The Grand Massif’s best-kept secret
Samoens is a largely undiscovered authentic French alpine village in the Haute-Savoie region of France, only an hour’s drive from Geneva.
Set in the heart of the beautiful Giffre valley at the foot of the impressive Grand Massif mountain range, Samoens has been awarded a Coq d’Or for being one of the prettiest villages in France and is the only ski resort in the Alps classified as a Monument Historique.
Once a thriving stone-cutting centre, it still retains its character and charm with an 11th century medieval church, stone fountains and rustic old buildings overlooked by the enchanting Criou mountain.
Although unspoilt, Samoens still offers all the essential amenities with numerous restaurants, cafés and bars offering a range of culinary delights from traditional Savoyard to international cuisine. There is a cinema, internet cafés, health and beauty parlours, two mini supermarkets, cash points, pharmacies, doctors, bakeries and so on.
Just outside the village is a Carrefour supermarket and 17km away in Cluses a Carrefour hypermarket. There is also an excellent open air market in Samoens on Wednesday mornings.
Winter Ski Resort
In the winter, Samoens is the perfect base for skiing in the Grand Massif and the village shops provide everything you need for skiing and snowboarding equipment hire and purchase.
Throughout the year the Tourist Office puts on a variety of entertainment in the historic village square ranging from kids events to exhibitions and concerts.
Summer Family Holiday Destination
Samoens is perfect for families. Apart from the kids clubs, adventure parks and swimming pools, there are endless summer activities for children and indeed adults of all ages. For the under 6 there are day nurseries (advanced booking is required).
Christmas and New Year in Samoens
At Christmas there are festive activities in the village square with mulled wine, pancakes, roast chestnuts and plenty of fine local products to taste. The grand Christmas parade goes through the village with Father Christmas flying in to the delight of the children. On New Year’s Eve there is a firework display and dancing creating a great atmosphere.
Botanic Gardens, National Parks and Mountain Lakes
La Jaysinia Botanic Garden is located near the centre of the village. Created in 1906, it houses more than 8,000 plants and over 5,000 varieties of Alpine flora from around the world, together with waterfalls and castle ruins from the XII century.
There is raw nature and spectacular scenery everywhere you look with an abundance of mountain lakes, national parks and vast numbers of enormous waterfalls cascading down the mountains that surround Samoens.