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Magical waterfalls in Sixt Fer a Cheval, French Alps

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Depressed at the end of the ski season? An early season hike at one of the most beautiful areas around Geneva will cure the blues…

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Sixt Fer a Cheval is one of the stunning hidden places around Geneva in the French Alps, less than one hours drive away. The village was voted one of the most beautiful villages in France and the national park is one of the least populated areas in Europe. Head to Au Bout de Monde to start the hike.

Best enjoyed in May when the snow melt causes a plethora of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs, it is the ultimate valley hike where you see majestic mountains and can enjoy a rich variety of fauna and flora. You can see Ibex, squirrels and rare birds here. An easy circuit can be completed in around one and a half hours or for a more challenging hike, an overnight stay in one of the refuges is recommended (open from June and remember to reserve in advance).

From mid June to October; stay in Refuge de la Vogealle; www.refugedelavogealle.com

Sixt 3In summer you can complete the route with donkeys or horse ride through the beautiful valley. There is a nice Buvette (open from June) serving cold drinks and ice cream. There are also two restaurants with nice views in the Cirque Fer a Cheval, but in May they may not be open so it is often better to take a nice picnic in your backpack and get away from it all. There are various picnic benches throughout the area with fantastic views.

There are also good options for lunch in Samoens (a 15 minute drive back up the valley). Try Le Monde de L’Envers which serves an excellent lunch platter with cheese, dessert and a glass of wine for 20 Euros or Les 8 Monts (both near the main square in Samoens). Remember to telephone in advance as both restaurants may close for several weeks in the inter season period.

There are also some nice hotels to stay in the area. See our guide to Samoens (Part 1 and 2) in the Mountains section.

Take your camera and enjoy some fantastic shots of the cascading waterfalls…

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About the Author

Originally from the UK, I have a legal background. I have been in the Geneva area since 2005 and love the mountains, the lake and the quality of life here. The Winter snow sports are fantastic and the Summer season is full of festivals, outdoor sports, picnics and barbecues. I have met some great people here from all of the world. Geneva is a cosmopolitan city with lots of cultural events and good restaurants and bars and I hope that through Biskotti I can share a few hidden places I have discovered…


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