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Where to escape the heat this summer in the Alps

As global temperatures rise, traditional Mediterranean summer destinations are becoming uncomfortably hot for many travellers.

In contrast, the Alps provide a refreshing alternative. With their cooler climates, stunning landscapes, and a plethora of outdoor activities, these mountainous regions are perfect for an unforgettable summer holiday. Additionally, France’s well-connected rail network allows eco-conscious travellers to reach these destinations with a smaller carbon footprint.

This blog post explores the advantages of the Alps over popular summer hotspots, backed by data and featuring some of the best Alpine destinations for a summer escape.

The impact of global warming on summer destinations

Global warming has led to a significant rise in summer temperatures, particularly in Mediterranean regions. For example, in August 2023, six stations around Valencia and Castellón recorded temperatures above 44°C, according to Euronews. Moreover, Spain experienced four heatwaves last summer, making 2023 the second hottest year since records began.

People sunbathing on a sunny beach
Photo by Etienne Girardet

Average temperatures of popular European holiday destinations

Below, we compare the average summer temperatures of four popular European holiday destinations: Costa del Sol, a renowned vacation region in southern Spain; Chamonix, a year-round Alpine resort situated just north of Mont Blanc; Crete, located in southern Greece; and Nice, in the south of France.

Costa del Sol

Nice, Southern France

Crete, Southern Greece

Chamonix, Mont Blanc

As the data indicates, Chamonix experiences comfortable summer temperatures, with highs around 26.2 degrees Celsius. In comparison, Nice sees slightly warmer temperatures at 27.8 degrees, Crete reaches 29.5 degrees in July, and the Costa del Sol often climbs to 31 degrees Celsius. Therefore, for travellers seeking a summer holiday without the extreme heat found in other popular destinations, the French Alps could be the ideal option.

How does this impact UK travellers’ choices?

So, how does this influence our travel choices? The Mediterranean continues to be a favoured destination among UK holidaymakers, with countries like Spain, Greece, and Italy ranking high in popularity, just behind domestic staycations within the UK.

A graph showing popular destinations for UK holidaymakers

However, according to a report published by the European Travel Commission, these trends may be changing. The report states “Mediterranean destinations have seen a 10% drop in visitors aiming to travel there from last year. On the contrary, destinations like the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Denmark are experiencing a surge in popularity. This can be attributed to travellers seeking out less crowded destinations and milder temperatures.”

Additionally, 7.6% of respondents indicated that worries about the climate crisis and rising temperatures are now a factor when making travel plans.

Escape the summer heat in the French Alps

When it comes to escaping the sweltering summer heat, the French Alps stand out as a strong alternative to traditional beach holidays. Offering cooler temperatures, clear mountain lakes perfect for swimming, and a wealth of outdoor activities, these alpine destinations provide all the enjoyment of a beach holiday but with a more refreshing climate.

In this section, we’ll explore some of the top locations in the French Alps where you can enjoy a serene and comfortable summer getaway.

1. Châtel

Why visit in summer?

Châtel is an exceptional summer destination offering a blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and charming village life. Nestled in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, this picturesque Alpine village boasts a wealth of activities for all ages and interests.

Whether you’re hiking scenic trails, biking through lush landscapes, or trying activities like paragliding and white-water sports, Châtel provides endless opportunities for adventure.

The serene Lac de Vonnes is perfect for a relaxing picnic or a peaceful fishing day. With a vibrant village centre featuring shops, bars, and restaurants, Châtel combines the excitement of outdoor pursuits with the comfort and charm of a traditional Alpine village, making it an ideal summer getaway.

The village of Chatel in summer
© L.Meyer – Châtel

Summer activities and events in Châtel

Outdoor Activities
People play mini golf in the mountains
© L.Meyer – Châtel
Events and festivals

Where to stay

Chalet Igel
Chalet with outdoor pool

Chalet Igel is an ideal summer retreat, offering a range of amenities and activities that make the most of the warmer months. During July and August, guests can enjoy a beautiful covered terrace and an inviting outdoor pool.

