Hiking in the French Alps

Alps Self Guided Walking Holidays

Our chalets are located in Morzine and Le Grand Massif, France. They offer access to some of the best mountain walks in Europe, including unparalleled views of Mont Blanc. Our holidays run on a Sunday to Sunday basis (short stays available on request) and include a fully catered stay in an ensuite room along with our Self Guided Walking package. With your comprehensive route directions and detailed maps to hand, you can explore the delights of the Rhone-Alps at your own pace. It is a truly stunning place and we can’t wait for you to come and explore! It is possible to combine your walking holiday with our Yoga Package. Please also note that although we have a suggested walking itinerary we have less taxing alternatives for some of the tougher walks.

Our Self Guided Walking Holidays - What’s Included

  • 7 breakfasts - 4 cooked + continental and 3 continental.
  • 6 afternoon teas - cakes, baguettes, coffee + tea.
  • 6 dinners - canapes, 3 courses + cheeseboard + tea and coffee.
  • All drinks in the chalet (wine, beer + soft drinks) - unlimited service not just at meal times.
  • Transport to and from Self Guide Walking start points.
  • Use of detailed route guides and maps.
  • In-resort concierge contact during walks - we will find you if you get lost!
  • 5 lunches (for the 5 Self Guide Walks) - baguette, meats + cheeses, fresh fruit, energy bar.

Our Self Guided Walking Holidays - What’s Not Included

  • Flights
  • Airport Transfers - we can organise these from Geneva airport for £85 per person return
  • Insurance
  • Walking equipment

Morzine and Samoens have a huge variety of activities available during the summer months. During the week guests have one free day when we do not provide any walking activities. Click here to view the other activities available.

Day 1 - Lac de Montriond

Duration_3-5hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 12.8KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 248M

A gentle loosener of a walk before the tougher climbs throughout the week. The walk begins at the stunning Lac de Montriond where you can grab a coffee overlooking the beautiful lake. Head up the valley to arrive at the highest point of the walk at the Cascade d’Ardent (1189m). Follow back down the valley with the River Dranse on your left before arriving in Morzine.

Topography_chart_LacdeMontriond
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 01

Grade 1: Easy walking with few ascents or descents on gentle terrain

Day 2 - Mont Chery

Duration_4-6hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 13.2KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 919M

The day begins in a cow field in La Cote-d’Arbroz. Head through the trees until you arrive along a ridge that offers stunning views all the way to the Col de l’Encrenaz. Head down and enjoy the views from the terrace of the isolated yet beautifully appointed Alt. 1490 exclusive Mountain Lodge. The toughest ascent of the day begins from the south side of Mont Chery summiting at 1811m before following the trails down to Les Gets.

 

Topography_chart_MontChery
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 02

Grade 2: Easy to moderate walking with some ascents and descents

Day 3 - Col de Cou

Duration_4-6hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 15.5KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 622M

Enjoy the 15 minute drive along the Vallee de la Manche before beginning the day at the serene Lac des Mines d’Or. It’s all up hill from here as you summit at the Col de Cou at 1967m. The views back down the valley and into Switzerland are breathtaking and offer the perfect stop to enjoy your lunch. Head back down along the river to Morzine - not forgetting to take in the beautiful Casade de Nyon on the way.

Topography_chart_-ColdeCou
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 04

Grade 4: Moderate to challenging walking on rugged terrain with significant ascents and descents

Day 4 - Morzine to Samoens

Duration_4.5-6.5hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 15.8KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 558M

Starting in the Vallee de la Manche again but the walk begins heading south until you reach the Pointe de Golese (1665m). Enjoy a stop at the refuge here before enjoying the walk down to Samoens town through the forests and cow fields. Samoens itself is a stunning medieval town worth a stop before being collected and brought back to Morzine in the late afternoon.

Topography_chart_MorzinetoSamoens
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 03

Grade 3: Moderate walking on more varied terrain with regular ascents and descents

Day 5 - Pointe de Ressachaux

Duration_3.5-5.5

TOTAL DISTANCE: 10.1KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 1094M

The final day and the toughest of the week. But the views from the top are simply breathtaking and worth the 1000m elevation gain! Beginning at the foot of the forest just a 3 minute drive out of Morzine it takes around 1 hour of walking before emerging into the clear. The views just keep getting better until the summit of the Pointe de Ressachaux at 2097m. Enjoy the walk down - you have earned it!

