A brand new Gym has been installed at The Lodge at Samoëns. The Lodge Gym is equipped with weight bars and dumbbells; an IC7 indoor training bike with a WattRate computer; Shoulder press; TRX etc. etc.
Congratulation to Geraint Thomas on winning the 2018 Tour de France. Winning a 3,500+km 3 week stage race is an incredible achievement for a rider who started his career racing over 4000 meters on the track - Chapeau Gee!
Geraint Thomas is a regular visitor to the valley and the surrounding area. He can be seen riding the Tour de France or possibly the Critérium du Dauphiné - a race which he also won this year. The 2018 Tour de France passed within 20km of The Lodge during Stage 10 - Annecy to Le Grand Bornand. Last year the Tour climbed the Col de Joux Plane from Samoëns .
Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval, one of the most beautiful villages in France. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty, the village itself is built on the banks of the River Giffre, centred around a small abbey dating from the 13th century.
The Sixt national park is a year-round haven for mountain lovers, adventurers, walkers, and mountain bikers and lovers of all forms of alpine activities including paragliding, Via Ferrata, mountaineering and rafting. There are lots of trails and paths winding their way through glorious alpine meadows, forests and abundant waterfalls. Keen hikers can walk the trails that lead to some of the higher more challenging peaks in the area. The highest peak is Mont Buet which reaches 3,099 metres. Always ask advice from the Tourist information office and ensure that you are well prepared as the weather can be very changeable.
Samoens is a charming village in the Haute-Savoie region of France. Not just perfect for skiing and snow fun in the winter. People often say “ The Alps are just for winter - What is there to do in the Summer?” and that’s when we start explaining that the summer is every bit as fun and maybe even more fun than the winter. There is just so much to do the only problem is deciding which activities to pick.
The Lodge is the perfect base for the road cyclist. It even comes equipped with an IC7 indoor cycle for warm up or just to test your FTW (Functional Threshold for Watts). The Tour de France once again passes close by with Stage 10 on 17 July 2018 - Annecy to La Grand Bornand. Samoëns is conveniently situated at the foot of the iconic Col de Joux Plane, which is a truly wonderful and natural climb, other climbs which are easily accessible for the cyclist are the steep Col de Romme and Col de la Colombière, which will be the defining climbs in Stage 10.
As the days get longer and sunnier, the valley begins to come alive, the snow disappears, the grass turns green and the spring meadows start to bloom. The Giffre Valley boasts an extensive national park overflowing with activities as well as a heritage dating back to medieval times.It really is a genuine alpine playground with so much to do but here are our top 5 spring favourites.
This is a well known route and a favourite among locals. This in itself tells you what a little gem this place is. A walk that you can easily fit into a morning or an afternoon, but if you want the full experience, lunch at the Refuge Lac de Gers is a must!
After changeover on a Saturday we'd usually like nothing more than to sit down with a glass of wine and relax, but with friends on hand this weekend we finished in record time and decided on a last-minute hike up to the Lac de Gers. There is the option of starting from Sixt-fer-a-Cheval at the bottom of the Cascade run, but for a faster route (perfect for late-starters!) there is a car park situated just off the road up to Samoens 1600.
We were four walkers, with a range of fitness levels. There is a sign at the car park and then an easy-to-follow track right up to the lake. Be careful as you may come across cars coming up and down the track. We hiked on a clear and dry day so a good pair of trainers were fine for the walk.
You don’t have to walk far from the car park before you can feel the burn in your legs! The hike starts with quite a steep, but steady ascent. But there are plenty of places to stop, catch your breath and take a picture of the amazing scenery through the trees. As you near the top it becomes much less steep and the path takes you through fields of cows, bells and all! We found lots of tiny frogs hopping about too.
We reached the refuge just as they were winding down, luckily we had expected this and had brought sandwiches and a well deserved beer each! We found a great spot overlooking the lake to enjoy our picnic. It's such a great place and feels like you're a million miles from anywhere, surrounded by the mountains.
It took us just under 2 hours to reach the refuge (it can be done much faster if you can resist making friends with a frog or two on the way!). Jonny's Garmin recorded 415m of elevation over the 6.25km walk. We were quicker on the way down. With a rain cloud coming closer we were back in the car in under an hour and a half.
So far this is our favourite way to spend changeover afternoons!
Today we did this years first ascent of the Joux Plane. The Col de Joux Plane was a grand finale to the 2016 Tour de France. Not only is the Joux Plane a true giant amongst the classic Alpine climbs, in my opinion, it is the most beautiful of all. It is a "Route d'Ete" - Summer Route, as the north facing descent to Morzine - the Col du Ranfolly - is in fact a ski slope in the winter, and is often, no clear of snow and not open to traffic until June! Its' beauty is in its terrain - it follows a natural slope, without the uniformity required to enable large coaches access to winter ski resorts, a la Alpe d'Huez and many others.