We take to the road and drive down the Route des Grandes Alpes in the French Alps. From Thonon-les-Bains on Lac Léman the Route provides an amazing alpine experience.
The Route du Parpaillon in the Vallée de l'Ubaye, southern Alps. The Tunnel du Parpaillon is the highest road tunnel in Europe, popular for walkers and cyclists and with stunning mountain scenery.
MountainPassions is the premier online source of independent, expert insight and information for skiers and anyone planning to enjoy the mountains of France.
Cycling the Famous Cols
Adventure and activity holidays specialist Undiscovered Alps reveal why the Southern Alps are a cyclists dream with a range of routes to suit everyone including some of the cols made famous by the Tour de France. You can also join Undiscoverd Alps on some of their special cycling holidays this summer. Read the feature
Beaufortain Walking Tour
Mark Tennent from Simply Savoie normally leads groups on a week long hike through the magnificent scenery of the Beaufortain region in Savoie. Here, he describes the route and some of its highlights which include the azure waters of the Lac de Roselend and the famous Pierra Menta. Read the feature
Walking Tour of the Vanoise National Park
Sometimes known as the Tour des Glaciers de la Vanoise, one of the great beauties of this tour, apart from the superb scenery, is that you remain at altitude and need only touch tarmac road for 50m from start to finish.
The Tour is well provided with mountain refuges which provide simple accommodation in stunning mountain locations and will provide you with memorable experiences and a chance to meet like-minded people. We asked Mark Tennent from Simply Savoie (Guided Walking and Via Ferrata Holidays) to give us a flavour of this magnificent tour. Read the feature
Adventure Time: All About Via Ferrata
Via Ferrata allows you to climb rock faces normally only accessible to rock climbers.
Surprisingly, via ferrata routes don't require all the techniques of rock climbing, so they're accessible to a wide range of people. Qualified mountain activity specialist Mark Tennent reveals how it all works, and just what you need to know to get you started on your own adventure this summer.
Read the feature
Top Ten Summer Activities
Before you do anything be sure to check out our list of great ideas, designed to help you make the most of your next summer holiday in the mountains.
Whether you plant to relax and unwind or push yourself to the limit, we think there’s no better setting than the mountains of France. There are countless activities to choose from, fantastic local food to try, traditional skills to discover and a wealth of history to explore among picturesque mountain hamlets and larger heritage sites. See our Top 10
Something of a revolution has been quietly transforming the face of French mountain tourism, so we decided it was high time we took a look at just what has changed. As a result, we reckon that this year's summer visitors are going to be mightily impressed.
Developers have responded to raised market expectations and created premium self-catering accommodation with high levels of comfort and onsite services, all at prices not normally available to skiers and winter visitors. Independent hoteliers and restaurateurs have followed suit, and now summer visitors can enjoy a huge range of mountain activities, along with stylish classic (or, if you prefer, contemporary) mountain chic. Read the feature
Driving The Route des Grandes Alpes
From Lac Léman to the shores of the Mediterranean, the legendary Route des Grandes Alpes takes in a succession of truly breathtaking mountain scenery.
Our in-depth guide, written from experience on our own trip following The Route, will help you plan your drive, and includes ideas for accommodation, restaurants and places to see.
Read the full feature
Mexican Music & Dance Returns To...
EVERY AUGUST the Vallée de l’Ubaye celebrates its historic links with Mexico in a Latino-Mexicain festival. For ten days or so the market town of Barcelonnette is enlivened by the musical tempo and colourful costumes, creating a unique ambiance of joy and conviviality.
Read the feature
Photo: © Claude Gouron
The Lost Alpine Route (by mountain-bike)
In the Southern French Alps an old, long-abandoned mountain pass built by the military scales the wild, rugged Massif du Parpaillon and still appears on larger-scale maps.
Was it, we wondered, still possible to follow it from end to end? We were determined to find out. Ultimate off-road cycling on the legendary Route du Parpaillon.
In The High Alpages: Beaufort Cheese
Tradition & Nature
It was an unforgettable journey up a rough mountain track to visit Conchette - summer home to alpagiste Jean-Pierre Blanc. Amid the highest of mountain pastures above the Lac de Roselend, in the Beaufortain region of the French Alps, M Blanc creates award winning Chalet Beaufort d'Alpage cheeses. We observed the process, then tasted the wonderfully complex flavours derived from the rich Alpine grasses and wildflowers. Read the feature
Cycling Events 2013
Not only is it the centenary of the Tour de France this year, there are more cycling events than ever for everyone to enjoy throughout the summer months. See our list of events for the Savoie Mont Blanc region, and if you're cycling in the Alps this summer look out for special cycling only days on many of the cols. Local Touist Offices will have all the details.
More from the mountains this summer with
Award winning Peak Retreats (www.peakretreats.co.uk 0844 576 0171), the French Alps specialist for summer holidays in traditional mountain villages, has added the charming resort of Morzine to its Summer 2013 selection of 37 destinations. The summer portfolio also includes a variety of new self catering and hotel accomm. as well as an exclusive transfer package deal from Geneva airport.
Morzine, situated between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, is just 1¼hrs from Geneva airport. This charming resort, in the heart of the Haute Savoie, is ideal for families and offers a huge choice of activities. Explore the rest of the Portes du Soleil from your Morzine base with a Multi-Pass card, costing from only €1pp per day, offering free access to lifts and activities throughout the Portes du Soleil region.
For 2013, Peak Retreats is offering a wide selection of new, handpicked accomm. There’s something to suit everyone, from half-board family-run hotels* to self-catering chalets and residences. Peak season prices are from just £119pp including return ferry crossing for a car and passengers (accommodation only options available too). Peak Retreats continues to offer Summer skiing in Tignes and Les Deux Alpes.
NEW - unbeatable airport transfer inclusive prices have been launched for those who prefer to travel by air. A private car picks up at Geneva airport (Swiss side) ** and drops-off direct to the chosen Peak Retreats accomm.
NEW - *Morzine self-catering from £187pp for 7 nights: Stay at The Lodge, traditional in style and close to resort centre. Price based on 4 sharing 2 bedroom apt. includes return mid-week ferry crossing Dover-Calais with car.
Travel to France by train...
Travelling to France this summer can be a much more relaxing affair with .
Self-drive mountain holidays in France
Travel to France by ferry and some of the best summer scenery in the world. Enjoy the freedom of taking unlimited baggage and up to 9 people per car via .
Book your journey with P&O Ferries
Service and Comfort with SWISS
Year round flights from the UK to Geneva offer a huge choice of stunning holiday destinations throughout the Alps.
Low cost car hire
Be as flexible as you please with low cost car hire. No waiting for buses or paying for taxis, be free to explore with up to 150kms per day included in the hire including motorhomes (* see T&C's online). Click below to take advantage of special offers.
When the snows have retreated for another year, the mountains reveal a whole new side to their personality. Ski terrain reverts to lush pastures erupting with countless wildflowers and grazed by the dairy cattle who provide the rich milk for a host of celebrated mountain cheeses.
The backdrop to it all is the kind of scenery you can only truly appreciate when you see it at first-hand. And if walking or mountain-biking isn't your style you can discover much of the scenery on some of the world’s finest grand touring routes...