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Overview

The ancient French provinces of Savoy and Dauphiné combine to form the French Alps, a playground in both summer and winter. Bordering Switzerland and Italy, the Alps are crowned by Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest peak at 15,771 feet (4,807 m). The best center for exploring Mont Blanc is Chamonix, the historic capital of alpine skiing and a bustling summer destination. Daredevils flock here for mountain climbing and hang-gliding. But if alpine chic is your goal settle in to the resort of Megève instead of Chamonix. The ancient capital of Dauphiné, Grenoble is another major target for those exploring the French Alps. ...

The ancient French provinces of Savoy and Dauphiné combine to form the French Alps, a playground in both summer and winter. Bordering Switzerland and Italy, the Alps are crowned by Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest peak at 15,771 feet (4,807 m). The best center for exploring Mont Blanc is Chamonix, the historic capital of alpine skiing and a bustling summer destination. Daredevils flock here for mountain climbing and hang-gliding. But if alpine chic is your goal settle in to the resort of Megève instead of Chamonix. The ancient capital of Dauphiné, Grenoble is another major target for those exploring the French Alps. As the commercial, intellectual, and tourist center of the Alps, it is a logical stopping-off point for motorists traveling between the Riviera and Geneva. Grenoble is a sports capital all year round. In addition to its towering peaks, the French Alps also contain some of Europe's most beautiful lakes, especially Lac d'Annecy. The chief resort here is the chic lakeside town of Annecy, the capital of Haute-Savoie.

Danforth Prince
About the Expert

Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince have written many guidebooks for Frommer's, including Frommer's France and Frommer's Germany.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The French Alps are those parts of the Alps mountain range which lie in France. They are within the regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur and Rhône-Alpes
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer