Visiting the Massif des Aravis: A Complete Guide


Last Updated on 15/06/2022 by Alfred

Want to spend a relaxing stay in the heart of the Alps? Visiting the Aravis massif (Massif des Aravis) will delight you; it’s a certainty!

The Aravis massif is a mountain range measuring 25 kilometers in the Pre-Alps. It serves as the border between Haute-Savoie and Savoie and culminates at 2,750 meters above sea level at Pointe Percée. Indeed, the municipalities of Sallanches, Grand-Bornand, and Reposoir are the most emblematic of the mountain range.

We come to enjoy these sumptuous landscapes in summer and winter. To visit the Aravis massif is to treat yourself to a breath of fresh air!

The shape of the massif is remarkable for its succession of parallel combs. The peaks and passes that make it up are the Alpine natural heritage must-sees. In your opinion, what is the best way to discover the latter?

Skiing, sledding, paragliding, or cycling… whatever your tastes or budget, you will find the right way to visit the Aravis massif. Travelvibe takes you: to a top start!

Visiting the Massif des Aravis: A Complete Guide

The Aravis massif in a few words

Visiting the Massif des Aravis: A Complete Guide

The Aravis massif has always impressed with its majesty and its very particular shape. Indeed, this alpine region has long been renowned for the quality of its cheeses. The reblochon, for example! Tourist interest began to grow in the area with many alpine ascents in the early twentieth century.

Then, it’s the bike’s turn with the 9th edition of the Tour de France cyclist takes the Col des Aravis. Classified as a nature reserve since 2000, this site offers an incredible spectacle to lovers of the great outdoors.

The Aravis massif is easily accessible despite its landlocked geographical position. Annecy is not far away! The first thing we think of when talking about the region is its winter activity. We ski there, in the Aravis!

La Clusaz, Le Grand-Bornand, Manigod, Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, Combloux or Megeve… There is something for every taste and budget. However, cycling and hiking steal the show from paragliding in summer, unless it’s the other way around?

Visiting the Aravis massif also means discovering unique ancestral customs and many points of cultural interest. The Roman bridge located in Les Clefs is classified as a historical monument. You can also visit the Chapel of the Aravis, built almost 400 years ago.

Lovers of splendid views? Go to the Beauregard plateau. It offers a magnificent panorama of the Aravis chain and the Mont Blanc massif.

1. Visit On foot

Visit the Aravis massif on foot? What a great idea! Marked routes allow you to explore the surroundings. The routes are varied: from one to four days, from very easy to very difficult.

For example, could you learn the joys of the high mountains in the company of a guide? Or bring snowshoes during the winter season to discover enchanting landscapes. Many viewpoints offer a breathtaking view of the majestic Mont Blanc massif nearby. This natural and straightforward approach allows you to enjoy nature at your own pace fully.

Terms and conditions and rates

All it takes is a good pair of shoes, a bottle of water, and motivation to climb the surrounding mountains. Be careful not to leave the marked trails when it is defended: the fines are salty!

Access to the hiking trails is completely free. In the company of a guide, it will cost you between 100 € and 300 € per day depending on the difficulty of the course.

2. Do Paragliding in Aravis massif

Wow! Paragliding is serious. Many popular spots allow you to discover this discipline in the company of an experienced instructor. Le Grand-Bornand is also a site of international scope: it has the reputation of being ideally oriented to the wind.

Once launched, you will take advantage of the pilot’s maliciously spotted updrafts. And from up there… what a view! Indeed, the whole chain of the Alps is offered to you.

In summer, you will take off on foot, and in winter, it is sometimes on skis that you will leave the floor of the cows. Rather original, this ski lift to visit the Aravis massif, right?

Terms and conditions and rates

An appointment will be made with your instructor, at the station or directly at the take-off area. The equipment required is simple: good shoes and outfits adapted to the season.

The security equipment will be loaned to you! As a rule, you will spend between one and two hours in the company of the eagles before landing safely. Count between 65 € and 150 € depending on the chosen formula.

3. Do Cycling in Aravis massif

Yes! In summer, the little queen is also that of the Aravis massif. Moreover, the Grand-Bornand is an important stage during the Tour de France. Cyclists who come with their families, amateurs, or enthusiasts find their accounts.

Depending on the route chosen, you will need good thighs to visit the Aravis massif by bike. But the many points of view are well worth all these efforts, we guarantee it! You can also take some mountain bike hiking routes in the massif. It is ideal for crossing mischievous ibex.

Terms and conditions and rates

From Grand-Bornand to the Col de la Colombière, the route lazards on the southern slope of the Aravis massif. It is the most accessible. Are you motivated? Start from Scionzier to climb the north slope: this portion makes the cadors of the discipline shudder!

Make sure you only use the trails allowed for bicycles by mountain bike. And carry a card, so you don’t get lost! The routes take a mountain road or marked trails, obviously free. If you do not have your bicycle, a rental will be charged about twenty euros per day.

4. Sled dog in Aravis massif

Visiting the Aravis massif by a sled dog is certainly one of the most unusual activities. Authentic mushers share their passion with travelers who come to discover this beautiful region differently.

Eight or ten Nordic dogs will tow your sled for unique sensations. A postcard landscape is offered to you, worthy of Lapland or the plains of the Far North. A feeling of fullness will invade you at the end of the tortuous and icy trails. This activity will delight young and old… and will prove perfect for a couple of lovers!

Terms and conditions and rates

The season to practice this magical sport in winter: from December to April, depending on the snow conditions. Dogs are quite accustomed to human presence and will only require a few caresses. Count about fifty euros per adult and thirty per child.

5. In Nordic skiing in Aravis massif

Visiting the Aravis massif in Nordic skiing is fantastic… And ideal for burning calories absorbed around winter tables. The trails are mainly located around the ski resorts. You can choose your route beforehand: these are classified according to their length and difficulty.

With its two Nordic plateaus, La Clusaz is undoubtedly a must in cross-country skiing. The longest loop is 63 kilometers, but the shortest is only 13. There is something for all levels, and some portions allow you to get acquainted with this very technical movement.

Terms and conditions and rates

Cross-country skiing can be practiced between December and April. It depends on the snow cover, which has become random. The necessary equipment can be rented, like any ski equipment, directly in the resort.

This sport does not require any special physical condition for the simplest tracks. But cardio is booming for routes with a steep gradient: choose your route carefully.

Count 9 € per adult and 5 € per child on average in La Clusaz to access the Nordic ski slopes for a day. The rental price depends heavily on the equipment chosen by the agency.

6. Ride on horseback in Aravis massif

Why not combine business with pleasure by exploring the four-legged Aravis massif? Not on yours, of course: take advantage of man’s most beautiful conquest! The horse allows you to admire sumptuous landscapes during the summer season while enjoying a relaxing ride.

An experienced guide knows the best trails suitable for the practice of recreational horseback riding. He will accompany you throughout your excursion and will adapt to your level. Do not worry; it is quite simple, and the handling of the animal is very fast.

Modalities and rates

For beginners, initiation on the flat ground of half an hour is often recommended. Most of the time, people weighing more than 90 kg will not be able to practice this activity for the well-being of horses. On the other hand, they are pretty confident and accustomed to human presence.

Count a rate of 30 € / hour. A one-day hike is charged a hundred euros on average.

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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