Summer Hiking in the Mountains

Article posted on 13 June 2019

There’s much more to mountains than skiing and snow sports. Come back in summer for a lakes & mountain’s holiday and you can appreciate their beauty without the multiple layers. Explore beautiful pine forests, kayak across crystal clear lakes and experience the satisfaction of hiking all the way up to the top of a mountain. You’ll never see a picture of that mountain again without thinking ‘I made it up there, to the top of the world!’

Intrigued? Here are some of our favourite destinations for summer mountain holidays.

France

Let’s start with a few easy routes. The landscapes of Southern France, which lie just north of the Riviera, near our Opio en Provence resort, are an excellent Alpine playground for beginners. All you need is a good pair of hiking boots and a little courage. These trails are perfect for getting away from it all, as you might not meet anybody along these scenic and secluded trails for several hours.

The French alps also provide the perfect hinterlands of Menton and Cannes are only 15 minutes away from the coast, perfect for an escape to another world – one without speedboats and palm trees, and even villages and farms, for miles. One very popular trail goes up the 1200-meter-high Pic de Courmettes, near Grasse, but if that’s too strenuous for your taste, you can easily find many gentler walks nearby ready to reward you with magnificent views all over the Mediterranean.

Italy

Further inland and a little higher up, you’ll find the Piedmont region of Italy and our Pragelato Vialattea resort, located literally at the ‘feet of the mountains’ and full of peaks over 2,000 meters.

The Nature Park of Val Troncea is an excellent introduction to the charms of this region, with more than 20 well-marked trails, ranging from short-and-easy to steep-and-literally-breathtaking, up the slopes of Monte Banchetta and Monte Barifreddo approaching the 3000-meter-mark. To restore your strength in the evenings, take advantage of the varied local cuisine with truffles, cakes, and wines made with grape varieties that are virtually unknown elsewhere.

Sapporo

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is a haven for lovers of the outdoors. With a wealth of mountain ranges, volcanoes and lakes plus six national parks to choose from, visitors are spoilt for choice. One perennial favourite is Daisetsuzan National Park, home to Mt Asahi, the island’s tallest mountain at 2291 meters, and a relatively easy hike.

At Sounkyo, in the centre of the island, you’ll find a cable car ready to whisk you up to a picturesque station with majestic views of the neighbouring mountainsides and waterfalls. From there, you can even walk to the summit of Mt Kuro (1984 meters) in just an hour. Explore and see for yourself at our Tomamu Hokkaido resort.

Mont Blanc

Europe’s highest peak may have the reputation of being easy with ‘more walking than climbing’, but climbing is still necessary and for certain passages you’ll even need an ice axe and crampons. (If you don’t even know what crampons are, then climbing Mont Blanc on foot is not for you.) However, the Aiguille du Midi cable car, the highest in Europe, will take you almost all the way up so you can still enjoy the astounding view at 3800 metres.

If you’d prefer something a little easier, then you’re in luck. Rather than a single peak, Mont Blanc is in fact a huge 25 km-wide massif, with many less hostile peaks begging to be explored. The valley underneath offers 350 km of superbly maintained hiking trails for different tastes and levels of ability. Work your way through the lower valley trails to the higher altitudes hikes, and you’ll be on your way to getting ready for the main peak.

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