Topography_chart_01
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 05

Grade 5: Challenging hikes with significant ascents and descents on challenging terrain

Day 1 - Old Gorges

Duration_3-5hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 11.4KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 350M

A lovely walk towards Sixt and back through the Old Gorges and along the River Giffre to Samoens. A gentle loosener to start with before the tougher climbs throughout the week. This walk will give you the opportunity to explore the local geography and enjoy a combination of riverside walking, forest climbs, and meandering through some lush meadows.

Topography_chart_LacdeMontriond
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 01

Grade 2: Easy to moderate walking with some ascents and descents

Day 2 - End of the World

Duration_3-5hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 10.3KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 460M

The End of the World (‘Le Bout du Monde’) is a truly spectacular walk with some of the best scenery in the area. You will pass big cliffs and a number of stunning waterfalls as you make your way up the Giffre river which ends with stunning views back down the valley, not to mention the imposing Cirque du Fer a Cheval. Keep your eyes peeled for Ibex!

Topography_chart_LacdeMontriond
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 01

Grade 3: Moderate walking on more varied terrain with regular ascents and descents

Day 3 - Refuge de Sales

Duration_3-5hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 9.35KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 670M

Quite possibly the jewel in the crown of hikes in the Samoens and Sixt area. 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. Near the top you will pass the Chapelle de Sales built in the 17th century. 

Topography_chart_LacdeMontriond
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 01

Grade 3: Moderate walking on more varied terrain with regular ascents and descents

Day 4 - Samoens to Morzine

Duration_3-5hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 16.2KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 680M

The longest walk of the week but not the most strenuous. Beginning in the hamlet of Les Allamands at 1120m the walk begins on a track through the trees before emerging to some stunning views back down the valley and to your right the imposing Dents D’Oddaz. The walk reaches it’s peak at 1790m after Refuge de Boston before heading into the Vallee de la Manche to Morzine.

Topography_chart_LacdeMontriond
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 01

Grade 3: Moderate walking on more varied terrain with regular ascents and descents

Day 5 - Aoille de Criou

Duration_3-5hrs

TOTAL DISTANCE: 12.7KM. ELEVATION GAIN: 910M

The Aoille de Criou (the ‘needle’) is a spectacular mountain with equally spectacular views back into the Giffre valley and into Switzerland. Because it is a very long walk to the top of the Aoille de Criou with a very steep ascent at the finish it is also possible to turn around at the Chalets de Criou at 1664m which also has stunning views of the local geography.

Topography_chart_LacdeMontriond
Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 01

Grade 5: Challenging hikes. Significant ascents and descents on challenging terrain

Is this trip right for me?

The holiday includes 5 days of walking with various ascents and descents. The walks vary in distance and will generally take between 4 - 6 hours to complete depending on your speed. The times indicated include a lunch break and photo stops. The maximum altitude is 2100m with an average altitude of about 1300m. Some routes are rocky and quite steep but most sections in general are well maintained. Each daily walk is rated on the below 5 grade scale. Please note that if you feel a specific walk is too challenging then we have other routes available. All walks are non-technical and should be possible for anyone in good health who is reasonably fit.

Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 01

Grade 1: Easy walking with few ascents or descents on gentle terrain

Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 02

Grade 2: Easy to moderate walking with some ascents and descents

Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 03

Grade 3: Moderate walking on more varied terrain with regular ascents and descents

Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 04

Grade 4: Moderate to challenging walking with significant ascents and descents

Tasty Ski Walking Difficulty grade 05

Grade 5: Challenging hikes. Significant ascents and descents on challenging terrain

Weather Information

From the beginning of June to the end of September the weather is typically fair in the Rhone-Alps, however all mountain ranges create their own weather patterns and the Alps are no exception. Hot humid days folllowed by early evening thunderstorms are not unusual. Tempertatures during the day range from 15 to 25ºC in the valleys (although it can sometimes reach 30ºC in July/August), 5 to 20ºC at altitude (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15ºC in the valley at night. Snow is possible at the higher altitudes throughout the summer but quite unlikely. The itinerary for all departures may also be altered or modified from time to time depending on the weather, the conditions of the route, the abilities and/or wishes of the group, or other local factors. We will discuss this with the group on a daily basis in your chalet.

