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It’s a question we’re often asked by those who have never visited Samoens or the Grand Massif.
The short answer is you can’t ski into Samoens village. But you can ski to the hamlet of Vercland, 2km from the centre of Samoens, with a free bus taking you into Samoens.
However, if you’re considering ruling out Samoens in favour of a ski in, ski out resort, then stop right there. We think it’s a GOOD thing! Let us explain why…
For those unfamiliar with Samoens, Morillon and the Grand Massif, here’s a quick overview.
Samoens village is linked to the Grand Massif ski area by two modern telecabines – the Grand Massif Express which departs from Samoens village, and the Vercland telecabine which departs from the hamlet of Vercland, about 2km outside Samoens. Both telecabines whisk you up to the plateau of Samoens 1600 where you’ll find nursery slopes, bars, restaurants, and links into the rest of the Grand Massif.
At the end of the ski day, you have three choices – descend via the Grand Massif Express to Samoens, descend via the Vercland telecabine to Vercland, or ski the red piste La Grand Cret to Vercland. Even with a modest altitude, terminating at only 800m, the piste offers reasonably reliable snow cover thanks to snow canons all the way. If you choose the telecabine option to return to the village, and hire your ski through our rental partner Roland Gay, you can leave your skis and boots in heated lockers overnight before you get on the lift.
But forget about the Grand Massif ski area for a second, because even if it didn’t exist, the village of Samoens alone would be well worth a visit.
For us, one of Samoens’ most endearing features is its history, its charm, and its authenticity. Dating back to 1167, it’s a ‘proper’ village with beautiful, traditional architecture, a stunning church, and a year-round population. Have a wander around and you’ll see farmers working the fields, kids walking to school, local produce in the shops, a year-round weekly market, locals sipping red wine in the square, and a village that doesn’t close down out of season.
This all means that the village caters perfectly to non-skiers as well as skiers. Enjoy numerous local shops, cafes, restaurants, cinema, ice rink, or simply enjoy a relaxing walk/snowshoe around the frozen lakes, or alongside the Giffre river. The village’s location on the valley floor means there are so many non-ski activities to enjoy!
Samoens isn’t a purpose-built ski resort, and it’s all the better for it.
If you’re looking for convenience, then Samoens has that covered. There’s no need to struggle around with rental equipment, our equipment rental partners offer ski lockers up at Samoens 1600, or in-shop storage at the bottom of the Grand Massif Express telecabine. Leaving you free to enjoy a leisurely stroll through town to the lift, and some carefree après ski!
Ski lessons are equally simple – book your lessons online, and then meet your instructor at the designated meeting points at Samoens 1600.
The Grand Massif Express and Vercland telecabines are served by a regular free bus service which also links up all the villages in the valley. And there’s a huge car park directly opposite the telecabine. Alternatively, reserve a property close to the lift!
No long windy airport transfers, as the village is only 1 hour from Geneva airport and only 20 minutes off the motorway!
If you still fancy the idea of a ski in, ski out resort, then we’ve got three options for you:
As we explained earlier, the hamlet of Vercland has its own telecabine and piste, an excellent bar/restaurant, La Reposette, and we have a selection of properties in and around Vercland. The closest just a few metres from the piste!
Morillon village also has a telecabine linking the village centre with Morillon 1100, and a return piste back to the base of the very same telecabine. We have several properties in Morillon located opposite the lift/piste, and around the village.
Morillon 1100 is a purpose-built ski resort located around 500m directly above Morillon village. It links up with Samoens and the whole Grand Massif. Up there, you’ll find bars, restaurants, a boulangerie, nursery slopes, and our selection of ski in, ski out properties right on the piste. Well worth a try if you really want ski in, ski out, and to experience the whole of the large Grand Massif ski area.