Mention the Alps and you probably think of snow and skiing! But have you ever thought about the Alps as a summertime destination for your next holiday? If not then you might be missing out!
The Alps in summer are incredible. Not only is the weather often glorious but there is something rather special about seeing your favourite ski resort transformed into what at first glance looks like a completely different destination. Instead of white snow for as far as the eye can see, you’re instead immersed in a lush green alpine landscape. Where streams were frozen solid and covered under a blanket of snow, they now gargle as they trickle down the mountainside. And instead of heading out with a mound of clothing on (which can sometimes feel like you’re wrapped in a duvet!) you’re now free to explore in just a tee shirt and shorts. Summer in the mountains is pretty special and if you’ve not experienced it then now is the time to get a chalet booked and hop on a flight! We’ve listed a few of our favourite summertime ‘ski’ resorts to help get you started. As always, our team is here to help on +44 1993 899 420.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (usually just shortened to Chamonix!) is tucked into the corner near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. And, as you might have guessed, it is located at the base of that most famous of mountains, Mont Blanc. A great destination in the winter and a stunning one in the summer! If you’re after an active holiday in the mountains then look no further… kick things off with a day’s walking – many of Chamonix’s ski lifts stay open in the summer giving you easy access to some of the highest mountains. Cool off with some water activities including rafting, hydrospeed or canyoning. Dry off with an amazing Paragliding flight (Parapente in French) and enjoy incredible views of forests, snow-capped mountains and tumbling glaciers. A tandem flight will cost around €150 per person. Want an activity just as fun but on the ground? Head out on a mountain bike and enjoy the kind of trails and paths these bikes were designed for! Guided tours are available and are a great way of exploring some of the lesser-known areas. Still got some energy for more? Then feel free to enjoy a round of golf, head out on a glacier hike and finally to rest those legs why not take a helicopter ride? Soaring over the Mont Blanc massif is quite the experience!
At the end of the day you’ll no doubt want somewhere luxurious to relax… fortunately we know of just the place for you. Chalet Amazon Creek, located in the Les Bossons area of the Chamonix Valley sleeps up to ten guests in five stunning bedrooms. Slow down for the evening and make the most of the cinema room, luxury spa, sauna and jacuzzi before heading to the balcony to enjoy a cold beer or white wine as the sun sets over the mountains. Bliss!
A real go-to destination for the winter ski season, Verbier is a chic and trendy Alpine village in Switzerland’s Valais Canton. The gateway to the 4 Vallées ski area, trails from the village lead onto the Mont Fort Glacier and have views of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. In common with Chamonix, there is a wide range of outdoor activities which will allow you to enjoy the epic scenery and soak up as much sun as possible. If you’re a keen cyclist then test your fitness on some of the most gruelling sections used in the Tour de France around Verbier. Cycling not your thing? Then hop on a horse and head out to enjoy the fantastic mountainside trails. You can cover a lot more ground than you would on foot and get an elevated view of the scenery as well as often managing to sneak a closer peak at the wildlife in the area. For a more cultural activity you must make sure you make time to enjoy some of the many concerts laid on during July and August as part of the Verbier Festival. This annual performance extravaganza runs this year from 21st July through to 6th August and includes performances from the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra as well as other renowned musicians. Booking is essential – for more information click here.
Image courtesy of verbierfestival.com
A summer holiday isn’t a summer holiday without time to relax and we have the perfect chalet for you to enjoy when you’re not out and about. Chalet Chouqui is unrivalled in its position and size. And with 9 members of staff you can expect to enjoy your stay in supreme comfort. All 9 en-suite bedrooms have their own terrace or balcony with dramatic views of the Mont Blanc massif. And when you’re not sitting back and enjoying the view you’re free to go for a swim in the Chalet's private indoor swimming pool, thought to be the largest in Verbier.
Located in the Swiss canton of Valais, Veysonnaz offers the perfect destination for those of you who are looking to get away from it all. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, this is a particularly sunny area of Switzerland with a Mediterranean like climate. Quite the contrast to the winter months! Because of the warmth it is a prosperous fruit growing area that produces some excellent wines. If you’re happy to enjoy your holiday in the immediate vicinity then you’ll enjoy the beautiful views over the Rhone valley and to the Bernese Alps with extensive hiking for those of you who are so inclined with 300km of footpaths to be explored. Walking will take you through a landscape that has remained unspoiled and includes a wide range of flora and fauna. For families with children there is a children’s entertainment programme provided everyday for children aged between 4 and 9 with a wide range of supervised activities for them to enjoy. For a different experience, head to the eye popping Grande Dixence, the world’s highest gravity dam with collects melting water from 35 Valaisian glaciers in the region surrounding Zermatt and leading up to Val d’Hérens. At 285 metres high, don’t look down if you suffer from vertigo!!
Photo courtesy of myswitzerland.com
So, where to stay? We mentioned that Veysonnaz was the perfect destination for those who wanted to get away from it all. To complement the destination we are pleased to be able to offer our clients the opportunity to stay at the Hidden Dragon. An alpine lodge nestling in a fir and pine forest, this exclusive secluded mountain retreat is discreetly located in its own extensive grounds and accessed via private road. Perched at 1500m you’ll enjoy the enchanting uninterrupted panoramic views over the Rhone Valley. Hidden from crowds, the noise and chaos of urban life this is truly an idyllic hideaway for those who want to enjoy a peaceful summer holiday. And to ensure your stay is as rejuvenating as possible, Hidden Dragon have just launched their ‘Summertime Samadhi’ program – described as a ‘Holistic Summer of Swiss Bliss – A Total Mind, Body and Soul Reboot’. An incredible array of inspirational retreats, workshops and events focussing on health, happiness & healing. Contact us for more information.
Probably one of the areas prettiest resorts, Zermatt is a fantastic choice for a summer break in the mountains with lots to keep everyone occupied including outdoor activities, great shopping and fantastic restaurants. Lying at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn, Zermatt has maintained its original character despite its huge popularity both in the winter and summer. The streets are famously both cobbled and car-free (an unusual feeling for those of us who spend most of our time in busy towns and cities!). You’ll enjoy the freedom you can give the children to wander the streets whilst you shop in some of the beautiful boutiques which line its main street, Bahnhofstrasse. Definitely a foodies paradise, Zermatt boasts a wide range of restaurants and eateries, many which include amazing views across the surrounding area (we’ve mentioned one of the most famous, Chez Vrony previously!). To burn off some of those excess calories take to the mountains on foot, by bike or even Paraglider! To cool off head to Zermatt beach to enjoy the crystal clear waters that have filtered down through the mountains. And for the younger children in your party take them to Wolli’s adventure park at Sunnegga where they can explore the playgrounds whilst you relax by the idyllic mountain lake with its gorgeous view of the Matterhorn.
To complement this incredible destination we have an incredible Chalet for you to enjoy – Chalet Grace is THE Chalet of Zermatt with some of the most stunning views of the Matterhorn attainable. Take to the hot tub as the air cools in the evening with a glass of champagne to enjoy the mountain view as the sun goes down before retiring to one of the 5 en-suite bedrooms. Enjoy breakfast prepared by your personal chef on the terrace with uninterrupted views of Zermatt below you. And if you catch a rainy day then not to worry. The luxuriously seated cinema, games room and pool table are sure to keep you occupied!
So, if you fancy a sunny holiday in the Alps then contact our team a.s.a.p. to book one of these fabulous chalets. Call us on +44 1993 899 420 or click here for more contact information.