Family activity holiday in the French Alps

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Date
Price
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29 Jun 2019
£ 575
excluding flights
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06 Jul 2019
£ 575
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13 Jul 2019
£ 575
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20 Jul 2019
£ 575
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27 Jul 2019
£ 575
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03 Aug 2019
£ 575
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10 Aug 2019
£ 575
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17 Aug 2019
£ 575
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24 Aug 2019
£ 575
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Accepted
Holiday type

Small group family holiday

This is a 'small group family adventure' - typically you will join several other families and travel in a group of approx. 16 people. The trips are great value and a great way for you and your children to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of time to yourselves. Please check with the operator to confirm the minimum age for this trip

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Family activity holiday in the French Alps

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 it’s like living in such a beautiful, natural environment. Often, it’s 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 – 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.

7 Reviews of Family activity holiday in the French Alps

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 03 Oct 2018 by

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


We absolutely loved the trip! I was traveling solo with my 5 year old daughter. We did one of the 12 km round trips recommended by our hosts which was spectacular to refuge de Sales...we had marmots playing on the path in front of us for half an hour, crashing waterfalls, paddling in the river and glorious views. I was really worried about my little one and the walk, but we took our time (all day) and the little cafe and mud kitchen at the refuge were perfect. Also the lovely lasses looking after us at the chalet were divine - the food was absolutely delicious - wonderful surprise having a culinary feast each evening.

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


We ate out one night - "8 M des Monts" which was delicious. We were told "we do not serve french fries" (which we do not like) - laughed and had a glorious meal, the french woman said "oh she is like a french child". Hilarious. The pony riding for children is lovely, you walk them around the lake in town. Even better was the fab tree climbing in Samoens by the lakes, really good value and challenging. The cycling was great, I got one of the pods so the little one could chill out, take a picnic and the rest and explored the lakes in the next towns (bouncy castles for parents). Also you must go up the cable car - fab views (snowed one evening) and great walks, cow bells tinkling in the distance.


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


I absolutely did not feel like our tourist footprint impacted the locals... We ate in local restaurants, hung out at the market day, used the lovely public pool, hired ponies, bicycles and sat listening to a local band in the communal path. This seems like a community where locals, ex-pats and tourists are all harmonious. Unlike the european beaches in summer (I am from NZ) - this was delightfully laid back, the locals were super friendly without the usual fatigue or irritation you get in high season. From an environmental perspective, we got a private transfer and were dropped once for a walk to the refuge. The rest of the time, we were cycling, walking and riding ponies. Low impact!

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


Firstly, the village is fab - no public transport, so its been saved from over development and is beautiful and quaint. The mountains in the background, cable up up the mountain ($6) where you can take in the views in a deck chair, glass of wine... My little one was about to start school for the first time, I have a stressful contractual role - we had adventure, nature, wonderful food and felt completely and utterly at peace. Great spot and really HIGHLY recommended for families. The property was just a short 5 minutes walk into town - with a towering mountain behind us and a view of the village and mountains from where we lived. Great spa pool which we used every night and fab views. It was lovely, clean, cosy, full of games and thoughtful DVDs for rainy days.... If you ACTIVE there is so much to do - paragliding and white water rafting, and fab walks.

Reviewed on 09 Aug 2017 by

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


Number one has to be the 3 of us paragliding together with stunning scenery was number one

Many close 2nds!
- rafting, horse rising, via ferrata, mountain biking, swimming in lake
- Amazing walks: view of Mon Blanc or "end of the world" valley


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


Budget for some activities it is definitely worth it. I allowed £150 per person which compared to trips with all inclusive costs I think compares well. I booked these in advance through the holiday provider which structured our week and made sure those activities that booked up early - Sam at the chalet was very helpful

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


good at recycling, supported local area

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


Excellent - stunning area, with lots to do (I was with my 18 and 13 year old and we did an activity or walk, bike hire each day and were "happy tired" at the end of each day!- such a friendly team - lovely to be cooked for great food; great advice; created a great atmosphere - met fun & similar people in the chalet and neighbouring chalet and shared stories, evenings and activities but still enough space

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

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


River-rafting.

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


It's more a location for walkers than for young families. If you arrive alone with a child you may not find other children there for them to play with.

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


Perhaps.

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



Reviewed on 16 Aug 2015 by

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


the most memorable part of our holiday was the lovely team on site who took care of our every whim, they were so friendly and approachable and did whatever they could to ensure our time with them was memorable. The most exciting was going white water rafting, it was great fun and excilirating all at the same time.

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


Just to go with an open mind, push yourself out of your comfort zone and try some activities you maybe haven't before.

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


All the food cooked was locally sourced, we were asked to turn off lights, don't
leave things charging when not necessary, the bed linen and towels were only
cleaned once a week unless absolutely necessary...

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


10 out of 10...We had the best holiday we've ever had!

Reviewed on 01 Aug 2015 by

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


Beautiful location and views are heavenly!

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


The upstairs bedrooms are the ones to book as these come with the wonderful views. Food is absolutely fabulous, vegetarian, children's and special diets catered for and plenty of it, definitely recommend being catered. Staff really friendly, laid back but helpful.

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


Yes lots of recommended local places to hire from, local market to purchase amazing local produce, locals employed by Chalets too.

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


A really lovely family week in a beautiful unspoilt location, loads of outdoor activities to do for all the family but equally great to sit in the hot tub relaxing spending quality time with each other. One of the best family holiday weeks we've had.

Reviewed on 18 Aug 2015 by

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


Beautiful area and lots of helpful information from the staff of the chalet.

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


Bring extra money. All that is included is the meals and lodging. All activities besides hiking cost extra and they are expensive.

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


Yes, but did not feel that recycling was being done or local produce and other foods were being used.

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


Good.

Reviewed on 07 Nov 2011 by

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


We will always remember how gracious our hosts were, the wonderful food, and the fun loving spirit of all the crew.

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


Go on the guided hikes. Sure you can read a map but you'll enjoy the trails more when accompanied by Bruno.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Maybe. Perhaps more effort could be put in to describing how the local community
benefits. I think a lot of the produce was locally grown. We loved canyoning but
were concerned about how our impact might affect stream quality. We assumed the adventure sports outfitters used were local folks but we don't know for sure.

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


Most excellent! I'd love to go back again perhaps in time to catch the spring
wildflowers!
Have sent a chaser email for response (09 dec 2011 - lj)

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