Apres Ski in Samoens

Samoens is a historic Alpine market town linked to good skiing, with convivial apres-ski bars and highly regarded restaurants offering great cuisine to satisfy every palate. With the emphasis on local Savoyard cuisine, Samoens is a foodie heaven.

Apres Ski Bars in Samoens

Don’t expect big, beery, noisy pubs in Samoens. The ones below are convivial, fun and great for mingling with residents and visitors.

Covey’s Irish Pub

An Irish-run small cosy bar, serving excellent, creamy Guinness and Stella Artois open from 4 pm. A bustling atmosphere with a late licence. They have Sky Sports and usually show the major sports games. A good selection of music with occasional DJs. On the ground floor under a large apartment block situated behind the Sherpa supermarket – look for the Guinness sign!

The Guanacao

A friendly French-run bar with an international clientele. Great atmosphere, sometimes with live music and with a late licence. Next to La Louisiane restaurant on the narrow lane which leaves the square to the right of Bar le Savoie.

Aspen Bar

Smallish, quite popular for après ski, non-smoking. They offer a good selection of lager and Scotch and have a large plasma screen often showing sports and extreme sports.

Restaurants in Samoens

Samoens restaurants are highly regarded and with something to satisfy every palate and an emphasis on local Savoyard cuisine, Samoens is foodie heaven.

However, in true French style, please remember that many of the restaurants in Samoens are closed on Monday nights except Bois de Lune and the pizza takeaway restaurants. Samoens is foodie heaven! Here’s our pick of the best restaurants:

La Louisiane 

La Louisiane is a great value restaurant with an extensive menu. Best known for its fantastic wood-fired pizzas, but also serves fondues, steaks and salads. Informal atmosphere, so good for families and groups. They also offer takeaway pizzas and have a small bar where you can have a drink while waiting. The restaurant is located just off the main square. Take the narrow lane leaving the square past ‘Bar de Savoie’ and the restaurant is about 100m on your left-hand side. Tel: +33 4 50 34 42 83.

La Bois Du Lune 

La Bois du Lune is a slightly more upmarket, yet still informal restaurant, with a great cocktail bar and a friendly owner, Patrick. The food includes steaks, duck, fish and lamb, cooked in “French Bistro” style, with a good wine list. Nice for romantic couples! Located about a 5-minute walk from the centre. Leave the square heading past the Petit Casino, continuing straight on past the Boulangerie Tiffanies and the Aspen Bar. Continue for about 200m past the end of the shops and the restaurant is on your right next to a mini golf course. Tel: +33 4 50 34 18 02.

Le Monde a L’Envers 

Le Monde a L’Envers is an excellent French restaurant with a fantastic experimental chef. Unusual combinations of great food served in style. Not a good choice for fussy eaters, but don’t miss it if you love trying new dishes, or are a keen chef at home. Moderately priced, but still good value, it has an excellent choice of wines, a lovely atmosphere and an open fire. Located about 50m from the main square, direction Sixt. Take the exit between Bar de Savoie and the bank. Tel: +33 4 50 34 19 36.

La Tornalta 

La Tornalta is a cosy French Savoyard restaurant located in a historic building in the corner of the square, facing the church. Good value set menus and a la carte choices. The Savoyard regional food is mostly cheesed-based so expect Fondues, Raclettes, and Tartiflettes but they also serve a range of meat dishes. Tel: +33 4 50 34 98 68.

La Table De Fifine 

La Table De Fine is among Samoens’ finest restaurants with beautiful Alpine decor, and a delicious choice of freshly prepared dishes: Savoyard and traditional French meat and fish dishes. The restaurant is on the road leading towards the Grand Massif Express lift, leaving the village from the cinema and Sherpa roundabout. It’s an easy walk in snow boots. The building is a modern wooden chalet with red awnings on the right-hand side. Tel: +33 4 50 34 10 29.

Muscade et Basilic 

The Muscade et Basilic is a charming restaurant with an excellent selection of traditional French and International dishes. Handily located in the centre of the village, just off the main pedestrian section, on the opposite side of the road to the Petit Casino. A new tapas-style menu is served at lunchtime only (is this right, Ali). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Tel: +33 4 50 53 65 22.

Bar Le Savoie

Bar Le Savoie is a rustic French bar and restaurant which serves snacks all day. Well-priced for a quick and informal bite and drink. The food ranges from sandwiches, chips and burgers to lasagne, omelettes and crepes. Lovely salades composees, too. In the main square opposite the church. 

Take Away Pizza and Burger Restaurant 

A good choice of takeaway pizzas, burgers and chips, conveniently situated just off the square next to the Post Office. Leave the square to the left of the bank heading to the second car park and they are on the right-hand side. Tel: +33 4 50 53 38 92. 

Cafe de La Poste 

Cafe de La Poste serves hearty home-cooked brasserie-type food and is open all day. Ask for the friendly owner ‘No No’ ! and mention us! Reasonable prices, especially the Plat de jour. Tel: 33 450 34 41 02.

Other Activities in Samoens

There’s a popular ice rink, which makes a good après-ski destination for kids and grownups, and great facilities for snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, with some incredible runs alongside scenic lakes and the Giffre river.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing in the Col de Joux Plane is guaranteed from November to April, providing beautiful views at an altitude of 1700m. A shuttle bus runs from the town centre and the cross-country ski passes are purchased in the Tourist Office in the Centre of the village.

