The French Alps – Introduction
With several majestic mountains, verdant forests, and crystal-clear lakes, the French Alps are one of the best holiday locations in France for those who enjoy being in nature. Europe’s largest mountain chain has a surface area of 35,000 square kilometers, extending just about 1000 km.
Being a part of the larger Alps mountain range, the French Alps span seven nations—Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, and France — stretching 700 miles or 1,200 kilometers from Nice to Vienna.
The French Alps are popular among travelers for their breathtaking natural splendor and alpine lakes. The major alpine lakes in the region are Lac d’Annecy, Lake Geneva, and Lac du Bourget. These lakes are popular tourist destinations all year round due to their beauty and abundance of water sports opportunities.
Image Resource: unsplash.com
In the French Alps, some of the most popular resort towns are St. Gervais, Chamonix, Grenoble, Albertville, and Annecy. Mont Blanc, the Alps’ tallest mountain at 4808 meters, is also an attraction here.
There are several airlines offering flights to the French Alps. You can find Air France Airlines offering flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Paris on leading travel websites, which help you check the best deals for an AirFrance booking in First Class, La Premiere, Business Class, or Economy Class. These sites help you find low airfares and make one-touch bookings to Paris from the UAE.
Best Time to Visit the French Alps
The best time for a tour of Mont Blanc is between June and September. However, attractive and desirable places are mostly visited by tourists in July and August. September is ideal because the trails are vacant and the weather is still warm. The mountain huts are open from June to September, when the majority of Mont Blanc summit tours take place.
Temperatures during this period range from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius on higher passes, 15 to 25 degrees Celsius in the valleys, and -20 degrees Celsius at the peak. The Alps often have a white covering from December to March, but temperatures can drop below -10 degrees centigrade.
Popular Destinations Within the French Alps
Some of the best places to visit in the French Alps are the cities situated between beautiful lakes and magnificent mountains. The nature around is stunningly beautiful, as is the architecture of the cities.
- Scenic Annecy Town
The largest city in France’s Haute-Savoie is Annecy. It has been dubbed the “Pearl of the French Alps.” Beautiful Annecy is a lakeside city with stunning vistas and a quaint ancient town.
- Saint-Gervais-Mont- Blanc, a Thermal Park Village
Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc is a popular place to go on vacation since the early 1900s. It is in the French Alps, in the Haute-Savoie region. This picturesque mountain village is easily accessible in both winter and summer from Annecy and Chamonix.
- Grenoble City
The city of Grenoble is near the magnificent French Alps in southeast France. Despite having a rich and lengthy history, Grenoble is now known as the “city of sports.” The city is split into two distinct sections. The oldest part is found between the snow-capped mountains and the river.
Today, this city is teeming with activity and is unquestionably one to visit. Grenoble is a city of sport as well as culture and art, owing to its vibrant cultural life.
Outdoor Activities in the French Alps
1. Hiking and Trekking
When it comes to a lengthy Alpine journey, the Haute Route is one that any serious walker should have on their bucket list. It is a traditional long-distance hike that calls for a lot of effort and determination. Throughout this trek, you will encounter glaciers and cold temperatures.
Several of France’s most stunning Alpine pathways will be available for you to walk. These are the locations that provide the body and spirit with true delight. In the summer, you can go on a hike to explore the national parks because the scenery is so beautiful and lush.
2. Mountain Climbing
Some mountaineering locations in the French Alps are Mont Blanc, Chamonix, La Meije, and Ecrins. In these beautiful mountaineering areas, you can go on an amazing mountain climbing expedition led by trained guides to see the most amazing peaks.
3. Winter Sports (Skiing and Snowboarding)
Image Resource: unsplash.com
There are numerous world-class resorts located throughout the French Alps that are renowned throughout the world for skiing and snowboarding. As snowboarding has become more popular over the years, resorts and ski towns are making changes so that both skiers and snowboarders can enjoy their time there.
Cultural experiences in the French Alps
The French Alps have a plethora of historical and cultural treasures. The culture is intricately linked to farming practiced by the people in villages for centuries.
- Exploring the local villages
You can find some of the world’s loveliest villages in the French Alps. These historic towns are hidden from typical tourist attractions and hence, you can enjoy calmness, peace, and beauty there. Some of them to mention are:
- Route du Galibier
The location is ideal for those searching for the best panoramic views possible because it provides the most magnificent panoramas imaginable. The place looks very attractive during summer.
Image Resource: unsplash.com
This authentic village is one of the oldest in the French Alps and it offers stunningly beautiful views. It has cobblestone streets, a major plaza with a historic French church, and the appearance of a typical mountain village.
It is believed to be the best spa destination, especially in the summer, and its main draw is a 17th-century chateau that offers magnificent panoramic views.
Tasting the traditional cuisine
The Savoie region of the French Alps is where some of the most well-known meals referred to as Alpine Cuisine originate! These Savoie specialties are a must-try while visiting the French Alps.
Tartiflette – Tartiflette is a delicious gratinated potato dish that is one of the most well-known meals from the Alps.
Image Resource: en.wikipedia.org
Croziflette – A classic French meal called Gratin de Crozets is cooked with a mixture of lardons, onions, chicken stock, crème fraîche, and shredded cheese like Gruyere.
Fondue Savoyarde – One of the most well-known dishes is fondue savoyarde, which is cooked using a mixture of melted cheeses—typically Beaufort, Gruyére, Comté, and Emmental.
Accommodation options in the French Alps
You need first-rate lodging that will give you comfort and rest if you want your trip to the French Alps to be ideal and complete. Here are some best hotels to try with:
- Hôtel Vauban Briançon Serre Chevalier
- Western Plus Excelsior Chamonix Hôtel
- Mercure Chamonix Centre
- Le Chamoniard Volant
- Allobroges Park Hôtel
It is time that you should pack your bags, do your Air France booking in advance for the best deals, book your accommodation and carry the best ski equipment to visit the French Alps, which is waiting for you.