Spotlight on tobogganing!
Ski resorts are fully aware that not all their guests are skiers and that a classic toboggan ride is a wonderful part of any family holiday in the snow. Most resorts have a dedicated and safe area for tobogganing protected by inflatable barriers, while some of our ski destinations have gone the extra mile, creating unique attractions to thrill children and adults alike!
Les Gets: a tobogganing zone divided into two"Juniors" have their own dedicated tobogganing area next to the Le Vieux Chêne drag lift in the heart of this resort, which is a member of the Portes du Soleil association, while the "6 and overs" can descend that little bit quicker on a steeper slope in Les Perrières (at the main entrance to the ski area) - by splitting the area in two the risk of collision is somewhat reduced! The next stage up for youngsters aged 5-12 on skis is the Le Grand Cry area (free admission included in your lift pass), a fun area with special decor, sound effects and leaders disguised as Red Indians who will be more than happy to make up youngsters in typical Sioux face paint - a fun activity with a difference!
Villard-de-Lans & Corrençon: a passion for tobogganing!Located close to the center of the village and away from the ski area to which it is linked via an easy run, the Colline des Bains has developed into a dedicated "toboggan park." Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult and there is a small admission fee (between 2 and 8 euros depending on age and the time spent here) as this huge area has been specially adapted and kitted out with several uphill conveyor belts and a ski tow. Toboggans can also be hired on site (1€) and the choice of options here is huge. - The Grande Piste has a 12% slope with bumps and banked turns for youngsters building up a head of steam. The "Boarder" almost resembles a miniature bobsleigh run, while the bigger "Double Boarder" is guaranteed to add that competitive edge between friends. The "Toboggan" run is only for luges fitted with brakes! The whole area is perfectly safe and provides wonderful family fun to the backdrop of the stunning Massif du Vercors, a mountain "on a human scale."
Val Thorens: sensational tobogganing!Not content with its reputation as Europe's highest ski village (at an altitude of 2,300m) and as a star resort with top-class facilities at the heart of the 3 Vallées, Val Thorens' exhilarating and challenging tobogganing facilities are now setting the standard. These include a tobogganing track stretching a record 6km from the Péclet area (at an altitude of 3,000m), which is specially maintained and protected and accessible to the over-8s (children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult on their toboggan). An entry fee is payable to ride this superb run (12€ per day, plus a ski pass to ride the Funitel cable car), with equipment (toboggan, helmet) available to rent on site. For evening descents (three times a week) you'll also need a headlight! This unique track is also the venue for a fun and festive event: the Val Thorens Luge Cup, scheduled to take place on April 14, 2010. A great atmosphere is guaranteed!
Orcières 1850 (French only): the snake gliss - the more the merrier!A special feature of this sunny ski resort in the Hautes-Alpes is the "luge train," a serpent-like articulated toboggan made up of between 2 and 20 seats that hurtles down the slopes in snake-like fashion, with fun and laughter all along the way!
Vars: snow tubing - an inflated sense of fun! This Hautes-Alpes resort which, along with Risoul, forms the Forêt Blanche ski area, is home to this fun and acrobatic activity involving "tobogganing" on a giant inflatable rubber ring along a specially created 100m-long track with several raised banks and small bumps. Suitable for ages 4 and over, snow tubes (7€ for 30min) can reach speeds of up to 40km with adults on board!
La Plagne: the bobsleigh - Olympic-style adrenalin!For high-speed thrills why not head to La Plagne, the largest resort in the Tarentaise, and part of the Paradiski area. The ultimate in winter sports, this team activity involves a well-protected "bob-raft" hurtling along a tube of ice used as the bobsleigh track in the 1992 Winter Olympics (it might be used again if Annecy is awarded the 2018 Winter Games!). The bob-raft is the "fun" version of a competition bobsleigh, a self-guided and self-braking machine that can reach speeds of up to 80km/hr along a whirlwind 90-second descent on a run with a dozen or so raised bends. The "pilot-less" sleigh takes 4 passengers (minimum height requirement: 1.30m) and as such can be an adventure for adrenalin-seeking families! Prices for this spectacular activity (helmet provided): 38€ per person or 112€ per family.
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