The alpine beauty of France isn’t just for skiers. Once Spring has arrived, the whole area becomes a paradise for walkers and cyclists – though discovering this mountainous region by car and taking advantage of the extensive network of cable cars is also a good idea. The green hills and valleys contain numerous pine forests and crystal lakes, together with countless charming towns and villages. And don’t forget that the cities and sights of both Switzerland and Italy are both just a short drive away across the border.
What part of France isn’t really like France – answer, The Alps. The stunning scenery puts you in the middle of Switzerland or Austria but the food and wine place you firmly in France – best of both worlds then. In this part of France you get some of the best skiing in the world at places like Chamonix and Grenoble.
However, as the snow melts it’s all change. The area becomes a paradise for the outdoor types who are into walking, bike riding and generally convening with nature. Surrounded by the Swiss as well as French Alps and National Parks at every turn the scenery is nothing less than spectacular.
The area has so many pretty towns that you’ll not be able to see them all. Annecy is probably one of the prettiest and with its own chateaux is well worth visiting as it has stunning views over the Lac d’Annecy.
The town is one medieval street after another. At every corner in the old quarter there are medieval arcades, bridges and canals with cafes and restaurants on practically every corner. However, the best thing about the Alps is the mountain countryside. You can choose between green sloping hills or locations where you look out over white glaciers. Food may not be as elegant as other areas of France, they’re used to feeding starving skiers but the food is tasty, well cooked and nothing short of hearty.
Being such an outdoors type of place there are plenty of activities to get involved with. Conventional sports such as tennis, swimming and horse riding tend to be rather outshone by the more white-knuckle activities such as bungee jumping, rafting and paragliding.
If that’s all too much then there are thousands of miles of marked footpaths going up to almost 10,000ft and you could spend your entire holiday just walking these footpaths.