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Holidays

Secret Alps - Snowshoe Summits of Haute Savoie

France
2 reviews
Available Departures: Jan, Feb, Mar

8 days from

US$2,520

without flights
Winter
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

A one week snowshoeing holiday in the quiet and unknown Samoens region of France

Trip Code: SAM
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Secret Alps - Snowshoe Summits of Haute Savoie

Highlights
  • Voted number 1 in The Times - Will Hide's '20 of the best winter holidays'
  • Snowshoeing in France with a wide range of spectacular and very quiet snowshoe routes
  • Up to five summits in one week including Pointe Ratti and Le Parteset with outstanding views of the Mont Blanc massif
  • Centre based with beautiful french food (and wine!) every evening

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 8
  • 6 days snowshoeing
  • Max altitude - 1923 metres
  • Join In Samoens

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 7 Dinners
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

A stunning one week snowshoe holiday in the beautiful Haute Savoie region of France. Our base for this eight day holiday is in the idyllic mountain village of Samoëns, situated near the impressive Cirque du Fer a Cheval in the heart of the French Alps. The terrain here is excellent for snowshoeing and promises some great days and the possibility of reaching the summit of up to 5 peaks, including Pointe Ratti which is one of our guides favourite days in the area, a day when it is very rare to see anybody else snowshoeing and with views over to the impressive massif of the Roc d'Enfer we can understand why it is high on their list! On the final day of snowshoeing we aim to summit Tete de la Sallaz; the area's proximity to the Mont Blanc range on this day means excellent views, and with the opportunity of one of the best hot chocolates in the area on the way back to the hotel, this is sure to be another favourite day. Quiet trails, lovely French food and wine, expert guides and crisp white snow - surely the ingredients of a truly fantastic holiday.

Is this holiday for you?

This week of centre-based, guided snowshoeing is designed to appeal to regular mountain walkers wishing to learn snowshoe techniques as well as those with previous snow-shoeing experience. During the holiday we will cover a variety of ground from relatively easy snow covered trails to steeper mountain slopes, the summits however are easily attained for those who have a reasonable level of hill wal …

This week of centre-based, guided snowshoeing is designed to appeal to regular mountain walkers wishing to learn snowshoe techniques as well as those with previous snow-shoeing experience. During the holiday we will cover a variety of ground from relatively easy snow covered trails to steeper mountain slopes, the summits however are easily attained for those who have a reasonable level of hill walking fitness.  The trip is suitable for novices and also those people with previous snowshoeing experience.The itinerary will be flexible and during the week the guide will use their expertise and local knowledge to determine the best routes to take advantage of prevailing snow conditions and the abilities of the group.  A suggested itinerary for the week is given, but may be subject to change. If snow conditions do not permit snow-shoeing on any of the routes, the group will follow an alternative winter hiking itinerary.

Why KE?

The Times journalist Will Hide featured this holiday as number 1 in his '20 of the best winter holidays' article in December 2016. He said "You can tuck into guilt-free meals of fondue and red wine when you've been snowshoeing all day." Read the full travel feature.

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Itinerary

We meet at 6.30pm at our accommodation in Samoens, when your guide will be available to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions about the week ahead over dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

A leisurely start this morning with a transfer of about 15 minutes before we start our first walk. A great local day to start us of with an ascent of the summit of Le Bourgeoise (1770m) which offers excellent views of the surrounding area and all the way through to Mont Blanc and the the Alps of Chamonix. Today is a fantastic introduction to the local landscape, as we begin on a zig zag track through the forest before breaking out above the treeline and follow the ridge all the way to the summit. The summit has a satisfying 'cross' to aim for and we will plan to have lunch on the top. We will aim to make a circuit back down to Samoens, via the area below the Col de Joux Plane famous for road biking and the ascent in 1997, by Tour de France winner Marco Pantani who climbed to the Col de Joux Plane in 33 minutes... We will take a little longer!

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

700 M

Time

5 hours Snowshoeing

Distance

5 KM

A slightly longer transfer this morning, it should take about 50 minutes to get to Col de l’Encrenaz. One of our favourites today; Pointe Ratti, which gives the feel of being in big mountains, but is easily accessed from le Col de l'Encrenaz. After a drive over to the Morzine area we climb steadily towards our Col where we can have a morning coffee before heading off up the mountain. A very steady climb takes us up to a col, and then along the ridge line to the summit of Pointe Ratti at 1923m. From here we have views to the impressive massif of the Roc d'Enfer. We are very unlikely to see any other snowshoers today, but it is possibe that a few ski mountaineers will pass us on our way.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

