Luxury Vacation French Alps

Visiting Europe is a great way to spend some vacation time, particularly if you head into the Alps and take in the natural beauty that the area has to offer. If you are planning a trip to the Alps, here are some of the best resorts the area has to offer.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Boasting 300 days of sunshine per year, Switzerland’s Zermatt is a compact, car-free village offering mountain restaurants, luxurious hotels and miles of hikes and trails. Virtually every sporting activity is available in Zermatt, including mountain biking, cycling, running, hiking, tennis, paragliding and golf.

Taking the train up to Gornergrat and then walking back down to the village is a popular activity, with most taking a break at the lake to enjoy the reflection of the Matterhorn. The Al Bosco Riffelalp restaurant is also located halfway down the trek. The walk to the Edelweiss, which takes you through pine forests and past cascading waterfalls, is another popular activity.

Gstaad, Switzerland

The Gstaad-Saanenland region in the Bernese Oberland features gourmet restaurants, high-end hotels and luxury chalets. A popular summer destination, the area attracts numerous celebrities while the smaller neighboring villages are a popular choice among families with children. With over 186 miles of trails available, the surrounding countryside is a haven for sports opportunities such as mountain biking and hiking. Paragliding and golf are also available, while canoeing along the River Saane is a popular attraction. Cross-country skiing is available along a glacier above town while Lake Lauenen offers waterfalls and high moors that are ideal for hikers.

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For those who are a little less active, but who still want to see the countryside, the GoldenPass railway is an excellent option. Running from Montreux on Lake Geneva to Lucerne in Central Switzerland, the train runs along Gstaad to Lake Thun. The area also has more than 18 renowned eateries and hosts numerous summer events, including The Swiss Open international ATP Tennis Tournament, the Grand Slam Gstaad, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and the Hublot Polo Gold cup.

Chamonix, France

The quintessential alpine resort, Chamonix in France rests within the shadow of Mont-Blanc. Situated in the heart of the French Alps, the resort is surrounded by towering peaks and tends to attract young and active visitors from all over the world. Mont Blanc, which is the highest peak in Europe, is located in the town, while the walk from Plan d’Aiguille to the Montenvers Train Station attracts hikers. In the evening, the town transforms into a party atmosphere.

If you want a trip with a more relaxed pace, Chamonix still has options available to you. The walk from Plan d’Aiguille to the Montenvers Train Station, for example, can be taken by train instead. You can also take a drive to the Aiguille du Midi. At 12,600 feet, the area is the closets you can get to the summit of Mont-Blanc without needing to hike or climb. Open year round, except for during an annual maintenance period in November, the Aiguille du Midi receives nearly half a million visitors each year.

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