Local Area

Samoëns and Outlying District

Samoens described in October 2010 by The Times as ‘Possibly the prettiest resort in the Alps – a medieval delight and a joy from top to bottom’. Samoens is an all year round resort with many activities for non skiers as well as winter sports enthusiasts. It is in the Grand Massif region (4th largest French skiing area) with 265km of slopes and extensive off piste skiing.

Samoëns is the only ski resort in the Alps to be awarded the prestigious “Coq d’or” award.  This is no purpose built resort, Samoens has medieval origins, and centuries ago was renowned for its stone masons.  Nestling under the imposing peak of Criou, its main street is now pedestrianised and flanked on both sides by tall wooden buildings.

The covered market square, surrounded by cafes, plays host to bands in the winter and the market in the summer. Just beside the market is The “Gros Tilleul” (large lime tree), which symbolises the town of Samoens, was planted in 1438. The “Gros Tilleul” is quite remarkable for its age and its size. This famous landmark has been immortalised by numerous local authors, poets and musicians through the ages.

There are many fine restaurants, cafes and bars within the village catering for a wide range of palates, ranging from the provision of pizzas or everyday Savoyard dishes, to those offering experimental French cuisine.

The La Jaÿsinia alpine botanic gardens rise up behind the 15th century church, giving spectacular views of the village. The garden features include fountains and cascades, landscaped trees, the ruins of the 12th-century Tornalta Castle, an 18th-century chapel and 8,000 plants from all over the world. As a little corner of nature in the heart of heritage buildings, La Jaÿsinia is something of an exception. It is the only botanic garden of its kind in the Alps, containing no less than 5,000 varieties of mountain flowers. It is both a place of study and a haven of tranquillity where people come to recover from stressful everyday lives. It is also a “must” for anybody spending some time in Samoëns.

The Grand Massif offers some of the prettiest and extensive skiing in France.  A new 8 person gondola will whisk you up to  to Samoëns 1600 in just 10 minutes. The ski buses that run between all of the resorts in the valley will shuttle you from the centre of the village to the ski lifts in just 3 minutes.

In addition to the skiing and snowboarding there is plenty of ‘ski du fond’, indeed the track runs just a short walk from the chalet, as well as extensive walking.  There is also an ice rink, and in the summer, the outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and tree top adventure playground are only a 5 minute walk from Chalet Le Kiwi Vert.

Situated in a wide sunny valley encircled by seven dramatic mountains peaks, the historic village of Samoëns has something to offer to all holidaymakers winter or summer.

Click here if you would like to go to “Office de tourisme de Samoens” Youtube page: Youtube