In the spring, summer, autumn and winter, the Gers valley is a glorious ode to beauty, an invitation to daydream on the banks of the Gers lake, at an altitude of 1,540 metres in the mountains above Samoens. Tracks left by chamois can be seen in the virgin snow but it is the foundations of the alpine chalets and the Gers refuge that tell the story of the men and women who cultivated the valley. Among them, Marcel and Jean-Maurice Cottet made a significant contribution to making the valley a haven of peace and quiet all year long, a snow-white paradise in the winter that can be reached on foot, on skis, cross-country skis, by snowmobile and by helicopter. Nature lovers congregate here to share moment of deep pleasure, sipping a hot chocolate on the terrace of the valley's only gîte and restaurant, run by Stéphane and Laurence. The Gers valley remains a wild, picturesque and authentic place, with just a few private chalets, the alpine farm and the gîte-restaurant blending harmoniously into the mountainous, lakeland scenery in the heart of a nature reserve. Board sports lovers can reach the valley by a number of means. At dawn, when the mountains turn white, free-riders and free-stylers set off in the fresh, powdery snow, while the downhill skiing aces hurtle down the black Grandes Platières run. Later on in the morning, hikers wrapped up in fur and shod with snowshoes make their way slowly but surely along the long Cascades trail between Faine and Sixt. On December mornings, as the Gers valley starts to turn white, nature, more authentic than ever, waits to welcome you. And on April mornings, as the Gers valley starts to turn green, nature, more authentic than ever, waits to welcome you...

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Lac de Gers

    SAMOËNS, France

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