Summer Hiking In The Alps

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The Times Online Travel Section has a nice article today on the best summer hiking in the Alps with some good advice on where to take the family or to have a bigger adventure depending on your tastes.

The article is written by five time Olympic skier Sean Newsome, who admits that he didn’t even realize that you there were other things to do in the Alps, besides skiing, until after his career as a downhiller was over. Now he takes full advantage of Europe’s iconic mountain chain in both the summer and the winter, by hiking some of it’s highest peaks and exploring it’s many trails.

He even hops on a bike to punish himself on some of the bigger climbs in France as well. His description of the self-induced agony is both humorous and awe inspiring. You’ll come away with a new found admiration for those amazing climbers in the Tour de France, even as your legs cry out in sympathy pains at just the thought of it.

But the focus of the article his hiking, and he has some great suggestions for places to visit. Newsome claims that the trails are mostly empty in the summer, but that it’s the perfect time to trek the region, enjoying quaint villages, wonderful inns, and a taste of mountain culture.

If you’re taking the family, he recommends heading to Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where you’ll find amazing scenery, a plethora of trails for all skill levels, and daycare right at the resort should you need it. Looking for something a little more action packed? Then try hiking from Vitznau to Zermatt which not only offers spectacular views and challenging high altitude trails, but you can choose to do it on your feet or the back of a mountain bike.

There is more as well, so if you’re thinking about a European getaway this summer, and want to try something a bit different, then perhaps this will fit your needs. After all, there are worse ways to spend your vacation than wandering amazing trails in some of the most beautiful mountains in the world while spending your nights in quaint and comfortable inns. Sign me up!

Kraig Becker

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