An Alpine chalet is not just for Christmas

an alpine chalet is not just for XmasTop 5 Activities to enjoy in the French Alps this summer

The French Alps are renowned as a top winter tourism destination attracting millions each year to its pristine pistes, exclusive resorts and charming villages.

But the area is not only to be enjoyed for a few months each winter, the French Alps offer a wealth of attractions in summer also and with latest reports from French mortgage specialist, Athena Mortgages, stating that May was the busiest month of the past 12 in terms of enquiries, it would seem that buyers are seeking Alpine homes that they can use all year round.

So what are the top 5 activities to enjoy in the French Alps this summer?

1. Walking in the Vanoise National Park – located between the Tarentaise and the Maurienne, the Parc de la Vanoise is one of Europe’s oldest and largest protected areas. The park is rich in flora and home to herds of ibex; it also offers 500km of marked walking paths and trails for all abilities.

2. Mountain biking – From two skis to two wheels, mountain biking is one of the most popular summer activities in the Alps. The Sainte Foy en Tarentaise area, just 15 minutes from Val d’Isere and Les Arcs offer some of the finest natural trails with mountain descents and long cross-country roads running through alpine meadows and forests as well as unspoiled mountain villages with stunning views of the glaciers.

3. Mountaineering – Summer is the perfect time to explore the mountains of the Alps, from the Mont Blanc massif in the west to the imposing Dolomites in the east, this region offers some of the most challenging climbs available. Increasing popular is “via ferrata”, Italian for “iron road”. Originally built in the Dolomites as routes for WW1 soldiers to transverse, these footpaths follow the contours of the mountain face featuring ladders and rope swings to add extra excitement.

4. Rafting and Canyoning – as the glaciers undergo their natural summer melt, the rivers of the French Alps come alive with the sounds of canoeists and white-water rafting thrill seekers. The river d’Isere near Sainte Foy provides one of the longest and most exhilarating white water rafting experiences as well as the opportunity to try canyoning.

5. Get a taste of local culture – the Alps are home to some of the most traditional charming towns and villages in all of France. Wander through quaint streets, admire the Savoyard architecture, visit museums and historical centres and sample the local culinary delights. La Plagne, located in the heart of the Paradiski, is one of the most popular summer destinations hosting numerous music and cultural festivals.
Getting to the French Alps couldn’t be easier with daily direct flights to Lyon, Geneva or Chambery from the UK; high speed trains also connect the Alps to Paris and then on in turn to the UK or it is possible to drive in around 9 hours.

It is also straight-forward to purchase property in the French Alps with leaseback developments proving popular as they offer guaranteed rental income as well as personal usage. One development which is particularly sought-after is La Chapelle in Sainte Foy as investors can enjoy free usage of the property in June and September as well as guaranteed & index-linked returns for 18+ years. A limited number of 1 – 4 bedroom luxury properties remain with prices starting from £170,000 and up to 100% finance available.

Alternatively, the completed 4* apartments of Le Centaure, located in La Plagne comprise studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom modern and spacious properties with superb on-site amenities. Prices are from €148,000 and up to 95% finance is available.

For more information about purchasing in the French Alps pick up your FREE COPY of Focus on France magazine, your essential guide to French leasebacks, by calling + 44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visiting www.frenchleaseback.org.

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