The Thomas family from Swansea recently enjoyed an active (and relaxing) week in Samoëns.
Jeremy and Sarah along with Maddie (16), Sam (14) and Finn (10), have interests and hobbies that include hiking, Jiu Jitsu, gardening, scouting, kayaking and eating croissants!
Mum Sarah searched the internet for various resorts from which they could reach plenty of activities and homed in on Samoëns, set on the river Giffre, which turned out to be ideal; plenty of space and amenities and in the heart of the mountains. Having previously skied in the Alps, they hoped it would be a great summer location also.
They weren’t disappointed!
Jeremy told us “In searching for the activities we most fancied, those being rafting, hydro speeding, parapenting, canyoning and kayaking, Ecolorado Rafting came out as being the most attractive for the water sports, with some great reviews, particularly from families with similar aged kids.
The team at Ecolorado Rafting were very good to us, and we felt very well looked after. Most of all it was a new adventure for the kids, they’ve never done anything quite like this before. They’ll tell you now that it was the best thing they did all holiday. Alain and Sylvain made us feel safe and this allowed us to relax and enjoy the experience, which is exactly how it should be.
Sarah was a little nervous that it would be too strenuous, but she was made to feel very at ease about this, and as a result it is probably the highlight of the trip for her too. For me it was a very well organised and rounded activity with enough excitement and enough time to really engage with it and enjoy it properly. Often when you book these sorts of activities it’s all over almost as soon as you’ve started. This wasn’t the case with Ecolorado. I’ve paddled in all kinds of sea conditions before, including surf etc, and this was still exciting for me and a really great laugh.
With Ecolorado, it’s no ‘tour’, and everyone’s very involved from the beginning to the end. As a result, the kids found it exhilarating and talked about it for ages and ages, it definitely gave them a sense of achievement having paddled a raft on white water.
Our raft guide Sylvain made sure we felt at ease with the more difficult sections and was also a lot of fun throughout, making sure he pushed a few of us in the river when we weren’t looking. The kids thought this was hysterical, and really enjoyed his humour for the whole trip.
We stopped midway in the Gorge des Tines where there are a few jumps from the side of the canyon, this is a great laugh if you’re brave enough. We never felt hurried to do this, Sylvain just allowed us to take our time to enjoy the whole experience. We never felt rushed or ‘on the clock’ at all.
When we’d first enquired about the possibility of airboating (inflatable kayak) with Ecolorado, they thought the river was too high for the kids, but having seen them paddle the raft, Sylvain suggested that we could paddle the Giffre from beyond the canyon. This inspired the kids and made the following days trip even more exciting. This was their first time on a river, having only previously kayaked on the sea. It was definitely challenging, and still a great laugh. Again Sylvain made us all feel relaxed as we went through the general aspects of safety and how to paddle on white water, and going in relaxed makes for a more enjoyable experience. It’s always good to try new things, it’s great when those things become the highlight of a trip away.
Just being on the river, the clear blue meltwater from the nearby summits, to experience the landscape in this way, rather than simply sightseeing, is very engaging, you’re fully committed to it. The views are beautiful the whole time. If you visit Samoëns the river is hard to miss, so to have the chance to raft and airboat on it, is a must really.
- It was awesome, and it’s inspired me to do more kayaking, and I’d like to do more adventurous trips when I’m older (Sam, 14)
- The rafting and airboating were definitely the highlight of our holiday, one of the best experiences I’ve had (Maddie,16)
We all thought the village of Samoëns was lovely. Everyone we met in the various shops and other services, like Mountain Guide office, bike hire and the Doctors were all very friendly and very helpful and tried their best to accommodate with English where our French simply wasn’t up to scratch!
Our apartment, and the complex at La Reine des Pres were excellent. Highly recommended. We would have no hesitation booking this again. Close to town and shops, not so close to be noisy. It was great for us all to have enough space to relax”.
Other activities experienced by the family in Samoëns were canyoning and parapenting. The valley also offers hiking, via ferrata, climbing, water skiing, ten pin bowling, quad biking, tennis, fishing, speleology, horse trekking, go-ape, mountain biking, mini golf, lido swimming, archery, the list goes on……. definitely something for everyone!
Jeremy, “48 and a half – old enough to know better, young enough to have a go”, will be returning to Samoëns at a later date with his family to enjoy more of what it has to offer. We look forward to welcoming them again at Ecolorado Rafting!