In the heart of the Grand Massif, in the Haut Giffre, lies Sameons & Sixt Fer a Cheval.
"L'Oreade's" chalets in the Samoens area are perfectly positioned for your ski & snowboard holiday (end December - end April) or your walking, biking and action packed adventure holiday in the French Alps during late spring, summer or autumn.
An hour from Geneva, Samoens is ideal for either a long weekend or a more leisurely week or two. Just ten minutes drive from the Chalets, Samoens dates from the middle ages and is listed as a historic monument by the Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historique. One of the rather quaint benefits of which is that no development is allowed higher than the Church!
Although set in a glacial valley at only 700 metres above sea level, with the introduction of the Grand Massif Express - (GME) eight seater- gondola - three seasons ago, you can now be whizzed up to the Grand Masif ski domain in just 8 minutes. The ski domain incorporating Samoens 1600, Flaine, Sixt, Morillon & Les Carroz with 265km of pistes accessed by 75 lifts offers great snow cover throughout the season with a huge variety of skiing & snowboarding opportunities.
The enchanting Samoens itself reveals medieval squares, timber framed patisseries and boulangeries together with picture box houses making it one of the prettiest alpine resorts in the French Alps nestling against its stunning backdrop of mountains.
Well worth a visit is The Botanical Garden and house, The Cognacq-Jay Foundation. The garden was created in 1906, sculpted into an area of 3.5 hectares overlooking the village. There you will find the Ruins of the Tornalta castle (12th century), the chapel (18th century) together with 8,000 plants from the mountains of the world - all amongst rocky outcrops and waterfalls.
Unique and unspoilt a place where you can unwind, relax and soak up the charm of this Savoyarde haven which provides an agreeable way of life where the pace is completely different: everything closes for at least an hour - and usually two - at midday and people are to be found exchanging daily news, relaxing in the sun at cafes, bars and restaurants.
The region is famed for its cheese, Reblochon, Tomme, Abondance, Beaufort, Gruyere and Emmental being some that are available. Local specialities; tartiflette, fondue, raclette and meat or fish barbecued on hot stones can all be experienced in the many friendly restaurants.
Locally cured hams and sausages also form part of the traditional Savoyarde cuisine. A new goat farm, the Chevrerie Lou Serre, has now started producing cheese at the hamlet of Les Rots, near Vercland. Visitors can sample the Serac de Chevre or the Tommette de Samoens during a guided tour of the farm.
Traditional French Markets
For those that enjoy shopping and interacting with the local people, traditional French markets are a good place to start. Always interesting and mouthwatering with unusual items to be had.
- Wednesday morning - Samoens
- Thursday morning - Taninges and Les Gets
- Friday morning - Morillon
Sixt Fer a Cheval
Enjoying an altitude range going from 750 - 3,100m and making up the largest Nature Reserve of the Haute Savoie, the village of Sixt nestles in 9,200 hectares of mountains and river valleys, with exceptional flora, fauna and waterfalls, all of which can be explored by foot (gentle walk or mountain trek), bike or horseback.
A wide variety of geological marvels, especially the Cirque du Fer a Cheval, the Cascade du Rouget and the Desert de Plate, plus a rich cultural heritgage symmbolised by The Abbey - 12th century - (standing in the centre of the village next to the 500 year old Lime tree) is one of the reasons that Sixt Fer a Cheval qualified as a Grand Site de France.
A gentle stroll round the village from the chalets reveal tiny chapels, crosses, water troughs, fountains and granaries.
Wonderful, simple and architecturally beautiful old buildings which conjure up the myths and legends of the past.