Summertime Alpine is one of our most favourite experiences.. This is not because we don’t like snow or golden beaches but mountains provide a sense of freedom, of being on top of the world, of feeling the crisp, fresh air, and the stunning warm weather makes for a fantastic summer holiday break.
If you are committed skiers you will already have a love of the mountains, if you are a keen sportsman you will have already considered the mountains for cycling, trekking, climbing or some high altitude training. Now is the time to take a long, considered look at what is on offer.
If you have never taken a Summertime Alpine holiday then read on to find some top reasons for going this year:
The weather – the summer months in the Alps can be delightfully warm with daytime temperatures in the mid-twenties which provides a perfect climate for sun-bathing or walking. The temperature at high altitude will be cooler but the spectacular expanse of uninterrupted views of cols, ferrets, mountains, valleys and azure sky provide a visual feast that is, quite simply, stunning.
Come the Summer, the snow melts away to reveal vast areas of lush green meadows full of a colourful wild flowers; cascading waterfalls and swollen rivers that sparkle in the sunlight. Life returns to mountain villages as flowers bring brightness and beauty to characterful wooden buildings. Take a glass of wine in the sunshine or afternoon tea on the shore of peaceful lakes.
Lakeside is the new beach! The 21st Century holiday is increasingly about new experiences and stimulating our senses. Alpine lakes provide some of the most beautiful landscapes with huge amounts of fun and activity. Everything from swimming to sailing, cycling to circuits, walking to white-water rafting can be found in lakeside resorts all over the Alps. The Alpine Lake Selection goes from Lake Annecy in France right through to Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. Lakeside villages and towns,such as Lucerne in Switzerland or the spa town of Bad Gastein in Austria, provide easily accessible local cultural experiences far from the noise and bustle of beachside crowds.
There are a huge range of wonderful hiking and walking trails traversing the mountains that are cleverly networked. Cicerone, our favourite and most trusted range of guidebooks, provide the best in self-guiding books. Supported walking experiences can be pre-arranged with 'InnTravel' who then will move your luggage from hotel to hotel leaving you free to take a light day bag, which might include a tasty picnic, and meander at your own pace to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
For the more experienced hikers or mountain climbers looking for an unforgettable challenge, the fabulous Mont Blanc or the iconic Matterhorn can be summited from Chamonix and Zermatt – both buzzy summertime towns that offer good accommodation, great local beers and traditional mountain foods.
If your adrenaline desires take you beyond the amazing trails try Morzine as a top adrenaline location for mountain biking, glacier walking, abseiling, paragliding, sky-diving, white-water rafting, horse riding and even summertime skiing (though this tends to be a morning only activity). In fact, the list of diversions seem to get bigger every year!
And the top reason for going to the Alps over the summer time – is value! Not only are the chalets, hotels and restaurants at lower prices than during the peak ski season but, more than this, the best value is, in my mind, the peace and quiet. The popular traditional town resorts are significantly less crowded than in the winter months. Many of the ski chalets remain open, offering the same facilities as during the ski season including kids clubs (where available). And if you don’t feel like hiking, most of the lift systems remain open offering easy access to the mountains giving the (sometimes welcome) option of catching a cable car up and walking down.
If you are looking for a change for your next summer holiday then look no further than the European Alps. Here is the best of all worlds and even snow at the high altitudes!