French Alps self guided walking vacation

“8 days of great value self-guided walking in Haute Savoie region, staying in family run chalet in Samoëns village, with walks of different levels into the stunning Haut Giffre.”

Highlights

Haut Giffre valley | Views of Mont Blanc Massif | Bout du Monde Valley | Angolon ridge | Hot tub | Fully catered | Lake swimming | Alpine wildlife | Guide support at accommodation

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
01 Jul 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 01 Jul 2017 departure
08 Jul 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Jul 2017 departure
15 Jul 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Jul 2017 departure
29 Jul 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 Jul 2017 departure
05 Aug 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Aug 2017 departure
12 Aug 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Aug 2017 departure
19 Aug 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Aug 2017 departure
26 Aug 2017
£ 515
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Aug 2017 departure
Our top tip:
There is a chance to join Bruno, the company’s expert mountain guide, on a guided trip if you like. Grab the chance. He is fantastique.
Trip type:
Self-guided.
Activity level:
Moderate/Strenuous.
Accomm:
Family run luxury chalet.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, support, maps & routes, most meals, afternoon teas, wine with dinner.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome, but you may be asked to share room with same sex traveler.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: French Alps self guided walking vacation

Environment

Our booking process is paperless and our brochures are printed on 100% recycled FSC approved material, using renewable energy and vegetable oil based inks. Our printer, is one of the first British printers to achieve FSC certification and ISO14001 accreditation.

We make conscious efforts to minimise waste when shopping by trying to choose products with less packaging. We recycle everything that can be recycled and encourage our guests to do the same, and compost everything that can be composted. We purchase local produce where possible and we corroborate this with our local suppliers, as well as making an effort to source meat products that have not been inhumanely treated. We adapt our menus during the year to favour produce that is in season. We use environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

Our vacations have a very strong focus on nature and the environment and self guided guests spend a lot of time in a local nature reserve. They are made aware of the unique flora and fauna and we talk specifically about endangered species and reintroduction efforts. We focus our guests’ attention on local efforts to preserve flora and fauna and we like to think vacations significantly contribute to raising awareness of the mountain environment.

We advise our guests about local regulations and protected areas at each destination. Our guests stick to marked paths in areas where wildlife is more sensitive and minimise operations during the main reproductive times, meaning minimal disturbances.

We do everything we can to reduce carbon emissions from transport by encouraging guests to travel by train. We minimise our pick-ups by grouping people together. We also make a concerted effort to reduce transport during activity days by offering as many local walks as possible and with at least one 'transport-free day'.

Community

These vacations have a strong focus on the local culture. We discuss how people lived in the past, how the Alpine valleys got depopulated and we try to encourage discussion about the local history.

Our guests are given the opportunity to visit the most well-preserved villages and hamlets in the area and a strong focus is put on the now almost extinct culture of transhumance in western Europe (a semi-nomadic lifestyle where people migrate seasonally between villages at the valley floors in winter and high-mountain pastures in summer).

Our guides are permanent residents of the local community. Where possible we employ local staff and make use of local services. We encourage our guests to visit the local markets and make use of local activity providers while on our vacations. A large proportion of the income derived from our vacations goes directly into the local community and we try to ensure that this is directed to small local businesses.

Since the start of 2011 in the French Alps, we have taken part in the Leonardo Da Vinci programme which is a European initiative aimed at placing students from all over Europe in relevant work experience outside of their own countries. This programme has allowed the students the chance to experience working in a hotel, to meet our guests and to see what it’s like living in such a beautiful, natural environment. Often, it’s the first time that the students have been to mountainous regions and that coupled with all of the fantastic outdoor activities that Samoens has to offer, provides the students with a fantastic opportunity – and one that will support their future careers.

Reviews of French Alps self guided walking vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Superb walking country

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Plenty of different grades of walking for self-guided tours with very good, detailed maps and instructions.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Walks usually incorporated a visit to a refuge or local café for drinks or snacks.
Use of local hiking guides and cycling, white-water rafting if needed.
Recycling boxes at entrance to chalet.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent base to explore the beautiful Haute-Giffre valley. Wonderful chalet staff, Kirsty, Scott and Sally, who are very happy to help plan your day.

Reviewed on 02 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Varied expertly guided walks through magnificent scenery

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Come prepared. Any questions are answered effectively and quickly. Veery
flexible staff.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Benefits local areas. Helps to sponsor nature reserves

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


An excellent week, well looked after with good walks.

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Walking in the mountains.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Check the room size. Some are very small with low ceilings

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Somewhat

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good.

Reviewed on 23 Jul 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The overall experience was top-notch. The staff were warm, welcoming and helpful.
Great accommodation and excellent food and beverages. Great hiking guide as well.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


We stayed Saturday to Wednesday and regret not staying longer. Wonderful hikes and other outdoor activities as well as a market to enjoy.


3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our hiking guide was local but the owners and the rest of the staff are relocated Brits.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Superb

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Hiking to the frozen lake just outside Samoens.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Restaurant called Les 8 Monts in village of Samoens for Wednesday night (chalet staff night off).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent. Great food, comfortable chalet, beautiful walks, good company (chalet mates), great guide (Bruno) and lucky with the weather.

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Fantastic walks and great company. The chalet and staff and the food were really good. So close to Geneva.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just go for it!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Reviewed on 02 Oct 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Everything was memorable- the chalet was delightful, food wonderful,and the hosts very helpful and friendly! The walking was outstanding and Bruno,the French guide (with excellent English) was very informative but with a great sense of humour! His knowledge of fauna and flora was impressive. Full marks!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Dont hesitate to use Bruno as your guide - we learned so much from him!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We had one car free walking day and stayed fairly local to the chalet on the other days. Washing was kept to a minimum and everything possible was recycled. food was sourced locally where possible. Care was taken to minimise impact on wildlife and flora when out walking.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic - would love to go again to such a beautiful area and stay in such a great place.

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