueda. Alternatively, you can stay at the refuge overnight.

A third walk is in the remote terrain above Chapieux, where there is a good auberge for lunch/overnight – Auberge de Nova. This is around 1 hour’s pretty drive away. You drive back down to Moutiers, turn left to Bourge St Maurice (you pass one of the main rafting centres).  Once in Bourge St Mourice, take left off second roundabout signposted Cormot en Roselend.  There is a pretty 16kn steep drive up to Chapieux. This year, Gina is working at the auberge and can tell you where to walk/climb. This is towards Mont Blanc.  

Horseriding

For all standards.  On the left just before Le Praz. There is a good 4 hour ride up to Courchevel. You need to book.  Some horses are a bit useless. Tel:  06 08 77 84 72. There is also horse-riding available above Meribel, two minutes out on the road up to Mottaret.

Lifts  

La Tania lift opens on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Others open daily.

Swimming pool

Just below the chalet in the middle of La Tania.

Canyoning 

Fantastic. Sounds barmy, but everyone enjoys it. Located on the other side of Moutiers off Albertville road. You should book as guides Olivier/Anne Houillot on 04 79 08 00 87. You climb up a ravine and then abseil down waterfalls, and slide down the river over smooth rocks and into deep pools. All safety kit is provided.    

White water rafting

White water rafting is simply a must!  There are Two different rivers to choose from. Booking for both can be made at the Tourist Office. 

The nearest departs from just above Moutiers on the road up the mountain – 15 minutes away. The other trip involves a 20-minute bus ride from the departure point in the smelly suits, but the rafting is fantastic. However, on this one, kids under 14 are allowed to participate in the first half only, but are taken off the raft and join the adults at the end of the trip. Tel: Chardon Loisirs 04 79 24 08 84

Fishing

Maps showing fishing locations are available from the tourist offices in each village. The lake at Le Praz seems popular, and is only five minutes away.

Paragliding

Another must!  All ages. Tickets from under Le Praz gondola – glides from Courcheval to centre of Bozel – one adult needs to take car to Bozel to pick up the fliers. Air Extreme – 04 79 08 00 87

Via ferrata

via ferrata (Italian for "iron road") is a protected climbing route in the Alps. The essence of a modern via ferrata is a steel cable which runs along the route and is periodically fixed to the rock.

Safe mountaineering for all, attached to wire fixed lines. Maps are available from the tourist offices in each village. This is great fun for all – and not as dangerous as it sounds. We know the guides - Anne and Olivier Huillot very well – mention Mark’s name. The beginner’s route takes 2 hours above Lac Rosiere, on the far side of Courchevel 1650 – a 15 minute drive away. Kids from 5 upwards can do it, although it scary for all! Costs around €30 per person. Call Anna and/or Olivier on 04 79 08 39 58.

Kids and adults’ grass scooters

In the centre of Mottaret (above Meribel) there are a variety of fun scooters to hire which get towed up on poma lifts, and then you hurtle down – great fun for all the family! This costs around €8.50 for half and hour’s fun – about 10 rides. 

Drives

There are very pleasant drives along the valley past Bozel, and via Bozel across the other side of the valley down via Champagny-en-Vanoise to Moutiers and then back to La Tania. 

Another nice drive is to Pralongan, about an hour past Bozel. This is great climbing country. Another favourite is to drive via Moutiers up the Val Thorens valley. A good place for lunch is the pretty village of St. Martin de Belleville – this is around three quarters of an hour away. Don’t bother going to Val Thorens – great in winter, but a dump of a lunar landscape in summer. 

Golf

There are courses in Meribel (18 holes) and Courchevel (9 holes). There is one set of clubs in the chalet, along with a second golf bag, for your use.

The Meribel course is next to the altiport and is an excellent course. There is also a FREE putting green and a driving range (2 euros for 36 balls). The club is much less stuffy than in the UK, and a family visit to the range and putting is recommended.

If you are a golfer, you MUST play the Meribel course. It is located way above Meribel. There are signs for it as you come into Meribel from the bottom. Good idea to book 04 79 00 67.

Adventure Course

This is consistently voted the most popular activity by families staying in the chalet.  It is located off to the right about two minutes out of Meribel on the road to Mottaret. It is a pisted (green, blue, red and black) adventure course set high in the trees. All the family can try, although there is a minimum height requirement for sub 10 year old kids. 

Most visitors can’t conquer the black – it therefore stretches the whole family. Takes around 2 hours, and costs around €20 per person depending upon how many pistes you do.  Starts at 9.00pm and good idea to arrive early. No formal booking system.

Moutiers Market

The larger of the two markets takes place on a Tuesday morning in the old town; this has both wonderful food and also a clothes section. A smaller food-only market takes place on a Friday morning. The fruit and vegetables are fantastic. This is well worth a visit. 

Road Biking

This is our new activity.  Do some of the great Tour de France climbs – Madelaine (20 minutes away – 2.5 hours to top), Roseland, Petit Saint Bernard over to Italy etc.  ….   On Wednesday evening’s at 6 there is the weekly road race – 18km, 1200m of non-stop vertical, up to Courchevel – about 60 competitors – just turn up and pay 5 euros.

Alternatively, for the whole family there is the flat cycle track from Albertville to Lake Annecy – 45k each way along the side of Lac Annecy, with great waterside restaurants, 

Or..just relax on the balcony, under an awning… 

Chalet Marc balcony

A Suggested Itinerary For A Week’s Holiday

Saturday

  • Arrive
  • Do local shop in Moutiers on way up mountain. Good butcher in Le Praz down hill.
  • Book events for week direct or via Tourist Office (white water rafting, canyoning, via ferrata)
  • Tennis in evening

Sunday

  • Hire/take bikes up La Tania gondola to Bouc Blanc for lunch. Ride or walk back to chalet – (30 mins) – everyone.  More challenging VTT can be done later in week.
  • Play around in Mottaret in afternoon – grass go-karts good fun (1 hour)

Monday

  • Moutiers market early in morning.      
  • Go to adventure park above Meribel later in morning – 2 hours
  • Horse-riding in afternoon from either Meribel or below La Tania
  • Tennis in evening

Tuesday

  • Canyoning or white water rafting in morning – whole morning
  • Picnic lunch at La Rosiere lake (other side of 1650)
  • Via Ferrata in afternoon, also at La Rosiere (2 hours).
  • Pizza meal out at La Cortona in 1550, or L’Eterlou in 1650

Wednesday

  • 9 or 18 holes of golf in morning (2-4 hours)
  • Lunch on terrace at Le Blanchot restaurant – 04 79 00 55 78
  • Take bikes to Couchevel up Verdons lift, and long bike ride back to chalet via 1850 in afternoon (2 hours)

Thursday

  • La Tueda walk (see things to do above) above Mottaret.  Lunch at refuge –  (6 hours)

Friday

  • Road biking - Albertvlle to Annecy and return; lunch at lakeside restaurant – can park and start ride further up the track (eg. Ugine) if want to do a shorter ride. But it is FLAT. 
  • Evening: Go paragliding.  (1 hour)
  • Meal out at Le Bistrot du Praz – let Remy (owner) know in advance

Saturday

  • Pack up and go home (for a rest). 
  • Book for next year!

 

Links

Brides Les Bains
Courchevel
La Tania
Les Menuires
Meribel
Orelle
Saint Martin
Val Thorens