At the heart of the valley of the Haut-Giffre, just over an hour away by road from Geneva, the ski resort of Samoëns nestles at the foot of the majestic Criou mountain. Samoëns has remained unspoilt by tourist developments and is the only resort in France to be listed as a 'Land of Art and History'. Once a thriving stone-cutting centre, it still retains an ancient church, medieval fountains and a variety of old rustic buildings. Despite recent growth on the outskirts, the many traditional-style bars and restaurants still give a feel for the 'real' rural France.
The resort is linked to the massive Grand Massif (with Les Carroz, Morillon and Flaine) and provides extensive skiing for all levels with virtually no queues. Not many places offer such a wide variety of skiing, and very few have such fantastic panoramic views over Mont-Blanc. And if the sublime beauty of the landscape isn't enough, the region also boasts a really good snow record, thanks to its geographic position.
There is an excellent nursery slope area at Samoens 1600, in fact now the biggest beginners' area in the Haute Savoie. For the more advanced there is also a testing terrain: The steep north-facing mogul slopes from the Tête des Saix, the central point of the entire Grand Massif system, down to Samoëns are particularly enjoyable.
The resorts of the Grand Massif are linked by 265 km of pistes. There are 75 lifts, three different types of Jam Park, (snow parks for freestyle skiing and boarding), and restaurants and bars galore offering all kinds of regional specialities.
Access to the pistes from Samoëns couldn't be easier. The new Grand Massif Express cable car ferries skiers from the middle of Samoëns to the plateau at 1600m in eight minutes. The cable car at Vercland also goes directly to the plateau, from where you can ski anywhere in the Grand Massif according to which pass you have. The Massif pass entitles you to use 59 ski lifts and 140 km of pistes in all the resorts except Flaine, although you can descend the Combes de Vernant and the Grands Vans. The Grand Massif ski pass entitles you to all this plus the whole of Flaine.
Generally low-key and not for the non-stop party animals amongst you! There are 30 Restaurants, 15 bars & a tearoom, cinema, and shops.
|Airport Transfer Time
||Geneva 1 hour