This expanse of land makes France rich with history, culture, and amazing natural wonders.
I started my journey in the Alps region, but I am planning to visit all the regions in the coming years.
For my readers in France and around the world, please tell me about your favorite places and hometowns. I will be happy to post them here.
Chamonix Mon Blanc
Chamonix is the base camp for anyone wishing to explore the French Alps and the region in general. It sits at the base of Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, and at the intersection of France, Italy, and Switzerland.
This unique location makes it a major tourist attraction, with crowds swelling during winter, July, and August.
Tip: Chamonix also describes the whole valley under the slopes of Mon Blanc, so if you are booking a trip this town be specific about the name.
During the other months of the year, this becomes a sleepy town with fewer crowds and fewer activities, but it is still worth a visit.
I arrived in October, so I experienced the town more leisurely. I was still able to find things to do without having to fight the crowds.
Mont Blanc Massif
Chamonix is at an elevation of 3,396 ft (ca. 1 km), so the mountain towers above town for an additional 12,000 ft (3.66 km). That makes for a breathtaking view. But to really experience this remarkable beauty, you must climb to the top.
Tip: Most shops and restaurants close from noon to 3 PM. If you don’t plan your lunch ahead, you may go hungry for several hours. Some ethnic restaurants like Turkish or Chinese remain open.
During winter, skiers take cable cars to reach the best ski slopes. The same lifts take hikers to some challenging trails during the summer.
Walking through the pedestrian-only streets or along the canals of this town, you get the feeling that you have stepped back to medieval times. And as you follow some of the canals, you end up at a picturesque lake surrounded by mountains.
The city of Annecy started as a Roman settlement and later became home to the Counts of Geneva in the 10th century. In 1400, it became home to the counts of Savoy, and in 1860, it became the capital of Haute-Savoie in France. Read more here.