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  Nestling in a wide sunny valley encircled by seven dramatic mountain peaks, the historic village of Samoëns has something to offer all holiday makers.

Winter sports enthusiasts will be delighted to discover France's fifth biggest interlinked ski area on the doorstep, while those who prefer a different sort of winter holiday will appreciate the beauty and diversity of this unique village, which dates from the middle ages.

The fine architecture and the detailed work of the local stonemasons is apparent all round the village. They were so renowned in the seventeenth century that they travelled all over Europe and as far afield as the United States to undertake major fortification projects.

 
  Samoëns is the only summer & winter sports resort in France which is listed as a historic monument by the Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques. The unspoiled aspect of the village encourages visitors to explore the ancient buildings, and to visit some of the attractive outlying hamlets. Many people who first came for the skiing find many other things which keep them coming back.

Samoëns enjoys an excellent quality of life. It's a place where time moves a little more slowly giving you the chance to appreciate not only the stunningly beautiful surroundings, but also all the fine regional food and wine, and an agreeable way of life. Samoëns is able to offer everything you hope for and expect from a holiday in France, plus a lot more besides - that's the reason people like to return here.

Samoëns prides itself on being family friendly, which means that you can expect not only a warm welcome but also an array of special amenities and offers intended to enhance your holiday.

Samoëns is one of the easiest and cheapest winter sports resorts to get to from Britain. It's only eight or nine hours by car from Calais, and just 34 miles from Geneva Airport, making it's appeal even more irresistible!


 
  Snow-Shoeing
A sport wich is often overlooked is now-shoeing, or raquettes. This involves strapping a tennis racquet sahped attachment to your normal winter boots, which then enables you to walk on snow without sinking into it.

  You don't need any particular skill to enjoy this activity. There are marked, often circular trails which you can follow which enable you to enjoy the scenery around Samoëns and its many surrounding hamlets.

Ski Trekking
Ski trekking is also possible, although this requires considerable skiing ability, and you are strongly advised to go with a qualified mountain guide.

Sledging
For fun with small children, there are plenty of tobogganing slopes, safely fenced off from the main skiing pistes. Sledges can easily be hired from most of the ski equipment hire shops in the village.

Ice Skating
Samoëns also has an outdoor covered ice rink which is open from the beginning of November to April.

Ice climbing, potholing, the Vallee Blanche
Other winter activities include ice climbing, rock climbing and potholing, even in the middle of an Alpine winter. The world's largest known pothole, The Mirolda (1, 733 metres), is just a few kilometres from Samoëns on the side of the Criou mountain, which towers above the town.

It's also possible to ski the Vallee Blanche, which goes from the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix, down a glacier to Chamonix. For these sports, contact the guides' office on www.guidesmontagnes.com.

... and the rest!
Other possibilities include dog sledge trips, paragliding, helicopter flights. Bookings for all of these activities can be made online at www.samoens.com.

Summer Activities

Adventure Parks - Adventure assault courses can be experienced by all ages in Samoëns and Morillon. Suspended bridges, climbing, rope slides and walkways high in the trees. A great way to experience a forest adventure in complete safety with qualified supervision.
Mountain Biking - With over 615km of marked routes and 4 lifts kept open in the summer, Samoëns is a great base for avid mountain bikers!
Golf - There are a number of excellent golf courses easily accessible from Samoëns, offering a golfing experience with a difference. With fantastic mountain views and cliffs and ravines to overcome, golfers can relish in a very different experience.




 
 
Samoëns at night!
 


  The pace of life in Samoëns is completely different from the often frenetic lifestyle endured by so many city dwellers all over Europe. Here, the day is punctuated with regular pauses for meals. Most people in the Haut Giffre Valley still go home for lunch - which is an important part of the day. Even in the nearby towns of Cluses, Sallanches and Bonneville, everything closes for at least an hour around midday. So even in an activity packed holiday, there's still time to enjoy all the fine quality of life that France is so famous for. Although Samoëns isn't in one of the best-known wine regions of France, there is nevertheless wine production just a few kilometres away.

Bars
There is no shortage of bars, ranging from the traditional French street corner variety where some locals really do drink a "petit blanc" unfeasibly early in the morning, to bars with sunny terraces where you can linger over a morning coffee and croissant, drop in for a pre-dinner aperitif, or a post dinner drink. There's also an irish bar, where you can find draught Guinness and other Irish beers.

Restaurants
There are plenty of restaurants, most of which offer traditional Savoyard fare, although there are also pizzerias, and it is possible to get food such as hamburgers. Many of the restaurant proprietors have gone to great trouble to ensure that the interiors reflect the Savoyard style, with welcoming chalet decor, often with a roaring log fire. There is usually a choice of at least one fixed-price set menu, and a separate children's menu for the under 12's. Nobody minds, however, if you ask for an extra plate, and let your child sample what you're eating. People on their first winter sports holiday are often pleasantly surprised to find restaurants and bars actually on the pistes, although stopping off at a favourite mountain restaurant for either a coffee or a full lunch soon becomes a integral part of a skiing holiday.

 



  At the heart of the Giffre Valley, the very pretty village of Samoëns is only a 20 minute drive from the motorway exit near the TGV train station of Cluses and only 34 miles from Geneva.



To read more including travel directions [Click here]


 
 
 


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