Snowy peaks and slopes that invitingly awaiting skiers are probably the main images that come to mind when people think of the Alps, which are probably the furthest mental pictures you can have of summer if possible. What many do not know, however, is that the Alps, the longest mountain range in Europe, actually features a ton of attractions in the warmer months to delight visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Top of the list is its gorgeous views, verdant mountainous landscapes that recall that iconic scene (you know the one) from “The Sound of Music”. Historic attractions are aplenty as well. The best part? Rates are generally lower in the area outside of winter, so you don’t have to break the bank if you plan your holiday there during this season. Take a look at the best things to do over the summer holidays in the Alps, to get an idea of what adventures await you there.
1. Go hiking in the Belledonne, France
Want to explore the mountains without skis on your feet? If you’re the adventurous type who’s physically fit, enjoy an adventure of a lifetime by going hiking in Belledonne, which is part of the Dauphiné Alps in the French Alps. Enjoy breathtaking mountain and lake views, and feast your eyes on picturesque villages and glaciers. There are different guide packages that vary in terms of length and level of difficulty, so plan and prepare accordingly.
Hiking in the Belledonne, France
Address: Belledonne, France
Price: From 117 USD
If you want a spa experience beyond the usual massage and facial, this might just be the right activity for you. This activity, which runs for approximately eight hours, allows guests to relax by soaking in the thermal water pools of Lavey-Les-Bains. This package is inclusive of shuttle services to and from practically anywhere in Geneva, but exclusive of the entrance fees to the resort.
Private Trip from Geneva to Lavey Les Bains
Duration: 8 hour
If you feel that a trip to the Alps will be wasted if you don’t get to admire its craggy features from the top, consider this activity. The helicopter ride, which runs for about 20 minutes, gives guests literally a bird’s eye view of Mont Blanc, as well as the other peaks and glaciers within the vicinity.
Mont Blanc Helicopter Tour
Duration: 20 Min Duration
4. Admire the flora and fauna on Lake Constance
Lake Constance, the third largest freshwater lake in Central and Western Europe, is bordered by three countries - Germany, Austria, and Switzerland - as well as the Principality of Liechtenstein, so you can take your pick on which side you want to spend more time in. Regardless of which part of the lake you choose to stay in, take heart in the fact that royalty from all four areas have spent their holidays in this area, which serves as a testament to how gorgeous it is.
Address: 78465 Konstanz, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Website: Lake Constance
Price: Starts from 180 USD (inclusive of a night’s stay)
5. Trek the tallest peak in Italy, Gran Paradiso
Here’s another activity for adventure seekers. The Gran Paradiso is the tallest peak in Italy at 12,323 ft (3,756 m). The good news is, there are some expeditions that will allow even relative beginners (albeit in good physical shape) to reach Gran Paradiso - and maybe reach out and touch some clouds in the process. Of course, there are guides to go with you as you conquer the mountain.
Gran Paradiso National Park
Address: Gran Paradiso National Park, 11010 Valsavarenche, Aosta Valley, Italy
Price: Starts from 900 USD, inclusive of accommodation
St Moritz is considered to be one of the most picturesque villages in the Alps region. Besides giving you plenty of opportunities to take photos there, you can also enjoy strolling along its streets, having a meal or a snack there, or shopping in the area. Lake Como, where you can enjoy going boating, is equally picturesque. If these two aren’t enough, this tour is inclusive of a scenic train ride that allows you to feast your eyes on the gorgeous landscape.
Lake Como, St. Moritz and Bernina Express Day Trip
Duration: 12 hour
7. Soothe your body and soul in Gstaad
Whoever said that beauty can soothe body and soul may have thought of a place similar to Gstaad. Besides its beautiful sceneries, it also houses the Alpina Gstaad Hotel, a five-star establishment that offers a variety of treatments to help you rest and relax, as well as fitness programs to help you develop and train your body.
Alpina Gstaad Hotel
Address: Alpinastrasse 23, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland
Website: Alpina Gstaad Hotel
Price: Starts from 678 USD
8. Create countless memories by capturing pictures in Tirol
Whether you’re a point-and-shoot enthusiast, a selfie addict, or a seasoned photography expert, you’ll certainly find scenes that you want to snap a photo of in Tirol, also spelled as Tyrol. This is a picturesque town dubbed as the “heart of the Alps”. Besides the verdant background that marks the Alps during summer, the town also features gorgeous blooms to add splashes of color to your pictures. Besides giving you plenty of opportunities to take photos, Tirol/Tyrol also invites guests to try its many outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing.
Address: Tirol, Austria
9. Marvel at the magical castles in Germany
No trip to the region would be complete without seeing the famous castles of Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle, which has a decidedly fairytale-like vibe, is said to be the inspiration for Disney’s distinctive castle logo. Hohenschwangau, meanwhile, served as the summer home of King Ludwig II, the monarch who had Neuschwanstein Castle built. The latter was originally built in the 12th century but was destroyed due to wars and neglect. King Ludwig II’s father, King Maximilian II, was instrumental in having it rebuilt to the structure it now has.
Address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
Website: Neuschwanstein Castle
Opening hours: Mid March - Mid October: 9am - 6pm (daily); Mid October - Mid March: 10am - 4pm (daily)
Price: From 14 USD
If you want to enjoy views of the Alps but don’t want to spend over a day to be rewarded for your efforts, check out this activity. Running for approximately three hours (one way), this family-friendly attraction allows guests to absorb the views of the Julian Alps, including Lake Bled, Karavanke Ridge and Karavanke-Savinja Alpine Ridge. Part of the tour is the opportunity for guests to try traditional Slovenian food on the way back from the peak.
Panoramic Hike in Julian Alps
Duration: 7 hour
Summertime fun in the Alps
Summer conjures images of sunshine, beaches, and bikinis, a far cry from the top-of-mind mental visuals that the average person may have about the Alps. Nonetheless, this region features a number of attractions that would provide guests a different look at what it can offer beyond winter activities. The activities listed here barely scratch the surface of the number of fun activities you can do when you visit during summer. Plan out your itinerary to the Alps to enjoy an unforgettable summer holiday.
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