May is a great time for a holiday, so why not make the most of it and enjoy a long weekend in the Alps?
With the many public holidays in May, it’s a great time to get away and recharge your batteries! The mild spring weather will allow you to plan a multitude of mountain activities. And in this low season, the resorts of the Alps are getting ready to welcome visitors for relaxing, sporting or gourmet weekends with their families.
There really is something for everyone! Here are 8 ideas for an unforgettable extended weekend in the mountains in May.
1. A gourmet break in Saint-Gervais
Take advantage of the May holidays by taking an unforgettable gourmet weekend in the mountains. Saint-Gervais is the ideal destination and food lovers will not be disappointed: this charming Alpine resort has a wide variety of restaurants for all tastes.
Here are some of the top restaurants in Saint-Gervais where you can make delicious culinary discoveries.
Enjoy an exceptional gastronomic experience where the dishes are designed according to the seasons, with the best produce from sea and land.
The chef shares with you his unconditional passion for the richness of local cuisine, while taking you on a flavourful journey inspired by his excursions around the world.
You will be able to appreciate, among other delicacies, the roasted French scallops with coconut milk emulsion, lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime. Or the fillet of beef Rossini, with pan-fried foie gras escalope and black truffle.
Pop in for a coffee, brunch or, if you have time, lunch or dinner. Here you can enjoy a bistro-style cuisine influenced by seasonal products and mountain flavours. The sommeliers will advise you on the choice of wine, and you can even attend workshops to learn the basics of wine tasting!
This is the place to come for good pancakes or authentic Savoyard dishes. The cuisine is traditional with slow-cooked casseroles, buckwheat pancakes and homemade desserts.
You’re guaranteed a great meal, and if you want to continue the experience, you can get some of the dishes to take home such as pancakes, galettes and burgers.
With a Michelin star and three Toques Blanches from Gault et Millau, you can be sure this is one of the best restaurants in Haute-Savoie where Savoyard flavours and products are given pride of place.
Enjoy dishes such as monkfish meunière with semi-salted butter and candied Savoy apple with caramel, buckwheat shortbread and fermented milk emulsion. All of this is accompanied by excellent wines, offered by the sommelier. And to top it all, you’ll have a breathtaking view of Mont Blanc. What could be better?
2. A sporting weekend in Morzine
Morzine is the ideal playground for mountain sports enthusiasts. From hiking to paragliding and climbing, there are some great sporting surprises in store for your long weekend in the mountains.
Mountain bikers can enjoy a great number of routes around Morzine. Pick up a map of all of them from the tourist office for more detail.
Green, blue, red or black trails, there is something for every taste, level and age. With its dizzying descents and cross-country routes, Morzine is one of the best areas for mountain bike enthusiasts. Please note: the Bike Park opens at the end of May/beginning of June, so check before you go.
To improve your mountain biking skills, you can book a session with the Morzine Mountain Bike Schools. This way you can explore the trails with an instructor and enjoy them in complete safety. Mountain biking trips are offered from May by the Ride Ability mountain biking school, which specialises in enduro and downhill riding.
What could be more exhilarating than admiring the spring scenery as you soar over the mountains?
In Morzine, paragliding is one of the most enjoyable aerial activities. It’s open to everyone, whether you’re an experienced flyer or a beginner.
A qualified instructor will accompany you on a magnificent flight over the mountains. Whether you just want a tandem flight or you want to gain your pilot’s licence, you will find what you are looking for in Morzine. There are many schools to choose from, so check them out and book your session!
Do you and your family enjoy a treasure hunt? Have a go at this virtual treasure hunt, by the Morzine Tourist Office. It’s a fun way to discover the village of Morzine and its heritage during a long weekend in the beautiful month of May.
Just download the free “Géodyssée” app from the App store or Google Play and look for the routes “In the footsteps of the yeti” or “The lost treasure”.
Activate the hunt and use the small interactive map of Morzine to get to the first location. Then answer the question to unlock the next step! It’s a fun activity for the whole family.
3. A relaxing family weekend in La Clusaz
Find your dream chalet in La Clusaz
A walking weekend in La Clusaz
La Clusaz and the Aravis mountains offer a multitude of hiking opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a family walk of a few hours or a trek of several days, you can enjoy the beauty of the flowers in the pastures, the splendid views of Mont Blanc and the mountain lakes.
Look our for the local wildlife too – with a bit of luck, if you are discreet, you may even spot some animals. Chamois, ibex, marmots or even the bearded vulture, the largest vulture in Europe…
Relax in a mountain chalet
Looking for a relaxing break without leaving your chalet? OVO Network’s Cool for Kids partner properties offer comfort for the whole family! You’ll find everything you need for a relaxing weekend with complete peace of mind:
- Hygiene: changing table, potty, steriliser etc
- Safety: stair gate, fireguard, socket covers
- Meals: cutlery, crockery, cups, high chair
- Bedroom: bed linen, night light, black-out blinds
- Bathroom: a non-slip mat, stepstool, bath seat
- To keep them busy: board games, paper, crayons, markers, books and outdoor games
All of the equipment is of high quality and complies with EU standards, giving you total peace of mind.
Cool for Kids properties in La Clusaz
4. Tackle the summits in Chamonix
Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc and the highest peaks in the Alps, is the ideal place for hiking, climbing and thrill-seeking…
Take advantage of a long weekend in May to explore the most beautiful hiking trails in Chamonix. You will discover a variety of trails ranging from easy walks to challenging expeditions.
Many hikes will take you to the magnificent lakes and waterfalls of the region, all enhanced by the spring beauty of the flowers bursting into bloom. Discover routes for all levels here.
