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4 summer events in the French Alps to try this year

While the Alps may be renowned for their snow-covered slopes and world-class skiing in winter, the summer season reveals a different facet of this stunning region. As the snow melts, a vibrant tapestry of cultural festivities and outdoor activities unfolds across the Alps, offering visitors a myriad of opportunities to immerse themselves in the region’s rich heritage and natural beauty.

From thrilling sporting events to quaint village celebrations, the summer calendar is brimming with excitement, making it the perfect time to explore the Alps beyond the ski season. In this post, we highlight the top 4 summer events in the French Alps to try this year for your next holiday!

The top 4 summer events in the French Alps

For film buffs: The Annecy International Animation Film Festival

© F. Blin / CITIA
  • Date: 9-15th June 2024
  • Location: Annecy
  • Perfect for: Animation fans, film fanatics, families with young children

This internationally acclaimed event is set to captivate audiences again this year with its celebration of creativity and innovation.

Renowned as the most influential animation festival in Europe, it serves as a platform for both established industry professionals and emerging talents to showcase their latest works and exchange ideas.

The festival’s diverse lineup caters to animation enthusiasts of all ages and tastes. Attendees can look forward to screenings, workshops, masterclasses, and networking opportunities, providing invaluable insights into the art and craft of animation.

Plus, parts of the festival are also open to the general public, with free open-air screenings taking place each evening on Le Pâquier, on the edge of the lake. This is perfect if you want to discover the festival without spending money on tickets.

The open-air big screen on Le Pâquier © J. Cousin

With its picturesque setting on the shores of Lake Annecy and its vibrant atmosphere buzzing with artistic energy, it’s a must-visit event. Visit the website to discover the official selection for this year’s competition or click here for more information about tickets.

© K. Pauli / CITIA

Where to stay: Le SwansDoors

Alpine living room with leather seats and orange cushions
The living room at Le SawnsDoors

Located within the ancient city walls, Le SwansDoors offers a stylish 4-star stay in the heart of Annecy. Perfect soundproofing ensures tranquillity, plus its unbeatable location near the main canal and the iconic Palais de l’Île is ideal for first-time visitors.

Waterside restaurants and shops are dotted around the accommodation, giving you plenty of choice. Moreover, the apartment’s proximity to both the town and the lake makes it ideal for the film festival. From the comfort of Le SawnsDoors, guests can take advantage of easy access to all events whilst embracing Annecy’s vibrant atmosphere.

Vibrant bedroom with double bed and orange features
Le SwansDoors, Annecy

For MTB enthusiasts: The UCI Mountain Biking World Cup, Portes du Soleil

  • Date: 25th June-7th July 2024
  • Location: Resorts across the Portes du Soleil
  • Perfect for: Mountain biking enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies, outdoor lovers
A man rides a mountain bike through a race track

The VTT World Cup makes a stop in the Portes du Soleil this year, promising adrenaline-fueled action for mountain biking enthusiasts.

Renowned as a premier event in the mountain biking calendar, it attracts top riders from all over the globe. With races across disciplines like downhill, cross-country, and enduro, spectators can expect edge-of-the-seat action!

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Portes du Soleil, this event showcases both athlete prowess and the region’s natural beauty. Whether a seasoned rider or a fan of outdoor excitement, the VTT World Cup offers an unforgettable experience celebrating mountain biking at its finest.

Discover the full programme and more details about the event on the website.

Where to stay

Les Gets: Chalet Oscar

Modern alpine living room with mountain views

This modern 5-star chalet nestled in the heart of Les Gets is ideal for groups of extended family or friends. Accommodating up to 12 guests (with a maximum of 10 adults), Chalet Oscar offers beautiful views of the village and mountains.

The chalet is only a stone’s throw from the village, or if you prefer to drive, there’s ample parking available at the property.

Modern dining room with purple interiors
Morzine/Avoriaz: Chalet Bellanis
Alpine chalet with dark wooden exterior: summer events in the Alps

For those eager to immerse themselves in the excitement of the UCI MTB World Championships, Chalet Bellanis presents an unrivalled opportunity. This traditional chalet, accommodating up to 11 guests, is nestled in the heart of Morzine, offering unparalleled access to a myriad of mountain sports and activities. Just a mere 250m from the Super-Morzine lift and adjacent to the sports centre and swimming pool, adventure awaits right at your doorstep.

During the summer months, guests can take advantage of the multipass scheme, granting access to walking lifts, tennis courts, pools, and more for a nominal fee of only 2.5 euros per day.

Alpine living room with cosy interiors
Châtel: Chalet Les Vardafes
Wooden chalet with large lawn and parking spaces

This cosy modern chalet accommodates eight guests and is located in the charming village of La Chapelle d’Abondance.

In the summertime, the chalet is an ideal base to enjoy the many opportunities for hiking, biking, and enjoying nature. For more adventurous activities, consider trying white water sports on the River Dranse, or simply unwind with fishing or a picnic at Lac de Vonnes.

Modern chalet living room with yellow sofas

La Chapelle d’Abondance boasts a variety of shops and restaurants, while the larger resort of Châtel, just 7km away, offers even more options including a sizable Intermarché supermarket and an English-language cinema on select evenings.

A hot tub on a wooden decking

After a full day of outdoor adventures, Chalet Les Vardafes welcomes you back to unwind in its hot tub, bask in the evening sun in the garden, or take in the stunning views from its terrace and balconies.

