Samoens Summer

Samoëns Village

Nestled in the heart of the Haute Savoie region of the French Alps between Chamonix and Geneva, the Haut-Giffre valley is home to a handful of magnificent alpine villages. One of these villages is Samoëns. Located at 710m altitude, Samoëns is a traditional Alpine village renowned for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes and incredible mountain playground. Full of character, the village has stone masonry and farming at its heart and this is still very much still evident today.

Despite becoming increasingly well known as a world-class year round tourist destination, the village retains an authenticity and charm which is unique to Samoëns. This spectacular area is protected and therefore hasn’t been spoilt by development or tourism, with Samoëns being awarded a ‘Coq d’Or’ for being one of the prettiest villages in France and is the only ski resort classified by the Caisse des Monuments Historiques.

As a fully functioning village with a year-round population, Samoëns offers a particularly comprehensive range of amenities perfectly suited to those looking for a more relaxed visit. From excellent restaurants, shops, ice rink, cinema, daily activities and events, to lakes, historical sites, stunning architecture, and so much more. The village stands alone as a fantastic and worthwhile tourist destination without the bounties which lay beyond.

The area is a nature lovers' dream with the glacier-fed river Giffre, dramatic mountain peaks, a national park, incredible waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife surrounding the village. Peppered all over the valley are over twenty waterfalls, none more impressive than at the Le Cirque-du-Fer-à-Cheval where some enormous waterfalls fall over 500 vertical metres.

Those looking for action and adventure will find a huge number of activities available, whether visiting in summer or winter. And of course, the village just so happens to offer convenient high-speed links into the Grand Massif ski area, one of the biggest and best ski areas in France, if not the world.

The village and the local area have a great deal to offer families, groups and individuals of all ages and interests, whether seeking adventure or relaxation.

Our hand-picked properties have been selected for their premium locations and facilities within Samoëns, Morillon and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, helping you take advantage of this spectacular valley.

The village and the local area have a great deal to offer families, groups and individuals of all ages and interests, whether seeking adventure or relaxation.

Our hand-picked properties have been selected for their premium locations and facilities within Samoëns, Morillon and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, helping you take advantage of this spectacular valley.


Samoëns offers a varied selection of restaurants serving everything from local dishes such as tartiflette, fondue and raclette, to international favourites such as pizza, burger and even sushi. Whether you’re looking for a cosy traditional restaurant with a log fire, a lakeside restaurant offering fantastic views, or something hidden away in the forests and mountains surrounding the village, there’s something for everyone!


The village has a great selection of bars mostly centred around the beautiful village square, but also spread throughout the village, including some lakeside bars open in summer. In the winter, the village comes alive in the early evening and the fun can continue late into the night!


No French holiday would be complete without a visit to a boulangerie, and in Samoëns you are spoiled for choice, with no less than three to choose from. Boulangerie Jaysinia has an excellent tea room.


On the edge of Samoëns is a large and great-value Carrefour supermarket with a fuel station. It is generally open Mon-Sat year-round, and Sunday mornings throughout the ski season, July and August.

Conveniently located within Samoëns village are two small supermarkets which are normally open 7 days/week with 2 hours lunchtime closing.

If you wish to shop before arriving in Samoëns, there are Carrefour, Lidl and Grand Frais supermarkets in Cluses (19km from Samoëns).

In addition, Samoëns has several chocolatiers, health spas, beauty parlours 3 banks and ATMs, a medical centre, pharmacy, optician, clothes shops, a fantatic selection of local boutique shops and so much more!

Our Samoëns village map gives more information on local amenities.

Village Square

In the very heart Samoëns or village square, or Grand Place Tilleul, is the beating heart of the village. Here you will find stunning buildings packed with history, interspersed with restaurants, cafes and bars, and with the iconic Criou mountain towering overhead. The village square also hosts many events throughout the year such as music concerts, festivals and the popular Christmas Village. Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, it’s the ideal place to take a moment to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Alpine Botanical Garden Jaÿsinia

Created by Marie-Louise Cognacq Jaÿ in 1904, the stunning botanical gardens showcase over 2400 species of plants from all around the world. Located in the very heart of the village, the gardens offer 3km of smooth paths passing waterfalls, streams, ponds, and culminating at the chapel Jaÿsinia at the top of the hill. You will also enjoy unique and stunning views over Samoëns village.

Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church

Packed with history, the beautiful church dates back to the 13th century and is one of many examples of the renowned local stonemasons. Today it is open to the public for visits and hosts occasional music concerts.

The Chapels of Samoëns

Samoëns village is surrounded by nine beautiful chapels, the oldest of which dates back to the fifteenth century. Found in picturesque hamlets which are well worth visiting on their own, their locations often provide stunning views over the valley.

In addition to the incredible range of mountain sports available, the village itself offers a great range of year-round activities suitable for the whole family.

Events & Daily Activities

Throughout winter, and particularly in the summer, the village is a hive of activity with exciting events such as live music concerts, festivals, top-level sport, arts, crafts, and more. In addition, the tourist office of Samoëns organises daily activities around the village perfect for the whole family. They publish a weekly schedule available on our homepage. or the Tourist Office website.

Lac aux Dames

Located on the edge of the village, within walking distance of the village centre, the Lac aux Dames are two beautiful mountain lakes linked by a waterfall and offering a wide range of year-round activities.

River Giffre

Just a short walk from the village centre, the Giffre River is a source of endless fun, particularly in summer. The ideal place for a picnic, its banks are lined by smooth, well-surface paths ideal for family walks or bike rides. And its glacial waters are ideal for cooling off!

Samoëns Ice Rink

The modern covered ice rink is a popular choice for families in winter, open during the day and in the evenings, and with regular ice hockey matches and other events.

Samoëns Cinema

Samoëns boasts a great cinema located in the centre of the village offering a great selection of the latest movies. On the weekly programme, look out for films marked 'VOST' which are shown in English.

The market of Samoëns is one of the biggest and most popular in the area. Whether you’re looking for fresh local produce, cheese, meat, fish, clothing, local specialities, or souvenirs, you’ll find it all! Predominantly based around the Tourist Office, the market takes over the whole village during the peak holiday weeks.

The market takes place every Wednesday morning from around 7am to 12pm.

Perched over 800 vertical metres above the village of Samoëns is the Plateau des Saix, the entry point to the Grand Massif ski area. This mountain plateau provides the perfect terrain for Samoëns nursery ski area, and is also the meeting point for ski schools, several restaurants, bars, and cafes, and some wonderful views!

Overlooking the Plateau des Saix, and situated ever so slightly higher than the plateau is Samoens 1600. Here, you find yet more restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as equipment rental shops.

The Grand Massif Express telecabine, located on the edge of Samoens, is a modern high-speed ski lift taking you from the village to the Plateau des Saix in around 9 minutes. At the foot of the telecabine you will find a large car park, as well as rental shops. Alternatively, the Vercland telecabine links Vercland, a hamlet 3km from Samoens, to Samoens 1600. These ski lifts are open to everyone, allowing non-skiers to enjoy the benefits.

The Plateau des Saix and Samoëns 1600 are linked by a free bus service and a short piste, while the Vercland telecabine and Samoëns are also linked by a bus service.

When snow conditions allow, a ski piste linking Samoens 1600 and the Plateau des Saix to Vercland allows skiers to descend within touching distance of the valley floor, with a short bus ride delivering you back to Samoëns

Samoëns boasts a rich history dating back to the 12th century. Renowned for its Gros-Tilleul tree from 1435, the village became a hub for stonemasons in the 16th century, supplementing farming income and forming a brotherhood in 1659. This brotherhood, known as the Société des Maçons, engaged in charity work, trained apprentices, and contributed to global construction projects. Influenced by diverse cultures, Samoëns reflects this in its stunning architecture. Pioneering tourism in the 19th century, Marie-Louise Jaÿ funded the Botanical Garden and revitalized mountain pastures. Today, Samoëns preserves its heritage through architectural details, stonecutters, and a commitment to cultural preservation.

Related Articles

- Seven Mountain Pastures, One Dazzling Destination, Samoëns’ Rich History
- Samoëns – A Century of Winter Wonder

Samoens in Photos

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Village Map

Village Map



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