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French Alps: Guide for Travellers

Written by Fiona

June 10 2019

There are plenty of year-round options for outdoors fans and travellers to the French Alps. The weather is generally excellent, from snowy winters to warm weather in the spring and autumn and plenty of sunshine at high altitude in the summer. The French Alps are renowned as an outdoor playground, whatever the season and your aspirations.

Here is a guide to some hotspot destinations in the French Alps.

1. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix is a resort area near the junction of three Alpine countries, France, Switzerland and Italy. It is located at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, and is renowned for skiing, climbing, hiking, trail running and mountain biking.

Other things to do include white water rafting, paragliding, taking a cable car to the Aiguille du Midi, riding the Mer de Glace train, visiting the Glacier des Bossoms or
“Stepping into the Void”.

Chamonix town itself is a vibrant place to hang out with lots of busy outdoorsy people enjoying playing hard.

As for a home away from home while visiting this beautiful place, look no further than Alpsmagic chalets , where travellers can choose from a wide variety of different sized chalets. Some of the chalets have a clear view of the stunning mountain ranges.

2. Mont Blanc

The summit of Mont Blanc is a goal for keen hikers and mountaineers. It is the highest peak in Western Europe and requires a high level of experience to summit, or else you should hire a guide who can lead you the safest route.

3 Ecrins National Park

Écrins National Park is one of the 10 French national parks and the largest in the Alps area. It is situated in the south-east France in the Dauphiné Alps, south of Grenoble and north of Gap.

Founded in 1973, the park covers 61 communes and straddles two départements, Isère and Hautes-Alpes. It includes seven valleys: The Champsaur, Valgaudemar, Valbonnais, Oisans, Haut Briançonnais, Vallouise and Embrunais, which all converge on to the massif.

Activities here include skiing, hiking, kayaking and canyoning, for example on the Durance River, horse riding and river rafting in the Severaisse River.

4. Annecy

Annecy is an alpine town in southeastern France. It is located where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River. Annecy is a beautiful historic town. Many visitors enjoy strolling the Vieille Ville (old town) on cobbled streets, alongside winding canals and past pastel-coloured houses.

Overlooking the town is the medieval Château d’Annecy, once home to the Counts of Geneva. It is now home to a museum with regional artefacts.

Other activities include paragliding, segway tours, cycling, running, boat trips, wild swimming in Lake Annecy and canyoning.

5. Mercantour National Park

Mercantour National Park is located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes departments. It was created in 1979 and offers 600km of waymarked footpaths.

There are also many ancient petroglyphs (a form of rock art.) in the region. Other things to do include horse riding, as well as skiing n winter.

If you can, book at least a week or two to visit the French Alps and take your time to explore various areas.

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