As winter loosens its grip, Samoëns emerges from its chilly slumber, offering a fresh perspective for outdoor enthusiasts. In this post, we’ll guide you through a curated selection of trails that capture the essence of the season.
From leisurely strolls along flower-lined paths to more challenging routes revealing panoramic mountain vistas, these hikes showcase the natural beauty that blossoms around this idyllic alpine location during the spring months. Plus, the Grand Massif region is home to some great gentle hikes which are ideal for families of novice hikers. So lace up your hiking boots and join us as we navigate through the rejuvenating landscapes of Samoëns!
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The top spring hikes around Samoëns
1. From Samoëns to Verchaix
Duration: 3h 30m
Elevation gain: 110m
This hike can be conveniently divided into two segments. The first leg spans from Samoëns to Secouën, offering a leisurely journey lasting approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Following this, the second leg extends from Secouën to Verchaix, with a similar duration.
The journey commences at the picturesque Place du Bérouze in Samoëns. Covering 9.5km, the itinerary takes around 3.5 hours – enough time to soak in the views and culture along the way.
With a gentle elevation gain of 110m, the route showcases the hamlet of Berouze and the Giffre River. The hike is accessible from May 5th onwards, offering an opportunity to appreciate the changing landscapes during the spring season. Whether broken down into separate segments or tackled as a whole, this journey promises a fusion of natural beauty and cultural exploration for those eager to discover the charm of Samoëns and its surrounding areas.
2. Le Bérouze-Mathonex-Vigny
Elevation gain: 300m
Embark on a tranquil stroll along serene roads and footpaths, offering a captivating snapshot of valley life and local traditions. Covering a distance of 7km over 3 hours, the route presents a modest elevation gain of 300m. This scenic route unfolds a tapestry of chapels, shrines, old chalets, and the Clos Parchet folk museum.
Commencing at 700m, the journey gently ascends to a maximum altitude of 1000m, ensuring a pleasant experience for all levels. Classified as moderately easy, the terrain consists of footpaths and quiet roads, making it suitable for leisurely exploration. This trail is best enjoyed in the late spring, with prime accessibility from the start of June.
3. The village of Vallon and the Giffre dikes
Elevation gain: 17m
Discover the village of Vallon, encompassing Vallon d’en Bas and Vallon d’en Haut, is home to the Cavoêrus community. Lasting 1.5 hours, this exploration presents a modest elevation gain of 17m, with roads and trails comprising the terrain. No special recommendations or difficulties are noted, ensuring accessibility to all.
Commencing at the Grand Massif Express (GME) car park, this journey is open year-round. The walk commences by tracing the Giffre until reaching a footbridge over the Clévieu. Crossing, take the left path along the old dykes of Giffre, soon rejoining the Giffre itself leading to the Revé bridge.
Proceed by leaving the bridge on the right, taking the left path a few metres ahead, traversing the plain of Vallon. Cross the road and follow the opposite one leading to Vallon d’en Haut. In the village, turn left, noting the 1873 fountain carved from a single block of stone, and continue to Vallon d’en Bas.
Here, a chapel founded in 1636 pays homage to Saints Jacques, Philippe, and Joseph, thanking them for protection during the 1630 plague epidemic. Shortly after the chapel, turn right in front of a large pool. Following the road to a crossroads, turn left, following the Clévieu stream, then cross the departmental road. Changing banks at the second bridge, continue along the Clévieu to reach the earlier footbridge. Follow the path back to the gondola parking lot, completing a picturesque and enriching loop.
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4. Lacs aux Dames to Lac Bleu
Elevation gain: 24m
This family-friendly stroll takes you along the banks of the River Giffre, spanning from Samoëns to Morillon through a broad forest road. The Samoëns leisure centre, centred around two interconnected lakes with a waterfall, sets the stage for a beautiful excursion. This brief yet enjoyable walk offers picturesque views of the Haut Giffre mountains, prominently featuring the majestic Criou.
To reach the Lac Bleu de Morillon, traverse the wooden bridge near the refreshment bar between the lakes. Following the bridge, turn right and then left, immersing yourself in a mixed forest of spruce and beech. The journey continues along a wide path leading to the R’Biolle footbridge, a 17m span gracefully extending across the Giffre. Upon crossing the footbridge, the path veers right through L’Etelley woods, eventually arriving at Lac Bleu de Morillon.
Anticipate approximately 1.5 hours for the return walk, which covers flat terrain along a wide forest track. While traversing the leisure complexes in Samoëns and Morillon, please note that dogs are not allowed. The journey commences at the Lac aux Dames in Samoëns, offering a seamless and enjoyable trek with no notable difficulties. Covering a distance of 7.1km, this itinerary includes practically no elevation gain, ensuring a pleasant outing for families and nature enthusiasts alike. This route is open from early May.
5. Bostan and Golese Refuges
Duration: 4h 11m
Elevation gain: 727m
Discover this 9.3km circular trail nestled near Samoëns in Haute-Savoie. Renowned for its challenging nature, the route typically requires an average of 4 hours and 11 minutes to complete. Furthermore, it’s a hub for outdoor enthusiasts engaging in activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and running, ensuring a lively atmosphere with encounters likely on your journey. The prime months for exploration are from May to September, offering favourable weather conditions. Notably, dogs are welcome on the trail, with some areas allowing them to roam off-lead.
Situated in the Haute-Savoie region near Les Allamands, this hike unveils a well-marked path weaving through forests and mountain pastures, leading you to the Refuge de Bostan. The next leg directs you toward the Refuge de la Golèse, surrounded by the towering peaks of the Giffre Massif. Throughout the journey, you’ll traverse diverse landscapes, each contributing to a rich and rewarding experience. Importantly, the panoramic views along the way add to the allure of this beautiful route.
With a length of 9.3km and an elevation gain of 727m, the circular trail promises a satisfying challenge for those seeking an immersive and varied trek. Moreover, the route’s circular nature ensures that you’ll encounter new perspectives and scenery throughout your journey. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking to explore the stunning landscapes of Haute-Savoie, this trail offers a memorable and enriching experience.
6. Léledian Bridge – Lake Gers
Duration: 4h 11m
Elevation gain: 512m
Explore this 13.5km out-and-back trail near Samoëns, promising a moderately challenging yet rewarding experience. The tour typically takes an average of 4 hours and 11 minutes to complete and dogs are warmly welcomed, with the freedom to roam off-lead in designated areas.
The hike unfolds along the trail leading to Lac de Gers, commencing at the Pont de Lédedian and tracing the scenic Chemin de Gers. Progressing along the foothills of the Pointe du Trapechet, it leads to the breathtaking Lac de Gers, nestled amidst expansive pastures.
7. Samoëns 1600 – Chariande
Elevation gain: 321m
Experience this 4.8km circular trail, providing a moderately challenging yet rewarding experience. Completing this route typically takes an average of 2 hours, making it an accessible option for a varied range of hikers and walkers. Optimal times to enjoy this trail span from May through September, with the warmer months offering more favourable weather conditions. While dogs are warmly welcomed, it’s important to note that they must be on a lead.
The hike unfolds in the Samoëns 1600 ski area, offering a short loop leading towards the Tête du Pré des Saix via the scenic route around the Lac des Gouilles Rouges. Whether you seek a moderate challenge or a family-friendly outing, this circular trail promises a delightful journey through the picturesque landscapes of Samoëns.
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