The Alps covers a vast area from Annecy in the west to the Swiss and Italian borders in the east and from Geneva in the north whilst reaching almost to the Mediterranean in the south.
The alpine heights are magnificent and include Mont Blanc, Europes highest mountain, reaching as far as 4810m at its summit. Whilst Mont Blanc is inhospitable without specialist equipment even in the peak summer months, there are many other heights and valley passes that are delightful walking country in the summer and the playground of skiing enthusiasts in the winter.
The deep alpine valleys offer great water based sports and enchanting villages.
As you might imagine, winters can be severe in the Alps, especially in the mountains. It is surprising how much the temperature changes as you climb. In winter time it can be pouring with rain in the valleys and as you drive towards the mountains the rain turns to a driving blizzard. So go prepared.
On the other hand, the summers are temperate although with more rainfall than in other areas of France.
There are many other types of active entertainment in the Alps including Via Ferratas, summer and winter skiing and Activity Centres.
You would be forgiven for thinking that this is the domain of experts, however whilst there is some serious stuff in the Alps, there is also plenty of more level stuff, easily within the scope of younger families.
Only to be undertaken with expert supervision, white water rafting can provide great fun for older children and parents alike.
The cuisine is typically strong flavoured and intense, complimenting the local lifestyle. Recipes adapt to ingredients that are immediately available; mostly dairy products, eggs, meats, fish and fresh produce.
The cultivation of cheese is virtually an art form that reached its pinnacle in the Savoy region which benefits from the Alpine meadows where cows and goats can thrive.
Local wines are also well known, although they have yet to rival the best vintages of Bordeaux and Burgundy . Montmelian is a popular red wine similar to Beaujolais . Also famous is Seyssel, a sparkling white wine with fine vintages that are comparable to champagne.
Dinners are usually finished with a glass or two of beaux de vie, strong liquor that goes well with the mountain climate. The best known varieties are Gentian and Chartreuse. Marc de Savoie is another unique drink, taken from the residue of distilled brandy, a fiery liquid that still swims in your head the morning after.
Article Source: The Alps Covers a Vast Area
The words French Alps and skiing seem to be synonymous; very few think of one without the other. The word alpine is derived from the Alps themselves and alpine skiing is a draw many cannot resist. The region receives visitors from all over the world that enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the variety of ski slopes available.
The hundreds of ski resorts found cater to cross country and downhill skiers, with one of the most luxurious, and famous, being Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. This resort holds prestige for being first, in 1924, to host the Winter Olympics. Nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe, at 15,744 feet, the area is well known for not only its extreme skiing, but a plethora of other mountain sports, including mountain climbing, snowboarding, and even biking in summer months.
Imagine if you will, waking up, looking out the window, and seeing a light dusting of new snow, alluring you to rush outside and ride the highest cable car in the world up to the peak of the mountain, only to find your way slowly back down the slope, the brisk air chilling, knowing when you return to the resort, a cup of hot chocolate and a warm fire await. Many find the challenge of the ski slopes well worth the effort, pitting their skills against the elements a way to feel invigorated. A more leisurely path at the base of the mountain, exploring the woods as you cross country ski can be just as enjoyable, though perhaps not the adrenaline rush of a fast downhill slope.
With so many diverse pastimes available, there is no doubt why the French Alps hold popularity. Glaciers sculpted the Alps, which gives the valleys located here a mild climate, and guarantees beauty in the summer months, the rich soil being perfect to accommodate an array of wildflowers. This makes the French Alps a year round location for the outdoor enthusiast.
Article Source: French Alps And Skiing – Synonyms?
The French Alps are sometimes considered to be the ultimate destination for hardcore skiers. It’s a huge industry in the region – there are many French ski resorts that you can choose from if you decide to take a vacation there. It may feel like it’s far away and inaccessible, but it is actually very easy to plan a ski trip to the French Alps.
First you need to plan your itinerary. It’s a good idea to fly into the country, then get rested up at a hotel before you head out to the slopes. Perhaps you can spend a few days touring Paris so that you can catch up with the jet lag. You don’t want to be skiing if you can’t think clearly because you’re so tired. There are plenty of other sites to keep you busy – just don’t be too impatient.
Next you’ll need to choose a ski resort. Since the industry has been increasingly popular and globalized, most French Alps ski resorts have web sites, or at least profiles on web sites. With those, you can find the ones with the best slopes, the best rates, and the best service. You can also use the internet to find the experiences of people who have stayed there in the past. You can find positives and negatives about every ski resort, and that will help greatly in making your final decision.
It isn’t very practical to bring your own skiing equipment on a plane trip, so you will probably need to arrange to rent your own once you get there. Usually this is quite easy to do. You should just remember your size and what kind of ski works best for you, so that you can get the right kind immediately, and feel familiar with the new skis. A ski trip to the French Alps is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure you plan it well, and be safe!
Article Source: Planning Your Ski Trip To The French Alps