Skiing in the Grand Massif

Great snow record and easy to reach

Chez Michelle is only an 8-minute free ski bus ride away from the Grand Massif Express lift for high speed access to Samoens 1600, gateway to the Grand Massif, one of the biggest and best ski domains in the Alps.

Skiing and Snowboarding in the Grand Massif

One of the largest linked ski areas in Europe, the Grand Massif boasts over 75 lifts and 265 kilometres of slopes spread across 5 resorts: Flaine, Morillon, Les Carroz, Sixt and Samoens.

Due to its north and north-west facing slopes and its close proximity to Mont Blanc, the Grand Massif area has one of the best snow records of any resort in the French Alps.

The ski domain caters for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities – from beginner to advanced. It has over 15 green runs, 53 blue, 51 red and 14 black, as well as extensive off-piste areas to explore. For those into jumps and tricks, there are some excellent JAM snow parks too.

For the Beginner

The nursery slopes at Samoens 1600 include one of the largest beginners’ areas in the French Alps and a fantastic new children’s area. Several ski and snowboarding schools operate out of Samoens, offering high quality group and personal tuition with English speaking instructors.

Top of the Grand Massif at Flaine in the French Alps

For the Intermediate

The pistes of the Grand Massif offer the intermediate skier or snowboarder a huge variety of wide, open tree-lined runs, including the 14km Cascade run that traverses the natural reserve of Sixt Fer a Cheval.

With so many routes to choose from, you can ski at your own pace without the crowds and queues associated with many of the more well-known ski resorts. And, of course, there is a good selection of mountain restaurants to revive your energy and stamina throughout the day.

For the Advanced

The skills and fitness level of the more advanced skier and snowboarder are put to test on the challenging black runs and off-piste skiing throughout the Grand Massif, reaching over 2500m at the highest point.

For the Kids

When they are not in ski school, kids (and even adults!) of all ages can enjoy hours of fun tobogganing at Samoens 1600. For those not quite big enough for ski school, there is a playgroup and childcare facilities in Samoens.

Chamonix ski area in France

Les Gets, Morzine and Chamonix

As if that’s not enough, the ski resorts of Les Gets and Morzine are about 30 minutes away by car for access to Avoriaz and the huge Portes de Soleil ski domain.

Alternatively, Chamonix is only a 45-minute drive away for some of the most revered off-piste skiing in the world.

Other Winter Activities

Cross Country Skiing

There are endless opportunities to cross country ski in the local area, including cross country skiing in the Col de Joux Plane which, at an altitude of 1700m, is almost guaranteed from November to April (shuttle bus runs from the centre of Samoens).

Raquettes (Snow Shoe Trekking)

Guided snow shoeing for all ages and levels on specially prepared tracks in Sixt Fer A Cheval (Nature Reserve), Verchaix, Morillon and Joux Plane.

Ice Skating

The 1456m2 ice rink in the centre of Samoens is open to the public from October to April each year at certain times of the day and evening. The rink also hosts ice hockey matches, ice skating galas and disco evenings.

Ice climbing on waterfalls in the Grand Massif, France

Also …

Paragliding, Indoor Climbing, Ice Climbing on waterfalls, Dog Sledging, Ice Diving, Winter Archery, Igloo Building, Animal Tracking, Caving, Heli-Skiing and even Avalanche Rescue introductory courses.

Most of these are available through the Tourist Office in Samoens.