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Samoens - Top 10 things to do – not just for skiing!

It’s the start of week seven of winter season, and so far, it couldn’t have been better.  With record levels of snow, and bluebird powder days to rival some of the best the Alps Accommodation team have experienced in their 8 ½ years of business, Samoens is proving yet again to be an ideal skiing and snowboarding holiday destination.

So what do you do if you don’t want to ski on your winter holiday?  Well, quite simply, you should still come to Samoens!  Although conditions for skiing and snowboarding are fabulous this year, there is so much more than skiing on offer here in this charming little village.  To help plan how best to fill your week of non-skiing, the team at Alps Accommodation have put together a list of the top ten things to do in Samoens when you just don’t want to ski.

  1. 1. Guided Visit – There is so much history in this little village, much dating back to medieval times.  In fact, the name Samoens is a medieval term, describing the seven mountain peaks surrounding the village.  On the guided tour you take a fascinating step back in time, entering a world of great stone masons that lived in Samoens centuries ago.  These artisans created some of the stunning chapels and buildings that you can still see in the village today.  For bookings contact the Tourist Office on     +33 (0)4 50 34 40 28
  2. 2. The Alpine Botanic Garden – These beautiful gardens were established in 1906 by Parisian Marie-Louise Cognaqc-Jaÿ.  Covering 3.7 hectares of steep terrain on a south facing slope, the gardens offer a gorgeous panoramic view over Samoens village.  There are 12th century castle ruins and a 13th century chapel in the grounds, as well as fountains and a waterfall which are often frozen into striking forms in the winter.  The gardens are open every day in winter between 8am and midday, and 1pm and 4.30pm.
  3. 3. A La Jaÿsinia – When it’s cold and snowy outside, there’s nothing better than sitting in this cosy tea house sipping a steaming cup of hot chocolate topped with a great big dollop of Chantilly cream.  Well actually there is one thing better… enjoying one of award winning Thierry Froissard’s pastry delights as an accompaniment! A La Jaÿsinia boulangerie/ pâtisserie is situated on La Grande Rue, off the village centre.
  4. 4. Moto neige, Samoens 1600 – The pistes have closed for the day and night falls on the mountain.  It’s a beautiful sight – dark, and yet so bright, the snow reflecting in the moonlight.  The mountain is completely deserted, silent, and then - your ski-doo roars into life!  This is one activity the Alps Accommodation team got to experience just recently, and it was loved by all.  One hour of guided ski-dooing through narrow tree-lined runs at night, followed by a traditional mountain menu of charcuterie, salads, and fondue.  A truly exhilarating (and very tasty!) experience.  It’s also very popular so be sure to book.  For reservation enquiries contact Au Rendez-vous des Skieurs on      +33 (0)6 07 90 06 92 
  5. 5. Daily Animations – The Samoens Tourist Office organises a number of activities each week that are free for all to enjoy.  This week visitors can learn to cook a local specialty, the tartiflette, at the open-air cooking class held in the square on Tuesday.  On Thursday, they can taste some local wines and liqueurs at La Feuille de Vigne, situated on Rue Cognacq-Jaÿ, followed by music and dancing back in the square.  There’s always plenty going on, so check the Samoens Tourist Office website for the weekly events calendar.
  6. 6. Village Markets – The French are renowned for a strong market tradition, and here in Samoens this certainly reigns true.  Every Wednesday from 7am to 1pm the village is a-buzz with market fever.  A vast array of fresh produce, including fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, local delicacies and of course cheese and saucisson are on offer.  There’s also clothing, crafts, jewelry and many more knick-knacks to be found.  The markets are a definite must do when visiting Samoens, and a great place to practice your French with the friendly locals!
  7. 7. Vin Chaud – A trip to the French Alps is not complete without sampling the traditional beverage of hot mulled wine, and for the best vin chaud Samoens has to offer go to Jeff’s “L’Apres Ski”.  From 4pm each afternoon this little outdoor bar becomes an après ski hot spot for locals and tourists alike.  L’Apres Ski is situated in front of Jeff’s Savoyard specialties store on Rue Cognacq-Jaÿ.
  8. 8. Soiree Yourte – Anook, Trappeur des Neiges is a locally owned and operated company offering a unique evening experience in the mountains.  Take a torch lit (flames not battery operated!) walk through snowy forests with your qualified mountain guide. You will learn about the nature, animals, and even the stars above on your way to the yourtes - traditional Mongolian roundhouses.  There you will enjoy a great meal in a truly convivial environment.  For bookings contact Ludo on             +33 (0)6 25 70 37 08
  9. 9. Nordic Centre – There are so many activities besides skiing and snowboarding on offer in Samoens.  You can learn how to build an igloo, or drive a sled-dog team.  You can take a gentle or energetic hike on snowshoes, or if you prefer, have an excellent morning’s workout trying your hand at cross-country skiing.  Whatever the activity, the Nordic Centre is the place to go.  The Nordic Centre office is situated just inside the Tourist Office at the village entrance.
  10. 10.  Hit the slopes anyway! – So you’re not a skier or snowboarder…yet!  These sports truly are great fun and there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a go.  There are some fantastic instructors working for the various ski schools in the village - ZigZag, ESF, 360 – so give them a call. 

And be sure to give us a call!  The team at Alps Accommodation are more than happy to help make sure you have the best winter holiday you can.  Skiers and non-skiers alike, Samoens has something for everyone, so be sure to check our availability and last minute deals today.  Looking forward to welcoming you into resort soon!

Samoens