What to do in the French Alps | Hiking | Skiing | Rock Climbing

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What to do in the French Alps – If you think an Alpine holiday is too expensive, think again. The best way of travelling to the French Alps for an outdoor adventure holiday in the French Alps is a fantastic choice for those who love the great outdoors. There are affordable activity holidays to experience in the French Alps. You’ve just got to know where to look. Options here are varied and numerous; prices are on a wide scale too. Here are some tips on how to get the best deals in the Alps.

The French Alps – Amazing Family Vacation

Perhaps the Alps are merely known as a ski destination but it is definitely much more than that. The Alps – An Amazing Family Activity Destination. There are so many different outdoor activities both for adults and children it makes a great fun holiday destination. During the summer months the French Alps transforms into an adventure playground for activity holidays and is a destination for immense family fun. The summers are warm especially in the southern Alps (France) but you still get that beautiful scenery of snow-capped mountains, rolling green hills and sparkling blue lakes.

There are many different types of activities to try in the French Alps, enough to keep your family entertained and wear out the little ones too. So if it an action packed summer adventure holiday you are looking for then look no further than the Alps for your next family break. Sound like a great summer destination? Here are a few activities you can try as a family in the Alps, consider these for your next family holiday. Disney Land

French Alps Best Deals

A trip to the Alps can be expensive, but there are certain times of the year that are more affordable than others. Of course, peak ski season will be quite costly. However, booking during the summer months can be a lot cheaper. You can definitely get the best deals during the summer months. Especially when you book outside of peak times such as school holidays. You won’t get all day skiing, but there are some resorts where glacier skiing is still possible in the alps, even in the summer months. While the skiing may be questionable, there are plenty of fun outdoor activities to choose from.

Getting to the French Alps

Flights tend to be the most expensive part of your holiday, especially at popular times. When you book a package holiday, the flights and hotel are usually all included in the total price. The combination by the companies often ends up with discounted prices overall. But how much money could you save if you decided to take the self-drive choice? You can save if you choose a self-drive option. This makes it a much cheaper option, especially if there are a lot of people in your group or you are travelling as a family.

Benefits of driving to the French Alps

You can carry more luggage. You can make stops at sights along the way. Because you won’t have to rush off and catch a flight, you can stay over in the resort longer. The drive time, once you have arrived in France, is about seven hours with the potential to stop over at other locations on the way. A stop in Paris is always an experience.

More people in the UK are deciding to drive to the Alps for their activity holidays. It gives holiday makers more freedom. For some, it means a more relaxing travel environment than having to brave the airports.

Driving from the UK to France:

There are toll roads in France that make your journey to the Alps quicker and easier. The total bill is around £130 return if you choose to use them. Petrol is cheaper in France, so it’s a good idea to fill up there, especially on your way home. Stock up on supplies at major supermarkets rather than smaller shops nearer resorts.

Where to stay in the French Alps

Accommodation in the Alps usually consists of: Hotels, Catered Chalets, Self-Catering Chalets and You may also find hostels. The best budget deals will depend on your chosen destination and the type of dining you are looking for. If you are happy to cook, then a self-catering chalet is an excellent budget option. It’s even easier if you have chosen to self-drive, as you can stop at the local supermarket and stock up on supplies before you arrive and during your stay. Most self-catering units are completely independent units, so you have your own personal space as a group or family. If you don’t fancy cooking on your holiday, then you could opt for a catered chalet at the most basic half board option. That way your breakfast and dinner are taken care of, and you will only have to plan your own lunch. Of course, having catering will add additional costs compared to self- catering. It’s just a case of your budget, time, and your preference.

We love staying at hotels in the French Alps because they tend to be less expensive than other parts of France. But if you want to save money then ask about seasonal discounts which may apply when the ski season starts and ends. There are literally hundreds of great places to stay throughout the whole area to suit every budget and pocket. If you do decide to stay in one of these lovely traditional alpine-style lodges, then ask for an offer.

French Alps Chalet?

