The Giffre in Samoens is a river whose flow is entirely natural – at the start of the summer it’s larger thanks to the snow melt, and towards the end of summer it diminishes unless there’s rain to replenish it.
We start rafting at Sixt fer Cheval and raft all the way down to Samoens or even Verchaix, about 6-8kms on the river. The highlight for adrenaline junkies is the entrance to the Gorge of Tines: you go through a gravel quarry and then drop 2 metres into a very narrow gorge (at its narrowest point the gorge is only slightly wider than the boat…!). Children often get out the boat for this drop and can watch mum and dad complete it, then get back in at the end.
This is certainly not the only highlight on the Giffre however: there are plenty of waves to surf on the way down and various swims and jumps to do which everybody can take part in. Also, given the geography of the Samoens valley, we get some incredible views of both the mountains and the valley floor.
Samoens is a beautiful village and well worth a visit and we recommend driving across the Col de Joux Plane on a clear day, be sure and look out for the Mont Blanc!