THE ALPS (LES ALPES)
Nature’s architecture is the real attraction of the Alps. The curves of the Chartreuse Valley rise to rugged crags in the Vercors range and ultimately crescendo at Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc. Winter skiers ei\joy some of the world’s most challenging slopes. In the summer, hikers take over the mountains for endless vistas and clear air. Skiing arrangements should be made well in advance; Chamonix and Val d’Isere are the easiest bases. TGV trains whisk you from Paris to Grenoble or Annecy; scenic trains and slower buses service Alpine towns from there. The farther into the mountains you want to go, the harder it is to get there, although service is more frequent during ski season (Dec.-Apr.).