For most people, when the French Alps come up as a vacation destination, it’s with skiing, snowboarding and the infamous après-ski in mind. However, the French Alps really don’t deserve to be overlooked as a summer destination!
Great Rental Chalets
Chalets aren’t just for curling up by the fire after a day on the slopes. These wooden cabins in the Alps make a great place to spend the summer too. Vacation rentals in France are beautiful homes in which to enjoy the area. As a bonus, rental villas are often cheaper during the off-season summer months, meaning you can usually score a great deal!
Why choose a rented vacation home over a hotel? Well, for starters, not all of the alpine hotels stay open during the summer months. Furthermore, nothing beats the privacy that a personal rented home offers. Many feature Jacuzzis, as well as stunning views and all the comforts of your own home such as fully equipped kitchens and parking spaces.
Despite being way up high in the mountains, the weather in the Alps is actually very pleasant during the summer months! The mountains act as a bit of a shield, keeping nasty rain clouds at bay, and the breeze of the perfectly clean mountain air is so fresh and crisp. During July and August the weather is the hottest, but the heat is never unbearable, with the high temperature coming in at just around 18 degrees Celsius. Despite the moderate temperate, sunshine is abundant, and trust me when I say that tanning on a mountain looking out over the view is something that truly feels incredible.
The low temperature comes in around 11 degrees for the summer months, and mornings and evenings can be chilly, so be sure to pack a light jacket.
The nice weather also means that the land is covered with lush green grass and wild flowers, with pretty little streams of melted snow water running through. Think of the scenery in The Sound of Music, but even better since you’re there live! The nice fresh grass also lends itself well to cow food, and you’re likely to hear the ring-a-ding of cowbells frequently during your stay, as the cows roam freely.
More: 10 Amazing Alpine Skiing Destinations
Outdoor Sports Galore
The French Alps during the summer months are a mecca for mountain bikers. The perfectly fresh weather, and the incredible network of ski-lifts lends itself perfectly to this adrenaline filled sport. With a lift pass in hand, the top area is probably Portes du Soleil, which features a network of resorts including Morzine, Les Gets, Chatel, Champery, Morgins and Avoriaz. The latter is the location of the National Downhill Course and Linderets bikepark. For experienced bikers looking for a challenge, bikers can ride from Vallorcine to Chamonix, on a multi-day high-altitude biking excursion. Here, bikers will cross three international borders, complete a 8000 meter vertical descent, and ride roughly 160 kilometers.
Hikers will also be kept very well entertained during their summer holiday in the French Alps. Good hiking shoes, and a camera are definitely musts. A great walk for the beginning hiker is the Grand Balcon Nord trail. This is a popular trail, but for good reason. Here, hikers travel four miles with stunning views in each direction, overlooking the Mont Blanc range. Be prepared to encounter other hikers, in fact, even the earliest risers will likely encounter at least a few others while waiting to get on the lift.
For more advanced hikers who have a considerable chunk of time on their hands, consider the famous TMB, or Tour du Mont Blanc. Here you’ll circle Europe’s highest mountain and cover a total distance of around 170 kilometers. You’ll get to see valleys, glaciers, and beautiful mountain peaks, as well as pass through Switzerland and Italy before returning into France. If you walk roughly 15 kilometers each day, you’ll finish your trek in about two weeks.
For those looking for an alternative way to get their adrenaline rush in, try riding a toboggan! A toboggan, or a luge is basically a long metal slide descending down the mountainside that visitors can ride down on a snowless-bobsleigh. A great family friendly toboggan ride is located in La Clusaz, just off of the Patinoire gondola. This metal slide is 800 meters long!!
Paragliding, hot air balloons, and rock climbing are also unique outdoor activities that cater to the Alps summer time visitors. All this to say, that there is absolutely no shortage to the incredible and unique activities to do in the French Alps during the summer months.
The French Alps make a great vacation destination year round, and for travelers who wish to explore the region, summertime is a great time to go. Not only will you skip some of the crowds, you’ll also get to enjoy the great weather, beautiful flora, and delight in the various outdoor sport opportunities the region offers. Bon voyage!
You might also enjoy: Tips for traveling with a medical condition