Many Alpine ski resorts nowadays are far too bling. Guests to these locations usually appear way more excited by parading up and down in designer coats and watches than truly snowboarding.
That’s actually not the case at Samoëns. This stunning French resort is old style in all the best methods.
Samoëns is positioned within the coronary heart of the Savoie Mont Blanc area, simply 57 km from the centre of Geneva. It’s an hour and a half’s drive from Geneva airport, making it simply accessible for guests from the UK. It’s in the course of Le Grand Massif, the fourth largest linked ski space in France. Though maybe not as well-known as Les Trois Vallees, the area supplies a wide range of snowboarding throughout 5 totally different resorts.
Not like many resorts plonked in the course of the Alps, like out-of-place moon bases within the 1960s, the village of Samoëns has an actual heritage. Now labeled as a “Monument Historique,” it dates again to the sixth century A.D.
The snowboarding is terrific in Samoëns – many of the runs are tree-lined and really simple on the attention. However you could possibly have an exceedingly nice time there with out ever clipping on a pair of skis.
Why go to Samoëns
Immense skiable area: Le Grand Massif is a big ski space, encompassing 265 km of pistes throughout 5 interconnected resorts – Samoëns, Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.
The area supplies terrific runs for skiers of all ranges. The resort caters for knowledgeable skiers on the lookout for extremely difficult slopes, such because the world-renowned and totally terrifying off-piste Combe de Gers run, which drops 800 metres via a vertiginously steep powder bowl in alarmingly fast time.
However much less skilled skiers also can discover beautiful runs in Le Grand Massif. As an illustration, La Marvel piste presents learners a fantastic five-kilometre run via a centuries-old forest.
One of many longest runs in Europe: Additionally, Le Grand Massif boasts one other globally celebrated run, La Piste Des Cascades. It stretches for 14 km from the 2480-metre summit of Flaine down into Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.
En route, you go via the Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval Nature Reserve, an untouched wilderness with out a single ski raise. The run is residence to an abundance of wildlife, together with chamois, bearded vultures and Ibex. On the backside, you’ll be able to take the free shuttle bus again to Samoëns. The spherical journey takes about three hours
And the very best information of all? La Piste Des Cascades is a blue run, so not one of the snowboarding is very taxing.
Avenue artwork in Flaine: We might significantly suggest a day journey from Samoëns to the neighbouring village of Flaine, which may be very totally different out of your common fashionable ski resort.
It was constructed within the 1960s and famous for its gorgeous structure designed by the Bauhaus grasp, architect Marcel Breuer celebrated for iconic buildings because the Palais de l’Unesco in Paris and the Whitney Museum in New York. That has helped Flaine change into the one ski resort constructed throughout the 1960s recorded within the French Historic Monuments Survey.
Trendy ski sculpture: Maybe much more importantly, Flaine has essentially the most distinctive modern road sculpture of any ski resort on the planet. There isn’t any different ski station on the planet the place you’ll be able to wander down the primary road, taking within the delights of sculptures by Pablo Picasso (“La Tête de Femme”), Jean Dubuffet (“Le Boqueteau”) and Victor Vasarely (“Les Trois Hexagones”).
Historical past: For a day away from the pistes, there’s lots to do within the historic centre of Samoëns. Based mostly on a medieval village, classed as a Monument Historique, Samoëns has a small traffic-free centre the place you’ll be able to wander the attractive pedestrianised streets of the medieval quarter.
The primary sq., which options an beautiful 10th-century church and a lined market, is particularly interesting.
An enormous linden tree dominates the sq.. It was planted within the 1430s to have fun the Duke of Savoie, giving the folks of Samoëns the best to carry a market each Wednesday. It nonetheless occurs as we speak.
Additionally price a go to is the Jaÿsinia Botanical Gardens constructed as a present to the village in 1906 by the native benefactor, Marie-Louise Cognacq- Jaÿ, who made her cash from the very profitable Paris division retailer, La Samaritaine in Paris. Designed by the architect Jules Allemand, the gardens’ steep slopes comprise waterfalls, rockeries, the ruins of an previous citadel destroyed in 1470 and 2300 species of plant.
The place to remain in Samoëns
Samoëns has seven lodges and eight residences. We stayed on the very cosy four-star Neige et Roc Resort that appears designed for winter.
The place to eat in Samoëns
There are a number of glorious eating places in Samoëns – properly, it’s in France, in spite of everything! On the slopes, the Au Pre d’Oscar restaurant on the prime of the Grand Massif Specific cable-car comes extremely really helpful – if just for its terrace commanding dazzling 360° views of the encircling mountains.
Within the night, we very a lot loved La Mezzanine, simply off the primary sq.. In its pleasant wood-panelled eating room, we had such scrumptious native dishes as braised beef cooked in Mondeuse purple wine and a chocolate fondant pudding to-die-for.
The right way to get to Samoëns
The closest airport to Samoëns is Geneva, 77 km away. Common buses run from the airport to Samoëns. The journey takes 90 minutes.
Extra data: samoens.com