French Alps guided walking holidays

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01273 823 700

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: French Alps guided walking holidays

Environment

Our booking process is paperless and our brochures are printed on 100% recycled FSC approved material, using renewable energy and vegetable oil based inks. Our printer, Severnprint Ltd, is one of the first British printers to achieve FSC certification and ISO14001 accreditation.

We make conscious efforts to minimise waste when shopping by trying to choose products with less packaging. We recycle everything that can be recycled and encourage our guests to do the same, and compost everything that can be composted.

We purchase local produce where possible and we corroborate this with our local suppliers, as well as making an effort to source meat products that have not been inhumanely treated. We adapt our menus during the year to favour produce that is in season. We use environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

Our holidays have a very strong focus on nature and the environment and we spend a lot of time in local nature reserve. Guests are made aware of the unique flora and fauna and we talk specifically about endangered species and reintroduction efforts. We focus our guests attention on local efforts to preserve flora and fauna and we like to think holidays significantly contribute to raising awareness of the mountain environment.

We advise our guests about local regulations and protected areas at each destination. We use telescopes to observe the wildlife, stick to marked paths in areas where wildlife is more sensitive and minimise operations during the main reproductive times, meaning minimal disturbances.

We do everything we can to reduce carbon emissions from transport by encouraging guests to travel by train. We minimise our pick-ups by grouping people together. We also make a concerted effort to reduce transport during activity days by offering as many local walks as possible and with at least one 'transport-free day'.

Community

These holidays have a strong focus on the local culture. We discuss how people lived in the past, how the Alpine valleys got depopulated and we try to encourage discussion about and understanding of the local history.

Our guests are given the opportunity to visit the most well preserved villages and hamlets in the area and a strong focus is put on the now almost extinct culture of transhumance in western Europe (a semi-nomadic lifestyle where people migrate seasonally between villages at the valley floors in winter and high-mountain pastures in summer). We visit local farms and transhumance hamlets and maintain personal relationships with the families still living in this way.

Since the start of 2011 in the French Alps, we have taken part in the Leonardo Da Vinci programme which is a European initiative aimed at placing students from all over Europe in relevant work experience outside of their own countries. This programme has allowed the students the chance to experience working in a hotel, to meet our guests and to see what itís like living in such a beautiful, natural environment. Often, itís the first time that the students have been to mountainous regions and that coupled with all of the fantastic outdoor activities that Samoens has to offer, provides the students with a fantastic opportunity Ė and one that will support their future careers.

Our guides are permanent residents of the local community. Where possible we employ local staff and make use of local services. We encourage our guests to visit the local markets and make use of local activity providers while on our holidays. A large proportion of the income derived from our holidays goes directly into the local community and we try to ensure that this is directed to small, local businesses.

Reviews of French Alps guided walking holidays

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The views on the final day:)

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


To make sure they do the guided hikes with Bruno! He was fantastic.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely! Recycling was very evident in the chalet and our guide actively encouraged responsible hiking:)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent! From the accommodation to the meals to the hikes, views and company!

Reviewed on 04 Aug 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It was all brilliant. The walks were amazing and all different. My favourite was the really long one but we were rewarded with the most amazing views of Mont Blanc. I loved learning about Alpine flowers. The food was fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring telescopic walking sticks. The others in the group looked sceptical when I brought them along but they really helped going up and down hill on every walk. Bring easy dry trousers but especially ones were you can unzip the bottom legs. This was ideal for when the bugs got too much. If you are travelling solo plan the rest day carefully. I found it a little bit of a downer as I was on my own all day and night as the rest of the group had left. A thermos came in useful as I like a hot drink mid morning and afternoon. The chalet is wifi and I brought a small, simple laptop and got excellent internet and Skype so I felt in touch with home.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the food was local. We drank at local huts. The employees lived in the community. The chalet was very environmentally aware and savings tips were pointed out.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent and I will now make sure I do this each year. I was nervous about travelling alone but felt really well looked after and made friends instantly as we were all engaged on the same activity.

Reviewed on 11 Jun 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being spoilt by the team in their fantastic chalet, with beautiful food and a superb mountain guide. The walks were magnificent and restoring. The other guests were great fun and it was wonderful to share their company.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I was not aware that the chalet also caters for families. The family sharing the week were great but check the booking situation if this is not your thing. There is so much to do around Samoens so you will not be bored!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The holiday directly benefited those in the area as we used local operators and businesses.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent!

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