With the ski season almost upon us, thoughts of the Alps conjure up images of on-piste adventure, delicious Savoyarde fare and cosy evenings spent in a chalet. Yet, offering alpine adventure year-round, the resorts of Chamonix and Megève are certainly not just for winter. Travel expert, Charlotte, tells us why.
Having just returned from Chamonix and Megève in the French Alps, I am excited to share why I think the French Alps in the summer is a must. The scenery was beautiful, the food, amazing, and the activities on offer were a real highlight too. If you are searching for a vacation where you can really get that ‘vacation feeling’ and enjoy a true break away from the realities of everyday life – I could not recommend the mountains any more. Here are my top ten reasons why we should all embark on an Alpine adventure in the summer:
Get off the beaten track. The Alps in the summer is decidedly off the beaten track. It is away from the crowds, giving you the luxury of space, time and some peace and quiet. Whether it’s reading the latest bestseller, enjoying morning yoga, sipping on your favorite glass of red by the fire or spending time with family and friends at leisure – being in the mountains gives you the time to be able to relish the small things you don’t usually have time for.
Nature. If, like me, you are used to a bustling city lifestyle, the mountains are a welcomed change from the norm. Fresh mountain air, fields of wildflowers, natural streams, pine forests, woodlands and majestic mountains are just the start. There, you are surrounded by the untouched natural beauty of the Alps, which for me is a luxury that cannot be overstated.
The electric bike. More commonly known as the e-bike and my new favorite mode of transport (especially in the mountains). The e-bike is fantastic, it is like a normal mountain bike with some much needed electrical assistance which comes in very handy when tackling big hills, meaning you can concentrate on enjoying the scenery!
Value for money. You may be surprised to read, a vacation to the Alps in the summer can be as much as two thirds less expensive than it is in the winter – and this even includes luxury hotels!
Weather. Whilst temperatures in the mountains are warm, they are milder and more comfortable than you will find in the Med, making it the perfect climate for outdoor activities. Fortunately, the altitude means it is too high for mosquitoes!
Local food and wine. The local produce in the Alps is second to none. The food is simple, and local delicacies include cheeses and cured meats. The locals are always delighted to share their favorite specialties, especially regional wines and génépy!
Alfresco dining. During the summer months, the evenings are fresh and the temperature is perfect for alfresco dining. I particularly liked the pedestrian areas in Megève and Chamonix where sitting outside a local restaurant, tucking into a local dish whilst soaking up the atmosphere sits top of the bill.
Hiking. There is arguably no better place in the world to hike than in the Alps, especially in the summer. In both Megève and Chamonix, you can take the gondola up and start your hike high up in the mountains. The scenery of the glaciers, villages and wildflowers (I could go on…) are simply breathtaking. Stop at one of the many mountain huts en-route for lunch or a cold drink , a just for all of your hard work. The great thing about the summer is that you can enjoy the mountains without any lift queues or busy restaurants.
Via ferrata. For adrenaline seekers, the via ferrata is a lot of fun. It is quite like climbing but with the addition of ladders, bridges and zip wires, all attached to the rockface with hooks and a belt. The routes are graded so if you are feeling timid you can start on a beginner trail, the views are definitely worth it!
River rafting. For those looking for more adventure, river rafting is a great activity. In Chamonix, you can enjoy views over Mont Blanc whilst rafting in the ice cold water which runs straight from its glaicers (wetsuits are needed!). It’s a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy.