Anyone camped at Annecy or Chamonix?

(13 Posts)
Asheth Tue 27-Oct-15 11:35:33

We are thinking of going there next summer. Does anyone know what the temperatures are like in July and August, particularly the night temperatures!

There seems to be plenty to do in these areas but would love to hear of any activities/days out you've enjoyed. I have three DC who will be 7, 11 and 14.

Also any recommendations for Chamomix campsites! I'm spoiled for choice at Annecy!

poocatcherchampion Tue 27-Oct-15 11:39:45

We went to annecy 3yr ago inn August and we were very unlucky with rain. It wasn't cold though, even at night.

Lovely part of the world IMO.

Archfarchnad Tue 27-Oct-15 11:41:41

We camped in Chamonix a while back and I can totally recommend it. Campsite was lovely, lots of climbers. I can find the name when I'm back at home. It was pretty cold at night though, because you're at altitude (900m?). You wear several layers at night and thick socks.

Asheth Tue 27-Oct-15 20:57:19

Thanks for the information. I'd love to know the name of the campsite! Although I will need to persuade DH if it's going to be cold! How does it compare to camping in the UK?

Archfarchnad Tue 27-Oct-15 21:51:37

Hi Asheth, we went to this place, Camping de la Mer de Glace. It's slightly out of Chamonix itself, in a village called Les Praz, but there's a lovely little path you can use to walk or cycle into town. We took bikes on the top of the car for this purpose. The views were just stunning, and in the morning and evening you would get these incredibly sunrises and sunsets over the mountains, right from your tent. We loved the hedge divisions so each pitch has privacy.

The only problem - and there always is one - is that it's not far from the local helipad, and if there's an emergency call out a helicopter might need to take off in the middle of the night - that was LOUD. It didn't happen too often though.

Cham is brilliant for young children. Ours were also 11 and 7 when we went and we did loads of activities:
climbing with a trainer several times at the Les Gaillands crags,
the high ropes course (which level you can do depends on height, not age, IIRC),
the summer luge (you have to go up in a ski lift for both of those),
a small amusement park (it's not exactly Alton Towers, but fine for smaller kids),
the train trip to Mer de Glace and the ice grotto there,
the cable car up to 3,800 metres for the Aiguille du Midi (v expensive but worth it),
then we did a few alpine walks too, particularly easyish ones where we could get the cable car up from Les Praz nearby - I know we walked from Flegere to Lac Blanc, and then had ice cream at the refuge there! There's a great map here of all the walks from Flegere. For small children I can recommend walking downwards only from Flegere on the 9 red route through the woods via La Floria restaurant.
We also went in mid-August and caught the Fete des Guides, when the Compagnie des Guides puts on a spectacular display at Les Gaillands for tourists, I think it was free, but donations welcome for old and disabled guides. They were skiing down the rock face, ffs!

Avoid the restaurants in the town centre, particularly sitting outside on the big central square. As we found out to our literal cost, they're rip-off joints.

Hmm, as to the temperature, I can't compare it to the UK because we don't live in the UK and have never camped there. I can well imagine it's colder in Cham at night, but a much drier, brisker cold. We have fairly normal sleeping bags, but we do have camping beds a foot off the ground to keep the rising cold at bay, and do dress very warmly to sleep. But we live in central Europe where -10 in winter is normal, so maybe we're more used to such temperatures.

I really loved that holiday! The only reason we never went back was because it's a tough two-day drive for us each way. But I think it would be a lot more fulfilling for kids than Annecy.


I can't compare it

Asheth Wed 28-Oct-15 09:16:11

Wow, just looked at the photos. It looks amazing! Hoping to spend some time in Annecy and Chamonix. Its a two day at least drive for us as well!

yetanotherdeskmove Wed 28-Oct-15 16:49:25

we went to Annecy a couple of years ago in August and temperatures were early to mid 20s. France was having a bad summer, but we were lucky that week and it was mostly dry. I would totally recommend it for a family holiday, it�s beautiful, the lake is great for swimming in and the long cycle path along the lake makes it easy to get around without a car (there are plenty of bike hire places which also hire out trailers and seats for children though I would recommend booking). We actually stayed a couple of Kms up the mountain and while the campsite was nice, I�d stay on the lake next time. Camping Rives du Lac has been recommended to me and did look lovely when I saw it.

Asheth Thu 29-Oct-15 12:51:00

Did any of you drive from one of the channel ports? How long did it take?

Ancienchateau Thu 29-Oct-15 12:55:38

It should take you about 7 hours from Calais with stops. Don't travel on first Saturday in August though. I was in Annecy in August. High 20s. Very pleasant, cardy weather in evenings.

yetanotherdeskmove Thu 29-Oct-15 16:23:31

We drove from Dunkirk, I think it was 7 hours ish as Anchienchateau says above.

Whathaveilost Tue 05-Jan-16 10:04:05

I love Chamonix and have been 6 times in August ( and many times n other months) I've not camped though.
If I've gone by myself or when the children were younger I would fly to Geneva. If I go with DH and the children we would drive ( from Lancashire). We have a stop over then.

Chamonix and surrounding area is just one big adventure playground! Over the years my kids have been ice climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking ( if you have decent MTBs, especially enduros ,take eyour own, bike hire is expensive), mountaineering, rock climbing and much more). Your kids are the perfect age for Chamonix

I mostly stay in the centre but have also stayed on the outskirts where it is a short walkback to town. You can get a free visitors pass where you get free train rides in the valley. We often get the train to the furthest point, get the cable car up the mountain and mountain bike back to Chamonix. Or get the train to one of the stations, gain some height on one of the foot paths and hike back.

I love being in te town square in the evening and having a meal and drinkto people watch. It's got such a nice vibe to it.

With regard to the temperature it has varied so much, a it like the UK. One year I went and it was too hot. The first thing we did once we dumped our bags was to go white water rafting!. Other years it's been moderate which is perfect for outdoor activities.
It's amazing on days when it is so hot that you can look at the Mont Blanc massif and see snow and ice and people going ice climbing

Chamonix have given us some of our best adventure holidays over the year. I'm not sure if I'm back this year, I went twice last year and twice the year before) but I'm planing on next year in the summer.

Annecyinyourpantsy Fri 15-Jan-16 16:43:32

I have never camped there but we were in Annecy in September and it was still mild. I would love to take DS as it is outstandingly beautiful with cycle paths all around the lake. Only about a 45 min drive from Geneva.

Muskey Fri 15-Jan-16 16:50:17

We have camped in chamominix but it was late September. The camp site we stayed at was in the shadow of mount blanc. It was really lovely. I would say because you are in the shadow of a mountain the temperature at night drops quite suddenly and quite sharply.

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