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The perfect summer holiday

More and more people are finding the Alps the perfect summer destination for their family holiday

Each year we find more and more families are spending their family summer holidays in St Gervais and Les Contamines. With all of our self catered chalets and apartments available and prices much lower than during the winter, we find that families are renting much larger properties than they would during the winter so that they can enjoy the space, the views and the terraces, balconies and gardens.  Every year I get the same comments on the feedback from the first timers - 'We had no idea that there was so much to do!!'

The summer pass - "Pass Loisirs"

If you want to keep everyone busy during your summer holiday it's highly recommended to buy the 'Pass loisirs' (the leisure pass for each area). This gives you unlimited access to all of the lifts in St Gervais and Les Contamines, the new swiming pool in St Gervais or the swimming lake in Les Contamines (if you get the Les Contamines one), the mini golf in each towns, the libraries, the Haute Tour Castle (on the St Gervais pass), and limited use of the Biathlon circuit and archery in Les Contamines (on the Les Contamines pass).

Prices are (2017):
Family of 2 adults and up to 4 children aged under 15 - €99 Euros for the week in St Gervais.
Adult - €49 Euros for the week  in St Gervais, €90 in Les Contamines
Child - €39 Euros for the week in St Gervais, €60 in Les Contamines

For more details see this page from the Tourist Office for Saint Gervais:
    http://www.ski-saintgervais.com/fr/ete/tarifs-ete/remontees-mecaniques.php
and for Les Contamines:
    http://en.lescontamines.com/les-pass.html

Walking

In summer there are hundreds of well marked mountain paths for walking in and around St Gervais and Les Contamines. They range from easy family walks to more challenging hikes. St Gervais and Les Contamines are starting points for the famous Tour du Mont Blanc. Click here to see some of our favourite walking itineraries. Walking maps are also available from the Tourist Office or are easily bought in the towns.

Mountain biking

St Gervais is part of the Diamond Vert VTT circuit which has 90km of track, 11 lifts and covers Megève, Saint Nicolas de Véroce, Demi-Quartier, Combloux, La Giettaz, Flumet, Praz sur Arly, Notre-Dame de Bellecombe and Les Contamines Montjoie.

For more info on the St Gervais routes, please visit this page on the tourist offices site:
http://www.ski-saintgervais.com/fr/ete/activites-sports/vtt-velo-mont-blanc.php  

Les Contamines has been really developing it's mountain biking offering in the area. 
Between "Signal" and "Etape"there's a new cross-country circuit across meadows and through woods, including 4 fun zones with trial obstacles (bridge, table, woops etc). 
A smaller fun zone trail is being developed around the "Foyères" starting from the top of the Montjoie chair lift.
The circuits have been made for families and there's a bike patrol present every day during the summer season to keep everything safe. 
There's also some great trails to be found here: http://en.lescontamines.com/en-vtt.html

Bike hire is no longer available in St Gervais but it is possible to hire mountain bikes in nearby St Nicolas de Veroce (Mont Joly Sport - 00 33 (0)4 50 96 49 58), Les Contamines (where it's also possible to hire high quality road bikes - Mermoud Sports 00 33 (0)4 50 47 04 46) and Le Fayet (Vicky Sports 00 33 (0)4 50 78 13 11).

Road cycling

The whole region is famous for it's superb road cycling. The Tour de France passes through every few years (it's coming through St Gervais and finishing up at Le Bettex on Friday 22nd July 2016!) but that doesn't mean that it's all hard core. There are some superb flat runs along the valley bottoms and a superb flat cycle path running past Lake Annecy (it's an old railway track that has been tarmacked and is kept in great condition).

But if you're after more of a challenge there are some fantastic routes ranging from pretty easy 1 hour runs to full dayers taking in some of the famous cols. It goes without saying that the scenery is incredible but it's also worth mentioning that french drivers are usually very bike friendly.

You can hire a road bike from Mermoud Sports in Les Contamines. See here for details: http://mermoud-sports.com/

Climbing

There are a huge selection of sport climbing routes that are all within 20 minutes of St Gervais but there are many, many more only slightly further afield.

There are also climbing courses for children and adults available from the local guides. 


