The picture-perfect villages of Samoëns, Morillon, Verchaix and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval sit in the stunning Vallée du Giffre, nestled between the Morzine and Chamonix valleys. Samoëns was described as one of France's best ski resorts by an article in the Telegraph back in 2012. From Samoëns, and the surrounding villages, the whole of the Grand Massif ski area and its 265 km of pistes – the fifth largest in Europe as it includes Flaine and Les Carroz – can be explored. The valley is just a 50 minute drive from Geneva, making it one of the most accessible snow-sure resorts in the French Alps. In summer, the Vallée du Giffre is just as popular with families and adventure seekers alike. They are drawn to the fabulous hiking opportunities and mountain biking – using the chairlifts for access. There’s an outdoor pool in Samoëns, a swimming lake in Morillon, whitewater rafting on the Giffre, plus tennis, pony trekking, adventure parks, weekly markets and numerous summer festivals. At the top of the valley is the quintessential mountain village of Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. Surrounded by towering peaks, thundering waterfalls, and, crucially, no through road, it offers a peace and tranquility unrivalled in the Haute-Savoie. Samoëns itself is a ‘monument historique’ famed for its stonemasons and traditional Savoyard ambience and architecture. The village has a fabulous botanical garden, created in 1906, and the only one of its kind in the Alps, with more than 5,000 plants. While the locals do well to preserve their history, it would be unfair to say they aren’t looking to the future. In the last few years, several ski-lifts have either been upgraded or added in the Grand Massif. This is a resort on the up with year-round appeal and endless charm. For an overview of the area, search for ‘Samoëns Office de Tourisme’ on You Tube.
Ten years ago, my husband Mark first visited Samoëns on a skiing holiday. We had no idea back then that we’d fall in love with the village and surrounding mountains and decide to make a permanent move several years years later. A second ski holiday and a visit in the summer convinced us that Samoëns was where we wanted to buy in the French Alps. After four successful years renting out our apartment in the summer and winter, when we weren't using it ourselves, we took the plunge and moved with our son, who was 11 at the time. Life in France has been a challenge at times but we wouldn’t change it for the world. We both love living and working in this beautiful part of France and we never tire of watching our boy trek off to school with Samoëns’ iconic snow-capped mountain, Le Criou, in the background. Before moving to France, I worked for 20 years in financial services in Scotland with Scottish Amicable and Prudential UK, most recently as an Operations Manager at a senior level. I have a degree in French from the University of St Andrews and I am also fluent in Spanish and have basic German. After moving to France I worked for six months with a local estate agency in Samoëns. Mark, who is also a Leggett agent and works with me, is a professional photographer with a background in cartography which is obviously rather handy in this line of work! We have been fortunate enough to be able to make this valley our home and we’d love to help you do the same.View French-Alps Information Homepage
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