Climbing and mountaineering
Chamonix is the birthplace of mountaineering. A long weekend in May could be the perfect time to go climbing! And the possibilities here are almost unlimited and open to all, from beginners taking their first steps in climbing to experienced mountaineers.
The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix offers discovery and initiation courses and the blog Escalade et Montagne will suggest places to climb in Chamonix. Editor’s tip: Head for the Gaillands climbing site, about 2km from the centre of Chamonix, where you can climb whatever your level!
5. Fall in love with the Portes du Soleil
The Portes du Soleil region is a beautiful place to explore outside the ski season. Spring is the ideal time to visit the area: nature is awakening after the winter and the temperatures are pleasant.
Admire the beauty of the spring bloom or visit the local churches and museums to learn more about the culture and history of this beautiful region.
A long weekend in May is a great time to explore the village of Montriond, at the foot of Avoriaz and very close to Morzine.
Lake Montriond, known as the green lake, invites you to relax in an idyllic setting and a serene atmosphere. Canoeing, paddling, and pony trekking are just some of the activities available in this wild and natural environment.
A little further on, you will discover the impressive Ardent waterfall, close to the start of a wonderful family walk through the forest. The mountains in spring are just stunning.
In May, the days get longer, the paths are edged with spring colours and floral scents and the sun warms your skin. It really makes you want to get out and about in nature.
Here are some of the activities you can enjoy in Les Gets:
- White-water sports such as canyoning and rafting
- Cani-rando (running with your dog)
- Helicopter flights
- Parachute jumps
You can find more details on this site.
You can also learn more about the area at the museums in Les Gets, particularly the Musée de la Musique Mécanique, which is open every day in May from 2.15 to 7:15pm.
If you are interested in art, you’ll find something a bit different at the Art’N Chéry gallery, which is filled with works of art, from sculpture to photography and painting.
The Chapelle d’Abondance
Come and discover a breathtaking landscape at La Chapelle d’Abondance. There are plenty of walks around this majestic environment, where nature and the mountain pastures are preserved under the labels Pays d’Art et d’Histoire, Natura 2000 and Geopark Chablais UNESCO.
You could also walk the 175 kilometres of marked footpaths linked to the 575 kilometres of trails in the Portes du Soleil. La Chapelle d’Abondance is a stage of the Grande Traversée des Alpes and the GR5.
6. A historical tour of Annecy
Known as the Venice of the Alps thanks to its canals and bridges, its cobbled streets and its architecture, Annecy is a popular weekend destination.
Discover its rich heritage as you wander through its cobbled streets, and admire its unusual buildings with a fascinating historical past.
During a long weekend in May, you can admire the colourful houses with carved facades, the stone fountains and the churches of the Old Town. Make sure the following landmarks are on your list:
- The Palais de l’île: the city’s most recognisable monument, built on a natural rocky island in the middle of the Thiou River.
- The canals and the Thiou: both bring freshness and character to the city. They shape the landscape and give an artistic touch to the romantic picture of the Old Town.
- The Pont des Amours: legend has it that lovers who kiss in the middle of the bridge will be united for eternity. So take a poetic pause on this footbridge with a view of the lake and its mountains on one side and the canal and its boats on the other.
- The Pâquier and the Basilica of the Visitation
- The 12th-century Château d’Annecy: this beautiful building overlooks the town and offers a breathtaking view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Inside, discover collections of art and historical objects that trace the history of the town.
7. A weekend in nature in Manigod
Are you looking for a peaceful place to relax in the heart of nature? The picturesque village of Manigod offers an enchanting setting for those who love the great outdoors.
Manigod is a family-friendly destination that has retained its Savoyard authenticity. The variety of walks in Manigod and the surrounding area will make you appreciate nature’s spring awakening.
Enjoy the beautiful colours that the month of May offers and the heady scents of the flowers as you walk. Between the valley, the village, the Col de Merdassier and the Col de la Croix Fry, there are countless walks for all abilities.
There are also opportunities for mountain-biking, climbing and paragliding in Manigod. The natural scenery is truly spectacular, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and green meadows.
If you are a history buff, be sure to visit Manigod’s 18th-century baroque church. It is one of the architectural gems of the region, with its impressive frescoes and sculptures.
And while you’re there, don’t forget to sample the wonderful local cuisine and produce, such as reblochon cheese, honey and charcuterie.
8. A city break in Annecy
Do you fancy a city break in Annecy? Why not take advantage of the holiday weekend in May to do just that? Annecy is one of the most dynamic destinations, full of activities for all tastes.
Lake Annecy and the old town
Lake Annecy is the perfect place for a gentle stroll. There’s plenty of delicious food on offer, from Savoie or further afield, and you can enjoy a little retail therapy in the town centre.
Plus, the beautiful Lake Annecy means there is no lack of water sports! From paddleboarding to catamarans and canoes, there is a multitude of ways to explore the lake’s turquoise waters. The banks of the River Thiou are another peaceful place for a refreshing and picturesque stroll.
A day in the mountains
A day in the mountains is a must. The region is famous for its many hiking trails, which offer splendid views of the Alps. The most intrepid can even attempt to climb Mont Veyrier and Mont Baron, which rise to an altitude of 1,293 metres. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with views of the rocky cliffs above the lake. There are many routes, some of which start from Annecy itself, so there’s no need for a car! Click here to plan your hike!
Between culture, shopping, fine dining and nature hikes, Annecy is the ideal destination for a city break during the May holidays.
You are now ready for a wonderful long weekend in the mountains in May. Relaxed, sporty or gourmet? The choice is yours, with a multitude of activities available in the mountains during the beautiful month of May.
At this time of year, the mountains are sublime and full of secrets and varied activities. Plus, you can take advantage of the attractive rates on rentals in the Alps during the off-season.
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