So the summer season’s finished, now there’s nothing to do in the Alps and everywhere’s closed you think? Guess again!
Out of season in May, June and September is in fact a great time to visit. The mountain refuges are open all month offering beds, food and drinks along some stunning trekking routes. The high mountain passes (or Cols) are open for you to explore on a driving tour, and you can still use all the road and downhill bike trails. Buy yourself a harness and you’ve got all the Via Ferrata climbing routes at your disposal. You can still tee off on the highest golf course in Europe. A select few lovely bars and restaurants stay open. And you’ve got the whole place pretty much to yourself!
Sound perfect? It is, if you want to get away from it all and see a peaceful, serene side to the mountains not many people get to experience.
You can bag some amazing deals on rooms and chalets in summer and out of season too – a place you could only fantasise about in winter may well be within your budget. For some advise on accommodation in or out of season get in touch with Simply Val d’Isere – accommodation specialists in resort. Hotel Melezes in Tignes is open most of the year. If you want to tour the area, base yourself in Bourg Saint Maurice, which is a year-round town so most places are still open.
Driving Tours Of The Alps
The best way to see the most amount of stunning scenery is on a driving tour. The Alps provides your pick of ultimate routes – passing waterfall walks, abandoned buildings, ancient forts, wild landscapes and charming settlements. Ascents can be so steep you go from a summer’s day to winter wonderland in the space of an hour!
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Walking Tours Of The Alps
If you’ve come to the Alps to get away from it all, a hiking trip to one of 60 mountain refuges dotted off the track across the Haute Tarentaise/Maurienne is the perfect solution! Refuges offer cosy stopovers for any type of hike – whether it’s an afternoon outing with the kids or a week-long orienteering exercise in getting back to nature. Many are manned in the summer; arriving at dinner time you’ll find log fires burning, warm tartiflette on the table and a carafe of wine ready to relax your aching muscles.
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Via Ferrata Climbing
Via Ferrata – a series of steel rails, cables, iron rungs, pegs, bridges and steps implanted into rock to make a climbing route – makes an aerial adventure accessible to adventurers of all levels. There are miles and miles of these routes carefully embedded in mountain ranges across the Alps, and many are accessible year-round.
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Tee off on Tignes golf course – the highest in Europe at 2100m, overlooking Tignes lake – before it closes for winter on 6 September.
Stay in a mountain-top chalet for a week of yoga, meditation, wildflower walking and good food, on one of Chalet Rosiere‘s amazing year-round retreats.
Where To Eat And Drink
Le Coffee in Tignes Val Claret is open during inter season, offering beautiful outdoor seating and chilled Ibiza vibes on sunny days as well as great value set menus.
TCs Bar in Tignes Le Lavachet opens all year – a cosy living room-style bar popular with locals at any time. The legendary TC is always ready with some witty banter whatever the weather.
Rise Coffee Bar in Val d’Isere offers lovely lattes, snacks and beers – you might need one if you’ve just come off the nearby via ferrata in La Daille…
Chevallot bakery in Val d’Isere provides mean pastries, cakes and savouries year-round.
Coin des Amis bar in Val d’Isere is a relaxing place for a post-hike beer any time.
We’ll keep adding to this list. If you know of any places that should be in there, get in touch!