Samoëns pronounced (saa-mwans) is a commune of the Haute-Savoie département in France.
The town of Samoëns is in the Vallée du Giffre in the French Alps and carries the designation of a "ville fleurie", meaning its gardens and public greenery are particularly good. It is a popular summer destination as well as the site of a ski resort that departs from a new lift at the edge of town linking up to Samoëns 1600 also known as the Plateau de Saix, this resort is part of the larger five town Grand Massif which includes Flaine and Morillon.
The nearest major airport is the international airport in Geneva, located about 45 minutes away by car and serviced by most major airlines as well as some discount carriers.
The European high-speed train, the TGV, can also take you from most major cities in Europe to its terminal in Geneva or a connector train from the terminal at Annecy can take you all the way to Cluses.
The SAT bus can be taken from Geneva or Cluses into the valley and will drop you off at multiple small towns including Samoëns along the way.
Taxis in this part of the France are very scarce, so if you truly value your mobility, a car is a necessity in the winter months. During the summer, given the size of the town, one could easily get by with a bicycle.
Rated as one of the most beautiful national parks in France, Cirque du Fer-a-Cheval is a short drive away. On a clear summer day, do not miss the views of the Massif de Mt. Blanc from the top of the Col De Joux Plan, or the Cascade Du Rouget near Sixt.
For the adventurous vacationer summer activities include: White water rafting, kayaking, para gliding, mountain biking at the local ski areas, hiking at the Cirque du Fer-A Cheval, cycling many of the Tour De France routes that criss-cross the valley, the "Indiana Park" or ropes course, mountain-climbing and 4-wheeling. For the less adventurous vacationer there are a number of out door cafes, bars, a weekly market, restaurants, a public pool and water slide, as well as many parks.
During the winter months this valley and the Haute Savoie in general are at the heart of the French skiing experience, Samoëns links up to the Grande Massif ski area with its more than 100 lifts and wide variety of terrain.
- A la Jaÿsinia - This bakery and coffee shop specializes in rich pastries, cakes, and tarts; they also serve coffee and tea in their salon.
- Pizzeria-snack du Giffre - Off the central square behind next to the post office is this small snack bar/take out spot, they sell mostly lunch items and take-away pizza.
- La Louisianne. Down an alley off the central square, this is a typically French bar and restaurant specializing in some local fare and large individual wood-fired pizzas.
- [dead link] La table de Fifine. Open for lunch and dinner across from the new Gondola, Le Table de Fifine is locally owned and operated. It serves high-end regional cuisine and semi-gourmand fare.
- Muscade et Basilic - A modern twist on traditional Savoyard dishes.
- Le Monde à l'Envers - Probably Samoens' most highly rated restaurant. Creative French cuisine.
- Le Bois de Lune - Varied French cuisine.
Samoens is not well known for its nightlife but there is actually plenty to be found for those who go looking.
- Coveys Irish Pub on the edge of town serves good draft beer and has a lively, cosy atmosphere.
- Guanacao bar is another lively nightspot worth checking out.
Bed & breakfast, catered or self-catered
- Absolute Alpine, ☏ . A family-run, family friendly chalet company offering a small hand-picked selection of luxury properties. Great central location, professional chef, hot tubs, Wifi, UK TV and plenty more.
- Chalet Marie Stuart. Wonderful chalet open all year. Superb food & accommodation, 800 m from both telecabins. Free ski bus stop 50 m away. Sauna, games room & separate TV lounge. Pool in the summer with a massive terrace for dinning out. Sleeps up to 14. Wi-fi connected.
- Pure Chalets, ☏ . A choice of 3 fantastic family-friendly chalets sleeping groups from 6 to 20 people at great prices. Ski lift and Village location. Hot tubs, games room. Wi-fi..
- Ski Weekender (above Samoens centre, on road to Vercland - close to both telecabins), ☏ , email@example.com. Prices from £340 for 3 days, including airport transfers, accommodation, meals, ski pass and ski hosting.
- Alps Accommodation, ☏ . Over 45 properties, excellent facilities, renovated and full of charm.
- [dead link] Massif Escape, ☏ . Charming chalets and apartments in Samoens. Accommodation ranges from apartments sleeping 4 to 8 people, to large chalets sleeping up to 14 people. All accommodation is within walking distance to the village square.
- Peak Retreats, ☏ . A range of self-catering chalets and apartments in Samoens. Accommodation sleeping 2-20, lift passes, ski school, equipment hire can be arranged. Bookable from the UK.
- [dead link] Chalet Picvert, ☏ . A refurbished luxury ski chalet that sleeps 8-10 people. Ideal for ski weekends. £800.
- Le Giffre*** Caravaneige. Open all year round. 700 m from the centre of Samoëns and its shops, the Giffre camp site is alongside the Giffre torrent, and surrounded by cross-country skiing pistes. 100 m from the Grand Massif Express gondola lift, the Winter caravan site can be reached on skis!
- L'Edelweiss - Chalet hotel facing south, with a fine view out over the valley. Very peaceful. Warm family atmosphere. Private shuttles to and from town. Double room: €60
- Le Gai Soleil. Steps from the heart of the village, 33 rooms en-suite or studio/apartment, TV, balcony. Restaurant opens 4 times in the week. Free access to sauna, Jacuzzi, hammam, fitness room, pool. Double room: €60 to 93.
- Neige et Roc. 32 rooms and 18 studios flats well located in the heart of the mountains, only five minutes away from the village center. Double room with full board: €120 to 160 per day
- Les Glaciers - Ideal location in the heart of the town, with a wide range of equipment and amenities at your disposal. Double room with full board: €90 to 135
It is short drive out of Samoëns to both the Portes du Soleil ski area and the lovely towns of Morzine and Les Gets, a further drive in the opposite direction will send you towards Cluses and the A40 lead you to that most famous of all French mountain towns Chamonix.