The mountains in France are a huge draw for nature and sports lovers, not just in ski season but year-round.
Here are some photos and info about the main mountain ranges, as well as a few insider tips on the best places to go for winter (and summer!) vacations.
Some of the most famous mountains in France include the Alps, with Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont-Blanc, rising to a lofty 4,810 metres (15,774 feet).
The French Alps start around Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) in the north, down to Provence in the south; and borders Italy and Switzerland.
The capital of the French Alps is Grenoble.
The Pyrénées run from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast – stretching for over 430km and along the Spanish border.
They are the second largest and highest mountains after the Alps.
The Pyrénées are popular and can be cheaper for skiing than the Alps.
Here are some fresh ideas for a holiday in the mountains in France, if you’re looking for something different from the the French Alps or Pyrénées.
The Massif Central has some of the oldest mountains in the country.
They are known for having extinct volcanoes, called puys.
The Massif Central can sometimes be called the Auvergne mountain range, and is popular for both skiing and hiking; as well as spa towns such as Vichy and Le Mont Dore.
The Jura Mountains are north of Lake Geneva and spread across three countries: France, Germany and Switzerland. In France the Jura mountains are in the eastern region of Franche-Comté, near Burgundy and Alsace.
The Jura is popular for cross country skiing; as well as their special wines (vin jaune) and cheese. The capital of Franche-Comté is Besançon.
The gentle peaks of the Vosges are in Eastern France, around the regions of Alsace and Lorraine.
Colmar is only a short drive away, and don’t forget about the wine tasting!
Corsica, despite being a small island, has its fair share of mountains (the most of any mediterranean island).
In fact – around 85% of Corsica is mountainous!
Mountains In Provence
Mont Saint Victoire near Aix en Provence, was a favourite subject of the painter Cezanne.
The Alpilles mountains near Arles and St-Remy are very distinctive; and Mont Ventoux is often called the ‘giant of provence’, being the largest mountain in the region.
Read more about ski resorts in France here.
Heading to the mountains in France in summer is a whole different story of course and can be a great alternative to a winter trip. Being outside the ski season can mean lower prices; the scenery is just gorgeous, and is a great idea for a family vacation.