If we were to suggest riding a bike...in the Alps...with it's beautiful but steep mountains...it might paint a picture of effort. Maybe even suffering. At one time, you may have had a point, but not anymore you don't! There has been something of a revolution in the world of biking in recent years - both on road, and off road! The introduction of e-bikes has changed how we look at the sport and what is possible.
And without a doubt, there is no better place to experience the world of e-bikes than right here in Samoens and the surrounding area.
E-bike, electric bike, electrically assisted bike. Whatever you call them, it is essentially a standard bike - be that a mountain bike, fat bike or road bike - with an electric motor and rechargeable battery attached to it. Various configurations exist but with the most common models, the rider pedals and the motor provides assistance up to the speed limit of 15.5mph. Handlebar mounted controls allows the rider to adjust the level of assistance from 'just a touch' right up to 'I'm a professional athlete!'. Battery technology is improving rapidly, and currently you can expect a range from 35-100 miles depending on the bike and level of assistance.
In short, everyone can benefit! Fit, experienced riders can go even further and faster, and tackle steeper terrain which was previously unrealistic. If you're new to biking, you can experience big adventures from day one! We've often seen e-bikes used by families or groups of mixed ability, ages, and fitness levels, who can create a level playing field throughout the group and ensure everyone gets the most from a day out. Those with limited time, parents for example, can squeeze a longer ride into a much smaller time frame.
Our rental partners can provide you with all kinds of bikes, including e-bikes of the on-road and off-road varieties. Visit our mountain biking and road biking pages for more information including information of our guest discounts.
When it comes to mountain biking, the Haute Giffre valley provides huge variety in terms of terrain and difficulty across all disciplines. The valley boasts four marked routes specifically for e-bikes which are generally of a cross-country nature and ideal for exploring the valley and it's beautiful hamlets, chapels, lakes and gorges!
Download the overview map.
Grade : Blue
Start point : Lac Bleu, Morillon, or Verchaix
Distance : 14,6km
Altitude gain : 350m
Description : On the balcony on the northern slope, facing the pyramidal massif of Pic du Marcelly (1999 m), the route winds through peaceful hamlets before reaching Lac des Vernays. On your way you can discover the Chapel of Nicodex or the pretty hamlet of Miaux. The return is via the right bank of the Giffre, a rushing river free flowing to the Taninges dam. A route without particular difficulty.
Grade : Blue
Start point : Grand Massif Express, Samoëns, or Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval
Distance : 21km from Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, 26 km from Samoëns
Altitude gain : 800m
Description : The hamlet of Le Mont is one of the most beautiful in the valley. If we add the vertiginous Gorges des Tines and a trip to the hamlet of Salvagny, this route has all the assets to seduce you. Two slightly technical passages await you on the descents: the one going down from the hamlet of Le Mont and one at the Gorges des Tines.
Grade : Blue / Red
Start point : Grand Massif Express, Samoens or Lac Bleu, Morillon
Distance : 30 km
Altitude gain : 860 m D+
Description : This route is, as its name suggests, an invitation to discover the religious heritage of Samoëns, but not only that! It passes through many hamlets and offers some of the most beautiful views over the valley. The route will allow you to explore the flat valley floor on the banks of the Giffre and also to tackle the ascents and descents to the villages of Chantemerle and Les Allamands.
Grade : Red
Start point : Taninges or Châtillon sur Cluses
Distance : 35km
Altitude gain : 1100m
Description: This route takes you, starting from Taninges or Chatillon, on a long journey. It hoists you up to the Saint Grat chapel and the Sires du Faucigny castle in Châtillon sur Cluses and guides you along the farming paths of Mieussy. After the gorges of Pont du Diable, you can take a Roman road to reach the Chapelle Saint Grat. The banks of the Anthon and Flérier lakes will offer you, if necessary, a place to relax and cool down!. A route that will undoubtedly make you appreciate the electric assistance of your bike, especially on the climb after Bois Dessous or at Chosalet. Two descents where you will have to remain vigilant: Towards Sache and Etroit Denté.
Visit our mountain biking page to discover even more trails, from gentle family friendly river side trails, to high mountain single track, and the lift served trails of the Grand Massif which are all perfectly suited to e-bikes.
Then there are a selection of mountain refuges which, although involving a relatively steep climb up 4x4 tracks, become accessible to many more people with the introduction of e-bikes. Le Refuge de Bostan and Le Refuge du Lac de Gers are two great examples, with cold drinks and lunch awaiting your victorious arrival! The Alps Accommodation enjoyed a great ride to the Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval on e-bikes, you can read about that on our website.
Contact Mountain Spirit, based in Samoens, who offer guided days out and can help you get the most from your experience!
Road bikers have the famous Col de Joux Plane which begins literally on our doorstep here in Samoens. Featuring in the Tour de France, this fearsome climb is a realistic proposition for most when you hop aboard an e-bike! There are numerous other cols, villages and valleys to explore in the area and details of these can be found on our road cycling page.