‘La Rosta Ramble’. Discover the real French Alps on your family summer holiday…
With its wooden chalets, farming heritage and alpine traditions, Morzine’s as charmingly French as France can be. You can’t help but soak it all in on holiday here – especially in the summer months. Yet with Simply Morzine – and only with Simply Morzine – you’ll get even closer to the ‘real’ French Alps, thanks to our truly unique summer activity, ‘La Rosta Ramble’.
So – what exactly is ‘La Rosta Ramble’?
In short, it’s a genuine family mountain experience and not to be missed. It is an opportunity that can’t be found elsewhere. It’s unique to Simply Morzine. Prepare to be whisked to another world a million miles from home, up into the hills, through forests, streams, along paths and across lush green meadows, until we arrive at what we believe is the most stunningly beautiful location imaginable, overlooking the snow-capped Mont Blanc in the distance. This day is aimed at all the family. It is designed both as an enjoyable walk and as a discovery of the flora, fauna, culture and cuisine of the local area in and around Morzine.
Memories will be made in Morzine this summer
Simply Morzine has always worked closely with our friends the Rosset family. They own and run our partner winter ski shop, ‘Felix Ski’. In summer, Felix Ski transforms into ‘Activities Morzine’, when the skis are swapped for mountain bikes, walking maps and suchlike. The Rosset family is comprised of Dad Felix, Mum Brigitte and their adult son Guillaume (who has 3 children of his own). Luckily for us, this relationship has led us into the world of the real ‘Morzinois’. The Rossets have lived in Morzine for generations.
Over the years, family assets have been passed down, including their family heirloom, the wonderfully rustic ‘Chalet Rosta’. This is our destination and the focal point of ‘La Rosta Ramble’. Located in nearby Les Gets and nestled at an altitude of 1665m, Chalet Rosta is hidden away around 100m behind the top of La Rosta chairlift. The ski lift doesn’t operate in the summer, so this mountain peak is all-but deserted. We find the way there thanks to our guide Guillaume, who’s passionate about the local Chablais region. In winter he’s an Ecole du Ski Français (ESF) instructor and in summer a fully qualified walking and mountain bike guide. The ladies often report Guillaume as being ‘extremely handsome’!
As part of our summer family alpine adventure holidays, Simply Morzine guests are exclusively invited to spend the morning walking with Guillaume high over Morzine and Les Gets towards their family’s private mountain hideaway. We then enjoy spending the afternoon basking in the glorious alpine backdrop, eating, drinking and living like a local – all in the company of Felix, Brigitte and of course, Guillaume.
Welcome to Morzine of old
The day starts with a warm welcome from Guillaume at your Simply Morzine accommodation. In our minibuses, we take a short drive from Morzine to the start of the walk at ‘Les Puthays’ and ‘Les Clares’, above the far-end of Les Gets. Guillaume then leads us on an enchanting 16km walk – through a remote forest and around a protected nature reserve. The first half of the walk involves approximately 500m of gradual ascent leading through ‘Le Sincerneret’ area, where girolles mushrooms line the path. Guillaume shares with the children stories he was told as a child – old mountain tales of wild boars looming in the dark shadows. If you like, a real-life Gruffalo story, that excites the children and encourages them to delve deep into their imaginations.
Guillaume’s lived his whole life in Morzine. As a result, he’s informative, knowledgeable and charming. He spends time pointing out interesting flora and fauna – however the protected local Carnivorous plant still eludes him. Perhaps he’ll find one on your Rosta Ramble this summer?
The pace of the walk is steady, gentle and aimed at families with children. To sustain appetites before lunch, we take regular stops to enjoy wild alpine strawberries and blueberries. The entire route is lined with breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges (including snow-capped Mont Blanc). It won’t seem long before we arrive at the local landmark ‘Chapelle de Jacquicourt’, a tiny Catholic chapel originally built in 1679 only to be destroyed after a dispute that same year. Fast forward to 1986 and the local community, including Guillaume’s grandfather (Felix’s father), came together to rebuild it. Now, it’s the destination of a yearly pilgrimage each September, with those unable to walk transported here by specialist off road 4×4 vehicles.
The highlight – lunchtime!
The main event awaits after we arrive at the remote Chalet Rosta, a beautiful alpine hunting lodge come-chalet (owned by the Rosset family).
The highlight of the day is not the French kisses you’ll receive from Guillaume’s mother Brigitte(!), it’s the traditional mountain meal we’re treated to. Whilst we walked, Brigitte spent the morning lovingly preparing a traditional home-cooked Savoyard Tartiflette for all to enjoy. Simply Morzine guests past and present agree that this is perhaps the Finest Tartiflette you’ll ever taste – anywhere in the French Alps. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
Eat, drink and be merry in Morzine
After lunch, Felix himself takes over the role of host. He’ll play his harmonica and chat about his family’s long history in Morzine and their hunting traditions. Felix loves to offer his bewildering array of homebrewed flavoured alcohol, called Eau de Vie (water of life), – which everyone is welcome to sample as much of as they please. It’s recommend only trying a few sips of each as this is strong stuff! Felix tells us his mint, apricot, poire (pear) and genepi are all local favourites amongst the Morzinois.
After everyone has eaten and drunk their fill, we slowly start off our afternoon walking (or wobbling in some cases!) back to Morzine. We meander around the edge of the winter Morzine-Les Gets ski area, roughly shadowing the Col de Joux Plane (famous for the Tour de France), before winding our way across the mountain to the Morzine side. Here, we stop for an ice cream at the restaurant ‘Les Deux Criquets’ by the Troncs ski chair lift, close to the Nyon and Chamossiere mountains. For any waning legs (young or old!), we can pick guests up from here in our minibuses for a swift return to Morzine.
For the little hardier, the descent home takes in a variety of terrain and landscapes – including alpine meadows, twisting forest paths, lakes and streams. As we approach Morzine, we head past the Fys chairlift, which incidentally marks the starting point for our canyoning activity. From here, we walk down the Retour de Nants piste and back to the Simply Morzine properties.
Unique to Simply Morzine and perfect for a long, warm summer’s day, la Rosta ramble is an absolutely gem of an activity for all the family. It combines a stunning walk with tasty French food and drink, all amidst a beautiful alpine backdrop. A must-do on your Simply Morzine summer holiday.
We hope to see you in Morzine this summer!