When does a walk become a hike?  We're not really sure.  But either way, there are plenty of beautiful walks (and hikes) in the Giffre Valley.  Trails are well marked, with distances in kilometres, and time estimations to each destination on the map.  

Flick through the local walking guide books (there's a couple of copies in the chalet), and see which routes might take your fancy.  Choose from easy, level strolls around the lake, through the forest and alongside the river on the valley floor, or take a more challenging route up to one of the refuges high on the mountain.

We're working our way through the walks in the guide books, and writing about them over here on the blog if you want to see how we're getting on!




L'Etelley forest: a gentle walk along the valley floor.

Marcelly: This one is certainly more of a hike than a walk

Wildlife: A marmotte checks the mountain air is still fresh

Not-so-wild life: Cows here really do have bells

Not-so-wild life: Cows here really do have bells

Haute Pointe

Haute Pointe




Road biking galore.  Samoëns is a great base for a road biking holiday.

And mountain bike trails.  More info to come. 





Get a unique perspective of the valley (and an adrenaline fix if you want one) with a rafting trip along the River Giffre.  Our friends at ZigZag arrange tailored trips for white-water rafting, including all the gear.  Their fully qualified guides typically speak great English, and really help you get the most from the river, and of course, keep you safe.    


A gentle paddle...

Getting a bit more lively...



Via Ferrata is a mountain route equipped with fixed ladders, cables and bridges, to make it more accessible to climbers.   There's an awesome route starting a ten minute drive away in Sixt, at the Gorge des Tines.  Experienced folks with the right kit can just turn up and go.  

Our friends at ZigZag offer guided climbs, with a fully-qualified climbing instructor, and the loan of all the safety gear.  Completing the full circuit usually takes about three hours, including getting kitted up.  The minimum age for the Via Ferrata in Sixt is about 10 years old, as below this, the shorter ones tend to struggle with some of the reaches.





Open air swimming is a glorious thing. Samoëns boasts a beautiful open air swimming pool, and Morillon has lake swimming at 'Lac Bleu'.  Both come with beautiful views of the mountains.  Or for the serious open air swimmers, there are plenty of mountain lakes to discover up on high. 



Paragliding / Parapente


Samoëns 1600 is a popular take off point for paragliding.  The intrepid flyers lay out their gear on the ski piste, just by the Vercland bubble lift, waiting for the right moment for take off.  They run a few meters down the slope, the warm thermals fill the wing, and off they go into the sky.  Its a fascinating spectacle to watch, and if you want a more hands on experience, tandem flights are easy to arrange locally with Les Tontons Volants