Luxury in Alps (French): Fantastic scenery, clean fresh air, spectacular mountains
The immense landscape of the French Alps, with is majestic mountains, crystal clear lakes, and alpine rivers, provides a boundless playground for summer holidays. The Alps are uncrowded and pollution free and always offer superb value for money. Enjoy exploring the countryside with its lavender fields, beekeepers, shepherds, cabinet makers and truffle pickers. The Alps are home to famous resort towns like Annecy and other traditional resorts like Aix-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains away from mass tourism. Courchevel is a favoured destination for movie stars with luxury boutiques and health spas. Chamonix, a fascinating traditional resort with a bustling atmosphere, is one of the most visited natural sites in the world. Les Gets is a century old farming village, which has evolved into a pretty, child friendly village whilst keeping its unspoilt charm. Nowadays it is a mountain biking mecca. In summer, the French Alps are attractive for outdoor activities, ranging from peaceful walks, family adventure areas and sunbathing to adrenalin pumping pursuits such as white water rafting, bungee jumping, mountaineering, mountain biking, hiking and paragliding. Alpine cuisine at the many restaurants owes much to the quality and freshness of local produce. Cheese from the rich Alpine pastures, fish from the lakes and rivers, mushrooms from the forests, crayfish from the mountain streams, game, potatoes and fruit form the basis of most Alpine dishes. As for Provençal cuisine, its main characteristic is the generous use of olive oil and garlic. Experience the 'real' France with tasty food and wine at realistic prices and that 'je ne sais quoi' harmony of life.
The Alps in summer remain one of the best kept secrets for nature lovers and families, famous for its stunning beauty, many alpine lakes, like Lake Geneva, Lac d'Annecy and Lac de Bourget,and luxury chalets for rent. The astonishing beauty of the mountains is hard to beat with their dramatic skyline of rugged peaks and glaciers, crystal clear mountain lakes and green meadows. Megève is an enchanting town in a lovely sunny setting. It has retained its heritage and old rustic charm, with narrow cobbled streets, restored medieval buildings, horse-drawn sleighs, Friday morning markets and traditional private chalets. The mountain is accessible by foot, mountain bike, horse and cable car, and the views are tremendous. Val d'Isere is famous for hiking, including the famous Fonds Fours mountain hike, as well as the international 4-WD exhibition. There is an international airport near Grenoble and every city has a direct TGV (fast train) to Paris. Many towns are also connected by TVG or ordinary trains. One of the best ways to get around the Alps is renting a car. It gives you the freedom to go wherever you please while you are there and take in all the wonderful scenery. To the south, the Alps gradually take on a more Mediterranean French flavour. The wildlife and plant life here have been well- cared-for through nature reserves, such as in the Lubéron, gateway to the south of France. Temperatures during summer are generally 5-10°C higher than in the UK. Divided into two distinct climatic regions, the northern Alps are subject to west winds off the Atlantic; the southern Alps enjoy a lovely Mediterranean climate.