After an unsuccessful trip to the Haute Savoie region due to weather it was worth trying again to see what all the fuss was about. And after a second trip there it is definitely on the list of quality canyoning regions. In addition to all the canyons in the region, the area has a huge amount of adventure sports like Hill Walking, Via Ferrata, Mountain-Biking and Rock Climbing
The Haute Savoie region is located right in the centre of the alps. The easiest way we found to get there was flying via Geneva. Although a few of the group did take the ferry and a long drive across france. But did mean with the cars, Its that aeroplane weight restrictions weren't there so plenty of rope and kit could be brought. The Haute Savoie region is also relatively near the Lyon too so a choice of airports is available.
We rented cars from the 'French side' of Geneva airport. which is only a couple hours from Passy/Chamonix.
Around Chamonix and Passy there is a good selection of rental Chalets. There is also a lot of camping sites if thats what is looked for.
Although the canyons in Haute Savoie are more spread out than somewhere like Mallorca, there is a great selection of canyons. The canyons are generally quite vertical (obviously). and there is a lot less jumpable canyons than other regions. Many of the canyons involve relatively long walks in as well. From 2-3 hour climb. A large number of canyons are based below dams, as a result checking water levels as well as a number of Canyons having phone numbers to contact the Dam to check the Dam release schedules.
There are a lot of good 2 trip days possible too. For example Belle Inconnue, Belleavaux and Giffre. As well as a few excellent full day trips like Faverands and La Barberine.
The next time we go there, I think Arpenaz is definitely on the cards!
When to go
A previous trip to Haute-Savoie in June ended up with high water in many of the canyons. As a result on the last trip we went during September. In September its out of the tourist season but the weather was still excellent for outdoor activities.