Ice Skating

There is a 600 square metre ice rink in the centre of Samoens opposite the Tourist Office which is open from Autumn to April each year. Fun, but not quite up to Torville and Dean standards. Popular with kids.

Raquettes Snow Shoeing

This is a popular activity in Samoens because of its proximity to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Alps, including Mont Blanc, with awesome views. Not to be missed. There are guides for all levels of fitness, from kids to “seniors”, specially prepared tracks and you can also walk under the stars to a meal stop with an organised group. 


Organised evening sessions ending with a fondue. No experience is required. 


There are two new Luge runs on the plateau at the top of the Grand Massif Express, for children of all ages. From 16m long for the youngsters, to 60m for the older children, and dads!


All year round, weather permitting. Take a trip with an instructor, or even a five-day initiation course. 

Tobogganing, dog sledding and more…

Tobogganing, dog sledding, indoor climbing, igloo building, ice climbing on waterfalls, heli-skiing, ice diving, winter archery and caving.

Samoens Tourist Information

For more information about other activities in Samoens contact the Tourist Office.

Samoens Tourist Office
66 Place de l’Office du Tourisme,
74340 Samoëns, France
Tel: +33 4 50 34 40 28
Web: www.samoens.com 

The Village of Samoens

Samoens is a historic Alpine market town linked to good skiing, rather than a purpose-built ski resort. If you don’t want this kind of ambience, stay up the mountain in Vercland or Samoens 1600, or above Morillon in Morillon 1100. Or for something more rural, try Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.

Samoens 1600 Les Saix is a purpose-built, convenient (most of the accommodation is ski-in, ski-out) and snowsure satellite resort built up the mountain on the North facing slopes below the 2118m Tete des Saix from where you can ski over to Flaine and Les Carroz, or down to Morillon. It’s not ugly, especially when compared to its neighbour Flaine, but it is a bit bland and dominated by a large Club Med complex. It also feels more like a self-contained mini-resort, rather than part of Samoens. Whilst the Massif Express lift is running, it’s not hard to get into the main village and back again, but once this closes Samoens 1600 is rather cut off.

Vercland is also on the same North Facing mountainside as Samoens 1600, but about 500m below it. In theory, Vercland also has ski-in, and ski-out accommodation but in reality, this depends on good snow conditions. The hamlet has some ancient roots – it was the historical home of the stonemasons – and it has some nice buildings, but it slightly resembles a random collection of chalets, rather than a proper village. It’s also not high enough to be snowsure. On the plus side it is on the main bus circuit so is much better connected to the centre of Samoens.

In the village itself, a new area is emerging close to the Grand Massif Express. The new developments being built here have sloping chalet-style roofs and wood in all the right places, and their apartments inside are well appointed with all mod cons, they make a handy accommodation choice for skiers, being so close to a very efficient lift. But it’s a long walk (nearly a kilometre) from the Massif Express to the historic centre of the village which is what makes Samoens special. The bus service is reasonably frequent though.

The village centre of Samoens and the streets that surround it, are where you want to be to appreciate Samoens’ ambience. But parking around here can be problematic, and it’s a long walk to the lift, so you will rely on buses, which are generally good.

The main thing to do in the centre of Samoens is just wander around. There are nice shops, especially the food shops, selling local hams, cheeses, preserves and wines. There are also Salons-de-the and lots of bars and restaurants as well, but they don’t get very rowdy and they don’t stay open till the small hours. The centre also gets noticeably livelier when it’s market day (currently Wednesdays).

For the more cultured, there are organised tours of the village and the surrounding area. The Tourist Office will put you in touch with an English-speaking guide. The first stop after the church and the old fountain is usually the Jaysinia Botanical Garden, with an ever-changing display of mountain plants, carved out of the south-facing mountains overlooking the village, with waterfalls. Pause to take some great snaps of the town and surrounding mountains. For the kids, there is a fun train service, which leaves from the village square at regular times for a short tour of the village and surrounding area. There is also a good ice rink – which is a useful option when the weather is foul and skiing won’t be fun.

The northern suburbs are on the far side of the valley from the skiing. These are mostly composed of stylish chalets, but they go up the mountain a long way, and the highest ones are summer-only residences. Morzine’s slopes are just over the top of this ridge, but the D354 road going up and over the pass is blocked off by snow in winter, so they are inaccessible to all but the hardiest of ski-tourers and snowshoers. The bus service running from the Northern Suburbs and into the centre and onto the Massif Express is good, but it’s worth checking where the nearest bus stop is.

Six kilometres to the east of Samoens, and literally at the end of the road, is the pretty, unspoilt and very quiet village of Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. You can ski down to Sixt from Flaine on the long, scenic Cascades blue run, and it has a tiny ski area of its own. But Sixt has no lifts linking it to the rest of the Grand Massif, so each morning you have to take the bus journey from Sixt to the Grand Massif lift at Samoens (about a 10-15-minute bus journey). 

To the west of Samoens is Morillon. Like Samoens, it has an old village with a lift but no piste back to it, and a modern purpose-built ski station above it – Morillon 1100 – with ski-in, ski-out accommodation (provided the snow cover extends down to 1100m). Both the old village and the modern ski station are pleasant quiet places to stay in and to wander around, but both lack the ambience and beautiful buildings that Samoens has.

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