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An Inside Guide to Getting the Most From Your Summer Activity Holiday in Samoëns, Morillon and the Local Area

Whether you’re already booked or are still considering the area as a summer holiday destination, we’ve collected some great local advice from the experts at ZigZag who can help you prepare and book all your mountain activities in one friendly place, enabling you to maximise your summer fun!

Favourite Summer Activities
Active families will adore Samoëns, Morillon and the surrounding area. The summer season is all about outdoor sports and the choice of activities is vast. Alps Accommodation partners with ZigZag, who provide a hearty menu of alpine adventure with something for all ages and levels of intrepidity.

Along with all your usual outdoor sports, you can also partake in some more adventurous activities you certainly won’t find back home! We particularly recommend canyoning, which involves descending a natural alpine canyon using a variety of techniques including walking, sliding, climbing, jumping, abseiling and swimming. No experience is necessary and ZigZag offers canyoning options for adults and children from 8 years of age.

Another ‘must-do’ activity in Samoëns is parapenting (also known as paragliding). Look up on any summer day and you’ll see the sky filled with colourful ‘wings’, as passengers soar high above the peaks with their own tandem pilots. No experience is necessary and adults and children as young as four years of age can take part in total safety. A one-in-a-lifetime experience, we highly recommend a high definition video as a souvenir to show friends and family back home! Contact the English speaking staff at the ZigZag office with any questions and to book your flights.

The range of activities offered by ZigZag in and around Samoëns includes:
Canyoning (see above)
Parapenting (see above)
Via Ferrata (adventurous assisted rock climbing for beginners)
Caving (adventurous underground experience)
Rock Climbing lessons (novice, intermediate & expert levels)
White Water Rafting (inflatable boat with up to 8pers)
Canoraft & Kayaking (solo or dual-place boats)
Glacial Walk on the Mer de Glace in Chamonix
Introduction to Mountaineering on Mont Blanc
Mountain Biking with a local guide and instructor
Horse Trekking through Sixt Fer-à-Cheval
Pony Rides (from 3 years)
Horse and Carriage ride in Sixt Fer-à-Cheval (ideal for families with grandparents or babies)
Hire a Pack Donkey to help carry bags and young children on your next hike

Booking Your Activities
Advance booking is always a good idea during peak school holiday periods, as popular activities will book up quickly.

When booking summer activities, ZigZag advises:
Booking in advance where possible to avoid disappointment
Scheduling weather-dependant activities early in your visit, so that there’s time to reschedule later in your stay if conditions aren’t right
Respecting minimum age requirements, which are decided by professional guides to ensure your children’s safety
Staying flexible – the mountain environment is unpredictable and sometimes an itinerary has to change or a guide is running late for a good reason, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature
Choosing a reputable company – you get what you pay for. If you’d prefer up-to-date safety equipment, an experienced and local guide, a full experience without shortcuts, and friendly English speaking service, remember that pricing will usually reflect the quality of the experience you can expect.
Pushing yourself to try something new – you only live once!

Wet Weather Activities
As summer temperatures soar, the Alps often experience fantastic afternoon thunderstorms - and let’s be honest, sometimes it rains. Rest assured though; a rainy day needn’t mean staying locked inside.

When wet weather arrives, we highly recommend:
White water rafting : ideal for a rainy day, when river levels will rise a bit to make the ride even more fun!
Canyoning : kitted out in a full neoprene wetsuit, you’ll be warm as toast with all the walking, sliding, abseiling and swimming involved.
Caving : underground the temperature barely changes from winter to summer and as our guides only choose dry caves, you’ll leave even the heaviest of rainfall behind as you head underground.
Kayaking & Canorafting : paddle your way down the Giffre river rapids in control of your own boat, on your own or with a friend. Moderate muscle-power required!

Pack For All Weather
Alpine weather can be unpredictable. Dry heatwave conditions can easily develop into a thunderstorm deluge and temperatures can change vastly in the space of a few hours, so if you’re heading into the mountains its best to be prepared.

For a day in the mountains, ZigZag’s expert guides recommend:
A light wind-stopper : vital whenever you head out in the Alps, as a storm or chilly breeze can catch you out easily.
Light summer clothes : quick-dry shorts and t-shirt.
Sturdy, comfortable sports shoes or hiking boots (preferably not brand new to avoid blisters).
Plenty of sunscreen, applied onto dry skin before you set off.
A chapstick with UV protection to prevent sunburnt lips.
A hat and sunglasses.
If you’re going high, it’s a good idea to bring a fresh t-shirt to change into at the top in order to avoid catching a chill as your sweaty gear dries – same goes for fresh socks.
Lots of water and a few natural energy snacks.

Packing for Summer Evenings
The Alps have long been considered an ideal place to retreat from the summer heat and to benefit from a restorative dose of fresh air. While daytime temperatures can reach 38°C, evenings bring a welcome coolness (so you’re guaranteed to sleep well even in the peak of summer). To enjoy long evenings dining outdoors, we recommend taking a few light layers whenever you head out.

Packing for Water Sports
From the local pool to beautiful Lac Bleu, from rafting to canyoning; summer in Samoëns is all about water sports.

For canyoning and caving, pack an old pair of sports shoes that you’re happy to walk through water and mud in.
Ladies, make sure you pack suitable sporty swimwear and a beach towel, plus something to tie your hair back with.
Guys, if you want to use the local municipal pool you’ll need to pack a pair Speedos as (in true French fashion) board shorts aren’t allowed in the pool! Plus, Speedos are also much more comfortable to wear under a wetsuit.

Getting Around
Many summer visitors choose to travel to Samoëns by car in order to benefit from total independence once they’re here. While the village itself is undeniably gorgeous (and there’s nothing better than walking or biking to and from the bakery for fresh bread each morning), during the summer months there’s also so much to do nearby that you’ll appreciate having a vehicle to explore a bit further afield. Those arriving by plane needn’t miss out either; you can easily rent a car from Geneva international airport, just an hour’s easy drive from Samoëns. 

Information
If you’ve got questions about booking and organising your next summer activity itinerary in Samoëns and the area, the delightful team at ZigZag are full of useful info and are more than happy to help.

Louise is in charge of the ZigZag office and is a native English speaker. She is available any time on +33 (0)6 31 20 44 10 or by email to info@zigzagski.com. You can also pop past the ZigZag office at 126 Grande Rue (in the centre of Samoëns’ pedestrian street) to chat in person.

Let ZigZag know you’re staying with Alps Accommodation to get the full five-star treatment!  Zig Zag are offering a 'mega-adventure' package deal exclusively for active Alps Accommodation guests :
" Book yourself into Via Ferrata, Canyoning and Parapenting and go Rafting at half price! "
(Offer valid for each participant on an individual basis)  To qualify, please quote AAMEGA when booking your package deal.

Samoens