Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets: Review of Chalets 1066

May 04, 2023 BY Luke Rees

Last summer, I enjoyed a downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets. I had the privilege of staying at Chalet Louis, one of the finest chalets in the area. Check out this review of Chalets 1066 mountain biking holiday to find out why I recommend you do the same.

Review of Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets June 2022 Photo by Luke Rees

Mountain Biking in Les Gets: Contents

Intro to MTB in Les Gets and PDS

Most mountain bikers are well aware of the bike parks of Les Gets, Morzine and the Portes du Soleil. Les Gets was the first European ski resort to build lift accessible downhill MTB trails. It regularly hosts Mountain Bike World Cup events and the Crankworx festival has been held there.

Nestled in the French Alps, Les Gets is a picturesque village that’s known for family ski holidays in the winter. But unlike most ski resorts, Les Gets becomes more extreme in the summer. And it has become one of the premier destinations for Europe mountain biking holidays.

Les Gets Downhill MTB

There are more than 128 km of marked trails in Les Gets for riders of all skill levels. From beginners to seasoned pros, Les gets has the trail for you. From downhill to cross-country, freestyle to freeride and electric to enduro whatever type of mountain biking you prefer there are trails to excite and entertain.

Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets review June 2022 Photo by Rob Stewart

The downhill bike park has 33 green and blue trails spanning 70 km, 25 red trails covering 45 km, and 10 black trails stretching 13 km. The extensive network of routes guarantees an unforgettable experience through diverse terrains of thick woodland to Alpine meadows.

Expect jump lines, monster berms, interesting obstacles and some Northshore. There are epic runs through the trees with roots, drops and gap jumps aplenty. It is not the rockiest of areas which means you are mostly riding on dirt. For beginners there are skill zones and less daunting trails.

Portes du Soleil MTB

The Portes du Soleil area is one of the largest interconnected mountain biking regions in the world. There are 12 linked resorts, including Les Gets and Morzine, that head up to Avoriaz, over to Chatel and into Switzerland. Overall there are more than 600 km of marked MTB trails, with 22 ski lifts adapted for bike transport.

The possibilities for exploration and adventure are incredible and while each area has bike park trails there is also a lot more natural single track. Check out this review of Avoriaz mountain biking where I took on a portion of this expansive network of trails in the wider Portes Du Soleil.

Review Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets June 2022 Photo by Rob Stewart

The region’s commitment to continuously upgrading its biking infrastructure is impressive. Trails are constantly being built, evolving and maintained. This ensures that the Portes du Soleil remains a top choice for mountain bikers from around the world.

Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets Review

Les gets is easy to reach by flying to Geneva Airport. Check out the best day of the week to book a flight, and other tips, to get the best price. You can also reach it by train via stations in Thons Les Baines or Les Cluses. Plus it is only an eight to nine hour drive from Dieppe or Calais so car travel is a realistic option.

Our journey to Les Gets began with a smooth arrival at Geneva Airport. We were met by the friendly Skiidy Gonzales staff and whisked away on a private transfer to Les Gets. The journey was comfortable, and we arrived at our destination in about an hour.

Chalet Louis review of Chalets 1066 in Les Gets

I was instantly impressed by the luxurious design and welcoming atmosphere of Chalet Louis. There are five luxurious bedrooms, a huge, plush living area and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It is a great base for mountain biking in the summer or to ski in Les Gets in the winter. There is a detailed review of Chalets 1066 below.

After a short walk to Les Gets, we enjoyed a couple of local beers at La Becanerie. There was a great range of draft beers and bottled options.

Chalets 1066 then picked us up to drop us at Chalet Louis – it’s quite a hill to walk up! There we had an exquisite dinner prepared by a private chef from Chez Toi. The three course meal was delicious as were the wines accompanying it. I highly recommend using the Chez Toi service if you have an un-catered chalet.

Chez Toi private chef during review of Chalets 1066 in Les Gets photo by Rob Stewart

Day 1: Downhill Mountain Biking in Les Gets

After a delicious breakfast, again cooked by Chez Toi, we embarked on our first day of downhill mountain biking.

Our rental equipment, including helmets, protection, and full-suspension downhill bikes, was provided by The Hub Les Gets. They are a friendly bunch and were happy to make adjustments and to swap the brakes over so the back brake was on the left (in Europe it is usually on the right).

