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Everything you should know about cycling in Samoëns

The pretty, unspoilt village of Samoëns in Haute Savoie is a great choice if you want to discover fabulous cycling routes in the Grand Massif, together with fantastic holiday accommodation.

As one of the many resorts endowed with the Accueil Vélo label, cyclists from around the world come to explore some of the most challenging climbs often featured on the Tour de France.

In this post, we will be going over some key facts about cycling in Samoëns. This will include bike rental and accommodation options, as well as some of our favourite cycling routes of varying difficulties around the resort.

Read on to find out more about cycling in Samoëns…


Cycling in Samoëns: Key Facts

© Photo via the Samoens Tourism Office. Photographer: Christian Martelet

Cycling enthusiasts will love this resort in the heart of the Giffre Valley. The region is a major cycling hot spot, with something for riders of all ages and experience levels.

With incredible views of stunning mountain scenery, road cyclists will find plenty of options all around the resort, including the loops of the Giffre Valley, Cirque du Fer à Cheval and the famous Joux Plane pass route. Each one varies in difficulty, so you can be sure to find one suited to your level!

Bike rental

There are plenty of bike rental shops in Samoëns. Anthonioz ski*, X’Trême Glisses and Mountain Spirit are all great affordable options to get a set of wheels for the day.

You can also opt to get your bike delivered directly to your chalet. For example, Bcyclet is a great solution, as they offer a great range of high-quality bikes which can be delivered straight to your doorstep.

*website in French only.

Best time to go

While Samoëns is known for its stunning mountainscape and access to fantastic ski facilities, cyclists will want to avoid the winter season due to cold and snowy conditions.

We would recommend visiting Samoëns during the months of May, June and September, where you will be sure to find quieter roads for cycling as well as great value accommodation

It’s also worth mentioning that Samoëns can reach very high temperatures during the summer months. If you’re planning on visiting during this period, be sure to bring water, sunscreen, and other relevant gear with you on your ride.

Cycling accommodation in Samoëns

With cycling holidays becoming increasingly popular, you will find many chalets in and around Samoëns with adapted facilities for bicycles.

When staying around the resort, we would recommend you look out for bike-friendly accommodation. Things you should look out for include garage storage, ample washing facilities to wash your clothes and cycling equipment, as well as a repair area and great access to cycling routes.

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Samoëns Cycling Routes

Beginner/Intermediate Routes

Sous la Ville
road bike loop

Distance: 14 km
Max. altitude: 419 m
Duration: 1 hour
More info

Starting from Les Pertuets bus stop in Samoëns, enjoy a peaceful ride through the village and discover the beautiful traditional architecture out to Sous la Ville.

Meanwhile, if you’re up for a challenge, make your way up the route alternative towards Joux Plane!

Loop of
the Giffre

Distance: 24 km
Max. altitude: 710 m
Duration: 1h25
More info (page 7)

This family-friendly cycling loop is great for intermediate-level cyclists who want to discover the beautiful Giffre valley.

Starting from Samoëns, make your way through the valley and various villages dotted along the river including Morillon, Taninges and Verchaix.

Verchaix
road bike loop

Distance: 28 km
Max. altitude: 533 m
Duration: 1h30
More info

This intermediate road ride is good for groups with a good fitness level. The start point is in Verchaix, which is easily accessible by public transport from Samoëns.

The ride’s main highlight is a gentle climb up to the Col de Châtillon, from which you can enjoy great views through to the Dômes de Miage.


Advanced Cycling Routes

Cirque du Fer à Cheval loop

Distance: 34.4 km
Max. altitude: 958 m
Duration: 1h45
More info

From Samoëns, make your way westwards in a mini-loop towards Morillon, before heading down to Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, where the real adventure begins!

Once you reach the entrée au cirque, cycle along the road up towards the beautiful Cirque du Fer à Cheval. Don’t forget to stop at the Chalet bar/restaurant along the way for a quick break.

Joux Plane Pass Route

Distance: 12.7 km
Max. altitude: 1,708 m
Duration: 2 hours
More info (page 4)

One of France’s six major passes, the Col de Joux Plane Pass Route has often been used by the riders of the Tour de France.

Starting from Samoëns, make your way up to the col while taking in beautiful views of the surrounding valley. The road itself is closed to heavy vehicles and is relatively low on traffic, making it perfect for cycling.

Col du Ranfolly – Col de Joux Plane loop

Distance: 44 km
Max. altitude: 1,798 m
Duration: 3h20
More info

Starting from the outskirts of Samoëns, this expert road ride takes you all the way out to Morzine, where you can stop to enjoy a coffee break at Satellite Coffee.

Following this, make your way up the Col du Ranfolly and finally back down to the Col de Joux Plane, just above Samoëns, from where you can enjoy a gentle ride back down to the village.


Cycling is just one of the fantastic activities on offer in Samoëns. If you’re looking for more ideas of activities to fill your holiday itinerary, then check out our top 5 things to do in Samoëns in the summer.

Find the perfect base for your cycling holiday

Whether you are an amateur cyclist or simply want to take in some of the beautiful scenery in the Giffre Valley, our bike-friendly properties in Samoëns are the perfect base for your next cycling trip.