Summer Alpine Holidays

Looking for Something different for all the family – A summer alpine holiday

If you enjoy outdoor activities such as walking or cycling or are bored with beach holidays then you should take a look at one of the fastest growing destinations for the summer – The Alps!

Once the lifts have shut and the ski enthusiasts returned home many people think that the ski resorts and chalets close their shutters and sleep until the next snow flake drops from the sky the following November. This is a major myth! In reality the ‘ski resorts’ transform themselves into centres  of activity with something for everyone – from a gentle stroll along the river to death defying downhill tracks for the mountain  bikers. The Alps are a perfect venue for a family holiday or a fun few days away with friends.

What’s on offer in the Alps in the summer? There is a wide range of sporting activities on offer, from golf (it’s a whole new experience when played at 1600 metres!)& tennis to swimming either in open water or pools to more energetic options such as white-water rafting, paragliding, mountain-biking and of course hiking and climbing and the list carries on…..

However if all you want is some peace and quiet including a little gentle activity, the ski lifts are open during the summer months so there is no need to walk uphill in order to enjoy the high alpine pastures which are covered in beautiful flowers, smell of wild herbs and resonate to the sound of cow bells. Anyone capable of a two hour stroll can experience the beauty of this wonderful environment.

One area of particular beauty is the Abondance valley in the Northern Alps. This valley starts at Thonon-les-Bains on lake Geneva and stretches up into the mountains and ends at Chatel on the French / Swiss boarder.
As you meander up from Thonon through the gorge at Biot you suddenly enter the wide open meadows of Vacheresse and Bonnevaux. The next village you enter is Abondance itself, which has a stunning medieval church and Abbey at its centre. It is also the home of the cheese making in the region. The local breed of cows, named after the village, stay in their stables during the winter months munching on hay and dreaming of warmer days when they can return to their summer pastures. The cows are so precious in the region that they have their own Fete – La Belle Dimanche – in August. There are still 40 working farms in the valley producing the milk which makes the renowned Abondance cheese – and very good it is too!

The next village along the valley is La Chapelle d’Abondance which in the summer is in the heart of all the walking, regardless of whether you want an easy stroll along the river or a more energetic hike up the mountain. Nestled between the Mont de Grange nature reserve and the mighty Cornettes de Bise, La Chapelle has something for everyone.

Finally 5 minutes further along the road is Chatel which in the summer is the mecca of mountain biking in the region and is rapidly developing its reputation across Europe as the place to be for VTT!

Not only does the valley have plenty to offer the visitor, its location opens up many more opportunities for those who are happy to drive an hour to two. Lake Geneva with all the water sports, the Chateau de Chillon – a staging post for the crusading knights of old, the medieval village of Yvoire and on the Swiss side the beautiful towns of Montreux (music festival) and Lausanne (home of the Olympic museum).

In the opposite direction there is Mont Blanc and Chamonx and within 90 minutes you could be lunching in Italy. Finally returning to the Abondance valley we have to mention the unique ‘Fantaticable’ zipwire whichi allows you to fly across the valley giving you an eagle’s eye view of everything at speeds of up to 100 km/hr. The whole experience is pretty spectacular and the end is … well a surprise shall we say!

The Abondance valley is unspoilt by by tourism, still has Galic charm, Savoyard tradition and is truly a special place to have a summer holiday.

If you would like more information about a summer holiday in this stunning region please contact info@savioefaire.co.uk

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