Jun 26, 2013

Why Alpine Holidays Aren't Just About Skiing

When you hear alpine holidays mentioned your thoughts automatically turn to skiing and winter sports. But the Alps are a great summer destination too, especially if you're looking for some fun and adventure.

For those who don't want to spend their summer holidays on a beach, the French Alps offer a wide range of destinations and activities. Whether you want relatively gentle things like walking, swimming and golf or more strenuous excursions such as climbing, mountain biking or white-water rafting, an alpine holiday can offer it all. You can hire any equipment required so you don't have to worry about taking it along. There are lots of things for the kids too with water parks, karting and pony rides.

If you want to mix in some culture or education there are plenty of attractions on offer from museums and chhteaux to vineyards and cheese factories. Plus many opportunities simply for taking in the sights.

Choice of Resorts

When it comes to family activity holidays in the French Alps there's a great choice of resorts to consider.

* Chamonix is home to Mont Blanc  Europe's highest mountain. The ski-lift system is open to walkers during the summer making it a great destination whether you want a gentle stroll or a harder climb. Free trail maps give details of all the routes and their degree of difficulty. There are routes for cyclists too or if you prefer to take in the sights sitting down you can take the Mer Glace train through the mountains and stop at the glacier for lunch.

* Les Gets is a popular resort with many bars and family-friendly restaurants. It has a museum of mechanical music and hosts a bi-annual festival when the streets are closed off and taken over by barrel organs from around Europe. There's an 18 hole golf course and in summer the town hosts many mountain biking events making it an ideal destination for keen cyclists.

* Morzine, the northernmost of the French alpine resorts, is a traditional market town, spread across a river gorge and bordered by wooded slopes. Again it's a good destination for cyclists, its hosted stages of the Tour de France and there are some great mountain bike trails. It's also a good destination for walking and caving, plus there's an Olympic-sized municipal pool.

* Tignes, although best known as a ski resort, has a lot to offer in summer too. It's made up of five villages spaced down the valley. In 1952 the original Tignes village was submerged in the construction of a hydro-electric dam. Its remains become visible once every decade when the dam is drained for maintenance. The dam carries a fresco depicting Hercules which is one of the largest paintings in the world. Tignes is great for water sports including white-water rafting and canoeing and there's a good selection of restaurants where you can relax after a busy day.

Whatever type of sport or activity you and your family are interested in there's a good chance that an alpine holiday will cater for it. Add in friendly resorts, good food and cultural attractions and it's a destination for everyone.

AUTHOR BIO: Diyana Lobo is a freelance travel writer and knows that the Alps are a great destination if you're looking for family activity holidays.

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