Wish You Were Here? Summer in the Alps

Wish You Were Here? Summer in the Alps I know what you’re thinking, the Alps is a winter destination: snow, skiing, a sneaky vin chaud at the top of the mountain.

Well yes of course it is, but have you ever considered going in the summer months? We hadn’t, until we bought an apartment in the Alps. In fact even then, we assumed that Les Gets would be a ghost town in the summer holidays and we might be the only ones foolish enough to drive 12 hours to spend two weeks with bored teenagers.

How wrong we were! The first time we visited the Alps in summer, was June 2015 and we were surprised to find that the whole region comes alive in the summer months. I’m now genuinely torn as to whether I prefer it in the summer or winter – they both have a totally different appeal.

To follow are 5 reasons why I think it makes a great summer holiday destination…

 

1. Breath-taking views

One of the reasons why I love skiing so much is the spectacular scenery. You think it’s amazing in the snow? Head to the Alps in the summer and it looks as though someone has come in with a brush and swept through in technicolour!

the Alps in summer

Around each corner there is a new view, each one as breath-taking as the last. If you’re someone who is blown away by a view, or you enjoy comparing your own tiny existence to the awesomeness of the world that we live in, head to the Alps. You will not be disappointed.

2. Mountain air

In my normal every day life, I live about an hour away from London. Our house is situated on a main road through to a busy town and we are therefore subjected to fumes and traffic noise every day – yet another reason why the Alps is a firm favourite of mine.

Head to the top of the mountain, or the depths of the valley and you can fill your lungs with fresh mountain air. When in the Alps, I just feel healthier, more alive and ready to take on the world.

top of Mont Chery in summer

3. Something for everyone

We had our first encounter with white water rafting as a family 2 years ago and it was great fun! There’s so much to do in the Alps from parasailing to extreme mountain biking. In fact biking is almost as popular as skiing in Les Gets, which helps the tourist industry no end.

white water rafting in the Alps

There are a number of tree top adventures similar to Go Ape in the UK (but better in my opinion) and the Fantasticable zip wire ride in Chatel is extremely popular. Not sure I’ve got the stamina for the latter myself, but if you’re holidaying with a thrill-seeking teenager then I think you’ve found the perfect activity!

If you prefer something slightly more sedate, then a leisurely ascent up the mountain on a chair lift and a gentle stroll at the top followed by lunch with a view, might be more up your street.

chair lift Alps in summer

Want to head a bit further afield? Only an hour away you have the historic beauty of Annecy in one direction and the hustle and bustle of Geneva, Switzerland in the other.

Le Jet d'Eau geneva4. Freshwater swimming

The freshwater lakes are an absolute highlight of the Alps. Although locals and tourists do flock there in the afternoon, it’s never heaving like a British beach in the height of summer. Most lakes will offer paddle boarding and canoeing if swimming and sun bathing isn’t keeping you entertained.

Lake Montriond in summer

For me, the lake is a place of serenity, the views are spectacular and it’s the perfect place to read a good book while the kids splash around.

5. Escapism

There are only two places I’ve visited during my years on this earth, that have provided true escapism from the rat race of life: a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides, and the Alps.

You’ll certainly come across more people in the Alps, but you still leave feeling refreshed and as though you’ve had a proper break from it all. There is something very special about being in the mountains and now that I’ve visited in both the winter and summer months, I can confirm that the majestic beauty remains the same all year round.

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14 Comments

  1. July 21, 2017 / 8:34 am

    Wow, I’d have never considered the Slps in summer either but it sounds magical. mich x

    • July 22, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Great for a family holiday Mich, especially your kids’ age. x

  2. July 21, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Looks wonderful Suzanne – lucky you having an apartment there! 🙂 xx

    • July 22, 2017 / 8:26 am

      I know you’re in the hebrides which is one of the other places which affords total relaxation but you’ll have to try it sometime!

  3. July 21, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Oh gosh, how lovely. I have visited ski resorts in Austria and Switzerland in the summer and loved it both times. There are so many brilliant summer sports on offer, white water rafting looks great fun and I also loved mountain biking. The open water swimming appeals to me as well but I do that in the UK as well, it’s one of my favourite ways to relax.
    Nat.x

    • July 22, 2017 / 8:24 am

      Sounds like the perfect retreat for you then Nat! Honestly it’s so lovely. Can’t guarantee the weather thought unfortunately :/

  4. July 22, 2017 / 5:20 am

    This sounds vey tempting! I’m sure my kids would love it, you know how much they like a mountain! I know we thought quite seriously about going to the Alps last summer, but in the end we rejected it in favour of our traditional Padstow, with an October half-term trip to Rome. I didn’t know you were so close to Annecy! I went there as a teenager on an exchange (twice!).
    Have a fantastic holiday.

    • July 22, 2017 / 8:25 am

      Ah yes we haven’t been to Annecy yet but are planning to visit this time. No one ever seems keen to get back in the car again after that 12 hour journey! I actually think that your family would love it Sarah. So much outdoorsy stuffy to do 🙂

  5. Nicola R
    July 23, 2017 / 9:27 am

    We holidayed in Austria for several years (when the children were more amenable to active holidays!) and it really does offer everything you’d want. The highlights in Austria are the slightly insane Sommer Rodelbahn (health and safety negligible) and the very cheap outdoor pools, many with slides etc) in most small towns.

  6. July 23, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun! I wouldn’t think of the Alps as a typical summer holiday destination but I have to admit, it looks very pretty! x

  7. August 3, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    I haven’t been but I know a few families with teens who love the Alps in summer. It sounds great – and a real alternative to being far too hot on the Med in July and August!

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:32 pm

      Yes I definitely think it’s a destination for slightly older kids, probably 8+.

  8. August 7, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful. This is the kind of holiday my husband would love. I visited the Alps during a Geography field trip in University and it was stunning although I am should i would appreciate it even more now. When the kids are a little older this is definitely a holiday for us!

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      Yes wait until they’re older but I think you would love alpine life. So peaceful.

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