Alps Summer Weather Averages

What to Bring

In addition to your standard outdoor clothing we suggest you bring the below:

  • Walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole.
  • Waterproof/windproof jacket (preferably Gortex) and waterproof trousers.
  • Hat and gloves (even in August).
  • Warm 2 season jacket or sweater/fleece.
  • Water containers or Thermos Flask to contain 2 litres of liquid.
  • Rucksack to carry items during the day.
  • Sun hat (the sun in the Alps has a very high UV factor and is very intensive), sun screen and lip balm.
  • Dry flow wicking clothing rather than cotton - it dries much quicker and is more comfortable when trekking.
  • Walking poles.
  • Phone charger battery (if using phone for directions the battery life will decrease significantly).

Spring and Autumn Holidays

June and September are amazing times to visit the Rhone Alps. The routes and trails are likely to be quieter, allowing you to enjoy the stunning views in a more tranquil setting. Both Morzine and Samoens will be open for business however expect some bars and restaurants to be closed in Spring and Autumn. Various mountain restaurants and cafes may also be closed. The walking itineraries may be changed during these dates to cater for this. The routes will be similar and we will ensure that the grading and overall theme of the walks is close to the walks that are described below.

Sunday to Sunday basis. 2nd June 2019 - 18th September 2019

MORZINE

Morzine ski chalets
Morzine Spa and Wellness

GRAND MASSIF

Chalet Samoens luxury catered ski chalet Samoens
Luxury Ski Chalet in the French alps - Grand Massif

The Pictures

So what will you see on your self-guided walking holiday in the French Alps? Fortunately we can answer that question with the below images. We had the pleasure of welcoming the multi award winning photographer Dan Burton to stay at Ferme St Christophe in June. Dan has travelled the world over a number of years snapping some of the most incredible scenery. He has won a huge number of awards not least being named the National Geographic Traveller Grand Prize Winner. During his stay with us he took photos of the majority of our self-guided walking trips in Samoens and Sixt. Below are photos from the Bout du Monde (End of the World), Refuge de Sales, and La Bourgeoise. All of these walks are included on our itinerary and we are sure you can see that they are truly stunning!

Flickr Album Gallery Pro Powered By: wpfrank

Explore Alps Summer Holidays

Morzine Summer Holiday Chalets

Morzine Summer Holidays

Our Morzine chalets offer the perfect base for your alps summer holiday. We have 2 catered chalets and 1 self catered chalet available in Morzine during the summer months.

Morzine Summer Activities

Morzine Summer Activities

There are a huge amount of activities on offer in Morzine during the summer months, ideal for families and adrenaline junkies alike.

Chalet Samoens luxury catered ski chalet Samoens

Grand Massif Summer Holidays

Our Grand Massif chalets offer the perfect base for your alps summer holiday. We have 2 catered chalets and 1 self catered chalet available in Samoens and Morillon during the summer months.

Grand Massif Summer Activities

Grand Massif Activities

Morillon and Samoens are located in the Giffre valley and are part of Le Grand Massif mountain range. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty which is protected by the French Government.

Hiking in the French Alps

Self Guided Walking Holidays

Our chalets provide access to some of the best mountain walks in Europe. With our comprehensive guides and detailed maps to hand, you can explore the delights of the Rhone Alps at your own pace.

yoga alps 2

Yoga Holidays

Our Grand Massif chalets are located in the stunning Giffre Valley and offer the perfect setting for our yoga retreats. Running on a Sunday - Sunday basis our retreats include 6 x 1 hour sessions in both the morning and evening.

Our Chalets

Morzine

The Little Grange

Morzine

The Grange

Morzine

No.8

Grand Massif

Chalet Samoens

Grand Massif

Chalet Mautalent

Grand Massif

Ferme St Christophe

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