The mere mention of the French or Swiss Alps conjures images of winterscapes, charming Alpine villages, and majestic mountains. While undoubtedly a winter wonderland, this region in the Alps is also an ideal summer retreat. Family-friendly and offering a diverse array of activities, this area will please young and old alike. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, foodie, or looking for a serene retreat, all are found in abundance in the French and Swiss Alps.
One of the most popular summertime activities is hiking, and this part of the Alps is home to a vast network of well-maintained trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day treks. With spectacular vistas of snow-capped peaks, sparkling lakes, and verdant valleys, hiking here is an unparalleled experience of natural beauty. For those seeking a more challenging adventure, several classic routes, such as the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Haute Route, and the Eiger Trail, offer magnificent panoramas and a real test of endurance. For the more daring, paragliding, canyoning, and white water sports are prevalent. If summer skiing is in order, visit the Theodul Glacier in Zermatt or the Grand Motte Glacier in Tignes.
View this post on Instagram
For those who enjoy water sports, the lakes in the Alps are a major attraction. Most are crystal clear and are the perfect setting for boating, swimming, kayaking, sailing, and paddleboarding. Lake Geneva, the largest lake in the Alps, is top-rated for water sports, as are Lake Constance and Lake Lucerne. Whereas, in France’s Haute-Savoie, escape to Lake Annecy, awarded the title of “cleanest lake in Europe.” There you will find endless opportunities for adventures on and off the water. Here too, you can explore the lakeside town of Annecy, known as the “Venice of the Alps,” with its picturesque canals, medieval architecture, and vibrant markets.
Beyond outdoor activities, the Alps are renowned for their cuisine and wine. The region is home to many Michelin-starred restaurants that showcase the best local ingredients, such as mountain foraged berries and herbs, Alpine cheeses, freshwater fish, and wild game. Typical Alpine dishes such as fondue, raclette, and tartiflette are also must-tries for food lovers. In addition to food, the Alps have a long tradition of winemaking, with several wine regions producing high-quality wines. The Savoie, in particular, is known for its white wines made from indigenous grapes such as Jacquere and Altesse.
Lastly, the Alps are dotted with picturesque towns and villages worth exploring. Many of these towns have preserved their historical architecture and heritage, providing a glimpse into Alpine life and culture. The Swiss town of Zermatt, located at the base of the Matterhorn, is a car-free village that offers stunning Alpine vistas and opportunities for hiking and mountaineering. In France, the medieval town of Yvoire, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, possesses a picturesque old town, castle, and beautiful “Garden of the Five Senses,” designating Yvoire as one of the prettiest towns in France. In contrast, Gstaad boasts a luxurious Swiss experience with high-end shops, gourmet restaurants, and lavish hotels and spas. Another notable town is Grindelwald, situated in the Swiss Bernese Alps. It is known for its breathtaking views of the Eiger and Wetterhorn peaks, hiking trails, and proximity to Interlaken.
View this post on Instagram
The Swiss and French Alps are the perfect escape for summer travel, offering adventure and natural bliss. A visit to this culturally rich region accented by dazzling Alpine backdrops is ideal for all types of vacationers. Whether planning an active family holiday, a relaxing lakeside stay, or a little bit of both, look no further than the Alps.
To inquire about custom travel planning, please contact The Destination Designer for a travel consultation.