Situated on the banks of the Giffre River within a wide glacial valley, the village huddles round a large lime tree that is a reminder of its history. Planted in 1438 and still a very healthy tree, the “Great Lime Tree” now has a trunk measuring 9.50 metres in circumference! Tourism has greatly benefited Samoëns but it has nevertheless managed to retain its authentic character. It offers a perfect balance between a major winter sports facility (Le Grand Massif, 265 km of pistes) and a village life as convivial as it is busy. Samoëns extends a warm welcome to its many visitors in winter and summer alike, and it is a lively place on every day of the year thanks to the 2,300 people who have their permanent homes here and its seasonal activities. It has a market (one of the largest in Haute-Savoie), small shops, restaurants etc In the village, there are countless examples of the talented stone cutters who gave the village its reputation for excellence. This is why most of the old houses in Samoëns are built of stone, not wood. In 1659, the “Frahans” (the name given to the stone cutters) formed a brotherhood and were so famous that they were brought in to work on the largest building projects designed by the architect, Vauban, or commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte. Samoëns is linked to a huge ski domain : Le Grand Massif. You can get to the slopes in 8 minutes from the village, using the gondola (Le Grand Massif Express). 265 km of pistes and 5 interlinked resorts (Morillon, Samoëns, Les Carroz, Sixt Fer à Cheval and Flaine). For a long time, they were used as a training ground by Antoine Deneriaz, the gold medal winner in the downhill event at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Thanks to its geographical location, the Grand Massif enjoys abundant, regular snowfalls throughout the season, and the area is well known for the quality of the snow in spring. Of course, 80% of the slopes are north-facing, allowing the snow to lie for longer and remain in good condition. The Grand Massif features some exceptional spots: – The Combe de Gers with its dizzying 800 m drop and untouched snow! – The blue Cascades piste running for 14 km from the summit at Flaine to Sixt Fer à Cheval – The Marvel piste that provides beginners with a 5 km run through the heart of a forest over a century old The Grand Massif, freestyle version There are three jamparks for the greater joy of beginners or experienced freestylers alike.