Posted on 03 July 2023
Are you looking for summer activities in ski resorts? The French Alps are perfect for summer getaways of activities and fun. From canoeing to spectacular views, glorious weather, paragliding and hiking, the French mountain resorts have something for everyone outside of winter. This article will provide an overview of summer activities and French resorts in this region, highlighting their cost, difficulty, and unique features. So, if you’re ready to explore the beautiful French Alps, read on!
Summer Activities in French Ski Resorts
Chamonix Mont Blanc for Nature
Chamonix, more formally known as Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, is a famous ski resort, close to the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. Sat at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps at 4810 metres, year-round cable cars take visitors to the nearby peaks of Aiguille du Midi and Pointe Helbronner on the Italian border for amazing views.
Ride the Aiguille du Midi cable car. From the summit, enjoy vistas of Mont Blanc and other peaks, visit the exhibition spaces, and even step into the glass skywalk “Step into the Void.” Also, visit Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice), the largest glacier in France. Accessible by the Montenvers Train, this glacier offers impressive ice formations.
Otherwise, visitors expect numerous daytime activities, including hiking, mountain climbing, paragliding, and mountain biking. The nearby rivers and canyons provide exciting opportunities for adrenaline junkies like rafting and canyoning. Join guided tours to navigate the rapids or descend into canyons with waterfalls and natural pools.
Lac des Gaillands and Plan d’Eau Biotope in Les Houches, ten minutes’ drive away are popular choices. Also, visit Alpine botanical gardens, like Jardin des Cimes, that is a 30-minute drive away to discover alpine flora.
Visit Parc de Merlet wildlife park, 25 minutes’ drive away to observe native animals like ibex, chamois, and marmots. The Alpine Museum also reflects the cultural heritage of the Mont Blanc region as does the Eglise Saint-Michel town centre church. Find out more about Chamonix.
Blissful Summer Alpine Holidays at Morzine Ski Resort
Morzine commune in the Haute-Savoie department and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France, is close to the Swiss border and Avoriaz ski resort. Popular hikes include Lac des, Mines d’Or, Pointe de Nyon, and the Vallée de la Manche. With vast mountain biking trails catering to all levels, hit the slopes, testing your skills and adrenaline.
The Bikepark Les Gets-Morzine offers downhill tracks, while cross-country trails are available for more relaxed rides. Morzine is nearby several lakes and rivers for water activities. Try canoeing on Lake Montriond, ten minutes drive away or visit Dranse River, 30 kilometers away.
Adventure parks in Morzine, like Indiana Parc or Fantasticable, offer activities like tree-top rope courses, zip-lining, and climbing walls, providing fun for the whole family. Cool off in outdoor swimming pools or natural lakes, such as Lac de Montriond or Lac des Ecoles. About Morzine ski resort.
Alpine Activities in Tignes Resort
Watersports: Tignes is home to a lake called Lac de Tignes, which offers water sports activities. Try paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and even sailing. The lake’s pristine blue waters against the backdrop of majestic mountains create beautiful settings for water-based adventures.
Indoor Sports and Leisure Center: Tignes has an impressive indoor sports and leisure centre called Tignespace, which offers activities. Play tennis, basketball, football, squash, and even climb on the indoor wall. It’s great for indoor entertainment or staying active when the weather is unfavourable. About Tignes.
Views from Belleville Valley
St Martin de Belleville, a charming alpine village at the entrance to the Belleville Valley, is well-known as a ski resort in winter but also offers plenty of summer mountain range activities. Explore the network of walking and biking trails that crisscross the Belleville Valley, ranging from gentle paths through meadows to challenging routes that lead to panoramic viewpoints.
St Martin de Belleville offers via Ferrata routes for mixed hiking and climbing. These protected climbing paths scale vertical cliffs with the help of iron rungs, cables, and bridges. St Martin de Belleville is also home to diverse alpine ecosystems to explore natural beauty through guided walks, birdwatching, or simply relaxing in peaceful surroundings.
Visit the village’s historic churches, like the Church of St. Martin, which dates back to the 16th century. Explore the village’s restaurants and mountain huts, savouring traditional Savoyard dishes like raclette, fondue, and tartiflette. Pair your meal with regional wines or liqueurs for a complete culinary experience.
