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Posted on 5 July 2023

Samoëns © OT Samoëns

An exceptional environment and activities for all seasons

Samoëns is one of those mountain villages whose centuries-old history has shaped its character. Framed by its 7 peaks, the village of Samoëns has a unique identity and striking architecture. Perfectly mountainous, in the middle of a green lung, it dances with the peaks while remaining firmly anchored in the Haut Giffre valley.

While history has shaped the village of Samoëns, and the variety of its built and natural heritage still testifies to this, nothing here is frozen in the past. A major hub of the Grand Massif ski area, Samoëns has become a village resort, offering a wide range of activities in winter and summer alike. Just when the sun is at its zenith, the village opens up a whole new world of possibilities...


A history built on stones

Dating back almost a thousand years, with the first mention of the name Samoëns, also known as "Seven Mounts", appearing in 1167, the village is built around a historic centre whose emblems are the covered market, the church and the Gros Tilleul.
At the heart of the Halles, the weekly market unfolded its first stands as early as 1355. A major trading centre in the Giffre valley, the "grenette" was not only the site of the first commercial exchanges, but also of the first public debates. A few steps away, the church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption rose from the ashes after being destroyed in the 15th century during the Burgundy wars. This renaissance was not to be the case for the castle, whose remains still stand at the heart of the La Jaÿsinia alpine botanical garden. In the cemetery, the history of the stonemasons is told through stelae and funerary monuments, columns and statues.
This architectural heritage is also reflected in the local character, with the typical stone and wood chalets that give the village its Savoyard identity. But what would a mountain village be without its natural surroundings? The people of Septimont, who have drawn their name from the 7 mountains that surround them, know that their environment is their greatest asset. The Gros Tilleul, the ancestral tree that stands in the centre of the village, has been a symbol of this for nearly 6 centuries. Planted in 1438 in honour of a judgement that guaranteed the villagers possession of the mountain pastures in the adjoining Manche valley, it stands 20 metres tall and is the age-old master of the place.
Another gem of our plant heritage, the La Jaÿsinia botanical garden, classified as a "Remarkable Garden of France", reveals the secrets and remedies of 2,400 varieties of mountain plants. A sensory journey through alpine flora from 5 continents.
It's in this multi-faceted green paradise that Samoëns has endured through the centuries, affirming its distinct character, one that has been enriched by time and history. Beating to the rhythm of the times and enjoying life in all four seasons, the summer season is always buzzing. Ideal for discovering the mountains from every angle. Here, in summer, the list of sporting activities is endless, the events follow one another in rhythm and the typical or unusual attractions are unlimited.

  Samoëns - Activités - © Nunayak

A summer in green paradise

In the fast-flowing waters of the Giffre, thrill-seekers can put themselves to the test (rafting, canyoning and even snorkelling are all on the schedule) and, on the cliffside, climbing enthusiasts can tackle the via ferrata in the outstanding natural site of Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.

The Lac aux Dames leisure centre is another must-see place in summer for swimming, fishing, walking, picnicking and enjoying the refreshing surroundings of the two mountain lakes, which are surrounded by a multitude of activities for all the family. There's a choice of tennis courts, pony rides, adventure trails, petanque pitches and multi-sports facilities. In the water, on the water, the open-air swimming pool with its waterslides, stand-up paddle and even water skiing are the other hidden possibilities of this surprising mountain destination!
Caving, hiking, cycling, between peaks, chasms, rivers and waterfalls, the landscape changes its face at all times and the environment can be explored in a thousand ways. Samoëns, a village resort in the heart of the Grand Massif area, has been awarded the " Home Cycling " label and boasts a network of 400km of trails, a real grail for mountain bikers!
It's in this magical place, between the natural majesty of the Aiguille de Criou, the Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval and the Gouffre Jean-Bernard, and just a stone's throw from Annecy, Geneva and the Mont-Blanc massif, that the mountains display their most verdant palette in summer. A paradise on earth for hikers of all abilities. From family outings to touring climbs with stopovers in refuges for the more experienced, Samoëns is a window onto the grandiose panorama of the Alps, with Mont-Blanc on the horizon.
Guided exploration hikes are just as many treasures to be found. In the mountain pastures, at sunset, on the lookout for marmots, in trekking mode with a raft descent, on the glacier trail - the mountains have many faces and mountain guides are invaluable in unveiling the best of them.

 100% outdoors, family-friendly and sporty, Samoëns is THE Haute-Savoie destination that combines picturesque charm with breathtaking scenery.

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