High mountain resorts are the perfect place for an exciting summer holiday, with all kinds of activities that make the most of the snow-capped peaks. So, whether you want to take advantage of the more extreme pursuits which will take you to icy new heights, relax in the sunnier spots or enjoy a gastronomic treat, you’re sure to find just what you want.
Read on to discover the best high-altitude mountain resorts for a summer break…
Situated at an altitude of 1850m, this mountain resort is one of the highest in the Alps and is part of the renowned 3 Valleys domain. However, Les Menuires stands out thanks to its modern architecture – it’s an unusual style that has proved very popular!
This high mountain resort is composed of five districts: La Croisette, Grand Reberty, Les Bruyères, Les Fontanettes and Preyerand. There are plenty of ways to get around: free shuttles, public lifts and footpaths are all available to make sure you have a great summer holiday!
Take a microlight flight
If you’re a beginner looking to get into microlight flying why not book a training course to help you grasp the basics? You’re guaranteed a thrilling experience and some wonderful views of this incredible area. So what are you waiting for? Book your flight over the beautiful Belleville Valley!
Try a mountain Kart
After a gondola ride and some instructions, jump into your kart for a mountain adventure. Close to the ground and seated comfortably, you can choose to go down the slopes quickly or take your time. Thrill seekers, this is for you!
Enjoy breakfast at 2,500m
An electric motorbike is the best way to get to Chalet du Sunny, where you can tuck into breakfast with an incredible view of the valley. The early morning light will enhance these unforgettable memories!
Spectacular scenery and wonderful views
You’ll be spoiled for stunning views when you stay in Les Menuires. The Pointe de la Masse is one of the most extraordinary places in Les Menuires: this lookout point offers an impressive view of the Tarentaise Valley and the nearby massifs.
The Cormet de Roselend is a remarkable natural site in the heart of the Maurienne Valley. Overlooked by Mont Blanc, this natural amphitheatre surrounded by an imposing glacier and breathtaking panoramas is certainly worth a visit.
For a refreshing stop, hike up to the Lac du Lou. With its beautiful turquoise waters, it’s an ideal place to enjoy the beauty of the mountain landscape.
Where to eat
Great food is one of the main ingredients of a successful holiday. After an active day, the resort of Les Menuires has plenty to choose from in a very pleasant setting: if make your taste buds travel and awaken your senses, here are two of our favourite restaurants.
La Bouitte, which has three Michelin stars, invites you to discover the flavours of the mountains and the land through its unique dishes. And at the Peuf Daddy 1850, one of the oldest establishments in Les Menuires, the hosts and the chef are committed to combining tradition and modernity for an unforgettable meal.
Perched more than 1,810 metres above sea level in Savoie, Tignes is one of the most popular high mountain resorts in summer. It is internationally renowned for its wide range of activities and its sense of adventure.
This high mountain resort close to the Vanoise National Park also offers stunning panoramic views. And the exceptional environment allows you to take full advantage of the benefits of the alpine air.
The water jump
A thrilling activity: hurtle down a large slide before jumping three, six or nine metres into the air and finishing your epic flight with a splash… this is the water jump!
Hike to the summit
In Tignes, you can hike and try your hand at mountaineering on the Grande Motte glacier, accompanied by a specialist guide.
As you’ll be hiking at over 3,000 metres, you’ll be equipped with a harness, ice axe and crampons. The more adventurous can also try one of the highest hikes in France, the Aiguille de la Grande Sassière, which culminates at an altitude of 3,747 m… see you at the top!
Ski on the Grande Motte glacier
No, it’s not a dream… you really can ski in the summer. Slopes higher than 3,000 metres mean it is perfectly possible to practise this winter sport in June and July. The most important thing is to bring sunglasses so that you can enjoy a drink on the terrace!
The Funiculaire de la Grande Motte: a unique view
Take a funicular and cable car ride from Tignes to the foot of the Grande Motte glacier through the Vanoise National Park. The panoramic terrace offers a 360° view of the surrounding mountains. For more information on prices, click here.
Where to eat
The restaurant business in Tignes is not to be outdone, and dinner at the Michelin-starred Ursus restaurant promises a unique tasting experience. This gastronomic restaurant reproduces the atmosphere of a forest and the dishes are prepared with seasonal products to let you discover the richness of mountain flavours!
The Panoramic, run by the same family, is the highest-starred restaurant in France. In fact, it’s the only starred restaurant at a high altitude! You’ll find it at the foot of the Grande Motte glacier and it’s worth a stop after a day of summer skiing.
In a superb setting sitting at over 2,000 metres, the high mountain resort of Les Arcs has different villages at various heights, to meet all expectations.
The resort of Les Arcs 1800 is aimed more at families, while the resort of Les Arcs 1950 is all about luxury. Nature lovers will find what they are looking for at Les Arcs 2000.
Activities in Les Arcs are varied during the summer. The ski lifts are open from June but are closed on Mondays. The Outdoor Pass, established in 2022, allows you to book a variety of activities.
