As the traditional home of the Haute Savoie's stone mason trade, Samoens has now established itself as a leader in ski resort excellence. The ski town has a great ski area that joins into the larger Grand Massif and a beautiful, authentic Savoyard village.
The 8 person Grand Massif Express gondola departs from the village, in only 8 minutes skiers reach the 1600 metre high alpine plateau which is the doorway to the Grand Massif and one of the finest and well preserved ski areas in France with 265 km of marked ski runs.
The ski slopes of Samoëns, situated within the Grand Massif ski area, are characterised by
- Black slopes up high, reserved for established skiers
- Intermediate Freestyle Zone open to the general public with is made up of different runs for all abilities and also an welcoming chalet.
- A newly redesigned beginners area.
For the less adventurous skiers there is the legendary Cascades run. At 14km long, novices can ski from the summit of the Grandes Platières at 2500m down to the village of Sixt Fer à Cheval, 1700m lower down. The ski run is a veritable journey through the high alpine pastures and ancient forests. It is also one of the most beautiful ski runs in the whole of the Alps. Don't be surprised to run into the local Chamois along the way!
For cross country skiers Samoens has the Vallée du Haut Giffre Nordic ski area. It is divided into two different areas:
- On the valley floor, the trails begin in Samoëns and end at the bottom of the Cirque du Fer à Cheval in Sixt (46km of trails)
- The other at the Col de Joux Plane, 1600 metres high and 13 km from Samoëns (access by car or shuttle from Samoëns)
For those seeking above-all action and adrenaline, Samoëns offers a wide range of activities other than skiing; speedriding, ice climbing, snowmobiling, paragliding, helicopter flights to name but a few.
For those looking for a bit of time out and ultimately a relaxing break, Samoëns is full of ideas: Nordic walking, Afghan walking, yoga, Ayurvedic massage, reflexology, sensory gym, steam room, traditional massages, whirlpool baths, tai chi chuan, shiatsu or even “Zen” hiking. There is enough to relax and rejuvenate even the most stressed among us.
Finally, for the more contemplative people, Samoëns is a great place to be to discover the history and heritage of the Giffre Valley, either through local produce tasting sessions (cheeses, meats, wines and spirits of the Savoie) or through chapel visits, wandering in the local alpine botanical garden, Jaÿsinia, or even little trips and tours by train and coach.
To help you make the most of all these activities, Samoëns has a range of childcare services from the nursery "Les Loupiots" that welcomes children aged 3 months to 6 years old (several play rooms, activity rooms and a special children's restaurant).