Gentle family strolls, picnics, restaurants or serious hikes the views are simply breathtaking…
Got up this morning to a glorious view from Setanta chalet looking down the valley and up to huge mountains on both our peripheries. Packed a light rucksack of water, sunscreen and jumper and off down the hill to La Riviere Enverse, winding into Morillion, by passing Samoens, up the valley past the river rafting centre, past the rock climbing base and arrived at the historical Town of Sixt after 15 minutes. Beautiful place with old buildings a working monastry and a river raging through it. We did not stop but considered going right to the many lovely walks and the rouge waterfall before deciding to go straight up to the valley to “the end of the world” where the valley stops into unassailable heights.
Up a winding road for 5kms with the river on our right and irregular farm buildings on our left until we came to the entrance of the National park – a local lady took €3 from us gave us a ticket and on we went further up the valley turning left over a wooden bridge and into a carpark that has been blended into the country side and surprisingly quiet. Parked up, used the clean public toilets, strolled up a short forestry path and into a huge meadow with unbelievable views all around us. On the left is a popular all day restaurant with good food, ice cream and drinks. This was busy but ok for a table – they’ll also sell you picnic items if you wanted to use one of the many picnic tables in the meadow. There was also a water trough with really fresh water flowing into it that we notice many walkers filling their bottles before setting off on one of several hikes.
Some families around us turned back at this point however we continued on and were rewarded with a lovely path with wooded trees on our right and a flowing river on our left. Over the river we could see in the cliffs Families of Ibex (bit like deer with horns) grazing in and out of their caves. They were most impressive. After 15 minutes of further pleasant walking keeping to the left at all sign posts we came to another wood bridge. Going over this bridge with the Giffre running fast below us we kept left as there was a promise of a “Buvette” (a mountain Comfort station) 20 minutes further up the track. While on this tack with the river now on our right we stopped where a few hikers were gazing into the sky – they passed their binocolars to us (as we had stupidly forgotten ours ) and high up against the cliffs we could make out 2 soaring eagles, I have to say this made our day! We thanked the guys and soon came over a dry river bed, up a short hill and looked down at multi coloured umbrellas outside a wooden structured house – we had arrived at the Buvette. There were perhaps 20 tables outside with about 10 being used – we thought that we should wait to be sitted however the matriarchal lady who appeared to run the place waved a hand for us to sit anywhere. We did and between our host and her 2 young helpers we dined on fabulous Mountain salads, fresh bread and a carafe of rose – Did I say seeing the eagles made my day? We had a great chat with the boss and then turned to pay, with a credit card, again silly us, they don’t take credit card – no problem stop in the café on the right hand side of Sixt village on your way home and you can pay my sister who runs the café! – apparently we weren’t the first eejets!
From the Buvette you could go on for further hikes, one of which was to the end of the valley which would have taken an hour there and an hour back – we understood that it was well worth it however we decided to go back the way we came, which we enjoyed, stop off in Sixt, pay our lunch bill and drive back to the lake in Morillion for a refreshing swim before enjoying a beer in the lakeside café bar. Can’t be bad!