Haven’t sorted your summer holiday yet? Don’t panic. The supply of summer holidays in the Alps almost always outstrips demand, and the mountains are still brimming with possibilities. Prices are being discounted too. As a result, you can get a week in a comfortable chalet-hotel for less than £450pp, including flights and transfers. Apartments can be had for barely more than £200, including a ferry crossing, tolls and fuel. You can even pick up a week in a smart hotel for less than £600.
Of course, it’s not the accommodation that’s the main draw. It’s the mountains. Yes, okay, it can pour with rain in the Alps from time to time. But the scenery is never less than magnificent – and when the sun comes out there are few places in the world more beautiful. Add in a range of activites that stretches from rock-climbing to gentle rounds of golf – with plenty on offer for kids as well – and you’ve got the makings of a memorable break.
£214: Les Gets, France
Les Gets is part of a vast 600km network of lift-serviced trails and mountain-bike parks, and has just hosted the Crankworx World Tour. So it’s a must-ride destination for serious MTBers. A self-drive, self-catering holiday in the final week of the season makes it cheap as chips, too. Book into an apartment at the Résidence Fermes Emiguy, and you’ll be just 300m from the Chavannes gondola, with bike storage in the basement and almost instant access to Les Get’s world-class bike park. By no means all the routes are expert-rated. There are trails and jumps for children and beginners too, as well as bike schools.
With Peak Retreats, a week at the Résidence Fermes Emiguy from August 25 starts from £124pp based on four sharing a two-bedroom apartment and including return Dover-Calais ferry crossings. Viamichelin.co.uk estimates £90pp return for fuel and tolls for the Calais-Les Gets drive.
£254: La Tania, France
La Tania’s summer vibe is relaxed, unhurried and family-friendly. But with the A-list mountain resort of Courchevel nearby, there’s no shortage of excitment if you want it. In the village there’s an open-air swimming pool as well as tennis and beach volleyball courts, while up in Courchevel Kamelot Camp awaits with family paint-balling, archery, Segway rides and much more. The superb, €63million Aquamotion aquapark is your wet-weather insurance, while up in the mountains rock-climbing, via ferrata, MTB and e-biking are ready to challenge adventurers, both young and old.
With Ski Amis, one week from August 18 in the spacious self-catering apartment, Rocher Blanc A6, costs £145pp, based on four sharing. Viamichelin.co.uk estimates fuel and tolls for the return Calais-La Tania trip at £82pp, while return ferry crossings start from £27pp (based on four sharing).
£349: Arc 1950, France
Arc 1950 is the newest of Les Arc’s purpose-built holiday villages, and its clever, car-free design is as friendly and convenient in summer as it is in winter. From its pedestrianised plazas, hiking, biking, climbing and trail-running routes spread like tentacles over the surrounding slopes. Meanwhile, back at base swimming pools, a summer schedule of weekly events, and a range of free activities for adults and children over 7 make it a canny choice for active families. Accommodation is in self-catering apartments, and if you shop in the big supermarkets in the valley below you’ll keep a firm lid on costs.
With Erna Low, a week from July 28 costs £225pp based on a family of four sharing a two-bedroom flat. Return ferry crossings start from £37pp (based on four sharing), while Viamichelin.co.uk estimates £87pp return for fuel and tolls for the Calais-Arc 1950 drive.
£399: Mayrhofen, Austria
Few summer resorts are as multi-faceted as Mayrhofen. Summer skiing at nearby Hintertux, hut-to-hut hiking on the Berliner Höhweg, climbing, biking, adventure parks and, er, cattle herding: for anyone who’s ready to explore the full length of the Zillertal, the possibilities are almost endless. When they’ve had their fill of adventure, they’ll find the town itself is a buzzing, unpretentious place, with lots of affordable accommodation. The Brit-friendly Chalet Tirol is a good example. Set on the Main Street near the revamped Penken gondola, its the perfect launchpad for a summer-evening stroll between bars.
With Inghams, one week from July 28 at the Chalet Tirol costs £399pp chalet board, including return flights from Gatwick and transfers, as well as a daily breakfast, six dinners, and five packed lunches and afternoon teas.
£430: Champoluc, Italy
In Champoluc you get a wilder, sharper taste of the Alps. With the Monte Rosa sealing the end of the valley, and the towering spike of the Matterhorn not far beyond, this is some of region’s most thrilling country – and yet it’s never hit the big time like Chamonix or Zermatt. Instead, you get a pretty valley broken by forests, pastures and ancient villages, with Champoluc the main (but under-developed) resort. Prices are refreshingly low in summer, especially if you check into Inghams’ off-duty chalet-hotel Breithorn. A charming, 100 year-old property, close to the main gondola, it’s the perfect launchpad for a week of magnificent hikes.
With Inghams, a week from August 1 at the chalet-hotel Breithorn costs £430pp, including return flights from Gatwick and transfers, as well as a daily breakfast, six dinners, and five packed lunches and afternoon teas.
£449: Soll, Austria
Soft-topped mountains, pretty villages and well-planned summer infrastructure make Soll in the Skiwelt a good bet for hikers, bikers and families who don’t like their Alps too rough. Younger children love the mini-waterparks, such as the Hexenwasser, while grown-ups will relish the chance to tackle the lift-serviced MTB trails and footpaths that snake through the forests and meadows. Prices here are reasonable even in the ski season, while last-minute discounting makes packaged holidays in summer a steal, as you’ll see from the offer, below.
With SNO, one week from August 1 at the Sporthotel Mödlinger costs £449pp, B&B, including return flights from Gatwick and transfers.
£458: Chamonix, FranceCrouched beneath the Mont Blanc massif, Chamonix is the mother of all mountaineering resorts and – despite its size – one of the loveliest too, thanks to its upbeat atmosphere and friendly, traffic-free core. These days, there’s also a lot more to it than ropes and crampons. The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc has made it the capital of trail running in the Alps, and there’s a surprising range of family-friendly activities here, including a purpose-built Parc d’Attactions. The town’s fame means summer accommodation prices are higher than most, but book into the newly-built Résidence Isatis – a 10 minute bus ride from the town centre – and a week becomes eminently affordable.
One week from August 11 in a two-bedroom apartment at the Résidence Isatis costs £344pp based on four sharing. Viamichelin.co.uk estimates fuel and tolls for the return Calais-Chamonix trip at £89pp, while return ferry crossings start from £25pp (based on four sharing).
£593: Kitzbuhel, AustriaA late-booking discount of £284 brings a week at the stylish Q! Hotel Maria Theresa just below £600pp – albeit on a B&B basis. Budget holidaymakers will want to give the in-house casino a wide berth, but that’ll be a doddle with a resort as pretty as Kitzbuhel on the doorstep. Here, lush Sound-of-Music landscapes serve up 1000km of hiking trails, 800km of MTBing, and Austria’s biggest e-biking network. Two championship courses make it one of the best Alpine destinations for golfers, too.
With TUI, one week from July 28 at the Q! Hotel Maria Theresa costs £593pp, B&B including return flights from Gatwick and transfers.
Prices correct at time of publication. Please bear in mind that prices can change on a daily basis, and properties may have sold out.