We met our mountain bike instructor and guide, who had a mixed group to deal with. Bizarrely on the way to the first lift the guides chain broke. Usually a key requisite of any biking he shrugged, put it in his bag and rode all day without a chain. Fortunately, during day one of this review of downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets there was little pedalling required.

Top of Les Chavannes during Review of Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets June 2022 Photo by Rob Stewart

Morning of guided downhill MTB in Les Gets

The morning riding began with a trip up the Chavanne Express. We then had a little test ride to ensure we were all sufficient to take on the green run #1. As greens go it was fun and more challenging than the boring greens I have experienced elsewhere. Those with experience came down at pace.

Having proved our capabilities we moved onto blues and reds. The morning was filled with high speed thrilling descents, technical sections, some Northshore sections and berm after glorious berm. When I stopped I noticed the breathtaking views, but while riding not so much (if at all!).

Our guide did an amazing job of giving a very mixed group tips to improve their riding. Early on he gave close attention to a couple of first time downhill riders. With a range of trails around the Chavanne and Nauchets chairs we could lap lines that suited our ability and still take advantage of the guide/instruction.

Review Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets June 2022 Photo by Luke Rees

This included a session at a jump park. Now while a very competent rider that can tackle almost anything, I am not one for airtime. But under the instruction I did get some good – by my standards – jumps in. Although I didn’t have the bottle to clear the table tops, mainly because my shoulder – that I’d injured snowboarding earlier in the year – was aching after a crash.

Afternoon of guided Les Gets mountain biking

Following a big, tasty – but rather late – lunch at Les Super Gets, we had the option to continue riding in the bike park or relax at the Sources du Chéry Spa. Some opted for the spa, while myself and the other experienced MTBers couldn’t resist more downhill action.

We moved over to the Pleny area, really enjoying the more natural single track linking trail on the way. There we did the blue #23 to warm up, followed by red #24 and finally black #21. All lead down to Morzine, where the Super Morzine gondola whisks you back tot he top in no time.

Review of Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets June 2022 Photo by Rob Stewart

The trails on this side are in the woodland, often in quite thick trees, that makes it feel dark and moody. The red has a long section of switchback berms, often with jumps and other features between that were great fun.

The black is rather challenging, a bit more natural than other trails with some big step downs and lots of roots. Part way there is a gap jump that comes out of nowhere! It is not huge but I was pleased for the jump lesson earlier in the day as I nailed it. During this review of downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets this was the toughest trail we rode, but also one of the most fun.

Having had an incredible day of riding we took the linking blue #15 back over towards Les Gets. And after returning the bikes stopped for a beer in La Becanerie. From there we took the bus up to Chalet Louis. They are free, run regularly and don’t take too long – unless you get on at the wrong point like we did!

Review of Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets June 2022 by Luke Rees

Day 2: Self-guided MTB in Les Gets

Today we had the choice of eBiking on roads and cycle paths with a non-mountain bike, or exploring the bike park again. So myself and another dirt junky headed back up the mountain for more downhill action. We explored more of the trails on the Les Gets side of the mountain.

I mountain bike quite a bit as home, but a downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets is a different beast. Rather than being tired from pedaling, you get worn out through constantly standing and adjusting to the bumps and berms. Your upper body gets a complete work out pumping with the suspension and the constant shaking at high speed.

Riding trails multiple times has it’s benefits as you begin to remember the features. You can push your speed, as you know the best line to take and where to get air. It was great fun, if you mountain bike but don’t downhill, be prepared to learn new skills and ways to ride. However, you’ll pick it up quickly and probably love it.

Les Gets Bike Park Review in Portes du Soleil France

Riding up Mt Caly

We were due to have lunch at Les Chevrelles on Mont Caly. This is over the Mt Chery side of the Les Gets area. So we took the lift up, and after an intense morning of riding expected a nice roll down to the restaurant. But the enduro route began with a long slog uphill, which on a heavy downhill bike wearing full armour was not easy.

The challenging uphill section wasn’t that long. But at midday on a very hot summer’s day we were both drenched in sweat by the time we reached the restaurant. There were stunning panoramic views along the way but it was a bit more uphill than ideally I’d like on that bike.

Fortunately, lunch at Les Chevrelles was a welcome break, offering delicious local cuisine and more incredible views. The food was lovely as was the location – well worth a visit. Those on eBikes had it easier cycling up the road, albeit one of them ran out of juice and was picked up by a postie!!

lunch at Les Chevrelles in Les Gets, Ported du Soleil, France

After refueling, we cycled downhill to Les Gets by the road and then hit the downhill trails again for a few more runs. Eventually we had to return our bikes. But we rewarded ourselves with a couple of beers before heading back for a dip in the hot tube before dinner in Chalet Louis.

