Top Summer events in the Alps 2015

With my life being centred around the cycle of the ski season, reciting peak week dates and perfecting the snow dance way before the temperature drops in the Alps, it is a big adjustment for me to see through the whiteouts to the beauty of the Alps in the summer. You can’t beat a blue bird, and all hail the long lazy lunches when we hit the months of March and April and the après hour extends. Of course for me to ignore the fact that the Alps have a summer season would be unprofessional, even more so with the increase in summer chalet rentals. The Alps come alive with the sun’s rays, the slopes turn beautiful green hues, wild mountain flowers appear as if they have been playing hide and seek for six months and the resorts attract a multitude of different genres. From music goers to athletes and foodies, below is a selection of events in the Alps to whet the whistle.

Montreux Jazz Festival

Festivals

Zermatt Unplugged is one of many festivals to kick-start summer. Each year guests plan their stay in anticipation of the line-up and book accommodation long in advance. This is perhaps one of the most famous festivals taking place in the Alps, but it is by no means the only one worth highlighting.

Zermatt Unplugged

The Salzburg festival, Geneva summer festival, Lucerne festival, Fete De La Musique in Les Deux Alps or the Au Bonheur Des Momes are also good. One of my personal favourites is the St Moritz Jazz Festival which runs until the 9th August 2015. Kyle Eastwood, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea and Marius Neset are a few of the jazzy acts set for this summer in celebration of the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

Jazz Festival

Altitude training

Athletes flock to the Alps all-year round but throughout the Summer months, skiers and skaters are replaced with triathletes, rugby players, marathon runners and more. There are so many sporting events taking place, including the Tour de France, Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and Rhone Alpes Ultramarathon.  Perhaps though, you like your sport and fitness but want to kick back whilst on holiday and experience the mountains in a relaxed state of mind? How about a game of golf in the Dolomites, Italy, hiking and outdoor relaxation in Austria, cycling in Slovenia (you have to go slow to take the scenery in!), or summer skiing and mountain biking in Tignes, France. Tignes is a great resort to enjoy in the summer, the snow park is open until 7th August, you can ski on the Grande Motte Glacier and enjoy free entry to the pedestrian lifts and bike park. There is also a flyboard show on the 6th August and MTB World Cup 22nd to 23rd August. Fun for all the family.

Sporting events

If you prefer to stand by the side line and shout words of encouragement to the crazy people taking part in high altitude events then my top recommendation would be to block off the 23rd to 26th July for the Omega European Masters in Crans Montana. The competition has been played on the Crans Montana course for many a year – this year will be its 69th! Prize money for this event is 2.7 million and it is the first tournament to have been jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour. Previous winners have been Spain’s Seve Ballesteros, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, South Africa’s Ernie Els and England’s Lee Westwood.

Behind the wheel

For some there is nothing better than getting behind the wheel and winding through the mountain passes as though you are aiming to reach the clouds. Sometimes this is not just a dream but reality.

Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin & Lagonda, Jaguar & Daimler, Austin-Healey & Healy meet each year in July in St. Moritz for touring, regularity test or rally, as well as the “Concourse d’Elégance”. If you’re a car fan – this is worth standing by the side-lines. This Alpine summer metropolis, accessible from Milan or Zurich, has numerous spas and exclusive shops against a backdrop of Alpine mountains and lakes – so if your other half prefers an engine with less roar then both will be happy.

From Switzerland to France, the annual closing event for Morzine each season is the Mont Blanc Motor Rally at the beginning of September. Watch the best drivers in the world test their skills twisting between the hair point turns from Morzine to Les Gets.

The mountains take on a new light when drenched in the summer rays, a different kind of energy. Even the chirps of the Marmottes. Although the alpine resorts cater for many clientele and ensure it is a hub of activity, sometimes, a favourite past time is to enjoy a picnic by the lake, and you can always cool off by dipping your toes in the chilled water and enjoying some family time.

Celine Renaud is Head of Sales for Leo Trippi.

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