National Geographic Traveller (UK)


Time your trip to the Alps to coincide with one of its word-class festivals, and you’ll find there’s a celebratio­n to suit all, be it jazz aficionado­s, cheese lovers, rally driving fans or those seeking authentic Alpine culture. Words: Sarah Barrell



Bohinj Internatio­nal Flower Festival

This festival promises ‘a bouquet of botanical tours, events and culinary experience­s dedicated to wild plants’. It’s set in the 24 Slovenian villages within beautiful, mountainan­d lake-dotted Bohinj (including spring flower-carpeted Triglav National Park). The region is home to more than 1,000 plant species, including 40 species of orchid.

19 May to 14 June.


The Radelier rafters

The Durance was once a river used to transport timber from the southern French Alps 160 miles to the Mediterran­ean. For two days each year, locals recreate the whitewater feat, complete with wooden rafts and traditiona­l 19th-century costumes. Best viewing spots: Vague du Rabioux in Châteaurou­x-les-Alpes and Pont-neuf in Embrun. Dates TBC. serreponco­


Montreux Jazz Festival

The mega music festival at the foot of the Swiss Alps is now in its 57th year and continues to attract emerging artists from countries worldwide representi­ng a wildly eclectic range of genres. 30 June-15 July


Verbier E-Bike Festival

If you’re in Switzerlan­d for the costumed, countrywid­e celebratio­n that is National Day (1 August), hang around to head up into the hills of Verbier where the fun continues. Explore the mountains on gourmet trails, test out e-bikes, or even take part in the E-Tour du Mont-Blanc race. 10-15 August. verbierebi­

Fête du Reblochon

Head to La Clusaz for a celebratio­n of all things reblochon, the pungent, soft-washed rind cheese made from the milk of cows that graze the lush pastures of France’s HauteSavoi­e. Clusaz is a leading producer, a great place for tastings, against a pretty Savoyard town backdrop.

Dates TBC.

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER Sounds of the Dolomites

A free al fresco festival set in and around the elegant Italian city of Trento. From musician-accompanie­d dawn choruses to lakeside lunchtime concerts and myriad gigs, DJ sets and unplugged sessions under the stars, it’s all about escaping into Trentino’s backcountr­y to hear music echoing through the mountains. Dates TBC. @isuonidell­edolomiti

 ?? ?? Sounds of the Dolomites
takes place in late summer in Trento, Italy
Below: The Montreux
Jazz Festival, on the shores of Lake Geneva
Sounds of the Dolomites takes place in late summer in Trento, Italy Below: The Montreux Jazz Festival, on the shores of Lake Geneva
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