Val d’Isère in Summer
Biking: Val d’Isère features alpine landscapes and boasts several trails. Explore the vast mountain ranges, alpine meadows, and valleys, and enjoy views. The resort features marked trails for both leisurely walks and challenging treks.
Outdoor Adventure Sports: Val d’Isère provides adrenaline-fueled outdoor activities. Experience rock climbing via ferrata, canyoning, and paragliding. Adventure enthusiasts can also try white-water rafting or kayaking on the nearby Isère River.
Mountain Activities: Take scenic chairlift rides to higher altitudes to admire the panoramic views, visit mountain restaurants, and engage in activities such as summer tobogganing, trampolining, or mini-golf. Val d’Isère boasts an 18-hole golf course where enthusiasts enjoy challenges for players of all levels.
Natural Parks and Wildlife: Val d’Isère is near several natural parks, including the Vanoise National Park, famous for its rich biodiversity and landscapes. Explore the park on guided tours or self-guided hikes and spot wildlife such as chamois, ibex, marmots, and eagles. More about Val d’Isere.
Activities in Lake Annecy
Dive into the refreshing waters of Lake Annecy and enjoy swimming in its pristine lake. There are several public beaches around the lake to relax on the shores but also experience, Lake Annecy on a stand-up paddleboard. Rent a paddleboard and glide across the lake’s surface. Alternatively, rent a kayak and paddle along the lake’s shoreline, explore hidden coves, and discover secluded beaches.
Guided boat tours range from leisurely sightseeing cruises to more adventurous options like speedboat rides. Sit back, relax, and let the boat take you on scenic journeys while learning about the lake’s history and landmarks. For thrill-seekers, Lake Annecy offers waterskiing or wakeboarding. Get your adrenaline pumping as you glide across the lake’s surface, pulled by a boat. Lessons and equipment rentals are available for both beginners and experienced riders.
If you have sailing experience or want to learn, Lake Annecy provides an ideal setting for sailing. Lake Annecy national park is home to several fish species. Obtain the necessary permits and spend a relaxing day casting your line, searching for trout, perch, pike, or other species that inhabit the lake. Otherwise, take leisurely strolls or bike rides along the scenic lakeside promenade.
Alpe D’Huez in Summer
Cycling: One highlight is the 21-hairpin bends that make up the iconic ascent. Cycling enthusiasts challenge themselves on this legendary climb or explore other scenic routes. The resort also hosts the Triathlon, attracting athletes from around the world.
Outdoor Adventure Sports: Experience rock climbing, via Ferrata, canyoning, paragliding, and biking trails, with various downhill and cross-country routes available. The resort features a beautiful 9-hole golf course. The high altitude adds an exciting challenge to the game.
Wellness and Relaxation: Unwind and relax at wellness centers or spas after an active day. Enjoy rejuvenating treatments, soak in a hot tub, or enjoy sauna sessions. Some resorts even offer outdoor swimming pools with panoramic mountain views.
Family-Friendly Activities: Kids enjoy adventure parks, trampolining, mini-golf, outdoor playgrounds, child-friendly hiking trails and bike paths. Also, Enjoy live music concerts, traditional Alpine celebrations, and local markets to sample regional products and crafts.
Vaujany: Visit the charming village of Vaujany. This picturesque village offers swimming, fishing, and paddleboarding activities on its beautiful lake. Also, explore local heritage sites, including the Vaujany Museum and the Church of St. John the Baptist.
Summer Skiing in France
If you’re looking for blissful summer ski holidays in France, a few alpine resorts that fair better than others.
Les Deux Alpes: Les Deux Alpes boasts a large skiable glacier that remains open during summer.
Tignes: Tignes is another renowned ski resort with summer alpine activities on its Grande Motte Glacier. It provides snow-sure areas for skiing and snowboarding to enjoy winter sports, even in summer.
Val d’Isère: Val d’Isère, near Tignes, features summer skiing on the Pisaillas Glacier. Together with Tignes, it forms the Espace Killy ski club area, providing vast playgrounds for winter sports enthusiasts in summer.
La Plagne: La Plagne is part of the Paradiski ski area leading to the Bellecôte Glacier. The glacier provides slopes for different skill levels, ensuring that beginners and advanced skiers enjoy their time on the slopes.
