Samoëns and the Grand Massif is widely known for being a winter paradise, but the resort is also one of the best destinations in the French Alps for summer holidays. In fact, during July and August when the summer season is at its peak, it’s rare to meet a visitor to the region who doesn’t wish they could stay longer. It’s no wonder – with average weather that matches your standard beach holiday, breath-taking scenery and a whole host of activities to enjoy, Samoëns and the surrounding villages of the Giffre valley are the place to be in summer.
Samoëns, Morillon and Sixt really are ideal destinations for the perfect summer holiday. The days are long and warm, with average temperatures from May through to September ranging between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. After even the hottest days – it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach above 30 degrees – the evenings are generally cool, so getting a comfortable night’s sleep in a summer chalet should not be a problem. The warmer weather brings with it a life and energy different to that of the winter season. The streets of Samoëns in particular are a hive of activity. Stroll through Samoëns’ beautiful, medieval centre and experience firsthand its buzzing atmosphere. Duck in to one of the numerous specialty shops and get chatting with the locals, or enjoy a refreshing drink and light lunch on the sunny terrace of one of the many bars, cafes and restaurants, all the while soaking up the sights and sounds of summertime village life.
A bus service links the villages of Samoens, Morillon, Verchaix and Sixt with the Cirque du Fer à Cheval, the cascade du Rouget and the Col de Joux Plane.
Family Activities in Samoens, Morillon & Sixt
During the summer months Samoëns, Morillon and Sixt play host to a variety of outdoor music events, festivals, and fireworks displays. Spend a mild, summer’s night dancing away to live music at one of ‘Les Pepites’ free outdoor concerts in Samoëns. Definitely don’t miss the concerts by the lake at Bois Aux Dames Samoens, which by day is a thriving recreational facility. Next to the lakes of Samoens, there are plenty of tennis courts (lower season book via the Tourist Office), archery, golf driving range into the lake, pony rides, inflatable jump bag, table tennis and more! The annual ‘Y’a l’Feu au Lac’ (fireworks and lighting display by the lake) is one event not to be missed in Morillon. An afternoon spent on the banks of Lac Bleu easily becomes an entire evening as you while away the hours at this spectacle of music, dance and light.
Any day of the week at Lac Bleu in Morillon is a day well spent. Take a dip in the lake under the watchful eye of qualified lifeguards, test your tree climbing skills in the high ropes course or why not hit the trampolines or bouncy castle? The ‘Fete Nationale’ is always great fun too with fabulous fireworks displays throughout the valley. Then of course there’s the annual American Festival, or International Stone Mason’s Symposium, not to mention the region’s biggest outdoor market held in Samoëns every Wednesday. Thanks to the support of the community-focused, local council and Giffre Valley tourist offices there is no shortage of entertainment for all the family.
Samoens Swimming Pool
Samoens has a wonderful large open air swimming pool / park located 10 minutes walk from the centre, situated next to the lakes - Lac au Dames. With a 60m slide into the plunge pool, a 25m swimming pool with swimming lanes, a medium sized pool, and a baby pool with a mini slide, there is certainly enjoyment for all the family. It is set in 6000m2 of immaculately kept lawns, enabling you to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. There is a shaded picnic area, plus you can lay out your picnic in the grounds, or you may simply chose to go the swimming pool cafe/restaurant. Here you can also enjoy an area designated for ball games.
18 June - 1 July and 1 - 11 September 2022 : 11am - 6pm 2 July - 31 August 2022 : 10am - 7pm
Swimming in Lac aux Dames (Samoens) & Lac Bleu (Morillon)
Samoens and Morillon each boast a fantastic lake with life guarded swimming area. The lakes are surrounded by stunning views and huge flat grass areas, perfect for sunbathing and family games. At Lac Bleu, you'll find a sandy beach area, while both lakes are surrounded by numerous summer activities.