490 M

Time

4 - 5 hours Snowshoeing

Distance

6 KM

A lovely outing today to Mont Caly, with our day beginning with a drive to the alpine village of Les Gets. Our goal is the easy ascent to Mont Caly, and then onwards to the Col de Lachat (1632m) which offers a vast 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountains. It is a day when we also discover the mountain 'alpage'. These high mountain villages are populated only during the summer months when the local people tend their herds of sheep and cows, producing mountain butter and cheese which is either sold to passing hikers or is stored for sale in the valley and in the winter months. If the weather is clear we may go higher to the shoulder of Mont Chery where we can benefit from an every expanding view. If the local mountain restaurant is open we will aim to have lunch there.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

470 M

Time

5 hours Snowshoeing

Distance

11 KM

Today we head up the valley at Bonnavaz and pass the beautiful chapel to be found there (this transfer usually takes about 40 minutes), before taking a trail through the forest and up to the wide open spaces below pointe d'Uble. Our destination is the summit of Le Parteset which provides excellent views of Pointe Ratti, Praz de Lys, and the surrounding peaks all the way to the Dents du Midi. Today is a shorter day and gives the chance for a bit of a rest in the later afternoon. The hotel is only about a 10 minute walk (down hill on the way there) from the village of Samoens and it has great coffee shops and a fantastic chocolate shop. Or there is a cosy lounge area at the hotel, with a real fire to relax in front of.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

420 M

Time

4 hours Snowshoeing

Distance

6 KM

The Bostan valley is a beautiful comb with jagged limestone cliffs rearing up on one side. We wander up through the woods, the walk is in the forest for about the first 1.5 hours then we have stunning open views of the mountains and the huge limestone cliffs before we reach the Refuge de Bostan which may be open if the guardian is in residence. Fingers crossed for a cup of hot chocolate! The refuge is set in a beautiful and spectacular valley. From there we have a wide rolling comb to explore and it makes for a lovely day enjoying the ambiance and remoteness of the surrounding mountains.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

714 M

Time

5 - 6 hours Snowshoeing

Distance

10 KM

A transfer of about 50 minutes this morning takes us up a steep mountain road to the village of Romme, which is perched on a high pass. We head down and across the valley to bag the Tete de la Sallaz as it offers stunning views to the Mont Blanc Massif and also of the nearby peak of Pointe d'Areu. It is a wonderful peak to finish off the week and gives the feeling of a big mountain day. A cosy cafe at the parking area provides the chance for beer or hot chocolate as a reward for our efforts.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

700 M

Time

6 hours Snowshoeing

Distance

8 KM

KE services end after breakfast.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Snowshoe
Transfer

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • Professional guiding with full snowshoe instruction
  • All land transport (not airport transfers)
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the meal plan
  • Snow shoes and ski poles.

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Tips for local staff
  • Personal spending money and miscellaneous expenses - drinks souvenirs etc.


TRAVEL TO YOUR DESTINATION

In some cases you may choose to take a ferry and/or train to your holiday start and end destination. Please see further information on Travelling by Train.

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

The group will meet at the group hotel in Samoens on the evening of Day 1 of the holiday itinerary. For clients arriving by air, the easiest way to get to Samoens is to fly to Geneva Airport and make use of an airport transfer service. There are various companies which offer this service, such as Go Massif, and the cost is about 45 Euros each way (please book this in advance of travel).

All meals except lunches are included in your holiday price. You will need to purchase lunch and snacks for each day. These can easily be bought locally. We recommend an allowance of €15 to €20 per day for lunches, snack food and soft drinks.

When in the towns and villages all tap water is drinkable. In mountain huts there is usually not a sustainable drinking water supply. Water in plastic bottles is brought in to the hut. All huts have a recycling point. If you have to purchase water in plastic bottles please buy the largest bottle you can so as to use less plastic. Please take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water if you can fill from a local stream. Bottled water is not provided. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles. Local authorities are working to find solutions to using plastic water bottles in huts. We monitor the situation carefully for updates.

Breakfast will be taken in our hotel each day and will be continental-style. Lunch (not included) will be packed lunches purchased from the hotel or can be taken at cafes or mountain restaurants where there will be a choice of different dishes to suit your tastes and budget. Dinner each evening will be at the restaurant in our hotel, which boasts beautiful Savoyard cuisine.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

On this holiday we are based at the beautiful Chalet-Hôtel Neige et Roc situated on the edge of Samoëns, the base for this week. Sample French village life, with the centre and its shops only a short walk away. The hotel has all the feel of a traditional Alpine chalet with its exposed timber, open fire and extensive use of bright pinewood. The owners, Françoise & Olivier Deffaugt, take pride in welcoming guests to their charming family-run hotel and studios.

In low season we book the hotel standard rooms for single use and superior rooms for twins and doubles. In high season we book the hotel studios which are private apartments that sleep up to 2 people in twin or double beds. These are in an annexed building but still have access to all of the 4* hotel facilities and meals.

