The evolution of mountain holidays: Visit France

Insights from the 2019 Evolution of French mountain holidays by Club Med and Atout France.

Bienvenue en France!

There are endless reasons to discover France. While France is half the size of South Africa, it is exceptional in its diversity of activities and boasts an incredible array of landscapes. From barging along the canals and cruising on the rivers, or cycling and walking in the mountains, to shopping in big department stores and at the local village market, the list of things to do in France is long and varied. *

Research shows that South Africans enjoy Provence, Normandy, the Alps, Strasbourg, the Loire Valley Chateaux, Burgundy, and Bordeaux. *

From South Africa we recommend you fly into Charles de Gaulle – the largest international airport in France. This is ideal because you can squeeze in a stopover in magical, romantic Paris before making your way into the Alps or wherever else you’d like to visit in France.


It’s tough to pack Paris into a simple one or two-day stopover but it can be done. Firstly, you need to choose your top attractions then you can plan your day(s) from there. Paris is one of the most popular cities in the world which means that there will be queues almost everywhere. In the summer, the city heaves so expect to be surrounded by people during your time in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower is a must-visit. You can’t go to France and miss out on its most iconic landmark. An insider tip when visiting this huge structure: buy your tickets online ahead of time. This will save you long waiting times in the queues so that you can maximise your time in Paris. You can climb the Eiffel Tower and you should. The views are spectacular!

The fashionistas have to visit the iconic Champs-Élysées where you can shop some of the world’s premier brands such as Louis Vuitton and Longchamp. The avenue is all luxury – even the McDonald’s here has an upscale look unlike any other McDonald’s around the world. If you can’t afford the high prices, just enjoy window shopping and a nice long walk – it’s a long street so bring walking shoes.

Besides the Instagram-worthy photos you can take outside the museum, the vast collection at the Louvre Museum will take your breath away. Whether you want to see the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo or relive what you read in the Da Vinci Code, you will enjoy your time at the museum. The fact is that you will not be able to see everything in the museum during your short visit. So, choose what you want to see and go straight there. Insider tip: ask the staff to help you get to where you need to be quickly. The map is helpful but when you don’t know your way around you may waste precious time trying to get your bearings.

The mountains

There is a sense of freedom and absolute quiet where you are surrounded by the mountains and the snow. Now you can experience it in summer,” says Hélène Bezuidenhoudt of Atout France, the French tourism development agency. “For the climate sensitive, when it is hot everywhere else it is always cooler higher in the mountains! Mountain travel is literally a breath of fresh air, in summer or winter and great for family vacations,” she adds.

Illustrates cycling opportunities in the mountains
The French Alps in summer are fantastic for cyclists

France is known for many things and skiing or snowboarding the French Alps in winter is one of these things. Not enough South Africans know about the amazing holidays you can enjoy in the French Alps in the summer so let us tell you about them.

The French Alps are magnificent. Experiencing them in summer is just as amazing and there is so much more that you can do. Many South Africans enjoy spending time outside in nature and the sun so why not do this in one of the most popular landscapes in the world?

There are so many activities for you to enjoy as a family, as a couple, or as a group of friends. Here are our top tips on what to do based on who you’re travelling with.

The Club Med mountain destinations found in the French Alps perfectly address the demand for more wellness travel offerings because of the range of activities that help you enjoy active rest while on holiday. With the help of Club Med, more South Africans can enjoy a summer holiday in the French Alps. Remember, the European summer is in our winter so you get to escape the chill for the warmer climes of Europe.

Club Med’s Summer Mountain holiday experience offers travellers an active mountain holiday. The offering also ticks vital boxes when it comes to All-Inclusive value for money, giving holidaymakers the chance to get the most out of the holiday.

Illustrates the beauty of the French mountains in summer
Being in the outdoors in one of the amazing reasons to visit the French mountains

For South Africans this holiday is a unique experience, which can be enjoyed as an inter-generational family, a group of friends, or a couple. You can enjoy great food, discover local villages, go to a local cheese factory, and try outdoor activities. The days are longer, and the activities are diverse: hiking, biking (you can make it easier on yourself by taking an ebike), walking, trail running, orienteering, acrobranching, rock-climbing the via ferrata (a protected climbing route in the Alps), golfing, and more.

Simply put: enjoy a holiday in the French Alps in summer and return home with an overall sense of well-being obtained in the most panoramic of settings.

Speak to a sun specialist at the Travel Agency by Club Med today and book all your flights, transfers, and accommodation. We can also help you sort out the details for that stopover in Paris.

*Insights from the Evolution of French mountain holidays by Club Med and Atout France