Home #WHERETONEXT Europe Ground Yourself This Summer in the Mountains of France

Ground Yourself This Summer in the Mountains of France

Combine rest and wilderness to enjoy incredible views of the peaks and forests. Stay where nature itself seems to be both inside and out, where you can hear the birds in the morning, see the treetops, the sun on the water and green pastures as soon as you open your eyes. Whether you’re ready to tackle an alpine pass or are just looking for a pleasant ride on an electric bike, you’ll find a playground to reconnect to simpler things by pedaling through the Mountains of France.

Unique accommodation

In Valmeinier, two new domes boasting impressive views over the valley have been installed in the middle of the forest. Sleep amond the elements while staying warm and comfortable as new facilities are on offer at the Domelin campsite with ten Ponza tents.

Sleeping in a bubble means contemplating the stars and feeling how small you are in a mountain landscape. Stay at Une Bulle en Aure in Saint-Lary in the Pyrenees, Géociel in Arêches-Beaufort with astrology animation or Bulles de Mines d’Or in Morzine to indulge in local food specialities.

Spend a night in a yurt in the heart of the Vanoise National Park on the GR5 and enjoy yoghurts made from the two onsite cows, Mandarine and Islande who are milked daily. Formely a milk cellar, Chez Mil’Gonnet in Les Menuires is an unusual place, miles from any noise or light pollution. If you want to sleep in a fairy cabin, head to Roche d’Ully campsite in the Jura Mountains to stay in the locally built, small wooden chalet where you can fulfil your childhood dreams.

Master your fears and sleep hanging on the side of a mountain in Les Arcs, where the local guides office offer nights in portaledges hanging on the side of a cliff. Or sleep in the Hutte Perchée, a cabin hanging from the top of a 9-metre-high fir tree in Lioran, Cabanes entre Terre et Ciel in the Val d’Arly or Clairière aux Cabanes in La Bresse.

Immersive stays

Spend the night in  Les Prés mountain refuge on a mountain yoga weekend in Les Contamines-Montjoie where you will discover the edible and medicinal plants found on the hike up to the refuge meditate and observe the fauna. Once at the refuge, yoga sessions are held at sunrise and sunset to reap the benefits of nature’s energy.

Join a three-day roadtrip in the Pyrenees that includes relaxation in hot springs, a spectacular voyage to the summit of the Pic du Midi, taking in views of the colossal Cirque de Gavarnie, the Garden of Eden at Cauterets and a mystical journey to Lourdes. Or follow Tédi, climbing expert, and Emilie, breath specialist, into their universe on a  Arbr&connexion stay in the Jura Mountains. The trip includes hiking, yoga in nature, bivouac in a viking tent, meeting with remarkable trees and night in the branches, relaxation, balance and more.

You can experience 48 hours of fishing with a night at the Refuge de L’Etendard in Vaujany, close to the lake and known to hikers as a stopover on the glacial route up the Pic de L’Etendard.

Ground yourself with breathtaking cycling routes

La Belle Via is the new name for the V62 and V63 cycle routes that run from Savoie or Haute-Savoie towards the Drôme department, via the Isère department, and which is linked to the Via Rhôna.

Take in the beautifully varied landscapes, between lakes, countryside, towns, vineyards and mountainous backdrops with a French cycling instructor who knows the routes perfectly and will make you live a full mountain experience and discover hidden treasures. Dotted with natural, cultural, wine and culinary attractions, the 369 kilometre-long route connects Roman, from the Via Rhôna in the north, passing by the banks of Lake Bourget, then on to Chambéry or Lake Annecy.

Explore the popular Champsaur valley and conquer as many peaks and passes as possible. The resort of Orcières enjoys a privileged location at the gateway to the Ecrins National Park, as well as exceptional weather conditions. From the Col des Aravis, ride with enthusiastic instructors from the new Wattsup Fatbike academy who take you from village to village, either on an electric mountain bike or a fat bike.

With its gondola lift connection to Méribel and its close proximity to iconic routes such as the legendary Col de la Loze, Brides- Les-Bains offers an exceptional playground for all cycling fans! Set at the foot of Les 3 Vallées, you can explore the whole of the Tarentaise valley by bike from here.

If you like to combine business with pleasure, discover Bike Experience’s new concepts for summer 2023, in Taninges (Praz-de-Lys Sommand), which includes a gourmet mountain bike ride in the Giffre Mountains, where you travel between farms and local producers.

The Tour de France

From the Pyrenees to the Massif Central, the Alps, the Jura and the Vosges, rediscover the Mountains of France this summer with the Tour de France which takes place between 5 and 22 July. The event will be reuniting with Courchevel again, which will host the arrival on the 19 July.

You can also challenge yourself to a Tour de France’s stage and some of the most famous French mountain passes – with no cars around! This happens on many different sites, including the Col du Galibier in Valloire or the Valfréjus climb.