How is the Summer treating you? Where we are there's a tremendous heat wave! We've stocked up on popsicles but still can't manage to cool down ... Some of our colleagues have been even smarter and have taken advantage of the fact that they had a break from work to go to a very, very cool area, the French Alps!
Javi and Txell are our dynamic duo from the booking department. They both love spending as much time as possible outdoors and are always looking for challenging adventures.
They've just got back to the office and have loads to tell us about their visit to Chamonix and Les 2 Alpes and we're going to share their experience with you in case you're looking for somewhere cool for your summer break.
Before we get started, we just wanted to let you know that on Esquiades.com we now have some excellent summer ski deals. And if you're not sure about these destination for the summer, make sure to read our recent post where we give you 9 reasons to go skiing in the French Alps this summer.
So, where can you go skiing in summer?
There are several ski destinations around the world that have excellent snow conditions. But if you don't want to go too far, the French Alps have some amazing glaciers that are open in summer for skiing.
Our ski and snowboard experts recommend the following summer ski destinations:
1. Tignes Glacier (Grande Motte)
2. The Glaciers of Les 2 Alpes (Girose and Mont de Lans)
If you decide to ski this summer in Tignes, we have loads of ski packages available so that you can choose the one that best suits you! You'll find anything from a short ski holiday to a full week with a 6-day ski pass included in the price.
Our advice! Make sure you book one of our holiday packages that also includes the "My Tignes" card in the price. With this card you can do an infinite number of activities! This way you can spend your mornings on the slopes and your afternoons doing other fun activities.
If you've already skied on the glacier in Tignes and want to try Les 2 Alpes, our ski holiday packages also include other activities apart from skiing. Have you ever tried tobogganing? Well, in Les 2 Alpes you have 2 super fun “bobsleigh” slides that are suitable for all ages. Depending on the summer ski holiday in Les 2 Alpes that you book, you will have more or less rides down these slides.
Right, let's go to the good stuff!
Our route through the French Alps
Of the two resorts that you can visit with Esquiades.com, our colleagues have chosen to ski on the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes and have decided that they will visit the glaciers in Les 2 Alpes some other time.
First Stop - Valence
Our colleagues left the province of Tarragona (about 100 km south from Barcelona) and headed to Chamonix and decided to make a first stop in Valence, which is about 6 hours by car (631 km). Here they spent the night and spent the day getting to know the area and visiting its lovely parks.
Fantastic weather and views in a park in Valence.
Second Stop - Chamonix
After doing some sightseeing and spending a chilled evening, they then headed for Chamonix, which is about 3 hours by car (305 km). They spent most of their stay here doing different trekking routes and indulging in the delicious french cuisine during the evenings.
The best routes to enjoy trekking in Chamonix
1. Grand Balcon Nord
⚫ Route: From Plan de l'Aiguille to Montenvers
⚫ Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes
You have to take the cable car that goes from Chamonix village to the top of Aiguille du Midi. From there, you should go to the Plan de l'Aiguille refuge and then take the route in the direction of La Tapia. This route is very easy to follow so if orientation is not your thing, don't worry because it is difficult to get lost ;)
Our colleagues recommend making a stop to enjoy the impressive views of Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc that you will always have behind you throughout your journey.
Once you have passed the “Chalets du Blaitière” sign, you will come across a fork: if you take the route to your left, this is shorter and will take you to Montenvers. We do not recommend this route if you are traveling with the kids. The route to your right is the one made by Javi and Txell and they recommend 100% since it is the one that offers the best views. You will be able to see Les Drus and the Mer de Glace glacier. When you reach the top, you can go down to the Montenvers viewpoint and go to the train resort.
Chamonix - Aiguille du Midi
2. Grand Balcon Sud
⚫ Route: From Col des Montets to Les Houches
⚫ Duration: 2 hours
For much of the journey you will ski pass through the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Book. In addition, there is a section that all trekkers love that is located between Flegere and Brevent Plan Praz.
The starting point starts where the Flegere cable car drops you off. From there you will descend a route and cross a beautiful meadow that will take you to the Charlanon ridge and a small forest. Once you cross the forest, you will stop at Parsa Combe and from where you will find the route to Planpraz. Once here you will see the cable car resort. If you continue here you can enjoy the views of Mont Blanc and Aiguilles de Chamonix.
Aiguilette des Houches
What other activities can you do in Chamonix apart from Trekking?
✔ Visit Aiguille du Midi
✔ Take the rack railway and visit Mer de Glace
You can also take advantage of your visit to the town of Chamonix to visit the shops in the pedestrian zone. If mountain clothing is your thing, here you will find plenty of shops and outlets to buy mountaineering clothing and even some good deals if you need to update your ski and snowboard wardrobe.
Self-catered apartments in Chamonix
Javi and Txell stayed at the Pierre & Vacances Résidence La Riviere, a simple 3-star accommodation in the heart of Chamonix. The apartments have everything you need to enjoy a mountain holiday: a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and a living-dining room with a double sofa bed. They also have a terrace with mountain views. They are also a short walk from the Aiguille du Midi cable car.
Third Stop - Tignes
As they live and breathe skiing and snowboarding, they saved the best for last… skiing on the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes. The drive from Chamonix to Tignes is about 3 hours.
Where can you stay in Tignes?
Our colleagues recommend staying at the Résidence CGH Le Telemark located in Le Lac. They have several types of apartments with different capacities.
They stayed in an apartment with capacity for 4 people that has a double bedroom, a a fully-equipped bathroom , a kitchenette and a living room with a double sofa bed. It also has a free spa that can use every single day of your holiday. If you stay here during a winter ski holiday, you will also have direct access to one of the slopes of the Tignes ski area.
The Grande Motte Glacier is open every day from 7 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. as these are the hours of the day when the best snow conditions are guaranteed so that you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding to the fullest.
Javi and Txell skiing in Grande Motte only a couple of weeks ago!
What can you do in Tignes in summer after skiing?
As you have to have get up bright and early to make the most of the morning on the slopes, you have the rest of the day ahead of you to do loads of things.
Our advice! Book one of our summer ski holidays that includes the "My Tignes" card. This way you can go to Lake Tignes and try out kayaking, paddle surf, they even have slides where you can jump with your skis on! There are also other activities such as mini-golf, archery and access to the Lagon pool, among many others.
In addition, if you book a mountain hotel or self-catered apartment with a Spa, you can spend the afternoons relaxing your muscles so you can give it your all on the slopes again on the next day!
Last Stop - Home sweet home
Going back to reality and the routine is never easy especially when you know you have a car journey of about 8 hours. But there is nothing like going back home knowing that you've made the most of your break and that you've also managed to ski down the slopes! I mean, how long has it been for you?! It's definitely been way too long for us!
So, if this post wasn't enough, check out this cool video of our colleagues Javi sliding down the slopes!
So, what do you think? Fancy doing the same? Plan a summer holiday to France and go skiing in the French Alps this July!