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French Alps

French Alps
Aerial photograph of the Mont Blanc massif, the tallest mountain in the French Alps, seen from the west
Highest point
Peak Mont Blanc
Elevation 4,810.45 m (15,782.3 ft)
Ranges of the French Alps.
French regions Rhône-Alpes
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Borders on Swiss Alps, Italian Alps
Orogeny Alpine orogeny
Period Tertiary
Type of rock Bündner schist, flysch and molasse
NASA photo of the French Alps (26 Oct 2002).

The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others are shared with Switzerland and Italy.

At 4,808 metres (15,774 ft), Mont Blanc (Italian: Monte Bianco), on the French-Italian border, is the highest mountain in the Alps, and the highest Western European mountain.[1]

Notable towns in the French Alps include Grenoble, Chamonix, Annecy, Chambéry, Évian-les-Bains and Albertville.


  • Ranges and summits 1
  • Ski areas 2
  • Activities 3
  • Gallery 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Ranges and summits

Chain Range Highest summit Elevation (m/ft)
Graian Alps Mont Blanc Massif Mont Blanc 4,810.45 metres (15,782 ft)
Graian Alps Beaufortain Massif Roignais 2,995 metres (9,826 ft)
Graian Alps Lauzière Massif Grand Pic de la Lauzière 2,829 metres (9,281 ft)
Graian Alps Vanoise Massif Grande Casse 3,855 metres (12,648 ft)
Graian Alps Graian Alps central group Pointe de Charbonnel 3,752 metres (12,310 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Belledonne Grand Pic de Belledonne 2,977 metres (9,767 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Grandes Rousses Pic Bayle 3,465 metres (11,368 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Arves Massif Aiguilles d'Arves 3,514 metres (11,529 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Taillefer Massif Le Taillefer 2,857 metres (9,373 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Écrins Massif Barre des Écrins 4,102 metres (13,458 ft)
Cottian Alps Massif du Mont-Cenis Pointe de Ronce 3,612 metres (11,850 ft)
Cottian Alps Cerces Massif Grand Galibier 3,229 metres (10,594 ft)
Cottian Alps Queyras Massif Rochebrune Peak 3,320 metres (10,892 ft)
Cottian Alps Ubaye Massif (Orrenaye) Aiguille de Chambeyron 3,411 metres (11,191 ft)
Maritime Alps Mercantour Massif Cime du Gélas 3,143 metres (10,312 ft)
Maritime Alps Pelat Massif Mont Pelat 3,050 metres (10,007 ft)
Maritime Alps Massif des Trois-Évêchés Tête de l'Estrop 2,961 metres (9,715 ft)
Ligurian Alps Ligurian Alps Punta Marguareis 2,651 metres (8,698 ft)
Savoy Prealps Chablais Alps Hauts-Forts 2,464 metres (8,084 ft)
Savoy Prealps Haut-Giffre Massif Haute Cime 3,257 metres (10,686 ft)
Savoy Prealps Aiguilles Rouges Aiguille du Belvédère 2,965 metres (9,728 ft)
Savoy Prealps Bornes Pointe Blanche 2,438 metres (7,999 ft)
Savoy Prealps Aravis Range Pointe Percée 2,750 metres (9,022 ft)
Savoy Prealps Bauges Arcalod 2,217 metres (7,274 ft)
Savoy Prealps Chartreuse Mountains Chamechaude 2,082 metres (6,831 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Vercors Massif Grand Veymont 2,341 metres (7,680 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Diois Mountains Mont Jocou 2,051 metres (6,729 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Dévoluy Mountains Grande Tête de l'Obiou 2,789 metres (9,150 ft)
Provence Prealps Bochaine Mont Céüse 2,016 metres (6,614 ft)
Provence Prealps Digne Prealps Les Monges 2,115 metres (6,939 ft)
Provence Prealps Baronnies Mont Mare 1,603 metres (5,259 ft)
Provence Prealps Vaucluse Mountains Signal de Saint-Pierre 1,256 metres (4,121 ft)
Provence Prealps Luberon Mountains Mourre Nègre 1,125 metres (3,691 ft)
Maritime Prealps Castellan Prealps Puy de Rent 1,996 metres (6,549 ft)
Maritime Prealps Nice Prealps Pointe des Trois Communes 2,080 metres (6,824 ft)
Panorama of Chamonix valley

Ski areas

The largest connected ski areas are:

  1. Les Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Orelle): 338 slopes, 600 km of pistes.
  2. Portes du Soleil (Avoriaz, Châtel, Morzine, Les Gets, Saint-Jean d'Aulps, La Chapelle d'Abondance, Abondance, Montriond, Swiss resorts): 288 slopes, 650 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  3. Paradiski (La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry, Les Arcs), Champagny-en-Vanoise: 239 slopes, 420 km of slopes.
  4. Via Lattea (Montgenèvre, Italian resorts): 214 slopes, 400 km of slopes.
  5. Évasion Mont-Blanc (Combloux, Megève, Saint-Gervais, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, Les Contamines Monjoie): 183 slopes, 420 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  6. Espace Killy (Tignes, Val-d'Isère): 137 slopes, 300 km of slopes.
  7. Grand Massif (Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns, Sixt): 134 slopes, 265 km of slopes.
  8. Les Aravis (La Clusaz, Manigod, La Croix Fry, Merdassier, Le Grand-Bornand): 133 slopes, 220 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  9. Les Grandes Rousses (L'Alpe d'Huez, Vaujany, Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard-Reculas): 117 slopes, 236 km of slopes.
  10. Serre Chevalier: 111 slopes, 250 km of slopes.
  11. La Forêt Blanche (Risoul, Vars): 104 slopes, 180 km of slopes.
  12. Les Sybelles (Le Corbier, La Toussuire, Les Bottières, Saint-Jean-d'Arves, Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves, Saint-Colomban-des-Villards): 96 slopes, 310 km of slopes.
  13. Valloire and Valmeinier: 83 slopes, 150 km of slopes.
  14. Grand Domaine (Valmorel, Saint-François-Longchamp): 82 slopes, 150 km of slopes
  15. Espace San Bernardo (La Rosière, La Thuile - Italy): 73 slopes, 150 km of slopes.
  16. Les Deux Alpes and La Grave: 69 slopes, 220 km of slopes.

The other large ski areas are:


There are a whole range of winter and summer activities available in the French Alps. In the winter, these include the obvious skiing and snowboarding as well as alternatives such as snowshoeing, sledging, glacier walking and ice diving.[2] Summer activities include bungee jumping, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing.[3]


See also


  1. ^ Mont Blanc shrinks by 45cm in two years
  2. ^
  3. ^
  • Raoul Blanchard (1938–1956), Les Alpes Occidentales. Paris: Édition Arthaud. (French)
  • Roger Frison-Roche (1964), Les montagnes de la terre. Paris: Flammarion. (French)
  • Sergio Marazzi (2005), Atlante Orografico delle Alpi. SOIUSA. Pavone Canavese (TO): Priuli & Verlucca editori. ISBN 978-88-8068-273-8 (Italian)
  • Sergio Marazzi, La "Suddivisione orografica internazionale unificata del Sistema Alpino" (SOIUSA) - article with maps and illustrations, PDF (Italian)

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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