Our Favourite Things to Do in Samoëns
Setting your sights on Samoëns? Here's a guide to 'things to do in Samoëns,' a charming little spot in the French Alps, brimming with activities and trails just waiting to be explored.
Summer Activities in Samoëns
Got Samoëns on your summer radar? You're in for a treat, especially if you visit between June and August. These months transform this cosy village into a sunny paradise, perfect for all sorts of fun under the sun.
Picture luscious green landscapes stretching as far as the eye can see, dotted with vibrant flowers. And the weather? You can expect a comfy 20 to 25 degrees – just right for hiking, biking, or making a splash with some rafting.
Here's a pro tip: July and August are when everyone wants a piece of this paradise, so expect a bit of a crowd. If you're more of a 'quiet and peaceful' type, then June is your secret window. It's a little cooler, a little quieter, but every bit as beautiful.
From chill to thrill, there's so many things to do in Samoëns. Not into hiking? Try biking, paragliding, or just kick back with a picnic and soak up those mountain views.
Here’s our favourite things to do in Samoëns...
Walking in Samoëns: A Path for Every Pace
Strap on those walking boots for a journey across Samoëns' 650 kilometers of trails. Whether you're up for an energetic trek or prefer a more relaxed wander, you're sure to find a trail that feels like it's made just for you.
The area is a treasure trove of natural wonders, from awe-inspiring gorges and peaks to serene waterfalls and lush nature parks.
Valley Walks or Mountain Adventures? In Samoëns, the landscape offers a wide range of experiences for outdoor lovers. For those who prefer easy walks, the valley paths are your best bet, offering a gentle experience amidst stunning scenery.
But if you're itching for a bit of thrill and fancy giving your calves a run for their money, then the mountain trails are your ticket to an adrenaline-pumped adventure. Want to take on new heights? Discover our best resorts for challenging walks.
Le Cirque du Fer à Cheval is a gem, with easy-to-navigate, well-marked paths that snake through the mountains, waterfalls, and quaint mountain huts.
Want to rest your legs but still crave the views? Take a summer cable car to prime spots, available in select season months.
Try These Walks...
Lacs aux dames to the Lac Bleu at Morillon
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 7.7 km (one way)
Time: About 2 hours
Highlights: This is a family-friendly walk with even terrain. You can adjust the length as it’s a one-way route – just turn back whenever you feel like it. The trail takes you past the charming Samoëns lake and the Lac Bleu at Morillon.
Chantemerle and Les Suets
Ascent: Approx. 538 meters
Distance: About 7.2 km
Highlights: Starting from the town hall, this path takes you past historical sites, dry stone walls, and through quaint villages. The forest of the Suets offers spectacular views, and on a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of the Mont Blanc mountain range.
Tête du Pre des Saix Walking Area
Access: Via cable car from Samoëns (operational on specific dates)
Highlights: Catch the cable car for a lofty start to your hike. This area boasts several marked trails and offers breathtaking panoramic views, possibly including Mont Blanc.
"End of the World" Walk in Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval
Location: Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval
Transport: Bus or taxi from Samoëns
Highlights: A must-visit in Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. The hike to the "End of the World" (or "Bout du Monde") offers a variety of routes for different skill levels, each leading to extraordinary vistas. Be well-prepared for these longer trails.
Samoëns is perfect for a family holiday. Easy circular walks start in Samoëns, looping out to alpine lakes, buttercup-bright meadows, wooden footbridges, waterfalls and chapel-topped villages.
Back in town, a cinema, petanque courts, pools and picnic areas are on hand. Or there’s always the treetop routes and zip lines of Indiana Parc.
The Lime-Light of Samoëns In the heart of Samoëns stands the Gros Tilleul, a lime tree that's been playing village VIP for nearly 600 years. This leafy celebrity has seen it all, from market days to grand events. Get your camera ready, you’ll want to take a photo of this all natural superstar.
The Alpine Botanical Garden, ‘La Jaÿsinia’
When in Samoëns, La Jaÿsinia is a must-see. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the magic of nature and history, all in one go.
Created in 1906 by the founder of La Samaritaine, Marie-Louise Cognacq-Jaÿ, it's a living, blooming encyclopedia of mountain plants.
Managed by the big brains at the National Museum of Natural History, this garden is serious about its flora. La Jaÿsinia is home to 4,800 mountain plants from around the globe, spanning over 2,500 species.
Perched on a southern slope overlooking the village, stretching across 3.7 hectares, the garden is a steep climb with an 80-meter rise. But it’s worth every step.
But La Jaÿsinia is more than just plants.
It's a place of study, a tranquil oasis, and a window into local history. Since 1936, it's been under the scientific watch of the National Museum of Natural History. It even boasts a laboratory open to scientists, with a collection of plants from Savoie and the Alps in herbariums.
And there’s more than just greenery. The garden is a scenic marvel with impressive fountains, waterfalls, and trees.
It's also home to the ruins of La Tornalta (or Montanier) Castle from the 12th century and a quaint 18th-century chapel. These historic gems are visible from the charming path winding through the garden.
The summer season rolls in with a bang, celebrating everything from pedal-pushing mountain bikers and blooming alpine plants to music and wellness vibes.
And the grand finale? La Rioule – it's a whirl of folk dancing and a slippery, greasy pole-climbing contest that's wildly competitive. Visit by their website to view the upcoming events calendar and see what's on the summertime agenda.
Looking for a spot to unwind? Head over to Samoëns’ lake, a quaint, turquoise beauty that’s just a quick walk from the centre. This charming lake is split into three areas, with a special nook dedicated to swimming.
It’s a local favourite, so you’ll spot folks paddle boarding or just relaxing by the water.
Whether you fancy a gentle lakeside stroll, or a refreshing swim, this lake is your go-to for a dose of relaxation.
The Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval Nature Reserve
Love the great outdoors? Step into the Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval Nature Reserve. Getting there is a breeze during the busy times with regular buses, or you can always grab a taxi for a more direct route.
Once you're there, it's a walker’s paradise with trails for every level. If you're into easy-going walks, the valley-level paths are your ticket to scenic bliss. But for the adventurous souls who like a challenge, there are tougher trails calling your name.
And for a real treat, trek to “Bout de Monde” or “the end of the world.” It's not as scary as it sounds – instead, you'll be greeted with jaw-dropping views, majestic peaks, and waterfalls that dance down the rocks. It's like stepping into a whole other world, right in the heart of the Alps.
Ever thought of exploring Samoëns on two wheels? E-biking is a fantastic way to zip around the local area, especially with the flatter valleys that are just begging to be explored.
And if you're feeling bold and want to venture up into the mountains, well, that's where the 'E' in E-biking comes to your rescue. Let the electric boost carry you up those slopes. Picture yourself cruising through quaint nearby villages, stopping off at cosy Boulangeries (French bakery) to indulge in some delicious local pastries.
Also, remember to check out the waterfalls – they’re amazing and worth the trip. Samoëns has lots of beautiful waterfalls, especially because it's lower down in the Alps. You can usually see them from May to September, but they’re at their most beautiful in June.
E-bikes are readily available for hire right in town. You can easily book one and sort out the payment locally. So, get ready to pedal (with a little help from some electric power) and uncover the hidden charms of Samoëns in the most fun and eco-friendly way possible.