Among the gi­ants

The pris­tine ski slopes of France at­tract mil­lions of peo­ple ev­ery year but there is even more to life in the moun­tains, as Brigitte Ni­co­las finds out

Living France - - Contents -

The ski slopes of France at­tract mil­lions in win­ter, but life in the moun­tains is mag­i­cal all year round

Watch the sea­sons change in the most stun­ningly dras­tic way as snow-capped peaks turn to hum­ming wildlife habi­tats in the sum­mer – the moun­tain ranges within France of­fer some of the most awe-in­spir­ing scenery in the world and can be a uniquely beau­ti­ful place to live. The Tour de France has some of its tough­est stages climb­ing up the steep in­clines, while some gen­tler hills are great for re­laxed fam­ily out­ings. This month, hol­i­day­mak­ers will be­gin to flood to the slopes as De­cem­ber marks the be­gin­ning of ski sea­son across France. The forests and trails across the nat­u­ral gi­ants are also a strong draw for clim­bers and hik­ers. Even Mont Blanc – France’s high­est peak at 4,810m – at­tracts hun­dreds of clim­bers ev­ery week. In fact, there are plans to en­force a cap of 214 clim­bers per day on the route in 2019. Se­cluded cab­ins, high up away from it all, could of­fer soli­tude to those seek­ing a peace­ful ru­ral life. Win­ter sports towns ex­pand and con­tract with the sea­sons, while large towns have a life of their own at the foot of some epic peaks. We take a look at four towns in moun­tain re­gions around France.

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