A view over the Pointe Percée for starters? Lake Geneva and the Pointe de Nyon as a main course? Mont Blanc for dessert ? Les Gets has plenty of stunning viewpoints where you can stop for a picnic.
Up in the mountains or nearer the centre resort, here are our 7 best tips for enjoying your sandwich or salad surrounded by the Alps in all their splendour.
Lac des Ecoles
Strong point: easy to reach and close to activities
It’s barely a 15-minute walk from the village to reach this well-known spot in Les Gets, the famous Lac des Ecoles swimming lake. Or you can make the climb on a self-service Ebike as there’s a GetsLib station at the lake. If you have a lot to carry or just don’t fancy walking or biking, there’s a bus service and, in summer, even a little tourist train to take you to the site. For your lunch or dinner, don’t forget the steak to take advantage of the self-service barbecues which you’ll find there too. This is the perfect place for a family picnic on a vast beach with grass and views over the Marcelly peak and Mont Chéry.
Besides your picnic: in the daytime, you can enjoy an after-lunch nap followed by a dip in the lake, or take the children to the Wibit park (floating inflatable play) or even go exploring on a trail bike or an electric quad bike. Our best recommendation for the evening is to try Lumina, an enchanting nocturnal trail. This brand new feature, the only one of its kind in France, is due to open near the lake in August 2020.
Lac du Plan du Rocher
Strong point: an interesting lake that’s easy to reach
It is also known as the Lac des Pêcheurs (fishermen’s lake). Which is no surprise because swimming is not allowed in this lake where the rainbow trout is king, much to the delight of anglers. This no-frills site has a certain unspoilt charm and is ideal for a picnic with the children.
Besides your picnic: watch the fishermen in action and why not have a go yourself? You may even leave with your dinner fresh from the lake! (fishing permit compulsory/day pass for visitors: €16).
Access: No real difficulty, take either the Chavannes chairlift of the shuttle bus (plus a 15-minute walk), or walk from the village (about 1 hour, heading for Les Chavannes via Lac des Ecoles).
The Refuge des Trappeurs
Strong point: an original spot to delight the children
What do trappers and American Indians have for a picnic? We’ll leave it to you to decide what to bring in your rucksack! Head for the Refuge des Trappeurs in the Grand-Cry sector to enjoy your meal in one of the freely-accessible teepees. It’s a great way to get the children walking! In winter, the site is right on the slopes of the Grand-Cry fun area, and the teepees and picnic tables remain here throughout the summer season. A freely-accessible picnic room that seats 30 people with toilets is also available close by.
Besides your picnic: why not play along with the theme of American Indians and trappers? The children will love it! Games, disguises, make-up, making your own bow… Use your imagination!
Access: From Les Chavannes, it’s about a 10-minute walk. Head towards Lac des Pêcheurs or Ranfolly.
La Croix du Mont Caly
Strong point: the panorama
When the sun is at its highest point, or at the end of the day when it turns scarlet red just before setting behind the mountains, you almost certainly won’t be the only ones to have organised a picnic here! This breathtaking spot has a picnic table placed just below the cross, or you can picnic on the grass. You’ll be captivated by this village setting amid Alpine pastures and revitalised by the natural decor.
Besides your picnic: walk a little further, along the ridges and/or to Mont Chéry where you can enjoy a coffee and sweet treat, a crepe or pastry in the hamlet’s only restaurant, Les Chevrelles. You’ll be hypnotised by the ever-present view of Mont Blanc.
Access: by car plus a 10-minute walk, or a 20-minute walk from the village centre, or on the Mont Chéry gondola lift followed by about an hour on foot
The secretive Chapelle de Jacquicourt
Strong point: a site concealed in a splendid, remote setting
It takes a bit of effort to reach this unspoilt haven which offers views over the mountains and the Loëx plateau! It takes between 1 1/2 and 2 hours on foot from the centre of Les Gets to reach the protected biotope of this listed Natura 2000 site.
Besides your picnic: birdwatching for beginners! Indeed, no less than six bird species have been spotted in this sector, including the boreal owl, the black grouse, the hazel grouse and the spotted nutcracker. Keep your eyes peeled! For heritage fans, this lovely little chapel was originally built in 1679 on the territorial border between the villages of Les Gets, Samoëns and Taninges, but was demolished soon afterwards. It was rebuilt by the local people in the late 1980s.
Access: on foot, the return trip from Le Sincerneret takes about 3 hours on fairly easy woodland paths.
The top of Mont Chéry
Strong point: views to die for…
Hikers, trail runners, mountain-bikers and paragliders… All these outdoor sports enthusiasts cross paths at the summit of Mont Chéry. Get comfortable on the grass to watch them, observe the paragliders taking off, and enjoy the 360° panorama over the Roc d’Enfer, the Mont Blanc massif, the Chablais summits and the Aravis mountain range which won’t fail to amaze you!
Besides your picnic: prolong your walk by heading for one of the goat farms present on this mountain pasture, and learn to recognise the surrounding peaks with the help of the viewpoint indicator.
Access: a 1 to 1 1/2-hour walk along the ridge from Mont Caly. Or you can walk all the way up from the resort. The elevation gain is 600 metres!
Another, less energetic option is to take the Mont Chéry gondola lift and the Pointe chairlift.
The belvédère des Nauchets
Strong point: a picnic site installed in the heart of nature
If you love a picnic but don’t want to sacrifice those creature comforts, then head for the Belvédère des Nauchets, via the “Tour des Mouilles” hiking path or the Encape mountain-bike trail, for lunch at a comfortable picnic area. The 120 m² platform offers the comfort of a “terrace” where the views are perfect for a leisurely bite to eat.
Besides your picnic: walk off your meal by following the nearby hiking paths and/or enjoy a comfortable nap on one of the sunbeds to recharge your batteries in the middle of nature.
Access: it’s about a 35 to 40-minute walk up from the centre of Les Gets. Alternatively, take the Chavannes Express chairlift. From the top, it’s a 15 to 20-minute downhill walk.