Opening Dates (life guarded swimming areas)
1 July - 31 August 2022
La Centre Loisirs La Marmotte in Samoëns also offers families the possibility of signing their kids up to organised activity days during the school holidays. Inscriptions are limited so this is definitely something to arrange ahead of time if possible. Please also note this service is mostly offered for local children, so would be mostly French speaking. For more information, checkout their website.
Summer Activities in Samoens!
While very much a family-friendly resort, the Grand Massif also caters to the dedicated outdoor and sports enthusiast. The Giffre valley is in fact quite the adventure playground in the summer, perhaps even more so than during winter. You can enjoy everything from swimming, hiking, mountain biking and road biking, to climbing, white-water rafting, hot-air ballooning and paragliding. The region really does offer it all! For more detailed information on a number of activities available here in the Grand Massif be sure to check out our Additional Activities.
Hiking around Samoens and the Haute Giffre Valley
A highlight of any holiday in the Grand Massif is most definitely a trip to the Cirque du Fer a Cheval, situated just ten minutes’ drive from the gorgeous village of Sixt (or a 15 minute cycle on one of the new battery powered bikes available in most of the bike hire shops in Samoens – lots of fun!). At certain times in the season up to 30 waterfalls can be seen tumbling down the 2000m high cliffs in this spectacular nature reserve, which offers a range of hiking for all ages and abilities. Be it a gentle, flat circuit along the valley floor, a steep ascent to a refuge with breathtaking views over the entire Cirque, or a multi-day hike to a glacier, the Cirque offers something for everyone. There are of course a number of other great hiking locations in the valley. For more information, take a look at our Walking page.
Family Activities in Samoens
Active families will adore Samoëns and the surrounding area. The summer season is all about outdoor sports and the choice of activities is vast. Alps Accommodation partners with the ‘one stop shop’ mountain activity experts at ZigZag, who provide a hearty menu of alpine adventure with something for all ages and levels of intrepidity. Whether you’re already booked or are still considering the area as a summer holiday destination, we’ve collected some great local advice from the experts at ZigZag - check out the article.
Outdoor adventure activities include canyoning, rafting, parapenting, rock climbing, Via Ferrata, caving, horse riding, pack donkeys and more, with options for children as young as 4 years of age. To book or enquire, contact Louise (who is native English speaking) at the ZigZag office on +33 (0)6 31 20 44 10 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise pop past to see Louise in person at the ZigZag office at 126 Grande Rue, in the centre of Samoëns. Samoëns’ Bureau des Guides also proposes daily activities and multi-activity weeks which you can book via their office, which is next to the Tourist Office, or for via their website. Most activities are for kids from 7 years and of course adults, but they do run climbing sessions for kids from 5 years of age.
Samoens - A Cycling Paradise!
Biking is another favourite summer activity and visitors to the Grand Massif will not be disappointed by what’s on offer. For road biking fans there are some world class routes to choose from, including the famous Col de Joux Plane. The Col de Joux Plane has already featured in 11 Tour de France races, and in summer 2016 it made its 12th appearance in the world class event. Regarded by some as the toughest road bike climb in the Haute Savoie, the Col de Joux Plane has been the scene of some dramatic events in Tour de France history. For all the road-bikers out there - this is definitely one to conquer! For more information about road biking in the area check out our Road Biking in the Grand Massif page.
Samoëns is also renowned for its world class mountain-biking terrain. Possibly the greatest credit to the quality of mountain-bike riding on offer here is the success of the 2015 Enduro World Series event. July 2015 saw Samoëns play host to 350 competitors, including the world’s most elite riders, for the 4th stop of the international series (you can read all about it in our blog). Samoëns also hosted the French Enduro Cup - the top level of French national racing - for four consecutive years. The bulk of the mountain-biking terrain is accessed from Samoëns 1600, which is an 8-minute gondola ride from Samoëns in the Grand Massif Express. Lift operating times are weather dependent and do follow a strict schedule so be sure to check the information below. More information on our Mountain Biking in Samoens page.
