Snowboarder Charlie Lane won slopestyle gold on day six at the Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023…
Are winter resorts worth visiting in the summer? That’s what James Clark wanted to find out when he visited Les Gets, courtesy of the tourism office and Chalets 1066.
I can guarantee that Les Gets is now on my list to visit in the summer after trying out downhill mountain biking, ebiking, a spa, yoga and general sightseeing.
Monday 27th June
A short 15–20-minute walk downhill took us to the town of Les Gets. We ventured into La Beca (part of La Becanerie – Les Gets), which has opened relatively recently and offered a huge range of drinks, including regularly changing craft beers including gluten free.
Returning to the chalet, we were greeted by our hosts for the evening from Chez Toi, a private catering company that you can use for either one night, the whole week or somewhere in-between. For an entire week the prices range from 250-350 per person, which is incredible value for this level of service. The service is operated by fully-trained chefs and can be customised to your needs. We had an excellent meal, well needed for the day ahead.
Tuesday, June 28 – Mountain Biking Day
After breakfast we headed down to The Hub Les Gets to meet Lionel the store owner and president of the local retailers’ association.
We were fully kitted up from head to toe in body armour, full-face helmets and leg protection, then to our bikes, given a few instructions and introduced to our guide Athur, who showed us around the Les Gets bike park.
Despite being a bit of an adrenaline junkie, I have never taken my chances at proper downhill mountain biking and I was excited to get going to find out what I could do.
Jumping on the chair lift and heading down the trails was a fantastic day. In the morning, we had a mixed group ranging from experienced riders to a 75-year-old who had never been on a downhill bike before. Despite the range of abilities, we had an excellent morning. Our guide, Arthur, was excellent and I can’t highlight enough how useful he was when learning a new place/activity for the first time.
We stopped for lunch at the bottom of the hill in Les Gets before heading back up the lift and over to Morzine to find some more trails.
What a day! My confidence on the bike grew throughout the day, despite a few interesting and quite funny crashes. I think that is partly down to the enormous amount of protection I was wearing, it did make me feel very safe when taking a few risks, especially when attempting my first jumps on a downhill bike.
I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone, at all levels! I could easily have spent the day with my wife and four children (aged five-14) on the hill. There are trails and routes suitable for everyone with the lift providing wonderful views and negating the need for the long hard ride uphill to access the area. You could always just take the chair lift up and walk along the mountain paths, which is breathtakingly beautiful and great exercise. There are also lots of other activities around the bike park for families as well.
After a long day on the bike, I was ready to relax! We headed to La Beca for a well-deserved drink, then back up to the Chalet for a Hot Tub and shower. We then went for dinner at the restaurant linked with the La Beca bar, La Becanerie – Les Gets where I enjoyed an excellent meal to restore my energy levels.
Wednesday, June 29 – eBiking Day
On our last full day I was offered the opportunity to take out one of the local ebikes to explore the area. I used to ride a lot on the roads, so I was looking forward to seeing how far these ebikes would take us. At first, I must admit that I was a little skeptical on how far we could take these bikes.
After breakfast, we walked five minutes to the nearest eBike location to find that there were some bikes ready for us to take. A very simple process and once registered you can actually use the bikes for 30mins at a time for free! An excellent option if you need to pop somewhere quickly with electrical assistance.
The bikes were comfortable, fully charged and easy to use. Even a ‘Turbo’ mode if you find yourself on a steep section that your legs can’t handle. Albeit, leaving the bike in Turbo will use up the battery more quickly.
We rode across the bike park to the lake, where there is a large inflatable to enjoy during the warmer months. We then decided to ride up to the Golf Course to see the quality of the course and have a mid-morning coffee stop. Heading up the hill on our power assisted bikes was straightforward and on arrival I still had 4/5 battery level on my bike. The golf course was in excellent condition and after a quick walk around we had a drink and headed on with our day.
As we had a pre-planned lunch to meet the General Manager of Les Gets Tourist Board, Alexis Bongard, we now had the task of taking our eBikes back down into the centre of Les Gets and up the other side of the Valley to Mont Caly.
This was going to be a slightly tougher ride and a test of our eBike batteries. It’s fair to say that these bikes are not quite designed to ride up both sides of the valley during the day without charging, but we went for it and we made it, just.
We arrived at the restaurant on a beautiful day and had an amazing lunch served up by Les Chevrelles Restaurant with some amazing views. On a completely clear day you can see Mont Blanc, we had a few small clouds blocking our view.
Let me make this clear. These bikes will easily handle a trip up the mountain for lunch or similar, but I would avoid trying to squeeze in both sides of the valley on one charge.
After a late(ish) and long lunch stop enjoying the views we jumped back on our bikes knowing that the last part of our journey was entirely downhill, which was largely welcome. A fast ride down was followed by a quick tour around the town, including a stop to check out the Spa and a very cool local Museum. I didn’t have time to enjoy the Spa services, but it looks fabulous and an excellent option for those wanting a little more pampering during their trip or a great option for a rest day.
There was also an Art Gallery next to the spa, which was fascinating and had some really cool items in there.
After heading over the tourist office to return our bikes, (the bikes can be returned to any eBike station in town, of which there are a few) we headed for a drink in the sunshine at La Beca while waiting for a couple of our other travellers to finish for the day.
The last evening in Les Gets was a group dinner at the Chalet Louis, this time our trip organiser Rob was in the Kitchen & I must say that he did a sterling job. Using the local Supermarket Rob highlighted the self-catering side of the chalet and its flexibility of having multiple options during our stay.
Thursday, June 30 – YOGA & Travel Home
Our last morning started with Rob serving breakfast and getting ourselves ready for the last event of the trip, a yoga session with Marion from Yog’Art. Origianlly planned to be held on Mont Caly, but with our tight schedule we rearranged to have the session in our Chalet instead.
I’ve participated in yoga once or twice and find it to be something I should do more of. It was an excellent session and well needed after a couple of long days on the bikes. Something I will certainly consider adding to my future winter and summer trips
In summary, this trip simply proved what I already knew. Les Gets is not a Ski Resort, it is an all-year round mountain activity base that hosts many events throughout the year.
If you are thinking of taking a trip to the mountains in the summer, either as a family or an adrenaline-fuelled individual, then Les Gets has to be on your short list. Easy access to Geneva airport and one of the closest drives to Calais makes this region very accessible.