Skiing in Samoens

The Grand Massif Express connects the village of Samoens with the Samoens 1600 ski area, with its nursery slopes, ski school and choice of cafes. Spend time to look around and enjoy the view: summits of the Tete des Saix, the Grandes Platieres, The Dents Blanches and, just over the horizon, Mont Blanc. A glance at your piste map will remind you just how extensive the area is; the network of lifts and runs stretches up and above Flaine, and over to the East, to Morillon and Les Carroz.

Samoens Ski Area Overview

Start exploring by skiing down the gentle blue Demoiseaux, to the new, 6-seater high-speed Chariande Express chair lift which takes you from 1600m to the top of the “Tete de Saix” ski area. Try some of the gentle blues, and easier reds, have a coffee then decide whether to go further afield for the rest of the day. There is plenty of choice:

Recommended is the wonderful piste des Cascades. It’s 14km long, running from the summit of the Grandes Platieres at an altitude of 2,500m. Down to the village of Sixt, 1700 m lower. It’s a great run across mountain pastures, national parks and through forests on one of the finest pistes in the Alps. You might even spot a chamois!

If you fancy something less taxing, work your way across the beautiful mountain towards Marvel: an easy, tree-lined run which leads down to Morillon. In an hour or so, you could be enjoying a fantastic lunch at the Igloo restaurant at the end of the run. Then you can choose whether to take the bus back, or ski back, selecting a route to test – or relax – your legs!

New this year, is a wide, long and bump-free run which snakes its way down from the top of the Tete de Saix, avoiding the bottlenecks, and taking you directly back to 1600. Unless, of course, you decide to have a beer or Vin Chaud on the new sun-drenched terrace restaurant, halfway down the blue Dahu run, while you watch the experts tackle the challenging blacks!

A popular half-day expedition is to go back up to Tete des Saix and weave your way down the network of blues and reds to Les Carroz. (1140m) The attractive wooded area is a scenic treat, with runs like La Forestiere to enjoy. At the small resort of Les Carroz, there are several good eateries, and you can get back over to Samoens 1600 in time for the last Express back to the village.

Beginner Skiing in Samoens

Beginners skiing Samoens have an easy baptism into the sport using the network of greens and short blues around the main lift area, all with drag-lifts, easing gently via excellent quad and double lifts to the higher slopes.

A big advantage for beginners, especially youngsters, is that the Samoens ski schools and nursery slopes are all situated at Samoens 1600 by the top of the main Grand Massif Express lift. 

This means that friends and family on foot can easily pad across the main plateau to collect kids, or meet intrepid beginners in one of the cafes or restaurants with access to plenty of outdoor terraces and viewing points to take those all-important photos! Older debutants are likely to start with the gentle Chateau (green), Char and Babuches (short blues) runs, all with efficiently manned drag lifts. Crowds and shoving are not a problem, as the Ski instructors are very strict and vigilant. 

If you want to learn with no one else around then Sixt is the place for you. With deserted runs all winter, come the busy season this is the place to learn in peace!

Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Samoens

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Intermediate Skiing in Samoens

Intermediates get a huge choice of runs and can plan their day to include blues and reds within the Samoens area, or, by going over to the Flaine or Les Carroz areas.

Ski-ers with intermediate skills have a huge choice – just join the ski schools and whizz down the short, wide blue Demoiseaux, to the new Chariande. At the top, head to the Croix lift and check out these: Marmottes(red), which will ease you back to `1600, or follow the signs down Perce Neige,(blue) and pick up a choice of blues and reds. 

An absolute “must” is the long green Marvel run, to Morillon, which has some of the best views in the ski area and joins several blues, including Chalet and Sairon, and, if you make a detour at the top of Marvel, you can cruise down Biollaires and Combe to Les Carroz for lunch.

Advanced & Expert Skiing in Samoens

There are plenty of challenging blacks and reds from the top of the new lift down to the Samoens area and snowboarders will be delighted by the fact that there are few drag lifts and that it’s easy to get fresh powder. There has also been investment in three snow parks with some fantastic kickers and pipes.

The choice of reds and blacks for advanced skiers is excellent in the Samoens ski area, but, after the first day or so, be prepared to go a little further afield for fresh challenges. Luckily, with the efficient (and now even faster) lift system, and connecting runs, it takes little time to access Flaine, Sixt or Les Carroz. 

First, take the Chariande Express to Tete des Saix (2120m) in 9 minutes, and try the Aigle Noire which joins the Dahu, for a well-deserved glide back to Samoens 1600 and a coffee.

Over in Flaine, take the Tete des Verds lift and ski down the gentle blue to the Diamant Noir lift, which takes you to the top of Les Grandes Platieres (2480m) for an awesome view of Mont Blanc and a coffee or quick lunch at the restaurant with the most beautiful views in the entire region. You can then test your legs on the Diamont Noir black and the Almandine (red) down to Flaine Central. After a brief rest, get back in gear for another two or three runs before you head to Samoens via the long Grands Vans chair lift to Grands Vans (2204m) and a choice of runs back to Tete de Saix, and, finally, down to the Grand Massif Express. 

It is worth booking an instructor for a day to take you on some of the further afield advanced runs, and essential if you fancy an off-piste experience. Make sure you discuss it with the office the day before, and be prepared for weather changes – sounds obvious, but the ski area is so vast that the elements can produce the unexpected!

Boarding & Freestyle in Samoens

The area is great for fresh powder, with a fantastic board park in Flaine. There are numerous events, including the Bolie Winter Tour, and open contests with some of the world’s best riders. Samoens has very few drag lifts, so is a snowboarder’s heaven!

Samoens Mountain Restaurants

On-mountain restaurants in Samoens have historically been limited; but this is rapidly improving, with several smart new eateries for people-watching at the top of the Express.


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