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Awe-inspiring French Alps locations


There’s something about mountains that’s truly mind-blowing.

First off, high-altitude locations stimulate the senses in spectacular fashion – the thin air makes us pause, change pace and recognise that, in order to stay safe, we must move at a pace that respects our surroundings.

This healthy sense of humility is further reinforced by the view itself – the sheer size of the mountains compared to the patchwork pattern of the tiny towns and villages triggers a profound change in perspective.

Next, the effect moves from physical to psychological – up here where the air is rarefied, everyone is equal and, if only for a few hours, our everyday worries seem as insignificant as the clouds floating past below us. A fresh physical perspective informs a new mental viewpoint that encourages empathy and ego-eradication – like an adult recreation of Piaget’s Three Mountain experiment.

There are many mountain ranges in the world, but the French Alps are arguably the most awesome, at least amongst those that are easily accessible to people that aren’t pro climbers.

If you’re planning a chilled out holiday for the future, here are some awe-inspiring French Alps locations.

Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix Mont Blanc

‘Needle of the mid-day’, or ‘Aiguille du Midi’ in French, is 3842 metres high and the most elevated peak with an aerial lift system for skiers.

It’s the closest you can get to Mont Blanc without actually climbing, a hotspot for off-piste skiing during winter and paragliding and hiking during the rest of the year.

You’ll enjoy jaw-dropping views in the cable car on the way up and walking around once you get there. But if you’re not of a nervous disposition, try the ‘step into the void’ skywalk for size. It’s a glass room with a transparent floor and walls – take a deep breath as you step out onto the see-through floor and you’ll feel like you’re floating on air as you marvel at the sublime snow-crested peaks below.

 

Aiguille Rouge, Savoie

3227 metres above sea level in the Vanoise Massif of Savoir France, Aiguille Rouge (red needle) is the highest peak in Les Arcs ski area and has one of the longest runs in the French Alps. Furthermore, it offers some of the region’s most ravishing views.

It can be reached by cable car or (provided you’re in decent physical shape) hiking from the village below, and when you reach the top you can step out onto La Passerelle footbridge, where you’ll be blown away by 360° panoramic views of the Alps.

Finally, if you’ve worked up a thirst with sightseeing and skiing during the day, refresh yourself with a refreshing pint in the evening – Savoie is one of the best places in the region to find authentic and distinctive craft beers.

Getting there

For convenience, let ski tour specialist Erna Low organise the perfect French Alps vacation for your group, and keep an eye out on Skyscanner for the cheapest flights year-round.

When you want to feel on top of the world, the views from the top of the French Alps can be truly life-affirming.

Have we missed your favourite French Alps location? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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