Sports and Sun in La Tzoumaz, Switzerland
La Tzoumaz is a small village just the other side of the Savoleyres mountain from Verbier, part of the 4 Valleys ski area in Switzerland, with only 350 permanent residents. With the north facing slopes these lucky folk enjoy a ski season which extends from December to April and yet the area boasts on average 300 days a year of sunshine. In the months between, the snow thaws and the often steep, winding tracks of the hills are free for hikers, bikers and climbers to enjoy.
La Tzoumaz is a popular hiking region in summer, with 150 kilometres of sign-posted trails. Gentle hikes along the old irrigation channels, called Bisse, are an unusual and particularly tranquil experience, suitable for families of all ages. The Trail of the Senses, situated within the mountain forest at an altitude of 1700 metres, is 2.7 kilometres long with native flora and fauna and various information posts. It offers a close encounter with nature and appeals to all the senses and is also suitable for those in wheelchairs. The path leads past the Maison de la Forêt, where the region’s animals and birdlife can be discovered in the exhibition room, along with stories of the traditional farming methods. There is also an exhibition on the area’s black grouse, a shy bird but with some unique traits! Laura and Pauline will be there this summer to welcome you for lunch, snacks, drinks and ice creams.
You can take your mountain bike up in the ski lift in La Tzoumaz and take advantage of the newly sun scorched mountain sides, melting snow, glorious mud and steep, rocky edges. La Tzoumaz bike park http://www.verbierbikepark.ch is well worth a visit, with trails to suit both the meek and the wild, great obstacles and facilities. It is also a hub of information and assistance on mountain biking in the area, offering tours and many mapped out, cross-country routes. Or try the Tour du Mont Fort (http://www.tdmf.ch/) with epic views and the option to use only 1 lift or several it’s one to put on your list of things to do before you die!
The most popular of the many areas renowned for their climbing around La Tzoumaz is the Pierre Avoi. Situated across from the top of the Savoleyres mountain above both Verbier and La Tzoumaz you can climb it via the Via Ferrata or by traditional climbing methods. Instructors can be booked for lessons. The Bagnes Valley, below Verbier and easily accessible by car, only a few miles away, has over twenty 30m routes ranked at a difficulty of 3 – 7+. There is another popular site in the valley below, at Dorenaz. Oliver Roduit wrote the book on climbing in the four valleys, check out his comprehensive guide which details each climb individually here.
The Rhône river, Lac des Vaux, high up above La Tzoumaz and the Fare river are popular fishing grounds. There is a good variety of fish in the lake, such as trout, rainbow trout and arctic char. Fishing is permitted from May to September and day licenses can be purchased at the tourist office.
For somewhere to stay we recommend Chalet La Luge, which has 6 en-suite bedrooms, all very comfortably furnished; a sauna and a jacuzzi withepic views to sort out those aching muscles. All bedrooms can be arranged with twin or super-king beds each with a deep heavy mattress and top quality cotton bedding and towels. Huge thick bathrobes, slippers and complimentary toiletries add to the luxury of the place. Bookings in the summer can be on a half board (breakfast and evening meal) or B&B only as you prefer. Mini and Dan will happily advise on things to do, even if all you want is to lie in a hammock in the sunshine on the terrace! You can book a spectacular stay in Chalet La Luge here