Another fantastic day on the slopes of the Grand Massif has come to an end. Daylight fades to night, and piste-bashers now take to the mountain while the last of the day’s revellers are all aboard the Grand Massif Express, descending back into resort. Their day of fun and excitement is far from over however - it’s time for some après-ski!
‘Après-ski’ is of course a French term - the culture of seeking out after ski fun originated right here in the Alps. Norwegians enjoyed post-ski gatherings from as early as the 1800s, but it was the Swiss and the French (yep, those pioneers of winter tourism) who took ‘après’ to the next level. Après-ski has evolved even further with its spread to Austria in particular and other European resorts, as well as oversees, but despite some common misconception it is still alive and well here in France.
In fact, during the winter here in Samoëns après-ski is very much a part of ‘la vie quotidienne’ (everyday life). Now Samoëns is still the charming, quaint and relaxed family resort it always has been, but boy does it have an awful lot going on in the après-ski department too!
Sharing stories of exciting adventures while enjoying one or two drinks is a long-standing après-ski tradition, and here in Samoëns and the Giffre valley we are really spoilt for choice when it comes to where to go!
Au Pré d'Oscar is an excellent restaurant located up on the pistes of Samoëns 1600, boasting some truly incredible views from its sunny terrace. However, once the lunch service is over, the music is turned up and the fun really begins, with live music, dancing on tables, and lots of fun to be expected! Keep an eye on their Instagram page for specific events.
Live music, food and a fantastic atmosphere make Le Kern a top après-ski location in Samoëns. Conveniently located opposite the Grand Massif Express telecabine for the classic piste-to-bar fun!
If you’re a fan of sport then be sure to catch your favourite team or major sporting event on the big screens!
Red Rock Cafe
Open daily 4pm til late
Rue des Billets, Samoëns (see our village map)
This excellent little night spot, with its cool vibe inside and out, is perfect for chilling out with a beer, wine or super tasty cocktail. It gets pretty lively as the night wears on too, and depending on the time of year there’s normally plenty going on with live music and DJ sets, and they show most major sporting events on the big screen.
A ski trip to the Alps is not a ski trip to the Alps unless you’ve sampled a glass of traditional mulled wine. For the best vin chaud Samoëns has to offer go to Jeff’s ‘L’Après Ski’. As the day turns to night this little outdoor bar becomes an après-ski hot spot for locals and tourists alike and often has live music or open mic nights.
Great atmosphere, great food and drink, great people – all in all just a generally great time Situated right by the piste at the bottom of the Vercland telecabine, Dutch-owned and operated La Reposette is the ideal après-ski venue. It’s also just a short drive from Samoëns centre. It’s great bar, large salon space, and comfy couches by the fireplace make for a very welcoming environment. It’s no wonder it’s so popular with both tourists and locals alike.
Step off the telecabine in Morillon and cross the road. That’s all you have to do to find yourself right in the hub of everything après-ski in Morillon. This great little bar is a local’s favourite so you’re generally assured a good night out any day of the week. Challenge someone to a game of table football or get your groove on every Thursday at the live and free concert!
Located on the banks of the river opposite the Sixt tourist office, Nunabar is a relaxed and friendly par offering pizza nights and often host live music through the winter. For details of current events be sure to check out their website.
Remember these are just a selection of the best night spots on offer in and around Samoëns and the Haut-Giffre valley. For a full list see our Restaurants and Bars in Samoëns and Restaurants and Bars in Morillon pages.
Wining and dining certainly make up a big part of the après-ski experience but there is so much more to it than that. Here in Samoëns we are also spoilt for our choice of the many fantastic après-ski activities that are available. There really is something for everyone to enjoy - no matter what your age or adventure there is an activity for you!
Samoëns Ice Rink
Open daily - various session times (see website for details)
155 route des Drugères, Samoëns
The brand new 56m x 26m ice skating arena opened in autumn 2015. With grand stand seating for up to 450 guests and 600m2 of covered, outdoor ice skating the competition standard ice rink is a fantastic addition to Samoëns village. The ice rink is open every day - most nights until 10.30pm! – and equipment is available for hire onsite. Throughout the season, there will be weekly ice hockey matches including from Samoëns’ very own team ‘Les Lynx’, as well as various spectacles, ice dancing and more. Be sure to contact reception or the tourist office for more details.
Marvel Piste by Sledge
The beautiful 5km long Marvel run in Morillon is an absolute delight to ski, so imagine being able to sledge it – after the pistes have closed! That is exactly what you can do each Wednesday night during school holiday periods. Sledging tours depart from the Sairon chairlift at around 5pm and cost approx. 8€, including sledge hire. Reservations can be made online.
Shopping and sightseeing
As if everything that already exists to do isn’t enough, the village of Samoëns itself has won awards for its historic value and beauty. Take a stroll around the medieval streets and admire the stone masonry of a bygone era. Duck into one of the many shops. There’s something for every taste and price range, from chocolatiers, chic or classic alpine homewares, numerous clothing and sporting specialists, and specialty food and wine stores. The beautiful Samoëns church is also well worth a visit, or walk through the more than 100-year-old botanical gardens. Here you’ll pass the frozen waterfall on your way up to the chapel and beyond, all the while taking in fabulous views over the village.
Morillon also offers further sites to visit. A short 5 min drive away – or hop on the free ski bus – to find a further selection of shops, cafes and restaurants. Or wander a little further down to the river and lake, Lac Bleu. And if that’s still not enough to whet your ‘après’ appetite then there are some other fabulous resorts and cities such as Chamonix, Morzine, Annecy, and Geneva all within a one-hour drive.