Things to do in the Alps in winter
• Skiing in all its states
For downhill skiing, you will be spoiled for choice between all major international and sports resorts in the Alps, such as Courchevel, Val d'Isère, Alpe d'Huez, Tignes, Les Arcs. If you prefer cross-country skiing, head for Megève, the Méribel valley, Les Ménuires or Morzine. Leaning towards ski touring or snowshoeing, closer to nature? Check out Serre-Chevalier, Auron, Chatel, or Saint Gervais Mont Blanc.
• Driving down miles of tracks
Many resorts in the Alps are linked together by ski areas, in French style. A single package offers you hundreds of miles of tracks: the Tignes/Val d'Isère; Paradiski between Les Arcs, Peisey and La Plagne; the Three Valleys that connect Courchevel, Les Ménuires, Méribel and Val Thorens; les Portes du Soleil hyphenates Avoriaz, Chatel and Les Gets and Morzine.
• Skiing and so much more
Skiing is fantastic, but there are so many other activities to sample in the Alps and Savoie Mont Blanc! Dive under the ice in Tignes, drive a team of sled dogs in Vars, try snooc (a kind of sledge and ski touring) in Serre-Chevalier or the fat bike (like snow mountainbiking) in Villard-de-Lans, horseback ride in Méribel, or paraglide in Peisey-Valandry.
• After the exertion, the comfort
The après-ski is more and more lively every year in the ski stations. Shake it off on the dance floor outdoors at the Val Thorens Folie Douce, or at the Tomorrowland Electro Festival in Alpe d'Huez. Do you prefer jazz? Groove at Jazz'Alp at Grand Serre. Relax at the Nuxe Spa in Chamonix, facing the Aiguille du Midi. Enjoy cheese tarts and fondue, and discover culinary highlights in one of the 20 Michelin-starred restaurants in the Alps: Albert 1er in Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc, Les Explorateurs à Val Thorens, The Roc Alto in St Veran, to name but a few!
Things to do in the Alps in summer
• Relax in the lakes
The great lakes of Savoie Mont Blanc are small paradises. Aiguebelette, Annecy, Bourget and Léman offer a multitude of water activities (even stand up paddling)! The waters are translucent and calm, the beaches white sand, and the mountainous views are superb.
• Go hiking around Mont Blanc
In Savoie Mont Blanc, there are no less than 4,200 square kilometers (2,600 square miles) of natural greenery. Try Mont Blanc, a mythical experience of eight to 15 days complete with a majestic backdrop. Climb in a small red train to the sea of ice in Chamonix, 2000 meters (6,000 feet) above sea level.
• Explore the National Parks
As close as possible to gophers, chamois goats and golden eagles, take a stroll along the violet-scented hiking trails in the many national parks of the Alps: Les Ecrins, Vanoise, Maurienne—make your way to the Géoparc de Haute-Provence, classified by UNESCO as a site of exceptional geological heritage. The bravest can embark on the great crossing of the Alps—620 kilometers (385 miles) and 40 stages—from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean.
• Spine-tingling heights
The Alps in summer is an adventure. Paragliding over Lake Annecy, the zip line in the Arc Gorge, the via ferrata over Lake Gittaz, the slopes of Beaufortain by mountain bike. Who's up first?
• Not-so-idle hands and artisanal crafts
Mountain craftsmen organize manual workshops, ideal passtimes to disconnect. It's up to you: want to carve wooden devils in Bessans in Maurienne, to work leather at Grand Bornand, or to make pottery at Les Gets?
• Rediscover the right products
In summer, it's the season of mountain goodness wripeith blueberries, cheeses with fruity taste, artisanal charcuterie and honey around every corner.