Well summer most definitely returned to the Grand Massif this week. Lots of warm, sunny days meant the great outdoors was beckoning, and as I discovered you don't actually have to venture very far to make the most of it. About a ten minute walk from Samoëns' town centre is the Lacs Aux Dames where the stunning surrounds of this lake and leisure spot make for the perfect outdoor playground. In fact at the Lacs Aux Dames you'll find a great outdoor playground, plus a number of other fabulous activities to be enjoyed by all.
Whether you're looking for a relaxing patch of grass for a picnic, a lovely restaurant meal, a wide open space to play games or a choice of pre-organised activities, then the Lacs Aux Dames is the place for you. There really is so much going on down there, so to help you plan your day at the lake Alps Accommodation has put together a list of all the wonderful things there is to enjoy.
Restaurant La Terrasse du Lac
A picnic in the grass overlooking the lake or admiring the Parapenters as they land in the neighboring field is definitely something to enjoy at the Lacs Aux Dames. But, if you'd rather not have the hassle of bringing everything with you then why not enjoy your lunch or dinner from the terrace of traditional French restaurant, La Terrasse du Lac. Open 7 days a week in the summer, the restaurant offers a varied menu at affordable prices. Choose from fresh salads, meat and fish dishes including steamed mussels, ranging in price from 10-19 Euros. Or why not spoil yourself and go for the daily menu, which includes entree, main, cheese and dessert for just 13.50! La Terrasse du Lac is situated just behind the leisure complex by the entrance to the lakes.
Now there are of course plenty of activities to enjoy before or after your meal too, so be sure to try some of these...
If you've always fancied yourself a bit of an acrobat or if you just like a little thrill, then take a leap off a great height and see what tricks you can pull off before landing safely on the airbag below. Single jumps cost 2 Euros each or you can opt for one of the multipasses, which range in price from 8 Euros for 5 jumps to 25 Euros for a weeklong pass. The Airbag is open 10am-7pm (weather permitting), closing only for a short break over lunch. It opens evenings too when the concerts are on, so be sure to get your weekly schedule of events from the tourist office.
In keeping with the thrill-seeking theme, test your abilities on the high ropes course at Indiana Park, situated at the far end of the lake. Open daily from 10am and with last admittance at 4.30pm, Indiana Park offers a variety of climbing and ropes courses for people of all ages. The special course for tiny tots aged 2 to 4 years is 11 Euros, while the slightly bigger kids (4-8 years) enjoy slightly bigger courses for 17 Euros. Then the big kids - or Mums and Dads - can enjoy the full park experience. It costs 23 Euros and the course, which consists of a choice of blue, red, black or super black lines, will take approximately 2-2 1/2 hours to complete. You’ll scale trees of heights of up to 14 metres and finish up with a flying fox ride back down to earth. But if that all sounds a little bit too adventurous for you, don't worry. At Indiana Park you can also enjoy disc golf, paintball or the laser game. Paintball and the laser game are by reservation only so be sure to check out the website for more details: indianaventures.com
For something a little more relaxed go and see Vincent and try your hand at golf. At this driving range with a difference you get to belt your balls out onto the lake. Club hire is 2 Euros, as is a bucket of balls, which is more than enough to keep you swinging and possibly laughing at your friends for a wee part of your afternoon. You can even refine your putting skills on the green – cost is 3 Euros. And if you’re more a spectator than an actual golfer then kick back and enjoy the view with an ice-cream and a drink from Vincent’s refreshment stand. Samoëns Golf is open 10.30am-7pm daily.
Located just beyond the golf and children’s playground is Septiponeys, where you can take your child (aged 3-12years) on a self-led pony ride around the lake. These lovely little ponies are at the lake everyday from 10am-6pm, except Wednesdays and Saturdays when they rest in the morning but are back for rides from 2pm. A 15 minute tour is 6 Euros and the 30 minute tour is 10 Euros. And if you fancy riding a little longer - or if you don’t quite fit the age bracket - then head on down to Lac Bleu in Morillon where Septiponeys have their second, larger stables. In fact, this week Septiponeys Morillon are playing host to a western festival. There’ll be cowboys and Indians, tipis and tomahawks, archery, face-painting, a BBQ and of course lots of pony rides! For more information contact either Septiponeys Samoëns on 003360357170 or Septiponeys Morillon on 0033680686965. Giddy-up!
There are six outdoor tennis courts at the Lacs Aux Dames. Court hire starts at 11 Euros per hour, and if you forgot to pack your racket it won’t matter as equipment can also be hired. Not to mention there are professional coaches at your disposal, making Samoëns Tennis a truly great place to improve your skills while enjoying the mountain and lake scenery. For more information ask at the tourist office.
You can’t swim in the Samoëns lakes themselves but just next door is the Samoëns swimming pool. Situated on one acre of glorious lawns the complex boasts 2x 25m pools - one for beginners and one a designated sports pool - plus a paddling pool for little ones and a giant tube slide! All this within the beautiful surrounds of the Lacs Aux Dames, so you can swim while enjoying views of the surrounding mountains. Open 10am to 7.15pm daily, entrance to the pool costs 4.80 for adults and 3.80 for children. But if you go after 5.30pm it will only cost 2 Euros! The swimming pool also has its own café, serving lunch daily to both patrons of the pool and the public.
So there are plenty of organised activities to enjoy down at the Lacs Aux Dames, but you can pass just as glorious a day without spending a penny. Enjoy the wildflower garden, bring a ball and start a game of footy, or make use of the free badminton and basketball courts. Or simply take a relaxing stroll around the lake and through the nearby woods. The trails are ideal for a bike ride too, and in fact if you follow the Giffre River down from the Lacs Aux Dames, then cross the bridge and continue on through the woods, you’ll find yourself in no time at Lac Bleu in Morillon, where there are even more lake adventures to be had.
At Lac Bleu another lovely café/restaurant awaits, as does ample space for ball games, and a tennis and beach volleyball court. There are trampolines and a huge blow up fun castle for kids, where Mums and Dads are welcome to kick back in the free loungers while their youngsters enjoy the many bouncy attractions. There are of course the Septiponey pony rides to enjoy, and a whole other high ropes fun park! Les Aventuriers du Lac is almost identical in set up to Indiana Park except its fabulous flying fox will have you flying right over the lake – twice! And the best bit about Lac Bleu is there is a patrolled swimming beach.
Lakeside summer fun in Samoëns and the Grand Massif is certainly where it’s at, and where it’s set to continue all summer long. The Pépites Music festival continues with Lucia de Carvalho set to sing up a storm at the Lacs Aux Dames this week. And at Lac Bleu the infamous “Y’a le feu au lac” returns on Tuesday (Thursday depending on weather). A pyrotechnical gala of light and sound “Y’a le feu au lac” is set to entertain from 7pm until midnight with fireworks, music, equestrian displays and much, much more. So get yourself down to our lakes and have yourself a super summer!