Aravis / Sport & Activities

9 activities in the Aravis for the perfect mountain holiday

The Aravis are a great holiday destination to try all sorts of activities outside the pistes. With a wealth of entertainment available all-year-round, you don’t have to be a skier to embrace all that the Aravis region has to offer, including:

  • Escape games
  • Ski joering
  • Paret
  • Bowling
  • Farm visits

And more!

Read on to discover our top 9 things to do in the Aravis while on holiday…

What to do in the Aravis

1. Visit the Local Markets

If you like shopping and tourism, then this is a must for you. Enjoy shopping at the area’s local markets, where you can find everything from fresh produce and charcuterie to pottery and handmade gifts. The markets are held every week at different dates – here are some of the popular ones in the Aravis to try over your holiday:

  • Le Grand-Bornand – Wednesdays, 8h to noon
  • La Clusaz – Mondays, 8h to noon
  • Thônes – Saturdays, 8h to 13h
  • Annecy – Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, 8h to noon

Find out more about the advantages of visiting the local markets in our guide to sustainable ski resorts.

aravis holiday
Discover small local businesses through the various markets in the Aravis.

2. Escape Game

Looking for a fun adventure outside the pistes? Then why not try one of the escape games available in the Aravis!

One of the most popular Escape Games in the area can be found near the centre of La Clusaz. Enter the ‘Oxygene Express’ gondola and work with your group in a series of challenges testing your problem-solving and teamwork skills. Discover their website to find out more.

If you enjoy this type of challenge but don’t feel like heading to La Clusaz for a day out, then don’t worry! There are a number of Escape Games available in ski destinations around the area, including MorzineChamonix and Annecy.

Discover our partner properties in the Aravis


3. Pottery Experience

Join Laurence André at her studio Atelier Polkadot for a creative pottery workshop. Workshops run regularly throughout the season and give a wonderful change of pace to your holiday. During the session, Laurence will guide you through making a collection of special pieces to take home or to give as gifts.

Atelier Polkadot is open year-round for anyone keen to try pottery. Laurence also sells everything she creates; visit her website to discover her collections and learn more about the workshops.

POLKADOT ceramics
The very talented Laurence Andre offers fantastic pottery classes at her workshop in Manigod.

4. Ice Hockey

The Jean-Regis ice rink in Annecy is home to the Annecy Chevaliers Ice Hockey team, a second division team with a lot of talent. If you’ve never experienced an Ice Hockey game before you’re in for a treat, this fast-paced game is an excellent spectator sport!

Tickets are a very reasonable price, so why not grab a bite to eat in town before the match?

You can also see the Aravis recreational hockey team train on Wednesday evenings in La Clusaz.

5. Ski Joëring

If you’re up for a different kind of snowsport, try ski joëring!

Ski joëring (meaning ‘ski driving’) is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, dogs or a motor vehicle. The sport originated in Sweden over 4000 years ago, starting as a means of transportation and slowly developing into a competitive sport.

Aravis Équitation (website in French only) offers equestrian ski joëring tours around La Clusaz. For 60€/horse (or 30€ per person if you’re riding as a duo), tourists can discover the sport in a 30-minute ride around the snow.

The best part is, you don’t have to be an expert skier to get out and give it a try!

aravis holiday
Ski Joering can be done with dogs, horses, or even motor vehicles!

6. Paret Sledging

Come along after the pistes close in various stations across the Aravis to try Paret sledging! Once used by the village children to get to school, now it’s mainly used for fun. The traditional sledge has a single runner and is easy to get to grips with – which makes it a very fun alternative to skiing.

You will find a couple of stations across the Aravis offering free initiations to Paret sledging. Visit the Manigod and Le Grand Bornand’s tourism office websites to find out more!

If you’re up for a challenge, you can even try participating in the Paret Championships held every month in Manigod!

A young child using a paret in Manigod
Paret sledging is a must-try activity that is local to the region!

7. Farm Visits

When on a ski holiday many people forget that they are skiing over cow and goat fields.

The Aravis region is famed for its cheese, so don’t miss out on sampling some! Contact the local tourist offices in La Clusaz, Manigod, Le Grand Bornand or Thônes for details regarding visits to local farms. You can meet the farmers who make the famous Reblochon, and can sample and buy fresh products; also, why not visit the Hameau des Alpes, in La Clusaz, to buy and learn the history behind this famous cheese.

8. Massage

Take time for yourself and spend a moment of relaxation and well-being at one of the spas in the area. There’s a great choice of spas and health centres in the Aravis, perfect for some holiday rest and rejuvenation.

9. Paragliding

Paragliding is one of the most popular sports in the Alps. Take to the skies above the mountains or the lakes and get a perspective like no other of these wintery resorts! 

If you’re in the Aravis get in touch with Activ’Annecy to book your flight or try Airmax Parapente.

Don’t miss the chance to view the snowy mountains of the French Alps from the skies.

Whether you prefer spending your holiday on the pistes or trying out some new activities, you’ll always find plenty to do around the Aravis. For more information, be sure to check out our guide for What’s on in the Aravis this winter.

Heading to the Aravis?

Our partner properties in the area provide the perfect base for your next winter retreat…

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