Summer Events in the Alps
There are a wide variety of events that happen throughout the Alps every summer. From local fetes, to international competitions, they can provide a great way for you to experience a bit of the alpine culture on your holiday.
Here we bring you a selection of some of the events that are happening in the northern Alps this summer.
Pass’Portes du Soleil (June)
This mountain biking weekend sees cyclists of all abilities tackling the VTT routes of the Portes du Soleil. There are 3 designated categories to enter: 75km, 50km and 30km as well as a special ‘Rando Kids’ track. You can start from a number of resorts throughout the region and each trek takes just one day so you can enter on either Saturday or Sunday (or both if you’re a bit keen!).
The North Face Ultra trail du Mont Blanc (August)
At the end of August Chamonix
plays host to The North Face Ultra trail du Mont Blanc. Runners cover a distance of 166 kilometers across 3 countries. They race up and down 7 valleys, 71 glaciers and 400 summits over the course of three days. In 2005, the winner crossed the line in an amazing 21 hours and 6 minutes. For us lesser mortals, it is possible to take a similar tour of Mont Blanc over a period of 8 to 10 days, staying in mountain. Many people come to Chamonix each year to do just that, the scenery is quite spectacular and you really do feel on top of the world.
Saab Salomon Mountain X-Race (July)
This incredible endurance race really puts the athletes through their paces as they demonstrate 5 sporting disciplines, over 5 days, passing through 5 different resorts. Competitors must complete one trail running stage and one outdoor discipline each day, gaining points as the event progresses. The outdoor disciplines can include such diverse sports as mountain biking, mountaineering, canoeing, hydrospeed, canyoning, caving and abseiling.
Tour de France (July)
Every summer France is gripped by the biggest and best cycle race in Europe – Le Tour de France. The Alps have played a large part in the race over the years with the grueling mountain climbs providing some of the most exciting spectacles of the event. The route changes slightly each year, taking in different towns and villages along the way. Even if the race doesn’t pass near to where you are this summer you can guarantee that it will still be avidly watched in bars and cafés around the country with everyone joining in to cheer on the famous yellow jersey!
Mont Blanc Motor Rally (September) World Climbing Championships (July)
This race exists as the fifth stage of the French National Rally Championships and draws many of France’s top drivers to the mountain town of Morzine
to compete. The race takes place over two days, during which the drivers will cover over 600km around thePortes du Soliel
and the Massif du Chablais. Along the course the cars come to “Special Stages” where the road is closed and the cars are timed. These stages are shorter and require faster driving and controlled cornering and the road from Morzine to Avoriaz
is one such stage. The event is twinned with a classic car rally as well.
Chamonix hosts the World Climbing Championships during July. The world’s finest speed and technical climbers descend on the resort for three days of astonishing climbing action. The finals take place on the 13th July each year and coincide with the spectacular Bastille Day firework display and the Cham’ Biere Festival. So once the climbing action is finished, you are guaranteed a great party afterwards!