The Best Summer Resorts in the French Alps

The French Alps in the summer is a glorious location to get away from the constrictions of everyday life. Wide open spaces, the freshest of fresh air and stunning scenery all offer the perfect place for complete relaxation where you can share every range of emotion. There are plenty of resorts to choose from for your Alpine getaway and we’ve picked some of the best where the winter skiing makes way for an irresistible combination of fun, well-being and summer adventures.

Enjoy epic in every sense of the word with your summer stay in Valmorel. Located in Savoy at the entrance of the Tarentaise Valley, your backdrop is the magnificent Beaufort mountain range. The area is alive with nature including thick, green deciduous forests and welcoming pastures that roll along the contours of the hills.

On the edge of the forest is Valmorel itself with its timeless courtyards, side streets and quaint chalets. The streets are fully pedestrianised and the calm that descends amongst the buildings will delight and destress in equal measure. There are no shortage of picnic spots to choose from and modern shops if you need some retail time.

You can indulge in plenty of fabulous days out at Valmorel. Club Med will provide electric bikes for the entire family so you can manage the slopes with ease and have the focus to fully enjoy the landscape. Lakes, fortresses and farmyards will all be on your itinerary. Don’t forget to enjoy a local lunch before continuing your journey.

If the kids still have energy to burn then try a treetop adventure where they can climb and zipline to their heart’s content and feel a real sense of achievement as they overcome one obstacle after another.

One of our guides will be happy to show you beautiful waterfalls that surround the resort. The winter ski-lifts come in useful here, taking you to the top of the falls for a bird’s eye view of the water as it cascades down and shapes the rocks below. Around you wildflowers grow and cattle pop by to say hello.

Valmorel can be fully enjoyed by choosing accommodation that makes everything more special. Go for the Exclusive Collection Space with its roomy and elegant suites, private areas and bespoke service. Or choose chalet living with breathtaking views on the Beaufortin and tailor-made services from your personal butler.

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Crystal clear beauty at Lake Annecy

Head for the South Eastern Alps to find one of France’s top summer destinations. Annecy has an enormous lake, overlooking the mountains and alive with sports and sunbathers. The first thing that will strike you is the beauty of the lake itself. During the summer it has sensationally crystal clear water, with plenty of small beaches or places to lay down a picnic blanket where you can relax and enjoy the views.

For the energetic there are many water sports to be enjoyed as well as activities including golf, paragliding and mountaineering. Hire a boat from one of the local rental services and explore the lake for yourself at your own pace - you are on holiday after all.

Annecy’s old town is a joy to behold. It is called the “Venice of the Alps'' with a combination of canals and charming cobbled streets. The houses are colourful and strewn with flowers. Churches are overflowing with medieval interiors and stunning stained glass windows. Couples will want to make sure they attach their padlock to the Pont des Amours.

The Annecy vibe is one of laid back gallic charm where you will be happy to spend the day at a local cafe trying the delicious ice cream or sampling a croissant for breakfast. Don't forget to experience a cheesy raclette which is served up in its finest form in the region.

Club Med’s beautiful summer resort of Peisey-Vallandry has opened again after the pandemic, bigger and better than ever. The resort has been redecorated with a larger pool, enhanced restaurant and more places to relax and enjoy your holiday.

Based in the most sheltered part of the region, the sunny side of the Tarentaise valley will lift your spirits whilst five charming villages offer easy access to authentic culture. Peisey Vallandry itself is a small, tranquil village built in a traditional Savoyard style. Despite its size, there is a lot to see and do here including the Musée de la Fruitière which provides a fascinating history of the region. The chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Vernettes is an exemplar of Tarentaise baroque art, while the church of the Sainte-Trinité has the highest bell tower in the region and one of only seven baroque bellows organs in the world.

One of the biggest draws of this area is its close proximity to the Parc de la Vanoise. This large protected area is home to a wide range of flora, with over 1200 species, and abundant fauna, including more than 1800 Alpine ibex, 400 chamois and 120 types of bird. It is the perfect place to experience the grandeur of nature and the best of the Alps. There are many hiking trails and mountain huts or ‘refuges’ where you can eat and stay overnight. Choose a route that matches your level of experience.

As you would expect with any Club Med summer resort, there is lots and lots to do as a family or couple. From mountain biking amongst the trees to a day spent lazily in the spa, you will return from your holiday feeling fully refreshed and ready for anything.

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Charming Chamonix

Only an hour's drive from Lake Annecy, you can find another destination that, whilst primarily known as a place for skiers, comes to life in the summer to offer you the best of the French Alps.

Chamonix during the warmer months is glorious and, even more than that, ideal for a family holiday due to the ease with which you can get there (it is only an hour from Geneva airport). The legacy of the ski season means there are plenty of lifts and gondolas to help you reach the rocky heights where you can see the best views. Across the area, there are many bars and restaurants serving up delicious traditional French food.

One of the must do highlights is a trip on the Montenvers red train which takes you to the amazing ‘Mer de Glace’ where you can see France’s largest glacier. There is also a crystal gallery and ice caves to explore. Another trip you cannot miss is riding the cable car to the top of Aiguille du Midi. The ride itself is mindblowing and, when you get to the top, you will also have a close up view of Mont Blanc. See if you can spot the brave mountaineers climbing up the hard way. If not, you will still have the best ever collection of photographs in your holiday gallery.

If all this sounds a little chilly then return to Chamonix and work up a sweat taking part in the numerous sports including hiking, climbing, mountain biking, paragliding or trail running. For a small town there is a huge amount to do. Be warned though, this is a highly popular summer destination and the area is busy during the peak months.

With nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, Serre-Chevalier is a place to visit for those who want to enjoy a tan with their fresh mountain air.

There is so much to explore during the summer, including a string of small and charming villages where hidden churches and medieval frescoes await. Chevalier and its surroundings are home to a range of buildings that speak to a rich cultural history. Churches, chapels and little sanctuaries are scattered throughout the region’s pastures.

Nature is very important to local life. The Ecrins National Park boasts more than 150 summits that exceed 3000m. The range is capped by the Barre des Ecrins, which rises to 4102m. The landscape offers diverse landscapes, from mountains and glaciers to birch groves, grandiose valleys, lakes, and high-altitude waterfalls.

Nearby Briançon is a city of art and history where you can while away the day enjoying food, shopping and a museum dedicated to skiing in the region. It is also home to a fortress designed by the famous military architect Vauban, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With Club Med you can stay in Savoy-style chalets with rustic decor inspired by the region. Hike with our guides along fir-lined trails, or cycle down to the lakes for a picnic. Children can go looking for marmots with Mini Club Med® while you enjoy a refreshing treatment in the Club Med Spa by PAYOT. Vauban restaurant is the perfect setting to eat and chill with friends and family with fabulous views over the valley from its spacious terrace, where you can dine in the pristine Alpine air.

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More Club Med resorts in the French Alps