The French Alps tourist information.
Breathtaking mountains and deep valleys form Alpine France which borders Switzerland
and Italy. In summer this is a wonderful place for walkers and mountain bikers of
all aptitudes, with countless kilometres of marked paths in the valleys and foothills
and endless opportunities for exploring the high mountains, although here a guide
is recommended. In the winter it is a skiers' paradise containing some of the
best high altitude ski resorts in Europe. In the north the area borders the southern
shores of Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman, with every sort of water based activity in
one of Europe's most beautiful settings.
Activities in the Alps:
Every type of outdoor activity (summer), Skiing, rock and ice climbing, botany.
Special attractions in the Alps:
Boat trips on Lake Geneva; Parc National de la Venoise with many marked paths; monastery
at Chartreuse. Memorial
of the Exterminated Jewish Children at Izieu, about 25 kms west of Chambery.
Map of the Alps and the surrounding area.
Towns in the Alps:
Annecy. Popular and very pretty town with canal, chateau and restaurants.
Good access to walking, canal boat trips, cycling around Lake Annecy. Near to Gorges
du Fier, Pont de la Caille and trips to Mont Blanc.
Briancon. Fortified town near the River Claree, the Parc National des Ecrins
for dedicated walkers and the Parc Regional du Queyras for botanists.
Chamonix. At the foot of Mont Blanc, expensive and touristy, this town is
nevertheless a good base for walking, rock and ice climbing and it also has access
to schools and guides for these activities. For the more sedentary there are cable
car and railway journeys to the mountains and glaciers. Visit the useful
Evian. Elegant spa town with boat trips on the beautiful Lake Geneva.
Grenoble. Clean and lively modern industrial and manufacturing city with
a huge university population. Situated on the Isere river, dramatic views of the
city can be had by ascending the teleferique to the fort. An excellent centre for
visiting the Parc Naturel Regional du Vercors for relatively easy walking and the
monastery at Chartreuse.
Ski Resorts. Of course, you can spend a week or more in the mountains, or
you can stay in the valleys and drive to the resorts and ski for the day. Arranging
your own Drive Alive package is a good and economically attractive alternative to
the packages on offer from the winter sports specialists.