Be sure to find out in advance what home comforts and facilities available at a self-catering stay. Here are a few things you should check out before you book:

  • Make sure there’s a representative or person you can call for advice or if things go wrong.
  • Check what facilities there are in your chalet. For example, a washing machine, dishwasher, hot tub or sauna. Anything that will make your life easier or more relaxing is great.
  • Is there a welcome pack? Some operators will provide things like liquid soap and toiletries. Some may offer snacks or a welcome drink. Find out before you go so you don’t buy unnecessary items. Having some of these means you have the ability to travel light. Packing the minimum will give you more space in the car knowing you can wash and re-wear clothes while at your destination.
Ski Holiday French Alps
Ski Holiday French Alps

Skiing in the French Alps

If you are planning a trip to France, then there is no better way of spending your vacation than by taking a ski holiday. If you’ve never been before, this should be at the top of your list when it comes to places to visit in Europe . There are plenty of resorts in France. Skiing is a great way for anyone to enjoy the mountains and beautiful scenery of the area. However, it can be difficult to choose when is the best time to go.  Some of the busiest weeks of the season are in February, following the winter break and New Year celebrations. In addition to being busy, the prices are higher due to demand and as the season winds down. Therefore, try to avoid any dates that coincide with these periods to save money. Try to visit the French Alps in mid March or early May, when the evenings are starting to lengthen and the sun is shining. There are fewer crowds and lower prices, less competition and more relaxed atmosphere. This means the restaurants will usually offer tastier deals and cheaper menus at this time of year. But – be warned, don’t expect to eat outside every evening as the weather is still quite chilly and sunny.

However, if you can afford it, March is the ideal time of year to visit France. With snow still plentiful and prices at their lowest, it’s hard to beat. The slopes should be quieter, the pistes less crowded and the aprés parties and evening entertainment a little quieter too. However, you’ll still need to book early for your ski lessons as they tend to fill up quickly. Spring is the height of the summer season. Everything is booked solid, including ski schools, restaurants, shops and hotels. March can be a bit chilly due to the changeable weather patterns. If you go mid-week, expect it to be slightly colder. Winter sunsets provide beautiful views. The mountains are covered in fresh powder but they can be very icy in places. Hiking boots which offer good ankle protection are essential. If you are planning on going off piste, always check the conditions before doing so. If you’ve never skied before, book an introductory lesson. Most ski schools also offer them at a reduced rate for learners. Lessons are cheaper than full day passes if you take several lessons over the course of the holiday.

Hiking in the French Alps

Hiking holiday in the French Alps. A lot has been said about hiking, and it is true that we are constantly surprised by how many people have never tried to hike themselves. However, if you love hiking, there are plenty of reasons to go for an adventure in nature. Enjoy reading all our tips and advice! If you want to take advantage of the best weather conditions, you should plan ahead. It’s not always possible to book a time when the weather is ideal, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start thinking about your trip. You don’t necessarily need a good guide or information – what you really need is enough information for you to be able to make decisions based on common sense.

The French Alps is a major alpine region of Europe located mostly within the department of Savoie and just south of the Rhone basin. It is the largest mountain area in France, the highest mountains being the Vanoise Massif and Grandes Jorasses at 4,491 m or 14,692 ft above sea level and Mont Blanc massif which reaches an altitude of 3,963 metres . The main ski resorts are the following: Les Arcs – 30 km northeast of Chambéry; La Plaine St Martin – 15 km southwest of Albertville; Thyon le Chablais – 35 km east of Annecy; Meribel – 65 km north west of Grenoble; Saint Gervais les Bains – 35 km north west of Geneva; Val d’Isère – 55 km northwest of Lyon and Chamonix – 75 km north of Paris.

The French Alps Chamonix is known as Mont-Blanc’s Summer Resort. Not only because of its famous ski slopes, but also because of it’s many other activities like winter climbing, cross country skiing or hiking. Even though Chamonix isn’t very big , there are still so much to see and do in this beautiful town on the southernmost tip of France. I hope this video gives you some inspiration. Walk along the trail between Saint-Gervais & Thonon-les-Bains, climb up Mont Blanc via the Grand Tour, hike the Col des Balmes, enjoy hikes around Chamonix, find out about La Pierre St Martin’s history and its legends in the middle of nature, etc… And don’t forget to visit the famous ski resorts: Les Trois Vallées, Val d’Isère, Tignes, Meribel, Courchevel, Méribel, abd many many more options.

What is it like to hike in the Alps?

It depends on where you go and what time of year you choose to do it, but generally speaking, it’s pretty amazing! The views are incredible from all over this beautiful region – we have hiked through some stunning mountain ranges, up steep slopes and along snowy paths. As well as the magnificent scenery there is also lots of history to discover. At night it can get very cold so remember to pack warm clothes and footwear that is waterproof or breathable to keep your feet dry.

Mountain Biking French Alps

The two best Alpine resorts for family mountain biking are Morzine and Les Gets. Here you can take the lifts to the top most trails and take in the fabulous views as well as enjoying the downhill trails. Children as young as 5 can use the lifts when accompanied by an adult but you might need some assistance before you get used to the areasIn both resorts there are guided family rides to get you started on the trails so you can build your confidence until you are happy to go it aloneThere are plenty of trails in the area for all abilities and the whole family are sure to improve their skills whilst riding here. One of the good things about this mountain biking is that it’s quite a cheap past time to get into. You don’t need any expensive equipment to try this activity and you can hire everything you need during your trip. That’s if it is not already included in your package. Mountain biking is one of those sports that you can continue to enjoy at home too.

