With just two days until lift closure and the end of the winter season in Courchevel and Meribel our thoughts are turning firmly to summer in the Alps! The sun is currently shining generously and giving us a taste of what is to come –  and we can’t wait!  Inspired by Courchevel’s announcement that the lifts will be opening for free this summer (more below), we thought we would share with you our favourite things about the Alpine summer!

1. Exercising in the great outdoors

During the summer months, we run our Pilates classes outdoors where possible. We are so fortunate to be able to exercise amidst such stunning scenery and surrounded by nature. The feeling of well-being gained from classes goes up a level!  That’s not to mention being able to go running, walking and exploring on the multiple trails in the area.

2. Lake activities

We are surrounded by beautiful lakes here in the Three Valleys, including the stunning Lac de la Rosiere (Courchevel Moriond), the Lac de Tueda (Meribel Mottaret) and Bozel’s very own lake.  A little further afield we also have the wonderful Lac d’Annecy.  Activities to enjoy on and around the lakes include kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, walking trails, and plenty of picnic spots.

3. Wildlife spotting

The Vanoise National Park is right on our doorstep and is home to an abundance of fauna, including bouquetin (Ibex), chamois, cerf (red deer), chevreuil (roe deer), marmottes, badgers, foxes and more than 125 species of bird.  Local spots within the National Park include Pralognan-la-Vanoise and Champagny-en-Vanoise, both of which offer numerous walking trails from which you are likely to spot some of the above. Top of our ‘try to spot’ list is the magnificent gypaète barbu (bearded vulture). Several pairs are known to nest in the area.

4. Other activities

In this region we really are spoiled, with so many different outdoor activities to try.  On our doorstep we have via ferrata (climbing routes equipped with a steel cable which climbers attach to and climbing aids such as iron rungs, pegs and carved steps). Local sites include Pralognan, Courchevel and Champagny-En-Vanoise.  For adrenaline hunters, we have white-water rafting, and hydrospeed (participants are in the water negotiating rapids on a large float, wearing wetsuit, helmet and fins which help propel you through the water!).  And for keen cyclists, there are trails and cols galore to keep all disciplines of cyclist entertained (VTT, road biking).

5. Picnics

Forget the heavy carb laden dishes of the winter, and pack a picnic full of fresh and healthy produce. Find your own little Alpine meadow and enjoy the views as well as the peace and tranquillity!  One of our personal favourite picnic recipes is the chickpea and feta salad from the wonderful recipe book Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros.

6. Free Lifts in Courchevel  

As we mentioned above, Courchevel will be opening the Praz, La Tania and Verdons gondolas and the Saulire cable car for free this summer.  Whether you want to explore some of the higher walking trails, go mountain biking, or simply enjoy the glorious views from the summit, we think it’s a lovely gesture and will be making the most of it this summer!

So there you have some of our favourite things about summer in the Alps although there are of course many more fabulous things to enjoy. We recommend coming and seeing for yourselves!