The Alps are not solely a winter wonderland. In the summer, there’s a variety of exciting activities on offer, ranging from extreme sports, to walking with the family and soaking up the sunshine whilst admiring the amazing scenery.
I often wonder why so many Brits gravitate towards the stereotypical beach-based tourist holiday, when the mountains offer such fantastic luxury vacations. When the snow has melted, the Alps reveal a new identity, boasting a luscious contrast between the many greens, the beautiful flora of the valleys and the snow-capped peaks of the mountains.
The choice of activities in the Alps in summertime is endless, and constantly evolving as people come up with new ideas. The more popular activities, include:
Perfect for anyone who loves the fear factor – it’s a fun and truly exhilarating way of enjoying a hot summer’s day in the Alps. Jump, slide or abseil into deep, natural pools of cool alpine water. Your adrenaline will be pumping!
Explore the underground playground of the Alps – crawl through secret passages, discover streams and lakes, thin passages and caves.
Golf & Tennis
There are a number of places where you can play golf, tennis and squash whilst you’re in the Alps. There’s a superb 18-hole Les Gets Golf Course, positioned on the Chavannes ridge, which boasts superb panoramic views and is highly recommended.
Another is the Chamonix Golf Club, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks of Les Drus at 3754m, L’Aiguille Verte at 4122m, L’Aiguille du Mid at 3842m, and of course Mont Blanc at 4810m.
If you fancy a spot of tennis, there are plenty of clubs in Chamonix to keep you active and entertained. The Chamonix Mont-Blanc Tennis Club is very popular, with several indoor courts and 13 outdoor courts. Open all year round, there are teachers and instructors to help you meet your goals.
Another favourite of mine is the Morzine Tennis Club which is situated in the fabulous setting of the Parc des Dérêches. Available for rent all summer, there are nine fully-equipped courts – booking ahead is recommended.
Kayaking & White Water Rafting
Whether you’re new to paddling or you’re a seasoned adventurer, you’ll enjoy navigating the white water rapids. Kayakers from the world over come to the Southern Alps to take advantage of the melting snow and glacier ice. Certain sections of the River Dranse in Morzine offer some of the best white water rafting and canoeing in the Alps.
There are a number of trained guides in a variety of resorts to help you. Try Frogs Rafting on the Dranse which specialises in white-water rafting, canorafting and gorge walking – these activities are guaranteed not to disappoint!
Mountain Biking & Cycling
The most popular mountain-biking resorts include Morzine and Les Gets in France and Zermatt in Switzerland. The Alps offer a huge variety of marked and graded trails, suitable for all levels. New routes are being created all the time, and are frequently graded like ski runs (green, blue, red and black routes) so you can cater to your own skills.
For road cycling enthusiasts, the Alps offers an amazing challenge with the amount of vertical ascent on hand. Be prepared to sweat as this is guaranteed to get the blood pumping!
If it’s rock climbing you’re after, you won’t find much better than the Chamonix Valley. Often referred to as ‘the capital of world climbing,’ the Chamonix Valley offers a wide range of rock climbing courses, with everything from the quieter, beginner areas in the French Aravis to the Grande Courses in Mont Blanc.
Trail, fell or mountain running is perfect for runners who love the mountains. If you want to push yourself, Chamonix is the place to do it. The Mont Blanc massif plays host to the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, an annual trail race where participants cover over 100 miles with over 9,000 metres of ascent! Stretch your legs and absorb the breathtaking scenery!
Skydiving, Paragliding & Helicopter Tours
Skydiving is enjoyed all year round in the Alps, allowing you to soar away up in the air and soak in the breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. For paragliding, you’ll need to stump up the courage to literally ‘run off’ the mountain, putting the trust in the fabric wing (and your pilot if you’re flying tandem!) to whisk you up into the thermals – it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted!
If neither take your fancy, then how about a helicopter flight over the stunning glaciers, where you can get closer than you may ever wish to the crevasses, or get a chance to gasp in awe, up close and personal to the renowned peaks of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
Swimming in Alpine Lakes
The Alps boast a multitude of stunning natural lakes, overlooked by snow-capped mountains and alpine meadows. Great for secluded swimming, family picnics and days out, or simply cooling down on a hot day! Lake Passy in the Chamonix Valley is one of our top picks – you can relax in nice surroundings and marvel at the mountains around you.
Complimenting the mountain views, are the deep blue waters of the lakes, the flower-studded meadows and evergreen forests. With a diversity of wildlife, the rolling alpine landscape is truly a remarkable place to go walking. Where can the air get any fresher than this?
There are a huge variety of walking trails for all abilities, and don’t forget to test your nerve on the various Via Ferratas around the Alps too – the “Iron Roads” are a cross between hiking and climbing. Routes are built into rock faces with cables and ladders and other equipment designed to facilitate people’s progression along the route. Some can be very challenging so be prepared! If this takes your fancy, how about a Via Ferrata Day Trip? Mountain Spirit offers private guided Via Ferrata routes in Chamonix and surrounded areas.
Chalet Dalmore (Chamonix) – Our luxury summer chalet
After a challenging and active day enjoying all the summer activities on offer in the Alps, you’ll want somewhere luxurious to wind down and rest. I recommend Chalet Dalmore, a new five bedroom chalet with unique views of the Mont Blanc Massif.
Chalet Dalmore is ideally located for accessing the walking trails in the valley and is just minutes away from the Chamonix Golf Club. With its own outdoor pool and roof terrace, you can marvel at the mountains on all sides and absorb the stunning scenery.
The chalet is a move away from the traditional Swiss style, encompassing an open plan living style with sumptuous interiors. Click here to browse the gallery and make an enquiry.
Feeling inspired? There’s still plenty of time to book for the summer months in the Alps. Give us a call or drop us an email to make an enquiry – we’re guaranteed to have the perfect chalet for you.