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No part of France has more dramatic scenery than the Alps. The majestic western ramparts of the mountains and their foothills stretch along the southeastern flank of France, from the Rhine River and Lake Geneva spanning the France-Switzerland border, south to the shimmering sun of the Mediterranean. The skiing in the French Alps is truly the best in Europe. Some of the resorts are legendary, such as Chamonix–Mont Blanc, the capital of Alpine skiing, with its 19km (12-mile) Vallée Blanche run. Mont Blanc, at 4,810m (15,777 ft.), is the highest mountain in Western Europe. From January to March, skiers flock to Chamonix–Mont Blanc, Megève, Val d’Isère, and Courchevel; from July to September, spa fans head to Évian-les-Bains.

Most of this section covers the area known as the Savoy (La Savoie), taking in the French lake district and the largest Alpine lake, Lac Léman (Lake Geneva).