News from the snow
Nestled at the heart of a great glacial valley, surrounded by seven dramatic peaks, Samoëns has for centuries been the focus of important historical events. Older and larger than neighbouring Morillon, Samoëns retains the friendly charm of an ancient market town, still strongly influenced by its farming and masonry traditions. There's a generally peaceful, timeless feel to the resort, although lively night spots can be found. In recent years the resort has taken a dramatic strep forward with the opening of a modern gondola lift that lifts guests right from the village up in to the Grand Massif, the fifth largest ski area in France and one of the world's 30 biggest.
Nestled at the heart of a great glacial valley, Samoëns has for centuries been the focus of important historical events. Older and larger than neighbouring Morillon, Samoëns retains the friendly charm of an ancient market town, still strongly influenced by its farming and masonry traditions. The Grand Massif skiing is accessed through a base station at Vercland, 2km from the village.
Runs to try include the Piste des Cascades which from Samoëns 1600 you need to go to Flaine and take the
Grandes Platières cable car. The 14km (9 miles) long, blue rated wonderful Cascades run descends to the resort of Sixt Fer à Cheval. Expert skiers looking for tough skiing take the same lifts but head for the Combe de Gers sector and a black slope called "Styx" which is never bashed. This rejoins the long Cascades run at its end. Closer to home the Croix area at Samoëns 1600 has the black slopes Marmotte and Chamois", both really enjoyable runs with jumps and ramps at the end of the slopes.
One of the best known areas is the Combe de Gers reached from Samoëns 1600 by heading up to Flaine and then taking the Grandes Platières cable car over to Combe de Gers. Here a black slope called Styx is never crowded. This can take you over to join the Piste des Cascades or take a lift back to Flaine. Heliskiing (into Italy, not legal in France) is possible through the ski school, minimum of three participants of at least level three ability equivalent on the French scale. The Ski school also organises excursions to the legendary Vallee Blanche above Chamonix where descents of up to 25km (17 miles) off piste are possible from 3842 metres.
Families wanting to holiday in Samoens around Christmas, or Easter could also take advantage of some special offers. It means that if you stay in selected accommodation, for every service bought by an adult at full price, there's an equivalent free service for a child under 12. So for example, if an adult buys a full-price six-day Grand Massif ski pass, a child under 12 gets a free one. This principle operates for ski equipment rental, accommodation, and a block of six skiing lessons.
Many of the restaurant proprietors have made great efforts to ebnsure that their establishment's interiors reflect the Savoyard traditional styyle with welcoming chalet decor, often with a roaring log fire.
There is normally a choice of at least one fixed-price set menu and a separate children's menu for the under 12's. Nobody minds however if you just ask for an extra plate and just let your children sample what you're eating.