Summer Mountain Rental

Chalet Balaena provides a great base in Summer for a quiet, restful mountain holiday or one full of activities. The apartment at Chalet Balaena is one of the few apartments available to rent in the village that has its own garden.

In Spring and early Summer the mountain flowers are many and varied; in late Summer and Autumn, the trees give a spectacular and colourful display. From May to October, the mountainside is dotted with cows, sheep and goats. If you want to venture away from home, here are just a very few things to do:

Walking & Mountain Biking:
There is a huge network of walking paths in the Aravis mountains, many of which can be accessed from right outside the chalet. Mountain Bikes are allowed on most of the tracks and these can be hired locally for just a day or by the week. A local IGN topographic map is recommended.
The famous Tour de France bike race often comes through our area over the nearby Col de la Colombière. The Tour came past in 2010 on the 9th stage on Tuesday 13th July – see the Indie Travel Podcast video from our guests this year and Wink’s food and wine blog post for a taste of the activities.

Tour de France 2009

Tour de France 2009

Water sports:
Le Grand Bornand has a great Swimming Pool complex with a paddling pool, a water slide and a lap pool with diving board. Lake Annecy can be reached in 40 minutes and is one of the cleanest lakes in Europe. It has beaches and is great for swimming, windsurfing or sailing.

Other activities:
There are several ‘Via Ferrata’ in the area for aspiring rock climbers. Paragliding is a popular activity both in Chinaillon and over Lake Annecy. Tandem flights and instruction are available. Le Grand Bornand offers many other Children’s Activities and tuition such as trampolining, fencing and shooting. For golf, Le Grand Bornand has a 9-hole course and there are several fine 18-hole courses within a one hour drive.

Local festivals and events:
Most weekends in July and August feature a local mountain festival, complete with cow processions, folk dancing and local food stalls. During the week, other spectator events are also offered, ranging from cycle races to concerts and mime.

Summer excursions:
Chamonix and Mont Blanc are a great day trip and are just over an hour’s drive away. A visit to the city of Annecy is highly recommended. There are many sights of interest within 90 minutes, ranging from Châteaux to Caves, and Lakeside Mediaeval villages to Childrens’ Activity Centres.

For wine lovers you can discuss vineyard and wine tasting excursions in Savoie or beyond with the help of Chalet Balaena’s owner Wink Lorch, author of the forthcoming Wines of the French Alps. Occasionally she is available to accompany you on a private day tour of the Savoie vineyards.

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