French Alps - Jura - France - French Holidays


French Alps
French Alps

Mont Blanc in Haute-Savoie stands at 4,807m (15,767ft) and is the tallest mountain in the Alps and Europe.

The Alps is France's third most popular tourist region, following Paris and the Côte d'Azur, and it is Europe's largest mountain range. The Alps spread over France, Italy and Switzerland, with the highest peaks being on the eastern edge and forming a formidable natural barrier with Italy. Isère is the highest département, followed by Hautes-Alpes, Savoie, Haute-Savoie and Drôme. There are tunnels all through the mountains that join France and Italy, including the Mont Blanc road tunnel and the road and rail Tunnel de Fréjus. The two Savoie regions give their name to the Savoyards (the population) and also to the style of cooking, which includes raclette - melted cheese served with potatoes and cold meat - delicious after a long walk or skiing session in the mountains.

 

Separated from the Alps by Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), the Franche-Comté region contains the Jura mountains to the south and borders the Vosges mountains on the north side. The Jura mountains are more accessible, yet less exploited by tourism, than the Alps and are thus extremely popular with winter sports fans, nature lovers and ramblers. The scenery is largely green and unspoilt and, although not as sublime as the Alps, the region is well endowed with rolling fields, pine forests, lakes and towering mountains. There are close links between Jura and Switzerland and a lot of the cuisine, culture and architecture of Switzerland has found its way over the border into Franche-Comté. Even some of the scenery has a decidedly magical and Swiss feel to it. As far as regional products go, Jura wines are well known, as are cheeses such as Morbier and Comté, and the Montbéliard and Morteau sausages.

“Aside from the seventy or so ski resorts that you can reach from ChambĂ©ry, Annecy and Grenoble, including the prestigious Chamonix and Meribel resorts, there are endless possibilities for leisure pursuits in the Alps and Jura regions. Ski holidays in France are a popular choice for couples and families seeking active, adventure-filled winters. White-water rafting and canoeing are also popular, as is caving (or 'spelunking'), climbing and hiking, and mountain-biking.

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