The French Alps make up the largest chain of mountains inEurope, and are famous for the outdoor activities that they facilitate. With skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering and mountain biking all popular pursuits, theAlpsare also a haven for white water rafting, paragliding and even playing golf.
One of the best parts about the French Alps is it’s natural beauty, and some of the best driving roads in the world wind their way through the region. With a number of stunning lakes, the tallest mountain inFranceand many mountainside towns and cities the region really can offer something to everyone.
As with any spread out location, one of the best ways to get around, when not on your ski’s or mountain bike, is to hire a car, which is an option at all the major airports, towns and train stations in the area.
The airports ofGrenoble, Lyon andGenevain neighbouringSwitzerlandare the best places to fly in, and you can hire a car from any of those three airports to explore the French Alps.
Things to do when hiring a car in the French Alps
When you hire a car in the French Alps, what you do will largely depend on the time of year. In the winter you may want to look into the winter sports, while in the summer there are far more things to do, including enjoying the often stunning weather.
Home to around 15 different ski resorts, you really can find good skiing in the French Alps. TheThreeValleys, or Les Trois Vallees in French, was the home to the 1992 winter Olympic games and is also the largest connected ski area in the world. With over 600 different ski runs, it’s our favourite French Alps ski resort.
The tallest mountain in Europe,Mont Blancis 4,807m high. It can be skied be professionals who can hike to the top, get dropped off by helicopter or make their way towards the top using a number of interlinking ski lifts.
SeparatingSwitzerlandandFrance, Lake Geneva is filled by the river Rhone and is one of the largest lakes in the whole ofEurope. Surrounded by a number of cities, towns and villages the lake is fantastic for water sports, walking of boat trips during the summer months. There are still five paddle steamers in operation on the lake which make for a unique trip on the water.
The whole of the French Alps in the summer is truly stunning, as the snow melts and reveals vast green mountains and plenty of high adrenaline sports as well. One of those is mountain biking, and those who want to can tackle the numerous downhill mountain pursuits, as well as attempting to climb some of the harshest mountain roads in the world. It’s no surprise that cyclists competing in the Tour de France believe theAlpsstages are some of the toughest they ever face.