Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Exploring the Mountains of France


Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in France, being 15,782 feet (4810 meters) in height, and is situated in the Graian Alps. Its name translates as “White Mountain,” which refers to the ample snow. This is also the tallest mountain in the Alps, and in Western Europe, and the summit stands between the borders of France and Italy. The mountain town of Chamonix, France, is located near Mont Blanc, where people can take a cable car to access higher elevations. This town was also the site of the first Winter Olympics back in 1924. Beneath this mighty mountain is the Mont Blanc Tunnel, which runs from France to Italy. Lots of people frequent this mountain for its snowboarding, skiing, mountaineering and hiking opportunities. About 20,000 people climb to the top of Mont Blanc every year.


Barre des Ecrins

Located in the Dauphine Alps, Barre des Ecrins is France’s second tallest mountain, standing at 13,458 feet (4,102 meters). The northern face of this mountain is glacieted, but the southern face is rocky. The region surrounding this mountain is a national park that encompasses a few other famous peaks. Adventurous people love to go to this park and rock climb to the top of Barre des Ecrins. This mountain overlooks the divide that goes between two river valleys, Isere and Durance.



Chamechaude is a mountain located in the Chartreuse Mastiff in eastern France. It is said to dominate the St Pierre de Chartreuse Valley. Its elevation is 2,802 meters (6,831 feet), and there are hiking and skiing resources to explore it, though the skiing has caused some erosion.


Puy de Sancy

Puy de Sancy is the tallest mountain of Central France, with an elevation of 6,188 feet (1,886 meters). This mountain is part of a stratovolcano that has not been active for the past 220,000 years. This mountain has been a ski spot since the early 1900s, and there are cable cars to take up the slopes. From that point, there is a small hike to reach its summit. The Dordogne river also rises by the northern valley off of the Puy de Sancy.



Puigmal is a mountain in the Pyrenees range, which is on the border of France and Spain. Its summit is at 9,546 feet (2,909 meters). There is a high-altitude ski resort on this mountain, which is surrounded by beautiful forests and open spaces full of wildlife. There are also hiking opportunities.


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