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6 Unique Things to Do in Samoëns in Winter

If you're planning a winter visit to Samoëns and the Grand Massif then get ready to enjoy a huge number of non-ski activities here in the Haut-Giffre valley. We've put together a list of our top six unique activities in Samoëns which you really, really must do during your next visit!

1.  Explore Samoëns Village

Samoëns is the only ski resort in France to be listed as a 'Monument Historique'. The beautiful, medieval centre of Samoëns without doubt sets it apart from the vast majority of ski villages around the world. As the iconic Criou mountain towers overhead in spectacular fashion, there can be no doubting your location in the world. Stroll the snowy streets and take in authentic architecture and numerous local shops, cafes, restaurants and bakeries. As a real working village you can mix in with the locals at the weekly market and buy fresh produce from a variety of local suppliers.

There are numerous events and activities arranged by the Tourist Office through the ski season, with highlights including the stunning 'Village de Noel' during the Christmas period, firework shows, music, kid's games, guided historic tours and much more! They all help to generate a wonderful vibe around town during the winter months.

2.  Lunch at the Refuge du Lac de Gers

The Grand Massif offers some fantastic skiing and a great selection of excellent mountain restaurants where you can enjoy local delicacies to stunning backdrops.

However, the Refuge du Lac de Gers offers, without a doubt, one of the most unique opportunities. Located about 750m from the Cascade ski piste between Flaine and Sixt, it boasts an incredibly scenic location in a hidden valley, overlooking a frozen lake. Give the refuge a call via a piste-side telephone, and they will obligingly collect you on a snowmobile (or tow you!) and deliver you to the refuge. A sunny terrace and excellent food await!

3.  The Col de Joux Plane

A feared road cycling route made famous by the Tour de France, the Col de Joux Plane is also a winter paradise. Take a scenic bus ride from Samoëns tourist office through sleepy hamlets up to the snowy col at 1800m altitude. Up there you'll find a variety of activities on offer such as excellent cross country skiing, marked snowshoe and walking routes, and a kids sledging area. All of this is enjoyed to a backdrop of stunning views including Mont Blanc, and a mountain restaurant.

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4.  Snowshoeing and a Fondue in a Yurt

If you want to explore our wonderful natural environment but you can't ski, don't want to ski, or just fancy a change, then we'd highly recommend snowshoeing. There are serval marked trails around Samoëns and Morillon, up on the Col de Joux Plane, or at the Cirque du Fer-a-Cheval in Sixt. Alternatively, if you're looking for maximum adventure then hire a guide and they'll help you to get the most from our mountains. How about an evening exploring the forests above Samoëns under the stars, followed by a delicious fondue in a Yurt? 

5.  Après-ski with a Difference

If dancing on tables and loud music are not your thing, then try out these more relaxed après-ski ideas. How about an après-ski drink or two at l'Après-Ski, known locally as 'Jeffs', where you'll find what is possibly the best vin chaud (and cake!) in the valley! There is always a great buzz around the heated outdoor seating area which is the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by. There are lots of other excellent apres-ski options in Samoëns and Morillon, and we're sure you won't need any encouragement to check them out!

6.  White Water Rafting

Yes, you read that correctly. Nunayak are providing the first ever winter river descent in France, from Sixt to Samoëns. They provide all the equipment to ensure you stay safe and warm!

There are so many things to do in the valley away from the ski pistes! For a comprehensive list, check out our non-ski activities page.

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