While summer is far away here in the UK, I am thinking back to a holiday I spent in the French Alps in 2016.
When thinking of mountains, you usually think of snow, skiing and cozy fire places. But the mountains are just as beautiful in the summer. Think ‘Sound of Music’ and ‘Heidi’.
So my husband and I decided to go to La Clusaz in the summer of 2016. It is a place we have visited before for skiing and also got engaged! It was the obvious choice to spent our first wedding anniversary there, which is in August.
La Clusaz is located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France and close to the border of Switzerland as well as Italy. La Clusaz is probably one of the prettiest ski villages in France. The centre has a range of boutique shops and a 200-year-old church at the Centre, so there’s plenty of character to be found.
We were lucky with the accommodation, as we were able to use my husbands uncle’s flat, which is conveniently located in town.
There are around 50 different restaurants in LaClusaz alone, and more in the surrounding areas. The vast majority serve local Savoyard specialties, like fondue with local reblochon cheese, which is amazing. But you can also find other cuisines as well as Pizza. Alternatively and depending on your accommodation there are supermarkets to just self-cater. We did both.
We spend most days just hiking the mountains and enjoying this breathtaking view below! Really no words needed.
If you don’t feel up for walking up the mountains, there are lifts operational in the summer as well to take you up and down. Just make sure you check the closing time, you don’t want to get stuck on top of the mountain.
Other things you can try while there is mountain biking, climbing, paragliding or the toboggan – so much fun!
We opted to visit a wildlife park. Look at all these beautiful creatures.
We also took two day trips to some nearby places. The first trip we took was up Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe with 15,771 feet (4,807 metres).
We went to Chamonix, from where you can take the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi. The Aiguille du Midi is a 3842m peak in the Mont Blanc massif of the French Alps. This is the closest you can get to the summit of Mont-Blanc without hiking or climbing.
The Aiguille du Midi cable car leaves from the centre of Chamonix Town (1035m) up to the summit of the Aiguile du Midi (3842m). It is a two-stage journey. A footbridge connects the cable car top station with the Central Piton terrace. An elevator inside the rock rises the visitor the final 42m to the top terrace at an altitude of 3,842m (info taken from here).
Once you reach the top you are greeted with this stunning view. You will certainly feel like on top of the world – and out of breath, as the air does get thin up there.
For bit of fun, at least for some, you can stand on a glass platform. For that you are asked to take of your shoes and instead wear these soft slippers. My husband made it about 10 seconds on there for a quick picture before we had to leave – it goes very deep down.
The other day trip was to the nearby city of Annecy. Annecy is the largest city in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. It is about a 50min drive from LaClusaz and located by Lake Annecy. Because this was our summer holiday, we couldn’t leave without some sunbathing and swimming. Lake Annecy is the perfect place. The water is clear and well, ice cold – but refreshing. There is a beach club you can use but also some open places where sunbathing and picnics are permitted.
Our last day in La Clusaz we decided to go for one last hike and picnic. I can only recommend to visit the mountains in the summer. The vast variety of activities, beautiful nature and wild life as well as stunning views just make it a perfect holiday. So pick your nearest mountain range and off you go!