Adventures in the Alps with Wheeled World

Inspiration

Alps - Mont BlancNature and Outdoor ActivitiesSporting Activities

Aix-les-Bains, dans les Alpes
© Wheeled World - Aix-les-Bains, dans les Alpes

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 25 September 2023, updated on 16 April 2024

Think you can't experience the Alps in a wheelchair? Think again. In summer, waterfalls erupt from the peaks and flow down into stunning turquoise lakes. Take a look at these magical places and activities that are all surprisingly accessible.

Rafting and biking in Samoëns

At the edge of the mountains close to the Swiss border, the village of Samoëns is a great place for outdoor adventures. The River Giffre rushes past, laden with water from the snowy peaks above, and white-water rafting trips are accessible to all - including wheelchair users. The waters will take you wherever they want - but your guide keeps you on course. With the landscape passing by at full speed, it's an invigorating experience!

If you're not keen on water, head to the forest of the Col de Joux Plane for a mountain bike and FTT (all-terrain wheelchair) descent to remember. Branches crack and stones rumble under your wheels as you whizz down.

Back in the village at the foot of the Criou, you'll be ready for a fondue after all that adrenaline!

Visit Samoëns

Chamonix - At the foot of the giants

The capital of mountaineering... In summer, the sound of ski boots on the ground is replaced by that of crampons. Poles are swapped for ice axes. Here, everyone can climb their own summit. No summit is too big or too small. It takes willpower and determination to get what you want, and mountaineers are the perfect example. Once they have their objective in mind, they study it, communicate with it to understand it better and approach it in the best possible way.

From the Aiguille du Midi, these adventurers can be seen following in the footsteps of their predecessors. They cross the Vallée Blanche, ski down the great verticals, set off towards Mont Blanc... At the top of this rocky peak, the terraces reveal surprises at every turn: a climber returns from the Cosmiques and finds himself face to face with you, a roped party sets off on the ridge below. Two worlds rubbing shoulders with the same passion: the mountains, with the importance of preserving them always in the back of your mind. Before heading back down, we dare to take a step into the void in a glass cage suspended above a 1,000 metre sheer drop. A rush of adrenalin washes over us... and what if we tried the impossible next time?

Chamonix

Annecy - Sport comes first

Ruelles d'Annecy
© Wheeled World - Ruelles d'Annecy

As often as possible, we try to give pride of place to a slower mode of travel. To get to Annecy from Chamonix, get off the motorway and discover the legendary resorts of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Megève and La Clusaz in a whole new light. They live at 100 miles an hour in winter, but in summer, they live to the rhythm of the cows on their way to the mountain pastures. The herds are close together and their bells echo through the mountain.

In Megève, thread your way through the chalets to reach Lac de Javen. Surrounded by stationary ski lifts, it offers a wonderful spot for a picnic between hikes.

Further along the road, the Col des Aravis takes you towards Annecy and its lake, where the hustle and bustle of the city is suddenly apparent. In the early hours of the morning, when the café terraces aren't yet open, there's not a cat in sight in the narrow streets of the old town, and you'll enjoy gazing out over the lake from the Pâquier. If you're a sports fan, there's plenty to do here: cycling, paddle-boarding, water-skiing, running, hiking and skiing. Whether on the banks of the lake or on the heights of the Semnoz, you'll find what you're looking for.

Annecy Megève

Aix-les-Bains Riviera des Alpes - A wellness break

Aix-les-Bains, dans les Alpes.
© Wheeled World - Aix-les-Bains, dans les Alpes.

We end our Alpine discovery tour on the shores of France's largest natural lake, Lac du Bourget. This spa town owes its fame to two hot springs drawn from a depth of over 1,000 metres. The benefits of these springs, acclaimed by Queen Victoria in the 19th century, are still highly prized today. Gentle activities are essential if you want to be in tune with your body and mind. Start by relaxing in the Chevalley thermal baths before heading to the Jardin Vagabond for a session of meditation and sylvotherapy. Regain control of your breathing to the sound of rustling leaves in the wind. Finally, stop off on the north shore of the lake to discover Hautecombe Abbey - you won't be disappointed.

These few days in the Alps allowed us to rediscover the joys of mountain adventure. A destination that seemed rather impractical, but which turns out to be a limitless playground once you've got the right equipment and the right team-mates!

Aix-les-Bains Riviera des Alpes

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