The French Alps are world famous for their winter ski holidays but they offer plenty of options for summer holidays too. Whether you’re interested in leisurely pass times such as sightseeing and spas or looking for adrenalin fuelled adventure you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.
There is something innately pleasing with looking at mountains and the surrounding vistas, come to the French Alps in the summer and you’ll discover an amazing landscape criss-crossed by well signposted walking trails. Local tourist offices will be able to advise on walking in their areas, and offer suggestions regarding levels of difficulty. Most ski resorts will have some of their lifts running over the busy summer months, so as long as you have a head for heights you can ride to the top of the mountain to take in the sights without the leg work.
Early summer is when the mountain flowers are out in bloom, with whole meadows full of different flowers. After enjoying the visas on offer why not continue the relaxation by heading to one of many mountain spas which are dotted through the Alps, enjoy bathing in a thermally heated outdoor pool whilst gazing at the surrounding mountains or even treat yourself to a massage.
But if relaxation is not what you’re looking for then the Alps can provide too.
Mountain biking or VTT as the French call it is incredibly popular nowadays with most ski resorts spending quite a lot of effort in creating specialist biking trails across their areas with up lifts provided by their excellent ski lifts.
Road biking is also very popular in France the home of Le Tour, one of the biggest and most demanding road bike races in the world. If you like getting dressed in Lycra and cycling up big hills then Alps has plenty to offer, there are several specialist cycle tour companies who will take you on mini-Tours to ride some of the famous stages of the Tour de France.
Paragliding is certainly not for everyone, but is increasing in popularity and there are many places throughout the Alps with flying schools to teach all levels of students. In popular areas its common to see groups of 20-30 people flying at once, and all schools will offer tandem flights if you want to experience the thrill without taking your life into your own hands.
Rock climbing is quite a specialised hobby, but throughout the Alps you’ll find Via Ferratas which are routes up a mountain that have been equipped with fixed cables and metal ladders to enable non-climbers to experience a climbing route. It is necessary to use a special harness and a helmet, there are many activity companies offering guides and equipment hire. It’s a relatively safe way to experience the thrill and exposure of mountain climbing.
White water rafting is a family friendly activity which is on offer throughout the Alps, a great way to spend the afternoon and guaranteed a few laughs along the way.
There are many, many great options available in the French Alps to have a truly memorable summer holiday.
This post is bought to you by Adam Dinsdale, owner of a ski chalet in the ski resort of Chatel, part of the Portes du Soleil ski domain.
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