Alpe d’Huez: Head to Sarenne Glacial valley. Skiers and snowboarders access ski club slopes and enjoy gliding on snow, even in warmer months.
Mountain Biking in the French Alps
Les Gets: As one alpine resort that offers downhill biking, lift access, cross-country trails, and bike parks, including the famous Bikepark Les Gets-Morzine, the area also hosts international biking events, showcasing a commitment to the sport.
Morzine: The bike parks in Morzine, like Bikepark Les Gets-Morzine and the Super Morzine Bikepark, provide thrilling experiences for adrenaline-seeking riders.
Alpe d’Huez: Alpe d’Huez has many trails and lifts traverse alpine landscapes, allowing riders to experience challenging descents and scenic rides. The Bike Park is famous for downhill enthusiasts.
Les Deux Alpes: Les Deux Alpes boasts an extensive trail network, including downhill tracks, lift access, flow trails, cross-country routes, and the Mountain of Hell, one of the world’s largest downhill mountain bike races.
Val d’Isère: The resort features trails suitable for different abilities, from beginner-friendly paths to technical downhill routes. Val d’Isère is also home to the Val d’Isère Bike Park, which features tracks, and lift access.
Chamonix: Chamonix, nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, has several trails, from challenging downhill descents to scenic cross-country routes. The Les Houches Bike Park in Chamonix is famous for gravity riders.
Portes du Soleil For Outdoor Activities
Portes du Soleil spans France and Switzerland, and is primarily known for its winter ski resorts. However, during summer, Portes du Soleil transforms into a national park haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities and natural beauty.
Take advantage of summer ski lift systems to quickly access higher elevations for outdoor pursuits. Mountain bikers utilize the chair lift and gondolas to reach the trails, saving energy for the thrilling downhill rides. Experience the exhilaration of paragliding in Portes du Soleil. Take off from designated launch sites and soar above mountain scenery. For mixed hiking and climbing, try via Ferrata in Portes du Soleil. Equipped with a harness and safety cable, navigate the secured climbing routes that traverse vertical rock faces and offer views.
The Queyras regional natural park
The Queyras Regional Natural Park (Parc naturel régional du Queyras) is one of ten regional nature parks in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and offers landscapes, diverse wildlife, and a rich cultural heritage for the entire family. The park features alpine landscapes, including rugged mountains, deep valleys, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes.
Queyras Regional Natural Park attracts many hikers and nature enthusiasts. Whether you prefer gentle strolls along riverbanks or challenging mountain ascents, explore the park’s diverse terrain and discover viewpoints.Numerous mountain biking trails traverse through landscapes, allowing bikers to enjoy thrilling descents, challenging climbs, and views. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, the park provides options for all skill levels.
The Queyras Regional Nature Park offers natural beauty, outdoor activities, cultural heritage, and gastronomic delights. Whether you visit in summer or winter, you’ll be enchanted by the park’s landscapes, welcoming communities, and outdoor adventures.
Club Med Resorts in the French Alps
Club Med is a big name in France, and the Alps are no exception. Nestled in the Tarentaise Valley, Club Med Valmorel is a picturesque mountain resort ideal for summer activities. Kids participate in age-appropriate activities at the Club Med Kids’ Club.
Situated in the heart of the Paradiski ski club area, Club Med Peisey-Vallandry offers many summer activities during the warmer months. Club Med Tignes Val Claret offers summer activities in the renowned Tignes ski club resort. Enjoy scenic trails with various difficulty levels available. Lastly, Club Med Alpe d’Huez also offers summer activities.
These Club Med resorts offer outdoor activities, natural landscapes, and comfortable accommodations for memorable summer vacations. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or both, these resorts provide the perfect settings to enjoy summer.
Conclusion and Further Reading About the Alps
Summer activities in ski resorts may seem like an oxymoron, but they provide endless mountain scenery, adventure and exploration. Ski resorts offer fun summer activities, from biking, hiking, and fishing on the mountain to swimming in nearby alpine lakes.
Relaxation and exploration is found in the mountain air, whether riding down scenic trails or relaxing in comfortable cabins. With so many outdoor activities, one easily finds enjoyable ways to spend their summer. What has been made clear is that ski resorts offer unique fun and exploration in summer. From the relaxing ambience and parks to adventurous activities, visiting a ski resort this summer provides thrill and solace.