In June we had the pleasure of welcoming Dan Burton to stay at Ferme St Christophe. Dan is an award winning photographer who has travelled the world taking some spectacular shots of some equally spectacular scenery. Recently he was named both the National Geographic Traveller Grand Prize Winner and the Historic Photographer of the Year for his stunning image of Mont Saint-Michel. We were thrilled to welcome Dan and his wife Vanessa for a stay at Ferme St Christophe and take part in our self-guided walking trips in both Samoens and Sixt. He was kind enough to let us use his photographs as part of our self-guided walking holiday page to give a better idea of what to expect during our guests’ walking holidays with us in the French Alps. You can learn more about Dan and his photography on both his Flickr page and Instagram page.
On Day 1 we did the ‘End of the World’ walk or more commonly known in France as the ‘Bout du Monde.’ The walk begins in the Cirque du Fer a Cheval which is a 20 minute drive from our Samoens chalets. The hike begins with a gentle incline that meanders along the River Giffre before the route becomes steeper towards the end. It is also possible to reach the end point of ‘Bout du Monde’ passing through Chalet du Boret. However this route is very steep and can be dangerous underfoot when it rains as the rocks become quite slippy. Vanessa was also 5 months pregnant at the time so on this occasion we gave Chalet du Boret a miss! The below images include the view from the end of ‘Bout du Monde’ and also the view on the way up as part of the walk during the day.
On Day 2 we did La Bourgeoise walk which has the best panoramic view across Samoens and the Giffre valley. The top of the hike is truly spectacular – it includes views of the famous Dents d’Oddaz and the Aoille du Criou which is the tallest peak in the valley at over 2100m which is included on our self-guided walking itinerary – normally on the last day as it is the hardest walk! Most spectacular of all is the view out across Samoens and all the way to Mont Blanc. We were extremely lucky during Dan’s trip up La Bourgeoise in that we experienced Alpenglow – Alpenglow is an optical phenomenon that appears as a horizontal reddish glow near the horizon opposite of the sun when the solar disk is just below the horizon. Essentially it means that during sunset the sun bounces off the clouds directly opposite the sunset onto the mountains and produces some crazy evening colours! The below images include the view of Mont Blanc and also back towards the Vallee de la Manche and Morzine.
On Day 3 we did the ‘Refuge de Sales’ walk in Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. This area is extremely famous in France and we are lucky in that the start point is only a 30 minute drive from our Samoens chalets starting in Le Lignon. There are a number of breathtaking views throughout the walk as the scenery only gets better as you head up through the valley passing cascading waterfalls, open expanses and imposing mountain tops. This walk offers a great chance see both Ibex and Marmot. Near the top we also passed the 17th century Chapelle de Sales which made us wonder how on earth the local Couadzous built a stone chapel at 2000m over 300 years ago. The below images show the views heading up the top of the walk and also back down along the valley towards Sixt-fer-a-Cheval.
Thank you Dan for sharing your photos with us and we look forward to welcoming you back to the French Alps! If you want to know more about our self-guided walking holidays please click here.