For Summer 2022, the Grand Massif Express (GME) in Samoens is open from early June until the end of August. A short, 8-minute ride from the village of Samoëns, the GME gives access to the mountain biking and walking trails at Samoëns 1600 while the Chariande Express offers stunning views including Mont Blanc!
Grand Massif Lift Opening Dates Summer 2022
Samoens Grand Massif Express
Samoens Chariande Express
Lift are open non-stop 7 days per week. More info can be found on the Grand Massif website.
If you are planning to holiday outside these times, when the lifts are not open, there are numerous trails for walking and biking all accessible from the village. With so many activities in and around the centre, river and the lakes, you don't need to rely on using the lifts at all to have an amazing activity holiday.
Still not sure about summer in the Alps? Watch our 'Summer in Samoëns' video for a small taste of what awaits!
Once you are convinced a summer alpine holiday is for you, be sure to have a look through our portfolio of excellent summer chalets.
By booking through Alps Accommodation you’ll also be eligible for a number of savings and in-resort discounts. Check out our Family Savings page, which details how much our guests can save by staying with us during the summer.
Hot tub. Log fire. Ski bus opposite. Village centre 900m. Garden & terrace.
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"We loved our stay and had a really enjoyable New Year! The house was delightful and had everything we needed." Duncan family, Apartment Bois de Lune 2, January 2022
"Great stay with family and friends. Very comfortable and functional chalet. Located close to the local amenities, excellent ski area. Recommended!" POUPEAU family, Chalet Moccand, January 2022
"Our second visit to Samoens and Chalet L’Orlaya and we love both so much that we have already booked to return in February 2022. The skiing has been fantastic for us, our 2 teenagers and our 4 year old’s first time on skis. The location of L’Orlaya suits us perfectly, so close to the ski bus and a short walk into the village with great amenities. Relaxing in your hot tub in these tranquil surrounds with amazing views of the mountains was always a great way to end the day. We found absolutely everything we needed in the apartment and more, so thank you very much and we look forward to our return visit." Rupert, No.1 Chalet L'Orlaya, December 2021
"Wonderful view, well equipped and a very comfortable place. We were very sad to leave. Highly recommended, we will come back for sure !"Guez, Chalet Toubkal, Aout 2021
"Superb experience, a superb stay, super pleasant house! The beds are comfortable, the kitchen very well equipped, the whole chalet was tastefully decorated. The welcome was perfect and the chalet very clean. Thank you, see you soon!" Pauvarel, Chalet Moccand, August 2021
"Thank you so much for our wonderful holiday in Morillon. We loved Chalet Sole Mio and Bertram and Tunde were just lovely hosts. What a beautiful area full of walking and biking and even the storms were spectacular! The new pool is absolutely amazing and a real treat! The children were swimming till 7-8pm at night." Evans Family, Chalet Sole Mio, August 2021
"La Cabin is lovely, perfectly equipped and decorated with charm. The location is optimal, as it is close to the center of Samoens. We will definitely come back."Ajau, La Cabine, August 2021
"On our return from our vacations in Samoëns, where we rented this apartment via Alps Accommodation, I wanted to tell you about the quality of the services, the reactivity, the listening and the advice of this company and their partners. We were also delighted with the management company once we arrived. We were charmed by this splendid village that is Samoens and its activities. The Giffre Valley is very pleasant. Thank you all and see you next time."Mandelides family, Chardons MGM 4 rooms, August 2021
"Superb chalet, all comfort and more. Cosy, warm, bright, the view on the mountains very pleasant. A region full of activities - pure happiness! And the hot tub is the icing on the cake!"Sophie and family, Chalet Bleu, July 2021
"Very good welcome. Two beautiful rooms with bathroom on the first floor and two large rooms in the attic. Very large hot tub in the garden." Rousseau, Apartment Moccand, July 2021
"The apartment is ideally located to enjoy many activities with young children. It is well designed and pleasant. We appreciated the responsiveness of Alps Accommodation and the management team." Chaze family, Pas au Loup A10, July 2021