Paragliding, Rocking and Eating My Way Through the Alps

Over dinner one evening, a fellow Francophile told me about a peculiar party in the French Alps—one that involved skiing, wine and live bands playing rock, reggae and pop on the slopes. I'm a sucker for music festivals and all things French. So yeah, the annual Rock the Pistes music festival, sounded pretty hard to miss. 

Past performers of Rock the Pistes include reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry, Klaxons and Babyshambles with frontman Pete Doherty (formerly of The Libertines). For me, the highlights of the most recent edition of the festival were Belgium's own Selah Sue and London singer-songwriter, Charlie Winston.

The following video shares the best moments of the free, week-long concert series and gives you a sense of what it's like to hang out and party in the snow.

This year's festival takes place from March 14-19 and includes performances by Two Door Cinema Club and Gotthard, among other musicians. 

Portes du Soleil, the ski resort that plays host to Rock the Pistes, is absolutely massive. In fact, it's billed as one of the largest ski areas in the world, encompassing some 400 square miles. So even if you're not a huge festival person, there are plenty of other ways to get your kicks.

I like to live on the edge a bit. Sometimes, that's the edge of a 6,000-foot cliff. 

Paragliding in the French Alps was one of the most memorable things I did last year. The scenery was incredible, and the introductory lesson was a bargain at approximately $83. I'll never forget this moment, and I'm so glad I had a camera on me to capture my first flight. 

There were quite a few other aspects of my trip to the Alps that blew me away. Perhaps most notable was the cuisine. In the Savoy region of France, the key to any winter meal is melted Abondance cheese — and lots of it. Abondance cheese gets its name from its origins in the Abondance (Abundance) Valley and adheres to strict guidelines to make sure that the geographical area, local cheese-making methods and traditional taste are preserved.

If you like melted cheese, you will be eating it several times during your stay (without apologies) and loving every gooey second of it. I am not joking when I tell you that I purchased a fondue set as soon as I returned home.

In this video, I hand-select my favorite things to see and do while vacationing in the Alps. (Hint: Eating lots of cheese is one of them.)

If you ever make it to the French Alps, please be sure to pour out a little fondue for your homegirl.

Skye Mayring is a travel producer and blogger on a mission to visit 100 countries by 2025. Subscribe to her YouTube channel for weekly travel videos or follow her adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat at JoanJetsetter.