Things to do in the French Alps in the Summer
Sightseeing, Traditions and Food
The French Alps is rich in things to do and enjoy during a summer holiday. Alpine resorts are perfect for families who want some active aspects to their holiday but also enjoy relaxing in the sunshine.
Here is our guide with recommendations to make the most of your next summer holiday in the French Alps.
The Haute-Savoie has a remarkable range of attractions. Here are just some of the unmissable landscapes and places to visit:
- Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix: Take Europe's highest cable car and enjoy the most breathtaking views from the top including Italy and Mont Blanc.
- Montenvers train: another way to discover amazing views of the Mont Blanc with this scenic Montenvers train ride.
- Annecy: Affectionately nicknamed 'Little Venice', Annecy is one of the prettiest villages in France. Take a stroll around the pretty streets, relax at one of the pavement cafes swim in the magnificent turquoise Lake Annecy overlooked by spectacular mountains. Visitors will be captivated by this charming old town.
- Evian and the Lake Leman: One of the most restful places to visit, Evian is definitely a destination not to be missed for its aura, the quiet and the views. There are also plenty of activities to choose from on Lake Leman.
- Chamonix: The beautiful mountaineering capital. Chamonix also features plenty of shopping and local restaurants to enjoy while taking in the views.
All the local tourist offices in the French Alps offer a daily programme of entertainment during July and August. Activities organised for the whole family include nature walks, arts and craft workshops, folk dancing, wine tasting, wild marmotte spotting, outdoor games, boules tournaments and more. Check the daily programme at the local tourist office for more information.
France is a long-time favourite for all food and wine lovers and the whole Rhone-Alps region is no exception. Gastronomical delights include dishes such as Fondue, Raclette, Tartiflette, and famous mountain cheeses like Tome de Savoie or Beaufort, all to be enjoyed with a local Mondeuse wine or the famous Genepi.
Equally the local cakes are not to be missed! The famous Gateau de Savoie and Bugnes are must to be tried during your trip. To find out more about the unmissable dishes to try in the Alpine resorts, visit our blog about the top 10 dishes to try.
Don't forget to visit one of the local markets which take in the majority of resorts across the French Alps. There you will discover delicious local cheeses, charcuterie, Alpine honey, homemade jams, fresh local fruits and vegetables, as well as local arts and craft.
You have a large choice of options for discovering the landscapes of the French Alps.
- Traditional Little train
You can discover most of the landscapes and towns on the traditional Petit Train Touristique: a little train using the road at a slow pace, and you can opt to listen to the audio commentary from the guide for further information on the history and landscape. Perfect for those who want to explore in a relaxed way. You can find this train in most resorts including Les Gets, Chamonix and La Toussiure.
The mountain environment in summer is stunning with its landscapes of wildflowers and wildlife. To be as close as possible to nature itself, walking is one of the best options.
In every area (Portes du Soleil, Chamonix Valley etc) there are hundreds of kilometres of marked paths to be explored by beginners and regular walkers like. More information about Walking and Mountain activities.
The French Alps are a paradise for every bike lover. The Portes du Soleil area alone has more than 500 miles of mountain biking trails. Every path is marked and the tourist offices can also provide maps and route details. More information about biking in the mountains.
There are plenty more mountain activities including road cycling, paragliding, rafting and rock climbing. More information about mountain activities.
The famous annual Tour de France takes place in the Alps around mid-July, the exact date depending on the year and the route. This rendezvous is unmissable if you are in the French Alps in July. As well as the race itself, there is also a great atmosphere and planned entertainment too.
Visit our Tour de France area for more information on the 2019 route and stages.