France’s First Mountain Biking Map

What makes an area bike friendly? What areas do they have good facilities for mountain biking around? This map helps make those decisions based on what we know about France, where there is great riding and where not so much. The idea behind it was to help people find their adventure in cycling; whether it’s just riding for fun, getting some exercise or exploring new routes and areas, and also showing off your new found skills and knowledge!

Paddle boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is an activity the whole family can enjoy, from toddlers to teenagers and the adults too. On the calm waters of Alpine lakes, you can take out these boards and peacefully glide across the waters. All safety equipment and instructions are given before you set off and sometimes this is all included in your package with your tour operator. Although it is a bit of a workout, especially for the core, people who try paddle boarding exclaim that the past time is peaceful and relaxing. Almost like walking on water. And with the amazingly beautiful mountain scenery surrounding the water, the Alps are certainly the perfect place to try paddle boarding. Lakes to enjoy this activity include both Lac Montriond and Tignes Lake which are accessible from all resorts in the French Alps.


When you book multi activity holidays in the Alps some activities such as Kayaking are often included in your package. As mentioned above the Alps have some amazing rivers and lakes which means water sports are in abundance here. Kayaking, is another great sport to get the family active and out on the water. As the lakes are quiet and calm they are an excellent for beginners who want to try kayaking for the first time or just a calm environmentThis in turn means is is great for families of all ages and even with small children. Lac Montriond is one of those amazing lakes in the AlpsAs one of the largest lakes in the area it is home to lots of activities and Kayaking is just one of them. It is easiest to get to from the resort of Morzine but you can visit and enjoy the activities from other resorts in the French Alps.

Horse-riding in the French Alps

Children in particular love the idea of meeting and riding horses and this activity is often a memorable experienceHorse-riding as a family is a fun and exciting thing to do in the Alps. The horses are well looked after and are completely at home on the mountain paths. Most lessons also include learning how to look after, feed and groom the horses, which kids really enjoySo, although there are many different ways you can take in the Alpine countryside in the summer, horse riding gives you a unique perspective. At your resort you’ll find an equestrian center and they all offer mountain rides of both half day or day long excursions. Children from 5 years of age can try this activity and you don’t need any experience as complete beginners are catered for. A must do on a summer trip in the mountains.

Rock climbing in the French Alps

Beginners or experienced climbers can enjoy climbing and navigating on natural rock faces or artificial climbing walls at resorts in the Alps. If you want outdoor lessons then an instructor will guide you as part of a group and introduce you to the stunning natural rock faces. You will be taught different climbing and abseiling techniques starting with more comfortable climbs to ease you in and become more adept. Then if you wish you can try your hand at moderate and more difficult climbs as your ability improves. If you’d like to start out slow then artificial walls a great place for families and beginners. Learn in a safe environment with instructors and easy to follow color coded hand and foot holds. This way you can see the different levels clearly, which means beginners can climb walls at the same time as experts by following the easier routes.

White water rafting in the French Alps

White water rapids are a famous terrain of the Alps and rafting is one of the most popular activities to try on these rivers. Families will enjoy the rapids together as children from the age of 8 years can partake in the experience. Under instruction from the rafting center experts, this safe but exhilarating sport will be a fun and memorable experience. Before your session you will be briefed on the kit and safety procedures before you go. Rivers include the Durance, the Ubaye, the Bachelard and the Guil where the waters for rafting vary from grades 2 to 5. So, there is a range of options for beginners to the more experienced rafter.

What to do in the French Alps Tour?

If you are deciding between destinations, tour operators and accommodation, make sure you check what else is included in your stay too. For example, are there free transfers if you are taking a flight? Is there free parking if you are driving? Also find out what activities and passes are included in your booking. Providers might offer bike hire, guided hikes, or kayaking as part of their package and either free or discounted lift and cable car passes to get you started in the area. This can be of great benefit when booking a family break, saving you money, and enabling you to enjoy activities without spending extra cash.

Guide to the French Alps

In conclusion, the best value for money options are to drive to your destination yourself and to choose a self-catering chalet. Buying and cooking your own meals is the cheapest option for a budget holiday here. Booking through a tour operator may afford you some free activities included in your stay too. Choosing dates outside of the peak holidays will save you some money as well. Share your experiences and advice in the comments below.