Mountain Holidays in France remain one of the best kept secrets for nature lovers and also families. With plenty of activities and adventure to keep you busy or for those after a more relaxing stay, the tranquil setting, unspoiled environment and stunning scenery means there is something for everyone.
The astounding beauty of the mountains is hard to beat with their dramatic skyline of rugged peaks and glaciers (some skiable in summer e.g Les Deux Alpes or Tignes), crystal clear mountain lakes and green meadows.
Some resorts offer up to 40 different lakes and mountains activities for adults and children of all ages alike.
The French Alps:
The Alps in summer offers superb value for money, especially when compared to other favorite holiday destinations in France. From the unspoilt traditional villages and towns away from huge crowds and mass tourism to good food and wine at reasonable prices and that ‘Je ne sais quoi’ peace of life equal total relaxation.
The vast and changing landscape of the French Alps provides the most fantastic scenery, clean fresh air, stunning mountains and crystal clear lakes. One can chose between the traditional holiday activities the French Alps can offer or the more challenging ones sure to get your adrenalin pumping!
The French Pyrenees
The Hautes-Pyrénées is a department in south-western France and is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region. The department consists of several distinct geographical areas; the southern portion consists of mountains such as the Vignemale, the Pic du Midi and the Neouvielle and Arbizon ranges. The Northern part of the department consists of largely flat agricultural land. A third area consists of low-altitude rolling hills.
The Catalan Pyrenees (Pyrénées Catalanes) is an area in south-eastern France and is made up from the departments of Ariège in the south-eastern corner of the Midi-Pyrénées region and Pyrénées-Orientales of the Languedoc-Roussilon region. The Catalan Pyrenees as its name implies is very close to the border with Spain and benefits from a sunny exposure for most of the year due to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish exclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain. It is an area rich in history, traditions and legends, and is a very diverse area in terms of its landscapes, climate and even its lifestyle. The people here are very proud of their history, bound by a sense of belonging, and the welcome is always warm and friendly.
The Ariège Pyrenees region nestles in the central Pyrenees, next to Andorra with it's highest peaks visible from Toulouse. It is one of the most unspoiled regions of France, whose inhabitants, much like the Pyrenees in general, have held fast to their traditions. The countryside is full of wildlife and is easily accessible. There are 18 valleys that make up the western region of Ariège, while the rest of the departement more closely has closer ties to the Languedoc region.
The Couserans is a land of mountains, foothills, prairies, lakes, waterfalls and forests and is entirely
contained within the Parc Naturel Régional (Region Natural Park) of the Ariège Pyrenees. The town of St-Lizier is celebrated for its Roman art and architecture. Its neighbour, St Girons, is the capital of and gateway to the Couserans. The landscape is extremely varied: from the rolling, agricultural farmland of the Volvestre through the forests and mountain pastures around Castillon, Massat and the upper Salat river to the wild, unspoiled Mont Valier reserve where isards roam.