There is a single supplement available (please see the 'Dates and Prices' page for exact pricing), as this can be a very busy hotel in winter please do let us know if you would like to book single rooms as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Professional, English speaking guide

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

We recommend an allowance of €15- €20 per day for lunches, snacks, water etc.  You can change money at Geneva Airport, although please note that you can only take swiss Francs out from the ATMs here; there are however ATMs in Samoens where you can get Euros.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline. 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The temperatures we can expect to encounter during the day will be in the range -10 to +15 degrees celcius/ 14 -59F, though it can feel much warmer than this in the reflected sunlight high on the slopes. In the evening the temperatures will drop. January to March is statistically the time of the lowest precipitation but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems so occasional rain, snow and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (must be waterproof)
  • Gaiters
  • Trainers  (for valley use)
  • Socks
  • Walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers
  • Underwear
  • Thermal baselayer - leggings
  • Thermal baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Warm jacket (eg. down)
  • Daypack of approximately 30 litres capacity
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens
  • Lightweight thermal gloves
  • Basic First Aid Kit - Our professional tour leaders hold first-aid qualifications and will carry a basic medical kit. You should bring your own personal first aid kit consisting of the following: throat lozenges, painkillers (anti-inflammatory), antiseptic cream/spray, plasters, blister treatment/tape, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets are a good idea.
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Fleece hat
  • Sunglasses with side protection
  • Ski goggles
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Sunhat
  • Ski poles (provided)

The following items are optional:

  • Earplugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring!)
  • Waterproof liner for your daypack
  • Camera
  • Travel clothes
  • Spare clothes
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Notes:

Specialist Equipment: Snowshoes, ski poles, and standard safety equipment including an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel will be provided by KE, and available to collect at the group hotel.

Please note you will be liable for any damage caused to the specialist equipment due to negligence.

If you wish to take your own walking poles, make sure that they have snow baskets fitted.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

5 out of 5 from 2 reviews

SNOWSHOE SAFARI IN THE STUNNING HAUTE SAVOIE ★★★★★

Exceptional sunshine and cold nights ensured distant views of Mont Blanc and good snow conditions above a certain altitude. Our Tour Leader expertly adapted the itinerary to suit the conditions, staying above the snow line while leading us through a wide variety of scenery representing this stunning region. Encounters with wildlife such as Alpine ibex were particularly memorable, with our Tour Leader taking notable care to respect the natural environment. Explanations of the geology, history and local culture were well received and the opportunity to savour Savoyard hospitality was appreciated. This is a trip that satisfies all the senses and delivers a very satisfactory holiday experience.
By Adam from Mamer | 13 March 2022

Exactly what was written on the tin and with extra helpings too! ★★★★★

Realising that KE Adventure Travel is "all powerful", we enjoyed a magnificent dump of snow at the beginning of the holiday followed by clear blue and sunny skies thereafter - so well organised!!. But even without the aforementioned, the hotel, location, terrain and especially the guiding were all excellent. It's certainly on my list to do it again - same time, same place will be fine for me in 2020.

By William from Newcastle upon Tyne | 18 February 2019

Traveller Reviews
5 out of 5 from 2 reviews

SNOWSHOE SAFARI IN THE STUNNING HAUTE SAVOIE
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Exceptional sunshine and cold nights ensured distant views of Mont Blanc and good snow conditions above a certain altitude. Our Tour Leader expertly adapted the itinerary to suit the conditions, staying above the snow line while leading us through a wide variety of scenery representing this stunning region. Encounters with wildlife such as Alpine ibex were particularly memorable, with our Tour Leader taking notable care to respect the natural environment. Explanations of the geology, history and local culture were well received and the opportunity to savour Savoyard hospitality was appreciated. This is a trip that satisfies all the senses and delivers a very satisfactory holiday experience.
By Adam from Mamer | 13 March 2022

Exactly what was written on the tin and with extra helpings too!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Realising that KE Adventure Travel is "all powerful", we enjoyed a magnificent dump of snow at the beginning of the holiday followed by clear blue and sunny skies thereafter - so well organised!!. But even without the aforementioned, the hotel, location, terrain and especially the guiding were all excellent. It's certainly on my list to do it again - same time, same place will be fine for me in 2020.

By William from Newcastle upon Tyne | 18 February 2019

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Secret Alps - Snowshoe Summits of Haute Savoie
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SAM /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 11 Jan and ends on Sat 18 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$645
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Secret Alps - Snowshoe Summits of Haute Savoie
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SAM /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 22 Feb and ends on Sat 1 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,220
  • Download Trip Notes

2026

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Secret Alps - Snowshoe Summits of Haute Savoie
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SAM /01/26/
  • This trip begins on Sat 10 Jan and ends on Sat 17 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$645
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Secret Alps - Snowshoe Summits of Haute Savoie
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SAM /02/26/
  • This trip begins on Sat 21 Feb and ends on Sat 28 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,220
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Geneva Airport which is approximately 1.5 hours drive and about 2.5 hours by train from Samoens.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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