I recently came back from an amazing ten days in the French Alps. Although The Alps are a fantastic destination for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months, come July there are so many reasons to visit this stunning place for a summer holiday. We stayed in Chalet Marmotte which is located in the little village of Morillon and I couldn’t recommend this chalet, or chalet life more. Firstly the buildings in themselves look gorgeous, both inside and out. They have such a rustic and authentic feel. I also really love having my own kitchen space for cooking and living space to relax in – something you just don’t really get in hotel. Chalet Marmotte was such a lovely base for our holiday!
Chalets are perfect during both the summer months and the winter, but here are just some of the great things that The French Alps have to offer when there isn’t any snow!
The scenery – The scenery is just beautiful and there isn’t much that beats waking up surrounded completely by mountains. It really is just so picturesque.
Cheese, bread and wine – Obviously when you think of France you immediately think of cheese, bread and wine… well I do anyway! It just feels totally acceptable to buy loads of different cheeses and warm, fresh bread. Throw in some sausage meat and cold hams and that was basically my staple diet for the holiday. I think what makes this kind of eating so lovely though is the process of going to the local town and buying cheeses and meats form the markets and fresh bread form the local boulangerie.
Al fresco dining – Nothing says summer more than a bit of outdoor dining. The weather in the Alps during the summer months seems to either be beautiful, blue and very sunny OR rainy and thundery with low lying cloud and a bit of lightening. Although the rain can be a bit annoying the thunder can be very dramatic and actually provides a bit of light relief from the heat. When the sun shines though, it is just so nice to enjoy eating outdoors. Whether you’re having a BBQ in the garden or eating outside at a restaurant I love eating outdoors as the sun sets behind the mountains. Al fresco dining also refers to ice creams on the go and stopping for a mid morning coffee in a cute little town and people watching… hours of fun to be had 🙂
Patisseries – Another food related point but France really is amazing for its cakes and patisseries. We visited so many patisseries whilst we were there and ate lots of cakes. We found these gorgeous mini cake versions too which meant we could try all of the flavours instead of just one big one.
Exploring little towns – there are so many little towns and villages to explore. As we were staying near to Sameons we spent quite a bit of time wandering around there and visiting all the little cheese and meat shops and cafes and restaurants. I love the architecture and just taking in the pretty buildings and the atmosphere.
Para-penting – We decided to go para-penting during our holiday and it was an amazing experience. I was a little nervous beforehand but it really was nothing to worry about. It was incredibly peaceful and you get absolutely amazing views whilst you sail around the sky before slowly circling back down to the ground. I was worried that it would be hard to take off but you’re attached to really experienced instructors and I couldn’t believe just how easily and quickly we were up and in the sky. It does cost around 80 euros per person for a 20 minute ride which isn’t cheap but it is well worth it.
Walking – There are so many gorgeous views in the Alps and plenty of mountains and lakes so obviously this brings lots of fantastic walking opportunities.
Chamonix – Chamonix was around an hours drive away from where we were and a definite place to visit. The main town is gorgeous and bursting with walkers shops and cute little patisseries. Despite the weather being pretty bad whilst we were there we still managed to spend a day wandering round the shops, enjoying the restaurants and cafes and buying ourselves some yummy cakes…
Annecy – Annecy was a little further away from us but well worth the 90 minute drive. This place is just so beautiful. The lake is so picturesque, and dotted around with little beach areas for swimming and places to eat and relax. You can also walk around it or cycle so there are plenty of activities to do whilst you are there. It was the old town though that stole my heart and yes, it was busy and full of tourists but this really didn’t bother me or take away from the beauty of the place. It is just full of colour and gorgeous little streets to wander down. I couldn’t recommend this more. Our only regret was not staying here longer, or even staying here for a night and enjoying it as the day turned into evening as I think it would have been such a great place to be later on.
Activities – There are so many fantastic summer activities to do during the warmer months aside from just walking and para-penting. You can cycle – both on the road and mountain biking. We didn’t manage to do any mountain biking but we saw the tracks and it looked like it would be fun, although not for the faint hearted. You can swim in the lakes, do some white water rafting, take a high ropes course, go on a run… the list just goes on and on!
The holiday was amazing and such a refreshing change to living in the middle of the city of Manchester and I would fly away to this area of France again in a heartbeat.