Situated in the southeastern part of France, the French Alps play host to a variety of people and activities. Jutting upwards from the European continent, these peaks give spectacular views while offering an array of different winter sports and getaway locations for the individual and family alike. While staying in the French Alps, we recommend visiting the places on our list in order to get a well-rounded experience of all this area has to offer.
Mont Blanc Guided Walk
This in itself is a rather large excursion, but one that will help you connect to the natural environment of the area and have an experience like no other. With a guide, you can spend one week traversing the Alps and enjoying spectacular views of lakes, valleys, snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Along the way, you will be able to enjoy fine eateries, shopping and all the extras without being bagged down (mules carry your luggage for you). This guided tour is one of the most popular in the French Alps and it is easy to understand why once you have experienced all the beauty it has to offer.
Originally a barn that dates back to the mid-1700s, L’Impossible is a modern French restaurant near Mont Blanc that specializes in serving all the delicacies that you come to expect with French cuisine. Enjoy a variety of dishes – including garlic-butter snails, foie gras with quail and pineapple carpaccio – in a beautiful ambiance that features wood, warm candle lighting, gold accentuation and wicker furniture. You will leave here feeling full, satisfied and even closer to the French experience in the Alps.
Natural History Museum
Located in downtown Grenoble, the Natural History Museum plays host to the showcasing of all the natural flora and fauna in the area. Included in the museum’s tour are exhibits that highlight the native insect population and an aquarium that shows the natural freshwater fish that dwell in many of the lakes and reservoirs in the mountains and valleys. There is also the piece de resistance: a botanical garden that spans a large area, giving you first-hand access to all the area’s beautiful foliage.
Fort de la Bastille
After leaving the museum, you can cross the highway to visit Fort de la Bastille, an ancient fortification that once safeguarded the city but now showcases breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and countryside. In order to get to this fort, you will need to ride the ascent lifts (Telepherique Grenoble Bastille) that rise approximately 750 feet (260 m) over the rushing Isere River to the top of the fort. There are also hiking trails that descend the mountain; they can be accessed from the fort thanks to a series of maps and indicators.
By far the best party bar in the area, Chambre Neuf is located near Mont Blanc (in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc) and gives tourists the ability to kick back and have fun in a lively environment. You will find some of the best cover bands in the area here, as well as plenty of fun in the form of pre-ski drinking sessions and blondes dancing on tables. The conversation in the bar normally turns into ski-related talk, but that doesn’t mean non-skiers won’t have fun here.
Photo courtesy of Cherishing the Mundane
The French Alps is a wonderful place to visit so make sure you make your stay extra special by staying in a well equipped holiday rental France. The Owner’s Direct website has a wide selection of holiday rentals and everything from Morzine accommodation to guesthouses in the mountains can be found.