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Top 7 summer outdoor adventures in the French Alps

A mention of the French Alps may conjure up images of snow-capped mountain peaks and cozy chalets, but winter isn’t the only great time to visit this gorgeous corner of the world. In fact, during the summer months, there are abundant alpine activities to enjoy. Here are 10 of the best ways for active travelers to explore the most famous mountain range in Europe once the snow melts.

Hiking

Throughout the Southern French Alps, you’ll find an incredible array of hiking opportunities, whether you’re looking for an easy stroll, a challenging multi-day trek, or anything in between. France boasts an incredible network of trails throughout the country, with thousands of miles of marked routes. Perhaps the best known hiking trails are the Sentiers de Grandes Randonnées, long-distance routes that zigzag through the Alps region and beyond. Some even connect with routes in neighboring Belgium and Luxembourg.

Looking for something a little quicker? Day hikes are known as Sentiers de Petites Randonnées (PR) or Sentiers de Pays and can be found throughout the French Alps region. You might also consider a hike that takes place near one of the Alps’ many ski resorts. In the summer, most ski lifts are open to hikers, and it can save you some serious uphill mileage.

Mountain biking

As the snow melts in popular ski destinations across the French Alps, adrenaline-pumping single-track mountain biking trails are revealed. Perhaps the most well known summer holiday destination for mountain bikers is Orcières. Located in the Champsaur Valley of the southern French Alps, this area boasts an incredible 5,900 feet of descent. Ride the chairlift to the top, put on your helmet, get on your mountain bike, and go for it.

Road cycling

If you prefer to cycle on paved surfaces while enjoying views along the way, you may opt for a road cycling adventure. Multiple outfitters across the region offer rides through the valleys, complete with incredible views but without some of the most challenging altitude gains.

Tour de France

Finally, if you’re more of a cycling spectator than participant, you’re in luck. Every summer, the Tour de France crosses through the French Alps and there’s nothing quite like watching participants in the world’s most famous bike race speed right by you against the backdrop of breathtaking French countryside.

Mountaineering

With large mountain ranges come incredible mountaineering opportunities. Thrill seekers flock to Mont Blanc, the Ecrins mountain range, and other storied peaks for mountaineering activities all summer long. Space at the refuges halfway up the mountain fill up quickly in the summer months, but luckily there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path mountaineering opportunities you can enjoy. Lace up your hiking boots and put in some steps — a hard day’s mountaineering in the French Alps can reward you with views that have to be seen to be believed.

Kayaking

Hit the water in the French Alps! Grab a kayak and experience the best white water in France as you traverse rivers including the Durance, Ubaye, La Bonne, and Severaisse. White water rapids range from class 2 to class 5, and multiple purveyors offer everything from day trip adventures to multi-day expeditions. No matter what you choose, you’ll enjoy plenty of sunshine, spectacular views, and a front-row seat to the beauty of northern France.

Camping

Unplug from everyday life with a camping trip in the mountains of France. Throughout the Alps, you’ll find camping parks just waiting for you to pitch your tent. Bring the whole family! Or if sleeping under canvas isn’t on your summer to-do list, you’ll be glad to know that the French Alps also offers accommodations like cabins, huts, yurts, and mountain refuges that allow you to enjoy the scenery, while still enjoying modern creature comforts.

Pack your sense of adventure — and your travel insurance

No matter what kind of outdoor adventure you’re planning for your French Alps summer holidays, you won’t want to forget your travel insurance. Even the most meticulously planned trips can go sideways, and you’ll want to make sure you’re safe and sound.

A battleface travel plan provides peace of mind for every trip, thanks to travel medical insurance and medical evacuation coverage, trip interruption and trip delay coverage, and even optional protection for all the sporting equipment you take with you.

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PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Pre-Existing Medical Condition means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 180 day period immediately prior to the date Your coverage is effective :
  1. received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute, or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or
  2. took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 180 day period before coverage is effective under this policy.
  3. required a change in prescribed medication. Change in prescribed medication means the dosage or frequency of a medication has been reduced, increased, stopped and/or new medications have been prescribed due to the worsening of an underlying condition that is being treated with the medication, unless the change is:
    1. between a brand name and a generic medication with comparable dosage; or
    2. an adjustment to insulin or anti-coagulant dosage.
If you, or someone you are traveling with, has a Pre-Existing Medical Condition, you can still buy a policy from us but there is no cover for any claim arising directly or indirectly from that condition.

PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Any Medical Condition that, within the last 12 months, required any:

  • surgery, inpatient or outpatient treatment, referrals or investigations of any sort. This includes being on any waiting list, taking any prescription medication, tablets or required medical treatment (This will not apply to common colds, flu or contraceptive medication);
  • medical advice or treatment for any respiratory condition relating to the lungs or breathing;
  • medical advice or treatment for any heart, stroke or diabetic condition;

Hypertension or high cholesterol controlled by 1 prescription drug only and where the dosage has not been changed within the last 12 months will not be considered a pre-existing medical condition

Coverages Available:

*not all coverages are available in all states
Travel Protection Benefits Limits
Trip Cancellation 100% of trip cost (up to a maximum of $20,000)
Single Occupancy Up to trip cost
Cancel for Any Reason Up to 75% of trip cost Up to 50% of trip costs in FL(CFAR not available to NY residents)
Trip Interruption 150% of trip cost
Delay Package
Trip Delay
Maximum $200 per day up to $2,500
Missed Connection Maximum of $1,000 per covered trip
Baggage Package – Excess
Baggage and Personal Effects $2,500 $100 Deductible
Baggage Delay $100 per day up to a maximum of $500
Travel Medical Package – Excess AK, CO, ID, ND, NH – Primary
Travel Medical Expense – Adventure sports included $100,000 $50,000 in NH $50 Deductible
Emergency Dental $750
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains Up to $500,000
Up to $1,000,000 in NH
Accidental Death & Dismemberment $100,000 or $250,000 or $500,000
Pet Medical Package
Pet Medical Expense Up to $2,000 $100 Deductible
Pet Return Up to $500
Rental Vehicle Damage – Primary Up to $35,000 per rented vehicle- Primary $250 Deductible for loss greater than $2,000
Vacation Rental Damage $1,500 or $3,000 or $5,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Trip Interruption 2,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 5,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 2,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250) *** Limited to 250 in respect of cash
Personal Liability 500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage up to 10,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation up to $20,000
Trip Interruption $1,000
Medical and Emergency Expenses $5,000,000 (deductible $250)
Hospital Benefit $25 per day, maximum $100
Personal Accident up to $50,000
Baggage $2,000 (deductible $250)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to $250 in respect of cash $500 (deductible $250)
Personal Liability $500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to $1,000 (deductible $100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to $750 (deductible $50 or $100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)