Summer Activities

Walking and Hiking

The Grand Massif is a walker’s paradise, whatever your fitness levels, and Villa Rose offers the ideal base to explore this domain.  There are over 900km of marked walking trails around Samoëns, both on the alpine valley floor and high above, via the Grand Massif cable car, all of which offer breath-taking scenery.

An easy introduction is the Cirque du Fer à Cheval, a horseshoe circuit that runs up to 8km, through a nature reserve with many wild flowers and native animals, as well as beneath dramatic waterfalls.  Expect to see chamois, bouquetins and marmottes if you are lucky.

From Samoëns, walkers can also join the renowned GR5 multi-day hiking trail that leads onto La Cascade du Rouget where beautiful waterfalls abound, up to Lac d’Anterne and finally down to Le Brevent and into Chamonix. Mountain refuges are open for walkers throughout the summer and provide well deserved refreshments.

We can provide maps and book local guides for those who wish to be accompanied.

Mountain Biking

The Grand Massif is a veritable playground for mountain bikers.  Lifts are open all summer, meaning more time going downhill, and the riding is superb.  Mountain bikers can take their pick from over 600km of trails to challenge all levels and abilities; from the Lou Darbes blue run in Les Carroz, a 4km-long taster of forest tracks and faster straights in open ground; to various downhill trails from the top of Samoëns and Morillon, which lead you back down to the valley floor.

At Sixt the Naturide black run will test seasoned riders with its 500m of technical descent, while just 10 minutes away at the top of the north side of the Samoëns valley, near the Portes de Soleil, there are 28 downhill free-ride single tracks taking riders through the challenging terrain, that includes woods, streams, fields and footbridges.

For those looking for a gentler excursion, the floor of the Giffre Valley has three easy trails from Taninges to the Cirque du Fer à Cheval via Samoëns, ranging in distance from 24 to 47 km.

Cycling

The mountains and cols of the Grand Massif will be a familiar sight to fans of the Tour de France and are every cyclists dream to take on.  The Alpine stages of the Tour de France are renowned for being challenging climbs, the Col de Joux Plane probably the most famous and gruelling of all.  Climbing from 721m to 1,691m over 13.1km with an average gradient of 7.4%, the spectacular views over the valley and of Mont Blanc are their own reward for those who take this challenging ride on.

But there are circuits from Samoëns to suit all skill levels; from the long, flat valley floor of the Giffre to a variety of mountain passes, and Villa Rose can arrange bike hire, guides and maps for excursions, as well as suggest routes and provide delicious picnics.

Climbing and Mountaineering

For the climbing enthusiast, the Giffre valley and the surrounding area offer numerous and various possibilities, catering to both the seasoned climber and beginners. A great sport to enjoy spring, summer and autumn, Samoëns offers private or group lessons from a half-day to week-long courses. We can recommend numerous professional guides to ensure your safety, whether you are looking to improve your skills or discovering this sport for the first time. Suitable for adults and children from 6 years of age.

Via Ferrata

Provides a perfect way for those with a head for heights to experience a climbing challenge without technical experience and opening up a world that would otherwise be accessible only to expert climbers.  Equipped with just a harness and clip, navigate the mountains using a combination of hiking and rock climbing along routes pre-equipped with fixed cables, ladders and bridges. There are a number of routes quickly accessible from Samoëns, the most famous being the Via Ferrata du Mont, which overlooks the Tines Gorge in Sixt Fer à Cheval. Guides and equipment can be hired locally. Suitable for adults and children over 10.

Paragliding  & Parapenting

An exhilarating aerial sport open to everyone of all ages. Pégase Air Samoëns offers discovery tandem flights as well as courses that will enable you to learn how to fly as a beginner or perfect your flying skills and obtain your “ brevet de pilote”.   Children from 4 up can share this experience.

Water Sports

The Giffre Valley offers a range of exhilarating water-based activities, kayaking, canyoning, rafting and hydrospeeding among them. We can recommend local schools, guides and arrange equipment hire.

Canyoning

There are several canyoning sites in the area and we work with the most experienced local guides for a safe yet challenging experience.  Abseil under waterfalls, climb, jump into plunge pools and walk your way through canyons and gorges. Suitable for adults and children from 8 years of age.

White Water Rafting

Starting at Sixt and descending the 7km to Samoëns is a challenging but exhilarating ride down the Giffre, as you bounce down the rapids.  The Tines gorge is a highlight, with a 2m drop.  Suitable for adults and children from 7 years and you can raft in groups of 7, or take the 2-man canorafts for a more intense experience.

Hydrospeed

Not for the faint-hearted, hyrdospeeding sees you navigate the river headfirst, wearing flippers and holding a large float in front of you.  Recommended for strong, confident swimmers!

Caving & Potholing

Home to one of the deepest known caves in the world, the Jean Bernard cave, the limestone of the Haute Giffre is host to some of the most impressive cave systems in the world. With an endless labyrinth of networks to explore in the region, this is the perfect place to try something new or challenge your potholing skills. Suitable for adults and children from 10 years of age.

Other activities

Horseback Treks

Suitable for adults and teens, group or private outings can be requested to suit basic, intermediate and advanced riders.

Hot Air Ballooning 

An aerial view of the Alps adds a unique perspective to these majestic mountains, and hot air balloons are a familiar site around Le Grand Massif. Guests can embark on a balloon flight from Les Carroz.

Golf

For the golf enthusiast looking for challenging mountain fairways set in stunning scenery, a stay at Villa Rose offers easy access to some of the finest courses in Europe. Flaine, an 18 hole course which is the highest in the Haute Savoie, and the Golf des Gets both boast fantastic views and quiet fairways. Venturing less than 60km from Villa Rose you can experience the Evian Golf Resort, where the ‘Evian Championship’ is held, as well as Golf de Chamonix offering magnificent views of Mont Blanc. Samoëns itself has a driving range over water and a putting green. And for golfing without a club, try the new disc golf at Samoëns 1600!

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