Samoëns is a French town which carries the designation 'Ville Fleurie' due to its natural beauty. It is also the only ski resort in France to have the status of ‘Monuments Historique’ thanks to its beautiful old buildings.
An hour by car from Geneva, this ancient village has a traffic-free centre with a beautiful square. The main street is home to a number of gourmet shops offering ham, local cheese and pastries as well as wonderful interior design and local Alpine shops.
Resort Altitude: 1,600m
Resort Skiing: 2,500m
Total Ski Area: 265km
Blue Runs: 117km
Red Runs: 107km
Black Runs: 41km
Cross Country: 30km
Samoëns is part of the larger Grand Massif ski area with a total of 265km of pistes ranging from 700m all the way up to 2,500m. The resort is located at a relatively high 1,600m and is connected to other neighbouring resorts such as Flaine, Les Carroz and Morillon. The area is perfectly suited to all levels of skier making it a well-rounded destination for families, beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers alike. With 80% of the slopes being north-facing you are guaranteed good snow.
The ski area is well suited to beginners, with plenty of good nursery slopes not far from the resort and with a variety of long cruising blues. Intermediates and advanced skiers will have the luxury of choice as well, and when you’ve conquered the Samoëns area you can head over to snow-sure Flaine for even more challenging slopes and great powder bowls.
Snowboarders will enjoy the quiet slopes around Samoëns, which will be best suited to those who are of an intermediate to advanced standard. If you’re looking for good freeride then there are some great powder bowls around Samoëns, or you can choose to head over into Flaine and get a guide to explore even more thrilling descents. There is also a good freestyle park here with plenty of rails, kickers and jumps.
Samoëns offers ESF who are consistently very well regarded for their professional, English-speaking instructors offering group and private lessons for all ages and skiing ability.
There is a daycare centre for young children called Garderie Les Loupiots who look after children from three months old. In the nearby area of Morillon there is Morillon Village des Enfants who will look after children from six months. The ESF also have beginner ski daycare for children from three years old.
One of the best restaurants in Samoëns is Le 8M des Monts, who prepare fantastic traditional Alpine dishes ranging from snails and prawns to raclette and fondue. For a more high-end dining experience try La Table de Fifine, who have some excellent Savoyard dishes. A great spot to stop for lunch on the slopes is Lou Caboens, who serve fantastic burgers and tartiflette.
Samoëns has around ten dedicated bars and even more bar-restaurants. Red Rock Café is one of the best places to go after the lifts shut and stays open until late. L'Apero S'Pace is a more modern bar with a great outdoor terrace.
Covey’s Irish Pub is the most lively après option in what is a traditionally a more laid-back and family-orientated resort, offering live sports screenings and music until the early hours.
Non-skiers can enjoy Nordic walking, snowshoeing, ice skating, husky dog-sledding, paragliding and a range of other great alternative winter sports activities. Those looking for a more leisurely and relaxing holiday will enjoy the weekly market held in the centre of the town, as well as an abundance of lovely restaurants.