Samoens and the Grand Massif is a truly world class destination for mountain bike holidays. Not only are there over 615km of marked trails, but 6 lifts are open during the summer and provide quick and easy access to an ever expanding and improving network of downhill and enduro trails. There is something for every mountain biker in the summer, from hair raising black graded descents, to fun family friendly green trails, and fantastic cross country loops on the valley floor.
Samoens, known for its fantastic natural trails, has hosted a round of the Enduro World Series which brought the biggest names in the world of mountain biking to the village – Jerome Clementz, Fabien Barel, and Dan Atherton to name just a few! Read about the event in our article The Enduro World Series. Les Carroz regularly hosts a round of the Coupe de France, France’s premier downhill series, while Morillon has played host to a round of the Coupe Rhone-Alpes downhill series.
For families and those looking for more relaxed mountain biking options, there is a vast network of great paths on the valley floor linking Morillon, Samoens and Sixt with many picturesque hamlets, hidden lakes and waterfalls to provide days of exploration and fun. Our suggested mountain bikes routes offer the perfect starting point for exploring the valley.
Samoens and the Grand Massif provide an excellent range of lift-served mountain biking trails for those seeking gravity based adventures. Samoens provides generally steep and technical trails more suited for experienced riders, while Les Carroz and Morillon offer some great trails which are perfect for families and less experienced riders.
In Samoens, the Grand Massif Express gondola is open from late June until the end of August, while the Chariande Express (Samoens) and the rest of the Grand Massif open in early July until the end of August. Visit the Grand Massif website for more details. These trails are also accessible outside the lift season either by pedal power, or by a shuttle service.
Mountain bikes, and e-bikes, are the perfect mode of transport for exploring our valley! Outside of the lift served trails, there are many other cross country and enduro trails which are ideal for all levels of experience. In particular, the riverside trails linking the lakes of Samoens and Morillon are perfect for families.
Check out our suggested mountain biking itineraries from beginner to advanced
Detailed information on individual trails, including maps, can be found here.
Les Gets, Morzine and the Portes du Soleil are just 20 minutes drive away with plenty of downhill and cross country routes and dozens of lifts open. There is a bus service to the top of the Col de Joux Plan every morning though the summer, from which you can drop into Les Gets, so even if you don't have a car you can have a days biking in the Portes du Soleil and return via the trails from the Bougeoise peak.
Rental of normal bikes (mountain bikes, road bikes, enduro bikes, downhill bikes) and electric bikes (mountain bikes, road bike, child bikes). 10% discount for all our customers, reservations are made by email or telephone.
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Have you read our article on Fat Biking - What is it?
If you are an experienced biker, looking for a specialist mountain biking package including a guide, then please see Ride The Alps and let them know we recommended you!
For the children, you may wish to organise a few hours biking with a guide around Samoens and the valley, or for more experienced children, a half days downhill biking (10 years plus and previous biking experience). This is with Alexandre Lachoix based at Xtreme Glisse who is a fully qualified French certified mountain bike instructor (MCF - moniteur cycliste francais). Prices start at 18 Euros for 3 hours for the younger kids, up to 25-29 Euros for half days downhill. Please note these prices do not include bike hire or lift passes, although bikes and equipment can be hired at Xtreme Glisse. For more information please contact him on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a fantastic loop, suitable for all levels when conditions are dry, which offers a great sense of adventure while taking in the fantastic new green descent in Les Carroz.
Starting in Samoens, jump on the Grand Massif gondola which will take you all the way to Samoens 1600 without a single pedal stroke! From there, make the short descent down to the Chariande Express chair lift and take this up to 2120m. From this lofty height you follow a double track all the way down to the top of the Keduze gondola in Les Carroz which is signposted all the way. For those who have skied in the Grand Massif, the route follows exactly the same route you would take in winter. You will definitely want to stop for photos of the amazing views on the way down!
From the top on the Keduze gondola, join the green run called ‘Woody Woodbiker’ and follow it all the way down to the bottom of the gondola. This is a brilliant, fun track which swoops it’s way through beautiful forests and is very well marked and easy to follow. For those looking for something more challenging, Les Carroz offering a great selection of other tracks including a fast and fun blue, and several blacks, or simply spend a few hours on the great green track! Remember to allow 2-2.5hrs for the return from Les Carroz to Samoens!
When you have finished exploring the wonderful forests of Les Carroz, it's time to start the journey back to Samoens. From the top of the Keduze gondola, begin by climbing the double track which you descended earlier. Carry on climbing past the top of the ‘Gron’ chair lift on your left. Just before the top of the next chairlift, take the double track to the left and then at the next junction take a left to descend the ridge (L’Arete piste in winter) following the double track all the way down to L’Igloo restaurant. Refreshments are available here, as is a sunny terrace with deck chairs and stunning views! From here the blue track of the Marvel is signposted – an easy, fast, track which winds it’s way down to Morillon 1100 (via the Marvel ski piste). From Morillon 1100, there are a few options to descend to the valley floor. For less experienced riders, or those low on energy, take the road down for a leisurely and scenic descent through sleepy hamlets with more great views. The easiest bike track is blue track 45 which follows a natural walking trail for a fun descent with a few steep and rocky sections thrown in.
Arriving at Morillon village, head for Lac Bleu join up with the gentle river trail which takes you back to Samoens. Why not stop at La Covagne on the edge of the lake for a well deserved end of day ice cream or even a quick swim in the lake.
Check out our blog - Samoëns and the Grand Massif – Your #1 destination BIKE!
Mountain Biking in Samoens and the Grand Massif, French Alps. Some suggested itineraries for beginners to experts.