Piste2Plage Peloton just before leaving Auron on the last stage to Juan les Pins.

Old Annecy
Old Annecy

It was after we bought our property in Sainte Foy that we spent our first summer holiday in the mountains and what a revalation it turned out to be! I truely believed that this was a winter playground and how wrong I was. The sheer beauty of the mountains in the summer is something everyone should experience once in their lifetimes. True, the weather cannot be guaranteed but more often than not the sun does shine! The mountains are a true sportsmans paradise whether it is just a mornings hike to the Monal, an ancient protected farming village not far from Ste Foy or to discover the roads or trails by bike, viewing the mountains from sky, suspended by a paraglider, white water rafting, canyoning, the list goes on.

The roads around Ste Foy are a cyclists paradise, we are located on the Grand Route des Alpes, Geneva to Nice. The following Cols are easily accessible, d'Iseran (the highest paved pass in Europe), Petit St Bernard (French/Italian border) Cormet de Roselend, great mountain lake at the top. These can be ridden easily from the apartment in a day. The Cols of Madeleine, my worst day on a bike, Telegraph & Galibier can all be ridden after a shortish drive. Besides these passes made famous in the Tour de France there are numerous other mountain roads to explore with climbs to all the local ski stations of Val d'Isere, great cake shop there, Tignes, great views from around the lake, Les Arcs, La Plagne, remember Stephen Roche? are all great for shorter rides. One of my favourites is to drive to Albertville, home of the 1992 winter olympics, and cycle along a purpose built cycle path, lunch in Annecy, around the lake and back, a round trip of 80km with limited climbing and traffic free. You can find some of my rides on my Strava account.

If you want a break from road cycling, the mountain biking in the Tarentaise is sublime, Tignes/Val d'Isere run some of their chair lifts for free during July/August to access their trails, there is an off road track from the Col d'Iseran above Val down to Bourg St Maurice 45-50km downhill off road singletrack. Les Arcs also run their lifts but charge about €15.00 a day and provide a trail map although having a guide will get you to some of the better single track. Ste Foy also has excellent MTB routes, but again to get the best of them it is best to hire a guide, I can provide details of local guides.