The French Alps are beautiful, imposing and awe-inspiring. It is an incredibly wonderful place to visit in both the winter and summer. We were very fortunate to have some friends who have a chalet in Châtel, so this is where we based ourselves. In the foothills of Mont de Grange we gorged each day on fresh croissants, cheese and plenty of wine.
The small villages in the French Alps are lovely, slow-paced and home to delicious bakeries. Châtel was no exception, with a few bars to enjoy some beers at in the afternoons and grab supplies to hole up in the chalet each evening. We visited Le Grenier A Pain every morning for fresh bread and the best croissants we have ever tasted – sweet, salty and ever so fluffy!
Our time spent in the French Alps was a foodies paradise. We stocked up on local ingredients to make indulgent dinners each night. Including beef stews, onion soup and cheese boards. We also had many a cheese fondue, of course. Accompanying our meals were always a few bottles of local (and incredibly cheap!) French wine.
To counter the huge amounts of rich food we were putting into our bodies, we went on a few walks into the mountains. There are plenty of trails to choose from and since it was the spring we had to tramp through a bit of snow around the peaks. It made for some stunning scenery and some fun sliding down the remnants of the snow. The Alps are also fantastic for mountain biking so the boys enjoyed taking the bikes out each day for a muddy adventure.
If extreme hikes and mountain biking doesn’t scream relaxing holiday, then strolls around the village are perfect. The idyllic French Alps life is on full display with large belled cows jingling in paddocks (and sometimes in the middle of the road) and wild flowered meadows in every direction.
Overall, our time in the French Alps was relaxing, delicious, beautiful and fun. I highly recommend it as a place to unwind and enjoy the mountain air and scenery. Cost wise, once you get your accommodation sorted then everything is really cheap. Most summer activities are free (especially if you like hiking) and the food and wine is cheap.
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 2 people for 4 days (remember we had free accommodation):
Food/Drink – E155 (NZ$265)
Transport – E100 (NZ$171)
Total spent – E255 (NZ$436)