Mountain biking in Le Grand Massif during summer is geared up for complete beginners through to experts in both downhill MTB and Enduro. If you are new to the sport you will see lots of references to ‘MTB’ in resort and also all over the internet. No need to be confused – it is just an abbreviation for Mountain Bike! Tasty Ski chalets are located in Samoens and Morillon which both have some incredible natural MTB trails. Samoens has hosted a round in the Enduro World Series while Les Carroz often hosts a stage of the Coupe de Monde which is France’s most famous and prestigious downhill series. A number of the winter ski lifts are used throughout the summer to allow access to some high altitude MTB above 2000m. Click here for more information on our catered and self-catered chalets in summer.
Mountain Bike Trails – What are the options?
If you have spent time out in the French Alps in the winter on a skiing or snowboarding holiday you will be familiar with the piste difficulty system. Green is the easiest, followed by blue and then red, and finishing with black as the most difficult. The same applies in the summer for the mountain bike trails during your MTB holiday:
- Green trails – very easy. These trails are suitable for complete beginners; green trails tend to have a gentle gradient that are well maintained throughout the season meaning few large bumps.
- Blue – easy. Blue trails tend to have slightly more varied terrain such as rocks and roots with bigger table tops. However the gradient is still fairly gentle.
- Red – moderate to difficult. These trails are steeper and may often be much bumpier than blue trails. A high level of technique and control is required for red trails.
- Black – very difficult and for expert riders only. These trails will be steep and often have large features to negotiate. There may be various technical elements that require a very high level of technique.
Please note that trail difficulty ratings are subjective and often vary from resort to resort. We often hear from guests who have experienced riding in the UK that a green trail in Samoens and the wider Grand Massif area is closer to a blue trail back home in the UK.
MTB Lift Passes in Le Grand Massif
The mountain network system opening times vary from year to year however typically the Grand Massif Express (going from Samoens town to Samoens 1600) is open from mid-June until the end of August. From Samoens 1600 the Chariande Express and the rest of the lift system in Le Grand Massif are open from early July until the end of August. Outside of these dates most of the trails are still open as they don’t require the use of lift to get there. For more details on prices and dates please click here.
Bike Hire in Le Grand Massif
There are a number of excellent MTB hire shops in Samoens:
Roland Gai at Ski Set
0033 (0)4 50 34 42 44
0033 (0)4 50 89 82 30
0033 (0)4 56 12 78 39
Mountain Spirit also offers various lessons and guiding ranging from descent (different levels available from beginner to expert), enduro, child lessons and longer guided tours. They also rent electric bikes and fatbikes.
What if I bring my own bike to Le Grand Massif?
If are are flying out for the summer then there are various airlines that fly out from a number of different UK airport. The most popular airlines flying to Geneva are currently Easyjet, BA and Swiss Air. It costs around £45 each way to transport your bike. If you are relatively new to MTB but are considering buying a bike at home and bringing with you for your holiday then remember that you need a case to transport your bike. Typically hard case bike suitcases cost around £300. It is also possible to courier your bike out so that it arrives around the same time as you. It is worth checking your travel insurance to make sure that your bike is covered both in-transit to and from Le Grand Massif and also when you are actually in resort on your MTB holiday.
We absolutely love the mountain biking scene in Samoens, Morillon and the wider Grand Massif area. Accommodation is still quite a lot cheaper than in winter which allows you to stay in high quality chalets for a lot less than what you would pay in the winter months. The towns are a bit quieter than the super busy winter months which provide the perfect pit stop to chill out and enjoy the alpine sunshine. Temperatures from the beginning of June through to the end of August hover around the mid-20s. Le Grand Massif is a stunning place to enjoy an MTB holiday so check out the following link to see what accommodation we have available in Samoens and Morillon. If you are looking for other activity holiday ideas for a trip to Samoens or Morillon this summer then check out our guide to summer activities in Le Grand Massif.