For young families: Au Bonheur des Mômes Festival

  • Date: 25th – Thursday – 29th August
  • Location: Le Grand-Bornand, Les Aravis
  • Perfect for: Families with young kids

Known as the “Happiness of the Little Ones,” this festival is a celebration focused on children’s enjoyment. Each year, it transforms the mountain village of Le Grand Bornand into a bustling hub, drawing crowds from France, Europe, and beyond.

Child dressed up blowing glitter at the Bonheur des Mômes festival Le Grand Bonrand
Photo credit: Office de Tourisme du Grand-Bornand

The festival creates a vibrant, traffic-free environment, brimming with festive energy throughout the week. Featuring theatre, mime, puppetry, clowns, music, dance, and circus acts, Au Bonheur des Mômes showcases a wide spectrum of performing arts.

Established companies present unique performances while also providing a platform for emerging talent. The programme includes shows, artistic workshops, nature exploration, playful activities, storytelling sessions and exhibitions, all tailored to engage children of all ages. It’s a week filled with laughter, excitement, and entertainment, steeped in a traditional atmosphere!

To find out more about the event or to purchase tickets, head over to the website.

Young child watching a performance with a crowd from above around the place d'elgise in Le Grand Bornand
Photo credit: Office de Tourisme du Grand-Bornand

Child-friendly accommodation in Le Grand-Bornand

Chalet Alti
Modern dining room with mountain views

The luxurious 5-star Chalet Alti exudes the timeless allure of a traditional mountain chalet while seamlessly integrating modern comforts and cutting-edge green technology.

Children's play area with games and bean bags

Accommodating up to 14 guests (13 adults) across its three stories, this chalet ensures a comfortable stay for all, with a special focus on children who enjoy their dedicated mezzanine floor!

Positioned to capture the southern sunshine, the chalet offers stunning vistas of the Aravis mountains and the picturesque village of Le Grand-Bornand, just a brief stroll away. Here, a plethora of shops, restaurants, and rental services await.

Hot tub on wooden decking with mountain views
Chalet Chamaline

Nestled on the outskirts of the charming ski village of Le Grand-Bornand, Chalet Chamaline offers a modern retreat for up to eight guests. Surrounded by sunny terraces, a petanque court, and a garden, this chalet is a haven for families with young kids in summer.

Children will delight in the outdoor play area nestled in the lower section of the garden, while the sunny patio offers an idyllic spot for alfresco dining or simply soaking in the breathtaking views.

Le Grand-Bornand’s array of shops, bars, restaurants, and lifts are a mere 700m stroll from the chalet, with a ski bus stop conveniently located 400m away, providing easy access to other Aravis resorts such as Chinaillon, La Clusaz, and La Croix Fry.

Cool for Kids chalets in Le Grand-Bornand


For fitness fanatics: UTMB

  • Date: 30th August 2024
  • Location: Chamonix and resorts across the Mont Blanc region
  • Perfect for: Fitness enthusiasts

The Dacia UTMB Mont-Blanc serves as a global gathering for trail runners worldwide. Taking place in Chamonix, it hosts top elite athletes alongside over 10,000 avid runners participating in one of its eight races. Spanning 171km with a challenging elevation gain of 9963 m, the main event kicks off on August 30th 2024 at 18:00 from Chamonix, with a maximum race duration of 46 hours and 30 minutes. The route traverses notable resorts such as Chamonix, Saint Gervais, and Les Contamines.

Whether as a participant or spectator, the UTMB offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant trail-running community and partake in an extraordinary celebration set amidst a landscape dedicated to the occasion.

Each year, the event relies on the dedication of 2,000 volunteers hailing from 15 different countries, along with support from the 18 municipalities of the Mont Blanc region spanning France, Italy, and Switzerland. Additionally, thousands of supporters rally to cheer on the runners and engage in various activities across the villages of the Mont Blanc region.

To find out more about the race and how you could get involved, visit the official website.

Two people run through the mountains
© UTMB © Month Blanc – Franck Oddoux

Where to stay

Chalet Choquette, Les Houches
Sunny decking of an Alpine chalet

Located between Les Houches village and the serene forest surroundings, this bright and airy chalet is ideal for guests who want to be close to the UTMB race, without the hustle and bustle of being in the centre of a resort.

Located in the tranquil Vaudagne area of Les Houches, Chalet Choquette sits 5km from the village and Chamonix itself is an additional 6km away. What’s more – a complimentary year-round bus service conveniently connects Les Houches to Le Tour, spanning the entire valley.

Modern dining room with alpine views

Outside of the UTMB, indulge in strolls amidst the Mont Blanc foothills or embark on an adventure aboard the Mont Blanc Tramway. Cycling enthusiasts will also find numerous trails to explore, including a thrilling mountain bike route from the Le Prarion gondola summit (1850m) to Belleface (1180m).

Les Houches boasts several quaint supermarkets, bars, and fantastic dining options. While a car is recommended for convenience, Chalet Choquette provides ample parking, with one space directly outside the chalet and two more located just a short 50m walk down the drive.

Sunny terrace with outdoor seating

These summer events in the French Alps offer just a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse cultural landscape of the region. With countless more festivities and experiences awaiting discovery, there’s no shortage of reasons to explore the Alps during the warmer months.

For further inspiration, be sure to explore our additional posts and stay updated on all things Alps by following us on Instagram. And 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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