Enjoy a multi-activity holiday in the French Alps this summer
PUBLISHED: 11:06 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:05 13 August 2019
Need ideas for this summer holiday in France? There are plenty of routes for a multi-activity trip in the Maurienne valley in the French Alps
Are you someone who wants to visit an Alpine region for a couple of weeks to explore and enjoy a number of mountain activities perhaps with different companions? But maybe you don't want to visit one of those expensive 'honeypots'? Then the Maurienne valley has everything you could wish for. Whether you are with a group of friends, or with the family, having a range of activities in the immediate area from which to choose is the perfect solution.
Mountain leader Andy Hodges once asked where the French mountain guides go for their holidays; 'La Vanoise,' was the reply. And so began an adventure to discover a range of mountains steeped in history, modest in altitude and of breathtaking beauty, resulting in his guidebook Mountain Adventures in the Maurienne, which features 50 fantastic routes spread across seven different activities.
"The Maurienne valley is over 60km long, towered over by peaks of staggering symmetry straight from a child's drawing of mountains," writes Andy.
The Vanoise massif lies on the north side of the Maurienne valley, a beautiful range of mountains crowned by glaciers. You may have heard of the nearby ski resorts of Val d'Isère and Meribel, but the Vanoise National Park is a protected area, unspoilt by the trappings of the ski industry, where nature and wildlife remain undisturbed, a delightful region to explore.
"The Maurienne valley is one of those believed to be central to the most famous of Alpine journeys, Hannibal's crossing of the Alps. His supposed route into Italy is now a pleasant half-day's walk to a far-reaching viewpoint described in the guidebook. The valley also once formed the main route from Lyon to Milan and was part of the Spice Road between these two important cities - the village of Termignon had a chapel dedicated to Notre Dame de Poivre (Our Lady of the Pepper)."
In his Maurienne guidebook, author Andy Hodges bubbles with enthusiasm for the region…
"The valley offers some of the finest modern via ferratas in France, routes specifically designed for sport, with reliable and well-maintained equipment taking direct lines up soaring cliffs and into the deepest of gorges. Walks and scrambles allow real summits to be reached from the valley in a day, with views reaching to the highest mountain giants in the distance, and mountaineering journeys allow the high summits to be reached without tackling glaciers. Cyclists will find themselves surrounded by Alpine giants familiar to any Tour de France follower, Col de l'Iseran, Col du Galibier and Col de la Croix de Fer amongst them. Nor will mountain bikers be disappointed, with waymarked trails threading through the forests and ski lifts to take the sting out of long climbs."
Let Andy's guidebook to this beautiful region ignite a similar passion, and you will return many times.
Also available from Cicerone: Chamonix Mountain Adventures