The French Alps is home to soaring snow-covered peaks and incredible pistes that attract skiers and snowboarders from around the world, lying within the regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Rhône-Alpes. Ski resorts usually lie between 6,562ft and 9,843ft (2,000m and 3,000m) and have plenty of snowfall during the ski season. In the summer, walkers and climbers discover lush green valleys, sparkling rivers and beautiful sunshine.
In the summer months, climbers and hikers will replace the skiers and snowboarders for the rocky trails and alpine hikes. The best time to visit the French Alps in the summer is between July and September, when the weather is more predictable and the snow above 6,562ft (2,000m) has melted. Climbers tend to head to the Chamonix-Mont Blanc area, which has the highest point in the Alps.
Mountain life consists of a vibrant nightlife, wooden chalets with heart-shaped lattices and a blanket of snow in winter or flowered window boxes in the summer. Each French village will have a selection of activities for days off, such as cinemas, bars, restaurants and shops. The French Alps are famed for their energetic apres-ski scene, with ski-in and ski-out bars which can be accessed directly from the slopes, or you can get a bus up the mountainside. You can't quite beat a cold beer at the top of a mountain, gazing across a snow-capped valley.
November to April
In winter you can take part in activities such as skiing, cross-country skiing, off-piste skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, husky walking, sledging, snowmobiling, mono-skiing, heli-skiing, glacier walking, ice diving and ice skating.
May to September
July and August are best for the weather, but late May and June have wonderful wildflowers that shouldn’t be missed. If you want to hike on a glacier, you will need snowshoes and warm clothes, even in summer.