Skiing & Snowboarding
Of course all the family love the snow, any excuse to leave the damp and grey UK. The GME gondola delivers you directly into Samoëns’ own extensive ski area, which joins with over 265km of piste, 140 individual pistes plus 80 lifts of the Grand Massif ski area, ideal for all levels and ages. Plenty of off piste to enjoy and even after 20 years of visiting the valley, when we take a guide (ZigZag) they always find new secret runs for us to enjoy. An early start, then ski until a late lunch at La Luge à téran before a short run home exhausts everyone.
Walking and Climbing
Our Chalet in Samoëns is ideally positioned for walking the Alps and we have enjoyed many days climbing to see the alpine flower meadows; the views from the top of the surrounding peaks; a day trip to Chamonix’s l'aiguille du midi by cable car; and our favourite when in Autumn the trees change colour is out of this world. The itineraries are well signed and as soon as the snow retreats, the mountain refuges open, providing meals for day trips and accommodation for over night stays. Younger families don’t need to miss out as you can hire Mules to carry the children and picnics.
Between Sixt-fer-à-Cheval and Samoens is the Via ferrata - a cross between walking and climbing, but the route is equipped with cables, ropes and ladders; a demanding activity and not for those with a fear of heights.
Samoëns, is the start point and base for many fantastic routes, all very different with many more challenges in the neighbouring valleys and our chalet offers secure bike storage; short or long breaks as required. Last year we saw a friend in the L'Étape and watched the experts a week later as the Tour De France passed through the town before the 14km climb to the Col de Joux Plane. Although not keen cyclists ourselves we can provide you with detailed maps, directions, suggested itineraries and can arrange bike hire for all abilities.
The photo shows a close friend’s son on one of the jumps around the valley. There are extensive routes for all abilities and the main GME lift is open in Summer for bikes as well as walkers. Bikes and equipment are easily available in the town.
White Water Rafting & Canoeing
Whenever we have friends staying we insist that they experience the trip from Sixt-fer-à-Cheval to Samoens down the river Giffre by canoe or raft. Starting upstream of the village the route starts gently before the rapids and the narrow Tignes gorge ensuring a memorable experience. The photo shows our family on one of their many trips down the valley.
Keen riders in Central England, we enjoy the experience of this different landscape; starting at the Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval, enjoying the fantastic views of the 500m limestone cliffs in this largest cirque of the Alps before riding to the Swiss Border for lunch at one of the refuges. There is also a stable close to Samoens for the less experienced riders.
he Giffre Valley offers a wide range of opportunities for photographers; Waterfalls, Fauna, Wildlife, Autumn colours and much more. Our family often gathers in October for a long weekend, walking with our cameras then an evening’s editing by the fire enjoying the local produce.
We always find a trip to Annecy an enjoyable experience, the extensive shops, walks by the lake and lunch in one of the many Michelin restaurants where we aim for the Bib category for the fixed price lunch. Lake Geneva is only an hour away and there are often festivals in the adjacent villages, particularly enjoyable is the jazz at Montreux which is held for two weeks every Summer.
Raquettes & Snowshoeing
There are guided trips for all levels of fitness, adults and children, and specially prepared tracks, our favourite is a walk under the stars at the col de joux plane before enjoying a fondu in a mountain hut round a roaring fire.