This summer, our “top 5” blog series will be here to offer you some tips on our favourite activities and destinations around the region during the summer holidays. Having lived in La Giettaz for almost 10 years, we’re still discovering new places to visit and we hope you’ll love the area as much as we do.
First off, here are our Top 5 activities for holidays with children in La Giettaz…
The Plan d’Eau in Flumet
The Plan d’Eau (an artificial swimming lake) is a common feature in many French towns and villages, but we think Flumet’s version - just a 10 minute drive from the chalet - must be one of the best in the country. Fed by filtered water from the Arrondine river that flows down the valley from La Giettaz, this refreshing oasis is perfect for cooling off on hot summer days. Roughly 50 metres long and 20 metres across, the lake has a designated shallow end for small children, a pontoon and, of course, lifeguards to ensure bathers’ safety at all times. The grassy slopes around the lake are perfect for a picnic, or just lying back and soaking up the sun, while the two cafés offer a range of snacks and drinks, including the all-important ice cream stands! Also on-site is a large kids’ play area with climbing frames, slides and a bouncy castle. Access to the lake is free, you simply pay € 2 to park in the designated area between the lake and the play area.
The Cascade du Dard
This impressive waterfall is just a short woodland walk away from La Giettaz village. From the kids’ play park at the bottom of the village, cross the little bridge and follow the path that runs parallel to the river, taking the left hand fork when it appears. You’ll then arrive at some farm buildings (see if you can spot the farm cats hanging out in their favourite hiding places) before you cross the main road to reach the waterfall itself. The waterfall is best visited the day after a mountain thunderstorm, when the flow will be more impressive. And on the way back through La Giettaz, why not stop off at Chez Lulu for a refreshing drink, or at the Refuge du Nomade for an ice cream?
Ask anyone who has visited the Alps in summer to name the most evocative sound of their holiday, and the chances are they will say the tinkling cow bells from the farms that dot the landscape throughout the region. No holiday in La Giettaz would be complete without a visit to one of these farms, many of which are set up to welcome tourists to meet the animals, watch them being milked and, of course, sample some of the superb cheese that they produce. Kids especially love the herds of goats that always offer a friendly welcome to their visitors! Our tip: time your visit towards the end of the afternoon to see the cows being brought back in from pasture to the milking sheds.
La Clusaz & the Lac des Confins
Just a short drive over the Col des Aravis, La Clusaz is a bustling resort with plenty of attractions for visitors of all ages. There’s plenty to see in the centre itself, including the luge d’été, ice rink and extensive play areas for kids, but our favourite excursion is to the Lac des Confins, about 10 minutes’ drive up the valley past the Balme ski area. The main attraction up here is the zipwire across the lake (suitable for ages 6 and up), as well as more kids’ play areas, climbing zones and other outdoor games. The area is a starting point for several great walks (including the famous Trou de la Mouche) and there is a nice selection of cafés and restaurants.
It’s fair to say that Lake Annecy offers something for everyone to enjoy, and families are no exception. The crystal-clear water is perfect for splashing about in and the lake is surrounded by beaches and safe bathing spots – our favourites are at Talloires, Duingt and Annecy-le-Vieux. Boat hire is available at several locations round the lake and there are no shortage of cafés and restaurants. The excellent cycle path runs along the west side of the lake – this can get busy in high summer so if your kids are not so experienced on two wheels then we would recommend the section towards the southern end of the lake, which is generally quieter than the area around Annecy itself.
Above all, a summer holiday in the Alps is a fantastic family break that will create memories that will last for a lifetime. Kids love the feeling of freedom that they can get from being able to explore a safe natural environment that is full of attractions that are both fun and educational. We'd love to welcome you and your family to La Giettaz soon - contact us today for details of availabilty and prices for this summer.
Thanks for reading,
Miranda and Chris