CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

7 of the best French mountain retreats for a peaceful summer break

PUBLISHED: 15:17 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:44 07 August 2018

Les Chalets des Grands Montets ©DR

Les Chalets des Grands Montets ©DR

Yann Bouvier

Don’t dismiss the mountains of France as a purely winter destination – they also make the perfect summertime retreat. Pack your hiking boots and head off to one of these paradises in the peaks…

Bulles d'Aulps ©DRBulles d'Aulps ©DR

Bulles d’Aulps, Saint-Jean-d’Aulps, Haute-Savoie

Spend a memorable night under the stars in a ‘bubble dome’ perched in the trees or on stilts in an Alpine forest. The transparent domes let you admire your surroundings to the full with squirrels, deer and foxes just metres away. The domes at Bulles d’Aulps include a double bed, table and chairs, washbasin and exterior dry toilet, and a wooden platform to enjoy breakfast and dinner. The village is only a few minutes’ walk with its hiking and mountain biking trails.

From €139 per night based on two people sharing. Breakfast is included, other meals from €20.

Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge and Spa, Lac du Pêcher, Cantal

Lying in the heart of the Volcans d’Auvergne regional park, Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge and Spa is an ideal retreat for nature lovers, with wildlife on the water and in the surrounding pine forest to discover, and the extinct volcanoes to explore. There are 12 bedrooms and suites, all individually decorated, and no televisions or phones, so you can escape the wider world and appreciate the natural environment. There is also a gourmet restaurant and spa, as well as a hot tub overlooking the lake.

Doubles from €125pp based on two sharing, including breakfast, dinner and access to the spa.

Cabanes Entre Terre et Ciel ©Cabanes Entre Terre et CielCabanes Entre Terre et Ciel ©Cabanes Entre Terre et Ciel

Cabanes Entre Terre et Ciel, Saint-Nicolas-la-Chapelle, Savoie

Here is your chance to spend a night ‘between the earth and the sky’ in a treehouse with views of the Mont Blanc Massif. At Cabanes Entre Terre et Ciel there are three styles of huts, all accessed by a folding ladder, and with dry toilets and a shower The one-bedroom Cabane Nid is built like a nest and has a 30m² roof terrace. Cabane Mont Blanc is a luxury treehouse with a spa and sauna, and sleeps up to four. If you are travelling with children, Cabane du Ruisseau, with its 12-metre rope bridge, a slide and a play area would be perfect.

Cabins from €280 based on two people sharing, breakfast included.

Terminal Neige Refuge du Montenvers, Chamonix, Haute-Savoie

Few places are as legendary in the world of mountaineering as the Mer de Glace. The seven-kilometre-long glacier facing Mont Blanc spills from the summits towards Chamonix and has fascinated and attracted visitors for decades. In the late 18th century, the Grand Hôtel du Montenvers, at 1,900 metres, welcomed the first travellers and mountaineers. Later, its popularity dwindled and for years it was left to fall into disrepair. But after renovations by Maisons et Hôtel Sibuet, the Terminal Neige Refuge du Montenvers opened for its first winter season last December. It is impossible to drive up, so access is done by foot, skis or a 20-minute ride on the red cog-train from Chamonix. There are 20 rooms and suites, as well as a dormitory under the eaves. Rooms are furnished simply but with taste, celebrating the mountaineering heritage.The attention to detail is striking, from the red key rings mimicking climbing ropes to the branded tin mugs.

Doubles from €160 half-board.

Les loges du Coinchet ©Jean-Baptiste StrobelLes loges du Coinchet ©Jean-Baptiste Strobel

Les Loges du Coinchet, La Pesse, Jura

For true escapism in the great outdoors, head to this beautiful and preserved site in the Haut-Jura regional park, where the owners breed llamas and sheep as well as providing accommodation in a tree house, a traditional roulotte caravan or a hunter’s hut. Each lodging at Les Loges du Coinchet is equipped with a woodburner, a water reserve, candles and torch, and dry toilets while showers and a sanitary block are located in the restored main farmhouse. Breakfast is brought to you at your preferred time. Make sure you say hi to the llamas – either by visiting the farm or going on a walk with the animals through the mountains.

Tree house from €120, caravans from €85, hut from €130, including breakfast.

Chalets des Grands Montets, Argentière, Haute-Savoie

These three new luxury chalets lie next to the Grands Montets ski area and look over Mont Blanc. Each of the Chalets des Grands Montets has three bedrooms sleeping up to six people, but their styles are different: La Ferme d’Estelle is a typical mountain farmhouse; L’Alpage de Paul is designed like an Alpine pasture chalet; and L’Atelier de Charlotte resembles an artist’s workshop. The centre of Argentière is a ten-minute stroll, and there are plenty of ski slopes and hiking trails within walking distance of the chalets.

Chalets from €470 per night for six people.

Chateau de la HouillereChateau de la Houillere

Château de la Houillère, Ronchamp-Champagney, Haute-Saône

For a grand stay in the southern Vosges mountains, head to the 19th-century Château de la Houillère, once home to the owners of the local coal mines. The guesthouse has five bedrooms, all elegantly decorated in keeping with the building’s heritage, and three lounges. The castle is set within a three-hectare park and is 30 minutes from Belfort. Several hiking trails lead from the property, which makes an ideal for exploring the Ballons des Vosges regional park.

Doubles from €108 including breakfast.

Other articles you might like:

8 reasons to visit the French mountains this summer

Hiking in France: 6 scenic Grandes Randonnées to walk

The beautiful French mountain lakes you have to visit

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Travel

Friday, December 7, 2018

These welcoming and wonderful Christmas markets are just a short trip across the Channel away, so what are you waiting for?

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Discover the Christmas delights of northern France with our top five Christmas markets in the region

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From lakeside jazz festivals to chestnut fairs, get stuck in with these events taking place across France in December 2018

Read more
Thursday, November 22, 2018

You can ditch the airport queues and long drives, and hit the rails instead, says Daniel Elkan. The French Alps has an abundance of ski resorts that suit families, easily accessed by train.

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Budget travellers can pay nothing to stay at bed and breakfasts around the world during Barter Week in exchange for manual, creative or teaching activities

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Find out when your favourite French ski resort opens and closes this year and start planning your ski trip to France

Read more
Winter trips
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Find out what events are taking place in France to commemorate the Armistice centenary.

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

The full route of the 2019 Tour de France was announced in Paris on 25 October

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

From hot air balloon gatherings to scallop festivals, there’s always something fun and unique going on in France in November

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Visit historic cities, Western Front battlefields and Unesco heritage sites on a journey through Hauts-de-France

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now