5 Alpine Mountain Villages You Need to Know If You Love Nature Walks

5 Alpine Mountain Villages You Need to Know If You Love Nature Walks

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The Alps are famous for fabulous Skiing and winter sports but the area is also alive and kicking during the summer months. A popular place in Europe for outdoor activities and walking and hiking are top of the list. The landscapes here are spectacular, rolling hills, deep valleys and towering mountains, it’s the Alpine dream you have always thought of. But where are the best places to visit if you want to see the best of nature? Here are a few examples of the best Alpine villages to visit for hiking in the nearby mountains.

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Chamonix, France

With Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, setting the scene in this picturesque village, you will understand why it is a popular place for a hike and to stay. Although well-renowned for its skiing, Chamonix is a haven for outdoor adventure and nature lovers during the summer months.

Although the terrain here is quite difficult there are well marked trails for walkers of all abilities. If you are fit, why not try La Jonction trail which takes you between the glaciers of Bosson and Taconnaz. Starting at the village of Bosson, a short bus ride to the chairlift and start your hike at the beginning of the trail at 1,425m. Follow the trail for just over 12km to The Chalet des Pyramides and take a glance over the valley and for spectacular views across Chamonix. You’ll need at least 5 hours to complete this hike, more if you want to stop and take pictures and soak in the views.

Chamonix is also popular with visitors for other outdoor activities too. White water sports are a particularly favourite for visitors with the options of kayaking, rafting and canyoning. Take a look at Alpine Elements Activity Holidays to find out more about activities to try in the French Alps.

Zermatt, Switzerland

A pretty Alpine town sitting on the border with Italy, Zermatt is popular with tourists at all times of the year. The busting centre offers visitors a lively resort but with all the old-world charm you would expect from an historic Alpine town.

Of course, the most popular thing to do in Zermatt is to see the famous Matterhorn and maybe even hike to the iconic peak. The trail is easier than you think only graded as a medium difficulty for walkers. The start of the Matterhorn Trail is at the top of the Matterhorn Express/Zermatt Furi gondola, which is only a 15-minute walk from the centre of Zermatt. Hike to the peak of the Matterhorn passing the striking Schwarzsee lake en-route. Finish the almost 4 hours walk back into Zermatt past the Zmutt dam.

As a nature lover, you can also visit the Gorner Gorge. Here you can marvel at the rock formations, waterfalls and other natural phenomenon whilst walking along suspended wooden walkways. An impressive way to see nature at its best.

Seefeld, Austria

Nestled in the region of Tyrol, Austria Seefeld is a quaint town set on a sunny south-facing plateau. Those who come here are mostly visitors wanting to take advantage of the excellent walking holiday routes and tours.

One of the most scenic walks here is the three lakes trail which takes you past the lakes of Wildmoossee, Lottensee and Moserersee. You’ll pass through a variety of terrain on during your 4 hours hike, including woodlands, valleys and mountainous paths. Start your route at theChurch of St Peter then take the no.2 path up to the Wildmoosalm. Once you have taken in the views of the first lake, take no.3 path to reach the second lake Lottensee, then onto the last lake of the trail. Here many hikers take advantage of the warm water and free swimming by taking a dip in Moserersee. Finally make your way to Mösern where you’ll find regular buses running back to Seefeld.

If you are interested in history then you could visit the woodland cemetery which has a chapel and monument to those who died on the railway journey from Dachau concentration camp at the end of April 1945.  Seefield is also very close to the famous Innsbruck so you could take a trip to this pretty Alpine town only 30 minutes’ drive away.

Les Gets, France

Another pretty and historic Alpine village, Les Gets is also known for its foodie scene too. There are plenty of bars and restaurants plus fun things to do in this calm and relaxed resort. Situated in the Portes de Soleil area, there are many walking and hiking options directly from the village. Hiking and biking are popular summer activities along designated trails here.

Les Cretes de Mont Chery is a pleasant hike starting at the top of the Mont-Chery gondola lift. After a steep ascent, you’ll reach the view point at the top of Mont Chery and appreciate the panoramic views from the peak. Then climb your way down past the tranquil Mont-Caly until you reach Les Gets village. The hike is around 8km and will take an average of 3hours and 30minutes to walk.

Les Gets is a perfect resort for families and there are lots of nature walks to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There are also nearby farms to visit, where children can visit the animals, learn how the farm works and the whole family can enjoy tasting delicious local cheeses.

Champoluc, Italy

A lovely farming area where the village of Champoluc is a popular skiing destination in winter but also a hiking haven in the summer. Although busy the heart of Champoluc is a small cosy town dating back to the 17th century. Monte Rosa Massif is where most of the routes for walkers are found.

One such route is the Lago Blu Trail which takes you away from the village up the Ayas Valley to the beautiful blue lake. Mining in this area has caused copper mineral deposits to seep into the water making it a shocking blue colour. The trail starts at the church of St. Jacques, follow route no.7 to the small mountain village of Fiery, then on to the spectacular lake. The walk will take around three hours at a medium difficulty.  Once you arrive at the lakes you can return to Champoluc or continue exploring the mountain.

Champoluc offers its visitors amazing scenery and absolute natural beauty. Alpine meadows in the Aosta Valley gives visitors the options to explore Roman ruins, beautiful castles and wonderful wildlife.  There’s plenty to do here if you are a nature lover, take your time and explore the area and relax in this lovely setting.

What do you think about these walks through natural scenery?

As you can see there are varied and plentiful hikes to choose from and enjoy nature in the Alps. These villages are pretty good examples of the great experiences you can have in this region and the natural environment you can enjoy. Have you hiked any trails in the Alps? What did you think? There are so many to choose from with different difficulties, lengths and altitudes you can choose the perfect walk for you. If you have found the best place to take a hike, leave a comment.

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