Chamonix reaches its peak of popularity during the summer months when this pretty alpine town in the Haute-Savoie region of France becomes a mecca for rock-climbers, hikers and all-round daredevils.
Stunning mountain vistas combined with surprisingly balmy temperatures makes summer in the Alps ideal for a family adventure holiday.
Who is it good for? Children over eight will love the wealth of outdoor activities on your doorstep.
Each year, adventure travel company Cham Aventure offers a jam-packed programme of summer activities from white-water rafting to paragliding, aimed at adventure-loving, thrill-seeking children – ideal for an active summer.
First stop is the awesome Mer de Glace, France’s longest glacier which stretches 7km down the mountain.
Hop on the cherry-red Montenvers rack railway and drive up to the base where, from deep inside the ice cave, you can learn about the history of the glacier and witness the sad effects of global warming.
Spend the afternoon at Accroparc des Gaillands, where the bold and brave can unleash their inner ape by flying high through the trees.
Kids (and game adults) can test their bravado by climbing up tall pines and clambering across Himalayan bridges before descending hundreds of metres down a zip wire.
Cham Aventure’s daily supervised activities give parents a rare chance for some child-free sightseeing, and plenty to talk about once you re-group for dinner.
Chamonix is most famous as the home of the highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc, and the kids can take part in rock climbing lessons at the base of the mountain.
Parents can get their thrills from taking the cable car to the snow-crested peak of L’Aguille du Midi, where at 3,842m above sea level it’s the nearest you get to the summit of Mont Blanc without crampons and an ice pick.
Back down to earth and it’s time to get wet. One of the highlights of a hot summer in Chamonix is spending the afternoon on the River Arve, which drafts its icy waters direct from the glacier. White-water rafts race through the centre of Chamonix flinging dinghies and their occupants over rapids and under bridges.
Chamonix is renowned for having more than 350km of hiking trails throughout the valley, but selling a walk to children is not always the easiest. Hiking with huskies has seen a rise in popularity over recent years and it’s surprisingly good fun for all the family.
Used to pulling sleds in the winter, the packs of Siberian huskies from CaniRando are remarkably friendly and make companionable hiking guides – they will lead you and the kids through the forest at an exhilarating pace.
Don’t miss: A hair-raising ride on Chamonix’s famous luge; a 1300m long alpine coaster at Parc de Loisirs that wil thrill your teenagers.
Travel time: Flights from London take 1 hour and 30 minutes and driving from London to Chamonix takes roughly 10 hours.
Best time to go: The weather can be pleasant between May and September but is best in July and August.
How to get there: British Airways flies from London Heathrow (from £131 return) and London Gatwick (from £79 return) to Geneva. easyJet flies from London Gatwick to Geneva; from £50.98 return. The transfer time from Geneva to Chamonix is 1 hour.
More information: Cham Aventure offers full days activities from €70-€99 depending on the child’s age. Visit www.cham-adventure.com.