Grenoble, the capital of the Alps, one of the French’ preferred ski resort. What took us so long to go visit this small French town located in the Alps, I don’t know, but what I know for sure is that if you like hikes, Grenoble is your destination. And you should visit Grenoble in the summer too.
The city is literally surrounded by mountains, such that, Stendhal, described his natal town with “at the end of each street, a mountain”. Boy, is that true!! The gorgeous river of Isère with the Alps on the background animates Grenoble and everywhere you look you get yourself a postcard view.
“At the end of each street, a mountain” – Stendhal
So here’s why you should visit Grenoble during summer
For less crowd
As I mentioned in my post on Lyon, the French cities are empty during summer holidays. Everyone goes in vacation to the beach or elsewhere out of France, thus you have more space to visit and see non popular places in France. Grenoble is one of them!
You guessed it from the introduction that Grenoble is crowded during ski season. There’s no way to have a spare moment alone. If you’re like me and prefer to replenish your batteries without the craziness of a rush-hour or tourist crowds, come visit Grenoble off-season!
For the weather
Oh, the weather! Recently there’s been a wave heat in France; everyone suffered. There have been fires burning down wittered vegetation and forests in the south of France.
We were a little skeptical about avoiding the heat and pollution peak announced in Paris, because the heat wave was predicted everywhere. Oh well, in the forest and mountains, not only you avoid the heat, but also the pollution.
For the first time in a long period I felt I could breath clean air. Paris air is very toxic and every day my lungs feel squished and cluttered by the pollution. On the mountains I could BREATHE!
So this leads to another important point of why visit Grenoble in this period:
For the hikes
One of the best hiking spots is Chamchaude a 4h itinerary, where the spectacular scenery unwinds during your ascension. The forest will cover you from the heat of the sun and while you climb, the surrounding mountains will begin to distinguish themselves in the horizon.
Close to the end, the hike becomes rough and the path steep. If you have enough experience, you can try and finish it.
Go see for yourself!