Wanderous Whimsy

Summer Fun in the Alps

DSC_0699When you think of the Alps, you typically imagine blankets of snow, skiing down slopes, eating too much fondue and snuggling up with warm blankets and a cup of hot coco. But wait, a summer holiday in the Alps!? Yes, that is what I am suggesting. Let me tell you why.

The hills are alive!

When the spring air rolls across the mountaintops and the winter snows melt, the entire Alpine region changes. The glare of white is replaced by green, and by the time June has rolled around the grass is thick and swathes of wildflowers begins to carpet the landscape. It may be cliche but those utterly spellbinding views with fresh mountain air really do make you want to break into song.

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See 3 beautiful countries at once.

The Alps creates a natural border between France, Switzerland, and Italy. There is even a multi-day trek that brings you around the Matterhorn and into all three countries. When standing at the top of Holbrunner Point, I was able to see down into Italy, across to France, and over to the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Where else can you see all three countries and their soaring peaks from a single spot?

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Italy

 

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France

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Switzerland

Cant beat the price.

You’ll find that visiting the Alps during the “off-season” is an incredibly cost-effective way to visit the region. Many hotels and chalets will cut their rates dramatically when skiing isn’t on the agenda, so you may well end up with an amazing bargain as you enjoy one of the most overlooked European destinations. We stayed at a beautiful chalet that would have definitely been out of our price range in the winter. So go ahead and enjoy that extra glass of Rose , you will have a slight smile on your face knowing you have a few extra bucks in your pocket.

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Trails, Trails, Trails

When the snowdrifts have receded, a huge network of wonderful hiking and walking trails are revealed, ranging from easy ambles up to a nearby picnic area to high-altitude ice-hikes that will challenge even the most hardened mountaineer. You can go further and see more than when the snow is covering the ground. Even if you are an avid winter Alpine visitor, the mountains become a whole new world come spring and summer.

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Storybook Chalets

Sure other places in the world have fun hiking hut destinations – but nowhere are they as quaint as in the alps. With colorful flower studded shutters, teapots full of flowers, quirky wood carved sculptures and a refreshing glass of local mountain brew waiting at the end of the trail, you can bet you’ll stay motivated to finish that hike. These charming chalets are the perfect destination at the end of a long day.

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Minimal Crowds, Amazing Climate

You’ll find the cote d’azur and Mediterranean beach towns teaming with crowds during the hot European summers. With parking problems and minimal towel space, it can put a dent in paradise. However, up in the mountains you wont find any of that. With minimal traffic and wide open spaces, it will feel as though those mountains are all yours. And instead of melting away on a hot sandy beach, you will be breathing in that crisp mountain air in perfectly temperate weather.

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Adrenaline junkie heaven!

Rife with soaring peaks, deep lush valleys, and enormous glaciers – Les Alpes are an outdoors enthusiasts wonderland. While a winter visit is pretty much relegating to choosing whether you want to belt down the mountainside on a snowboard or a pair of skis, in summer a whole new set of activities is revealed. You could try some mountaineering, potholing, mountain biking, abseiling and, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, paragliding. It’s a great opportunity to indulge in your favourite extreme sports or try them for the very first time!

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Its GOOD for you.

And with all the different activities available, you are bound to burn some calories during your stay. Aside from the peace of mind you get from spending time in nature, this trip comes with physical benefits as well. Every morning the mountains will call your name. You will be out the door enjoying being active in one of the most beautiful places on earth. You wont even realize you are getting a work out! Breath it in! You have found a new type of paradise and you wont go home feeling guilty.

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As you can see, this beautiful area of the world speaks for itself. All the pictures here are from the town of Chamonix in the French Alps but Italy and Switzerland have beautiful spots as well. When you start thinking about your next summer vacation, I hope you consider this alpine wonderland. You wont be disappointed!

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