If the weather turns there's the new indoor climbing wall built into the bridge in St Gervais. Cost is 5 Euros and tickets are to be bought in the Tourist Information office or the MJC (opposite the Post Office). The wall is open from the 15th April until the autumn. Phone 00 33 (0)4 50 47 73 40 for opening hours and details.


The Mont Blanc Escalade is another indoor climbing centre in Les Houches and is open all year

Tel: 00 33 (0)4 50 54 76 48

www.montblancescalade.com


Obviously the area is famous for it's mountaineering, especially as the summit of Mont Blanc sits inside St Gervais' boundaries. If you're thinking of climbing Mont Blanc please book a guide. The mountain is accessible but very dangerous! For mountaineering equipment hire we highly recommend David at Unlimited Sports in St Gervais. See here for details: http://www.unlimited-saintgervais.com/en/


Tree top adventure park (Parcours)

There are two tree top adventure parks nearby, one in the Parc de Loisirs in Les Contamines and one in the Park Thermal in Le Fayet. Great fun for kids and adults alike as you cross rope bridges, swing from tree to tree and use zip lines etc.


Golf

Nearby Megève has an 18-hole golf course. The course has excellent facilities and is open to non-members in the summer (June-October depending on snow conditions). For more details please see their site here: 

http://www.mont-darbois.fr/golf-en/default.aspx


Swimming

St Gervais has a new indoor pool (actually 2 pools indoor, a 25m pool and a childrens pool) open all year round and an outdoor pool open during the summer. It's a wonderful pool with superb views, but please don't forget to take your trunks - large baggy shorts are not allowed!


There are also some lovely swimming lakes with beaches in nearby Sallanches (Lac des Ilettes, 20 minutes drive), Les Contamines (within the Parc du loisir so you have to pay but it's included on the weekly family leisure pass for St Gervais and Les Contamines), 10 minutes drive) and Passy (Lac du Passy, 10 minutes drive).


Tennis


St Gervais also has a large tennis club, with a selection of clay and synthetic courts, open to the public. This is also where they hold the St Gervais Open each year in July with $15 000 prize money!

More details here: www.opensaintgervaismontblanc.com



Horse riding

Treks through the mountains can be arranged through the Centre Equestre du Bettex at Le Bettex. (Tel. +33 (0)4 50 93 16 84 or +33 (0)6 13 35 72 75). The riding centre in the Parc de Loisirs at Les Contamines is open throughout the summer for pony rides and treks (1 to 2 hours), lessons and courses. Prices from 6 €. (Tel. +33 (0)4 50 47 01 60) or visit their site here: http://en.lescontamines.com/equitation.html


Merlet Animal park

The Merlet Animal Park in nearby Les Houches is open from 1 May to 30 September. You can walk around the park and see the park's resident animals - marmottes, chamois goats, Lamas and a number of other animals . There is a small cafe/bar at the park where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif.

www.parcdemerlet.com


St Gervais Spa

The Parc Thermal in Saint Gervais/Le Fayet is the perfect place to relax. The spa offers a range of medical, health and beauty treatments.

Tel: 00 33 (0)4 50 47 54 54

www.thermes-st-gervais.com


Ice skating

There is an indoor ice skating rink in St Gervais which is open all year and is one of the homes to the Mont Blanc ice hockey team and regularly hosts ice hockey matches during the season.


Other activities

There are many activities that are available all year round in St Gervais and the surrounding area. You can take Europe's highest cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi and once at the top you can eat in the restaurant or just take in the panoramic views on the viewing platforms. Or take the Montenevers rack rail train will to the foot of the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice), Europe's largest living glacier. Once at the glacier you can visit the Ice Grotto carved out of the glacier.


You could take a day trip to the beautiful city of Annecy, Geneva, Megève or Courmayer in Italy. 


Visit the huskies in Les Contamines in spring, summer and autumn. Booking is required. 

Tel: 0033 (0)4 50 47 13 99 

http://www.lescontamines.net/musher/


Visit the husky farm in Chamonix. The Husky farm is open for visits and trips. Tel: 0033 (0)4 50 47 77 24, www.huskydalen.com


Nearby Megeve offers hot air ballooning and helicopter and plane rides around Mont Blanc and the area and there are several companies that offer tandem paragliding jumps.