In winter it’s a skiers paradise, but as the snows melt and the cows return to the high pastures a whole host of other activities and options become available. The villages in the area gear up to to welcome walkers, mountain bikers, sightseers and especially families – see the family activity holiday page for more info.
Places to visit
Swim in the crystal clear waters of lake Annecy, or stroll through the beautiful medieval town centre – the Venice of the Alps. Well worth a visit for shopaholics and fans of ice cream and long lunches by the canals.
Lake Annecy is home for just about all watersports – sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, diving, canoeing, water skiing and wake boarding. These can all be enjoyed on one of the purest lakes in Europe.
Chamonix Mont Blanc
Chamonix is a mecca for climbers and mountaineers but there’s plenty to see and do for the less ambitious. You can take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi at 3800 metres where you get a stunning view of Mont Blanc and it’s glaciers and over most of the Alps.
Take the Montenvers mountain railway up to the Mer de Glace and visit the ice palace which is carved into the heart of the glacier.
Or just shop and have a big lunch!
There are regular markets in Grand Bornand and La Clusaz where you can buy this local produce direct from the farmers.
This traditional way of life has formed the landscape and even though the area has developed as a major ski resort most of the mountians are still wild and untamed as they were 100 years ago.
This low intensity farming means the rugged mountains are teeming with wildlife including chamois, golden eagles, wild boar, bouquetin, vultures and of course the marmot! There’s even a rumour that wolves are making a comeback – but don’t worry they stay away from humans.
When out walking or paraglidng we often see these amazing creatures, to thermal with a golden eagle or a bearded vulture with a 2.5 metre wingspan is a sublime experience.
You can join the wildlife walks organised by the local bureau des guides find these wonderful animals without upsetting their natural habitat and life.