A gondola ride from La Tzoumaz leads to the summit of Savoleyres (2,354 m) and glorious views in all directions: along the Rhône valley, down to Verbier and the Val de Bagnes, and across to the massifs of the Grand Combin and Mont Blanc.
The first section of the hike leads along the ridge down to the col of Croix de Coeur, with its panoramic restaurant and tiny mountaintop airfield, used by small planes in both summer and winter. The path then begins a steady climb up to Col des Mines, where hikers can still see the vestiges of historical mine workings. The miners excavated lead ore rich in silver, used to make Swiss 1-franc coins – until the operators went bankrupt in 1861.
Beyond the col, the trail continues to climb up to a cluster of three sparkling alpine lakes, ideal for a picnic stop. The route then drops steeply into the Vallon de Chassoure – also known as the Vallon d’Arbi – a pristine and idyllic alpine valley offering excellent chances of observing wildlife.
At Les Pontets, the trail turns away from the river La Fare to follow one of the historical irrigation channels of Valais, the Bisse de Saxon, for about 1 km. Soon after joining the bisse, hikers reach the picnic site of Le Marteau, equipped with tables and barbecue facilities.
The trail leaves the bisse to pass the Maison de la Forêt (“House of the Forest”) – well worth a visit, with its café, exhibitions on local wildlife, and botanical garden with medicinal plants. The route then descends gently between the chalets of La Tzoumaz to reach the gondola station. NB the Savoleyres gondola operates in July and August
- Scenic ride in the Savoleyres gondola, panoramic views at summit
- Choice of 3 cafes/restaurants en route plus barbecue picnic site
- Idyllic nature: Lac des Vaux, Vallon d’Arbi
- Bisse de Saxon – historical irrigation channel
Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.
For all hikes:
- Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
- Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
- Close gates after passing through.
- Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
- Do not leave any waste in nature.
For mountain hikes:
- Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
- Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
- Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
For high-altitude hikes:
- Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
- Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
- Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.
Tips, hints and links
More information about the destination:
Getting thereA9 motorway, exit 24 (Riddes). Follow directions to La Tzoumaz.
ParkingFree long-stay parking near the gondola station. Follow the car park routeing in La Tzoumaz.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
- good footwear
- clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
- hat or cap
- bottle for water
- binoculars (optional)
- hiking poles (optional)
- printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download)
For certain walks: