Flaine (Samoens), France
Samoens is a truly traditional mountain town and is the only French ski resort that is designated as a Monument Historique! Once this was a thriving medieval centre for stone masons but now Samoens is a charming mountain town that relies mostly on tourism as its number one income provider.
There is a traffic free centre with narrow streets and appealing shops, bars and restaurants; there is also a substantial looking church and pleasant town square. There is a traditional weekly market and despite recent growth through tourism it remains a real French town where little has changed over the years. There are a growing number of luxury chalets in Samoens which with their close proximity to Geneva make perfect places to stay for a luxury ski holiday getaway.
2003 saw the completion of the 8 person gondola which makes this now a viable entry point for the Grand Massif ski domain. However, the lift is situated a drive or bus ride away from the centre and there is no way to ski back to the lift station at the end of the day.
The skiing directly above Samoens is on open North facing slopes (so hold snow well) and makes for great confident boosting family ski terrain. This area links nicely with Morillon and also to the slightly further away areas of Les Carroz and Flaine (for higher altitude slopes and great off-piste opportunities).