Partway between Geneva and Chamonix, the Grand Massif is made up of four highly scenic traditional villages set in the Giffre valley. Samoëns, Sixt Fer à Cheval,Morillon and Les Carroz together offer a host of undiscovered treasures from La Jaysinia botanical gardens in Samoëns with 8000 mountain plants from all over the world to the Gouffre Jean-Bernard which, at 5255 feet, is one of the deepest chasms on the planet. See the famous chevrotin cheeses being made in Sixt or have afternoon tea on a working farm. Take a day trip to the 700-year-old port of Yvoire on the shores of Lake Geneva where, not surprisingly, fish is the local speciality in many restaurants. Don’t miss the huge glacial amphitheatre, the Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval near Sixt. Its steep slopes are one of the great natural wonders of Europe and legend has it that the surrounding mountains were at one time inhabited by ibex whose hooves were covered in gold.
Activity-wise, white water rafting is very popular in the Giffre valley and if you’ve always wanted to try paragliding, Mieussy is where the sport was invented in 1978. The Grand Massif also offers the chance to be initiated into the underground art of speleology.