Traveling to the Alps
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 22, 2013 5:38 AM Last Post By: Hakutsuru
Feb 23, 2013 6:53 PM
Traveling to the AlpsWe would like to travel to the Alps in late September.
Does anyone have any suggestions regarding an itenerary for about 10-12 days?.
We would like to fly into CDG, spend 2 nights in Paris, take a train to the Alps and visit some towns, villages in France, Switzerland, maybe Germany or Italy? I am not sure how close these towns are once one is in mountains.
Is it possible to do this by train/bus or would one need to rent a car? We would like to fly out of another airport vs going back to CDG.
Feb 23, 2013 11:40 PM
1The Alps are 1,200 kilometres with countries like Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, France, Italy and Monaco. Starting your trip in France there are for example Grenoble and Nice the door and easy to reach by train. A very usefull help can be if you take a map first to find out cities, towns and villages, maybe the distances between and by Google if there is a train station or airport or things of interest for you.
Feb 25, 2013 12:29 AM
2Transport links to the Alps are excellent, with trains (and sometimes even the TGV) running right into apparently one horse towns with bus links to mountian villages (although check that the buses run out of ski season). For example, you can take a train to St Jean de Maurienne and then local bus up to St Sorlin d'Arves and other mountain villages. The railheads themselves are not alway the most attractive towns but once you get up into the hills you will find villages as postcard perfect as you could wish for. But as regards points out, the Alps is a big place so it's probably best to find somewhere you want to go and then work out how to get there - it's very likely that you can do without a car.
Feb 26, 2013 9:44 AM
Feb 26, 2013 1:34 PM
4I've been looking at a trip to Val d'Isere in mid-July this summer and haven't been able to find any practical way to use public transportation for my schedule. Lots of options during ski season but that all dries up after March.
I will probably fly into Geneva and rent a car on the French side as it's much cheaper there. I'll probably have 8, 9, 10 days depending on flights and relying on public services for my tight schedule just doesn't look possible.
Mar 5, 2013 5:07 AM
5Depends entirely on what you want to do.
Do you want to do a multi day trekking while being completely self supported or would you want to make several day trips with merely a daypack and start and end in the same village ?
The Alps and the adjacent mountain ranges are vaste so there are plenty of options.
For day trips I would go to Switzerland if you like physical challenge or Austria which has less demanding day trips to offer.
When looking for multi day trekking options I would go to the Ecrins or the border of France/Italy (around Barcelonette).
The french Pyrenees are also a good option; less traveled and therefor far less crowded than the Alps. Ax-les-Thermes for exemple is a very nice (thermal) village and even in summertime not crowded. Good catered huts to switch between camping and sleeping indoors. Fly (or take the train) to Toulouse and talke the train to Ax-les-thermes. Hike the pyreness and cross over to Spain. Take the train to Barcelona (highly recommended) to combine visting a great city (IMO in the top 5 of European cities) and spend time at the beach.
Apr 22, 2013 5:38 AM
6I spent several weeks in Grenoble last summer so have a soft spot for this whole region of France. Grenoble itself has lots of great hiking accessible by public transport. If that's not your thing, they also have some decent museums and great food (I recommend La Petite Idée). It's well connected by train, and I never really felt the need to have a car.
Chamonix was fantastic - there is a cable car to the top of Aiguille du Midi and it was beautiful up there. One of the highlights of my trip. From there, you can also take other scenic cable cars that pass over Italy briefly, before returning you back to France. Chamonix itself is a cute town. I went with a short tour arranged by the University I was attending, but if I'd had more time I would have looked into hiking in the area... I have a couple of friends that have done multi-day trips and their pictures are stunning.
I HIGHLY recommend working Annecy into your itinerary. It's sort of like France's answer to Venice, with canals everywhere, and picturesque streets lined by cafes. You can definitely cover all the basics in a day or so.
Both Chamonix and Annecy are connected by train but the Chamonix ones didn't seem to run very regularly, so you would potentially have to stay overnight there.
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