The garden is equipped with table tennis and a trampoline, perfect for keeping children entertained. Additionally, the surrounding area provides ample opportunities for hiking and biking, as well as activities like paragliding and climbing.

chalet games room with table tennis
Chalet Amarou
Hot tub with mountain views

After an exciting day in the mountains, you’ll love returning to this charming, newly-built chalet. Unwind in the hot tub as the sun sets, or sip a drink on the balcony while taking in the stunning views over the rooftops to the mountains.

This chalet offers the perfect summer retreat for outdoor enthusiasts!

Modern alpine living room with large screen TV

2. La Giettaz

La Giettaz is a hidden gem in the French Alps, offering a serene and authentic mountain experience away from the hustle and bustle of larger resorts.

In summer, this charming village becomes a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its stunning alpine scenery, La Giettaz provides a perfect backdrop for hiking and mountain biking, with trails that wind through lush meadows and up to breathtaking peaks.

The village’s traditional Savoyard charm, combined with local festivals and warm hospitality, makes it an idyllic destination for a peaceful summer retreat.

So, whether you’re exploring the diverse flora and fauna, enjoying a picnic by a mountain stream, or simply soaking in the panoramic views, La Giettaz promises an unforgettable summer escape!

People hiking in the mountains
© Val d’Arly Mpnt Blanc Tourisme

What to do in La Giettaz in summer

Outdoor Activities
  • Hiking: Numerous trails are on offer, ranging from easy walks to challenging climbs, offering stunning views of the Alps.
  • Biking: Discover a grand selection of bike trails with varying difficulty levels, including routes that connect to the Aravis mountain range.
  • Paragliding: Experience the thrill of flying over the beautiful alpine landscape on a tandem flight.
  • Fishing: The Arrondine mountain stream is an ideal fishing spot for a peaceful day by the water.
Summer activities and events in La Giettaz

Head to the Tourist Office’s website to find out the activities and events taking place this summer in La Giettaz.

Where to stay

Chalet Victorina
Summer decking at chalet with mountain views

This stunning chalet near La Giettaz is a perfect summer retreat, nestled in a wonderfully secluded location surrounded by nature.

In the summer, a hiking trail passes just below the chalet, and numerous bike trails provide access to the challenging Aravis peaks, making it an ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the beauty of the Alps.

Secluded chalet with walking trail
Chalet Goville
Outdoor summer chalet with dining area and lawn

Sleeping 15 people in seven en-suite bedrooms, Chalet Goville is the ultimate summer retreat. This luxurious chalet features a wine cellar, a bike room and a fabulous wellness area with a sauna and a stunning hot tub room offering panoramic views of the Aravis mountains. It’s perfect for gathering with friends or family, and with 450m² of space, privacy is guaranteed.

The renovation cleverly incorporates glass panels to maximise natural light and showcase the breathtaking views, while retaining the original architecture that adds character to this beautiful home. Make the most of the large terrace and garden where you can soak up the rays throughout the summer months.

Cosy living room with fire

2. La Clusaz

Why visit in summer?

La Clusaz is an ideal summer destination that combines the charm of an alpine village with a wide array of outdoor activities. Located in the Aravis region, La Clusaz offers stunning landscapes and clear mountain lakes, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

In the summer, the village transforms into a vibrant hub of activity, where you can explore scenic hiking and biking trails, try your hand at paragliding, or simply relax and enjoy the breathtaking views.

The local culture and warm hospitality, coupled with a variety of events and festivals, ensure that there’s always something exciting happening. So whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping sports or a peaceful retreat, La Clusaz provides a perfect summer getaway!

La Clusaz church in summer
© C Hudry,

Summer activities and events in La Clusaz

Outdoor activities
A group mountain bike through summer pastures
© C Hudry,
Events and festivals
  • Fête du Reblochon: Celebrate local cheese with tastings, workshops, and activities.
  • Trail du Bélier: Watch or take part in this renowned trail running competition.
  • Village markets: Weekly markets take place on a Monday showcasing local produce, crafts, and delicacies.