Yoga Before Departure

On our final morning, we enjoyed a relaxing breakfast before a rejuvenating yoga and wellness session with Marion from M Yog’art. This was the perfect way to relieve some of the aches and pains of the few days of hard riding.

Marion took us through a relatively easy routine that helped to stretch muscles that had experienced more work than usual. Using blocks we could each take stretches to a level that suited our flexibility. I was even given some slightly different moves as my shoulder was still hurting (I later found out I had separated my collar bone from the clavicle).

Yoga with a view during review of Chalets 1066 in Les Gets photo by Rob Stewart

Post yoga I hopped in the hot tub for one last soak before heading home. Again Skiidy Gonzales handled the transfer which was smooth and hassle free.

Review of Chalets 1066

Chalets 1066 are the largest chalet company in Les Gets. They are a family run business with both father and son playing an active role. They operate chalets in a bespoke way that allows the customer to pick exactly what they want. For example, you can self cater, hire a chef or have food and drink deliveries arranged.

During this review of Chalets 1066 I found it to be a very well organised operation. With shuttles available from your accommodation to town if you want them. Although shuttles, hot tubs, transfers, gear hire etc can all be arranged, it of course costs extra. But Chalets 1066 handle it all meaning it is less hassle and costs the same as booking independently.

Chalet Louis review of Chalets 1066 in Les Gets, France

Review of Chalet Louis in Les Gets

Of course a review of Chalets 1066 would not be complete without talking about the actual accommodation. As previously mentioned the chalet is luxurious and elegant. The floor to ceiling windows let in plenty of light and mean the lounge has spectacular views.

Throughout it has a lot of wood on show, in keeping with the environment and tradition. However, it is very modern looking with all the mod-cons in the kitchen and a huge dining table.

The rooms are very nice, albeit mine was a little cramped. But that is often the case in chalets as they always squeeze in an extra bedroom or two. The bathroom was good, with a powerful shower and plenty of hot water.

Hot Tub during review of Chalets 1066 in Les Gets photo by Rob Stewart

But my favourite thing during this review of Chalet Louis in Les Gets was the hot tub with spectacular views. Located outside on the decking it is directly below the kitchen windows. From which a dumbwaiter has been set up so they can lower beers when you run out!! I had a soak every day during this review of Chalets 1066.

Review of downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets: Conclusion

The downhill mountain biking in Les Gets is widely regarded as one of the best bike parks in the world. And I find it hard to disagree with that. The Les Gets/Morzine area alone is vast, well maintained and varied with more trails than the majority of bike parks. When you add the trails in the wider Ported Du Soleil it is huge, second only in size to Whistler.

There are trails for all levels of rider and all styles of mountain biker too. Whether you want jump lines, single track, flow trails or want to put in some effort with as much uphill as down, you’ll find it here.

Review of Downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets, Portes du Soleil

If you want to visit I thoroughly recommend Chalet 1066 to organise your stay. And if you can book Chalet Louis you’ll be in for a treat!

I hope you found this review of Chalets 1066 and this downhill MTB holiday in Les Gets useful. To book a visit check out Chalets 1066 here: www.chalets1066.com and find out more about Les Gets here: www.lesgets.com

 
Alps, France, French Alps, Les Gets, Morzine, Portes Du Soleil, Rhone Alpes
eBiking, Mountain Biking
DH (Downhill), Enduro, Freeride, Single Track
Travel Articles
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Related Articles

 

What gear do Search and Rescue teams wear and does it make a difference?

There are small groups of people who are outdoor professionals, whereas most of us are adventure seekers. Emergency services work outdoors, in awful conditions: If...

Activities: Abseiling Camping Caving +
Destinations: England Ireland Scotland +
Read Article
 

Review of Ski 2000 Selva: Val Gardena Adult Skiing Lessons in Italy

Last winter I returned to skiing after more than two decades away from the slopes. In this review of Ski 2000 Selva, find out how booking Val Gardena adult skiing...

Activities: Skiing
Read Article
 

Guide to Egypt Kitesurf Holidays: Best Egyptian Kite Spots

In this guide to Egypt kitesurf holidays we look at the best Egyptian kite spots and other useful information for any visitor. From it's rich historical and cultural...

Activities: Kitesurfing
Destinations: Africa Dahab Egypt +
Read Article

Newsletter sign up