Some of the less well known and surprising things about Samoëns and the Giffre valley.
If you’ve seen the map of Samoëns you may wonder why the path from our apartment to the Tourist Information office is so straight. This track was once the train line and the tourist office used to be Samoëns train station. The train line once connected Annemasse near Lake Geneva along the Giffre valley to Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. The train was used to transport stone from Samoëns down the valley and carry tourists up to the region.
Believe it or not, Samoëns is home to some of the deepest caves in the world! The Gouffre Jean-Bernard cave is 1602m deep. Gouffre Mirolda is the deepest known cave in Europe at 1733m. We don’t recommend exploring by yourself, but there are some guided caving trips in Samoëns.
The world famous Tour de France does occasionally pass through Samoëns en route to the Col de Joux Plane, one of the most gruelling mountain passes in the Alps route up to 1700m along the D354 road to Morzine. If you fancy trying the route it is open except for winter months. Be warned, it is a tough 12km!
Other cycling tours pass through the valley including the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta.
13 August 2003 seven parapenters landed on the summit of Mont Blanc, one of whom had departed from Samoëns, a journey of 30km.
The Grand Massif ski domain is also a nature reserve.