At Alps Accommodation, we have long regarded the villages of Samoens, Morillon and Sixt as ‘real’ villages, located in a ‘real’ mountain valley of the Haute Giffre - unspoilt, authentic, and beautiful. The villages are not just ski resorts, the valley offers much more than skiing. In fact, we have long thought that if skiing didn’t exist in our valley, it would remain a wonderful choice for winter holidays. Little did we know, Winter 2020/21 would be the ultimate test of that theory.
So, as we approach the final week of the February holiday period, over half way through the winter season, we’ve been overwhelmed to welcome so many guests to the valley, hear so much positive feedback, and see so much fun around the villages and mountains.
“Thank you, we had a wonderful weekend, everything was set up despite this difficult period. THANK YOU to the local restaurants who were open for takeaway and delivery services and especially to the resort which allowed us to ski thanks to the magic carpet ... drinking a beer in the sun ... we are back to LIVING again! See you soon I hope" Isabelle Perdices
The mountains have been a hive of activity! The cross-country skiing areas of Samoens have experienced a huge increase in demand, including their popular marked snow covered walking trails and sledging areas! In fact, some brand new cross country pistes have been created at Samoens 1600 as a result of its popularity this year. Mountain restaurants on the Samoens 1600 plateau have been offering a take away service of food and drinks, meaning lunch in the sunshine with fresh mountain air and stunning views has still been possible, and popular! Ski touring is another activity which has proved incredibly popular with many guests taking the opportunity to explore their favourite Grand Massif ski runs, as well as those outside the ski area and the enormous off piste areas. It has been a great opportunity to join one of the local ski schools who have been offering introductory ski touring sessions. Snowshoeing trails have seen many feet, big and small, with the more adventurous heading up from the valley floor towards the peaks!
The Samoens ice rink, a firm family favourite, has again proved popular with additional activities such as curling available this winter - even human curling! The development of fat bikes has allowed bike enthusiasts to get their winter fix, their chunky tyres perfectly adapted to the slippery winter terrain. And one of the newer activities on the seemingly endless list – winter white water rafting! If your morning coffee doesn’t wake you up, a refreshing decent of the Giffre river certainly will! Parapenting, sledging, snowman building, igloo building, sunbathing, picnicing, you name it, we’ve seen people doing it this month! It's so wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves, here in the mountains.
“The 10 of us had a great stay in the beautiful Chalet Sole Mio. It snowed a little every day, it was magical! We all enjoyed our stay very much, even during the time of the pandemic, because the area is beautiful. Thanks to Alps Accommodation for allowing us to have a wonderful family stay." Maisonnasse, Chalet Sole Mio, December 2020
Of course, the beautiful villages retain their eternal charm and strolling their historic streets, taking in the snowy mountain scenery, and browsing the local shops for souvenirs has proved popular once again. Restaurants and bars may be closed, but they have been providing a takeaway service allowing our guests to enjoy all the local dishes and produce in the comfort of their accommodation. Not to forget the weekly local markets which have been as popular as ever! The team at the Samoens and Morillon Tourist Offices have been amazing, organising so many new activities for all the family, including a climbing wall, remote control car races, treasure hunts, geocaching, and snow sculpting. Not to mention a whole host of creative activities for children including pottery, key chain making, photography, dancing...
We gauge success based on the feedback we receive from our guests. Many of you were, quite understandably, a little apprehensive about holidaying in the mountains during winter without the lifts. However, the feedback so far has been so positive, we could not have envisaged such a successful first half to the season and February holiday period given the circumstances. This is a tribute to all the local businesses who are going that little bit further to make your holiday special and bring the other mountain activities to the forefront, but most importantly the continued support of our wonderful guests. You are keeping our valley alive - THANK YOU!
"I always do my guiding work with a lot of pleasure and in general my guests enjoy a nice time in the mountains. But this winter season has been even more special. A lot of guests I have had live in busy cities like Paris. Some of them are a bit disappointed that they are not able to ski, but most of them are just happy to be away from the daily Covid situation and enjoy some quality time in the mountains. Their positive attitude gives me a boost as well; I feel that my work is appreciated, which makes me even more enthusiastic about my wonderful job! I have met so many awesome families and we did so many great activities, from igloo building to animal watching and from snow safety courses to a sporty snowshoe hike. I think this season really opened many eyes that a winter sports holiday could be much more than just 6 days of skiing in the Grand Massif; away from the crowds people discovered the peace and space in the backcountry. They will forget about that blue piste they have skied, but they will definitely remember that igloo they have built and the outdoor dinner with the view on Mont Blanc!” Arno de Jong, Guide, Snowshoe Samoens
"We have been seduced by this very warm little cocoon, very well equipped, a chalet which is very suitable for couples. Beautiful resort for hikers, beautiful waterfalls, especially the NANT SEC" Fauvre & Cedric, La Cabine, February 2020
"It is with great pleasure and joy we come back to you after our holiday at Chalet 75. We would like to thank you very much for everything concerning your local information. Nothing to say, everything was as descibed. Also it was great to have Meghan and David available to answer any questions. We thank you all." Zelic & Mladenovic family, Chalet 75, January 2021
"A more than pleasant stay at the Mazot! We appreciated Kat's warm welcome and assistance. A week in the snow, where we enjoyed being by the fire or in the sauna. Thank you for everything." Sandra & Ludovic, Le Mazot, January 2021
"The Chalet" Petit Coeur "is very welcoming, really comfortable for 4/5, very well decorated and appointed. Nothing is missing: the bedding and accommodation are very pleasant ... not to mention Fiona and Lewis who were always available, helpful and invaluable for any information. Very close to the center of the village. I highly recommend! Very good stay in this difficult winter period 2020! We will return with pleasure!" Silvia and family, Chalet Petit Coeur, December 2020