Where to stay

Chalet Le Mousqueton
Chalet with outdoor swim spa

Recently renovated, this stunning six-bedroom chalet, located less than 3km from the centre of La Clusaz, is perfect for summer. The huge games and entertainment room, featuring a TV and pool table, ensure both kids and adults are well catered for.

In the warmer months, guests can enjoy the new fitness zone with table tennis, weights, and a boxing bag. From May to October, you can arrange yoga sessions or massages through the chalet manager to rejuvenate both body and mind. And afterward, relax in the jacuzzi or sauna.

The recently installed outdoor swimming area features a pool with a built-in swim jet and a six-seater jacuzzi, offering stunning views of l’Etale mountain. The pool is available from May through October, and the jacuzzi is accessible year-round, making this chalet an ideal summer retreat!

Chalet with fitness zone
Bleu Infini
chalet with outdoor dining and mountain views

If you’re seeking a stylish and unique summer getaway, Bleu Infini is the perfect choice. Built into the mountainside, Bleu Infini offers a distinctive layout. While you enter from the ground floor at the front, the top floor seamlessly opens onto the garden, providing a refreshing outdoor space.

Situated in an enviable location, the chalet boasts panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. It’s conveniently close to the shops and restaurants of La Clusaz, with the lifts and pistes just minutes away.

In the summer months, guests can enjoy leisurely walks to the nearby lake at Confins or along the river into La Clusaz!

view from the terrace at Bleu Infini

4. Saint-Jean-de-Sixt

Why visit Saint-Jean-de-Sixt in summer?

Saint-Jean-de-Sixt is a picturesque village in the heart of the French Alps, making it an ideal summer destination for those seeking both adventure and relaxation.

Situated between the renowned resorts of La Clusaz and Le Grand-Bornand, this charming village offers a tranquil escape with stunning mountain scenery and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

In the summer, Saint-Jean-de-Sixt becomes a great base for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding, providing endless opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the region. The village’s central location also makes it easy to access a variety of cultural events and local festivals, ensuring there is always something to do nearby.

Summer activities and events in Saint-Jean-de-Sixt

Outdoor activities
  • Hiking: Click here for more information on trails and guided walks.
  • Mountain biking and cycling: Challenging trails and scenic routes suitable for all abilities are outline on this web page.
  • Paragliding: Book a tandem flight near Saint-Jean-de-Sixt with Airlinks.
  • Bun J Ride: Discover this unique and adrenaline-filled activity where you’ll be launched from a springboard!
  • Fishing: There are plenty of spots available and licenses to choose from, check here for more information about fishing in Saint-Jean-de-Sixt.
A man rides the Bun J on a bike
© Saint Jean de Sixt Tourist Office
Events and festivals

Throughout the summer, there is a selection of events and festivals taking place in Saint-Jean-de-Sixt and across the Aravis region. Take a look at the links below for more information:

Where to stay

Chalet Beauvoir 12
Summer chalet with outdoor pool and hot tub

Chalet Beauvoir is the perfect base for an unforgettable summer holiday in La Clusaz. Refurbished in a contemporary Savoyard style, it offers all the comforts and amenities you might need.

The heated outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi are available year-round, allowing you to relax and take in the stunning mountain views at any time.

The chalet also features a gym, sauna, and hammam, providing plenty of options for unwinding after a day of exploring the Alps.

Summer chalet with outdoor dining

In conclusion, as the summer sun heats up traditional destinations, the French Alps emerge as a refreshing and invigorating alternative. From the tranquil lakes to the breathtaking mountain vistas, these alpine retreats offer a cool respite and a wealth of outdoor adventures.

So, whether you’re seeking relaxation or excitement, the Alps have something to offer every traveller. Embrace the allure of cooler climates and explore the hidden gems of this majestic mountain range for an unforgettable summer getaway.

Head to the Alps this summer


For further inspiration, explore our additional posts on planning your trip to the Alps and stay updated on all things Alps by following us on Instagram. Finally, for the latest news and exclusive offers from OVO Network, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter. Stay tuned as we continue to share more Alpine adventures with you!

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