With 149 km of trails, there is something for every age and ability. From cross-country to electric mountain biking, there is also a fun area where you can gain confidence on your bike.
Let your instructor do the hard work while you enjoy soaring over the mountains. During your flight, you might even have the opportunity to take the controls, for a real thrill!
The zip wire
There’s no better way than soaring through the air to give you a real sense of your surroundings. Alone or in pairs, you’ll be able to marvel at the stunning natural landscape from above and enjoy the weightless sensation of flying.
Climb the Aiguille Rouge
Reaching an altitude of 3,227 metres, the Aiguille Rouge is the highest point in the resort of Les Arcs. The ski lifts will take you to the summit, but the more courageous might like to make the ascent on foot.
At the top, a magnificent view of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps awaits you… you don’t want to miss this view of the Mont-Blanc massif!
Where to eat
We recommend two options for a great meal. The 2134 Rooftop is a traditional fine dining restaurant that offers quality local produce as well as a panoramic view, to delight your stomach and your eyes!
Another option is to book a chef to cook at your chalet. Les Arcs offers Labelleassiette, a website where you can call on a chef who will come to your accommodation and take care of everything, to give you a real gourmet experience. Plus, you can choose your menu beforehand, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
This village is known as the highest in France and in Europe. Situated at an altitude of 2,040 metres in the Queyras massif, Saint-Véran is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
It also has a very particular architecture: its houses are built on a stone base and the upper floors are made of larch wood which was used to store hay. The sundials in this village date back to the Renaissance, so keep an eye open for them.
Saint-Véran has the highest observatory in France. You can even spend a night there and learn about the stars with a guide! Enjoy a real moment of calm without any pollution while you contemplate the galaxy and all its glittering treasures.
Le Queyras is well-known for its climbing sites. Whether you are an amateur or an expert, there are plenty of routes available so that you can climb even higher.
Beginners who want to try this thrilling activity should head to La Viste. There are routes rated from 3a to 6a, so you can start slowly and finish on the most complicated ones if you feel like it.
For the more experienced climbers, there are routes graded up to 8c at La Saume – Ceillac or Nourotchou areas.
Climb to 3,000 metres
Le Queyras has no fewer than 28 peaks over 3,000 metres high. The Pic de Caramantran, at 3,025 metres, can be climbed from Saint-Véran. It takes approximately 4.5 hours for 8.5 km.
The Col d’Agnel can also be climbed from Saint-Véran. However, this hike is more difficult than the previous one: it takes 7 hours, for about 13 km.
Molines-en-Queyras is home to a rail sledging run that can be used all year round. Go down 1,100 metres of descent with all kinds of bends! The rail is two metres above the ground, it’s a thrilling ride with a gentle landing.
Where to eat
In Saint-Véran, you can enjoy the “bistronomic” cuisine of the restaurant Le Bistrot d’en Ô. This restaurant in the Alta Peyra Hotel offers a panoramic view of the Queyras peaks, and flavours that are sure to make an impression.
For a culinary experience with a difference, Le Pied Jaune offers a warm welcome. This former farmhouse serves as a restaurant and tea room, but also as a photo exhibition. The dishes are made from deliciously cooked local produce.
There are no cars at this popular high mountain resort, which rises to an altitude of over 1,800 metres. Avoriaz is renowned for its architecture which blends in with its environment.
Located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil area, this resort is known for its commitment to sustainable development, which it has even received several awards for.
Avoriaz is connected with its neighbour Morzine, so some of these activities may require travel further down the mountain.
Make your way down a river through slides and natural pools and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain gorges, while practising this fun sport.
A night at height
Sleep attached to the side of a cliff: accompanied by a guide! You’ll abseil down to your sleeping ledge before a meal and a night on the cliff. It’s a unique experience!
This sport consists of climbing horizontally using cables, monkey bridges and ladders. And if you can bear to look, you’ll have a wonderful view! The Morzine-Avoriaz guide office offers different routes to suit your level and your ambition!
This is one of the best ways to gain altitude in the mountains! You can enjoy a very pleasant feeling of aerobatics while observing the wonderful scenery when you try this activity, which, with the help of an instructor, is available to anyone. But be warned – one flight is enough to discover a new passion!
Where to eat
All these activities will most definitely work up an appetite! Fortunately, this high-altitude resort is also interesting because of its great restaurant offer. And with one of the most beautiful terraces in Avoriaz, L’Epicerie is certainly recommended.
What’s more, you can enjoy an excellent outdoor grill, cooked directly on the barbecue. A varied menu, and a unique setting!
Alternatively, for elegant bistro cuisine, we recommend Mil8. Local produce takes pride of place here, so you can try some traditional recipes! However, these Savoyard dishes come with Asian notes, taking you from France to the far east.
A place to remember in the Portes du Soleil
The high mountain resorts are ideal destinations for a summer full of surprises, far from the tourist crowds. The thrills are guaranteed, thanks to the many activities offered in the high-altitude resorts, and the food will delight you, adding to a memorable holiday.
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