The largest of the villages in the Giffre Valley, and proud holder of the 'Coq D'Or', recognising its status as one of the prettiest in France. The old livestock-droving lanes make for peaceful pedestrian access into the town square, where many of the old buildings remain in use today.
Farming is still very much part of economic life of the valley. Take a walk through some of the outlying hamlets of Samoëns, and you'll hear the bells ringing as the cows are moved between pastures.
The Wednesday market is one of the biggest in Haute-Savoie, with a great selection of local produce (cheese, sausage, wine, fruit & veg, honey, jams, more cheese), alongside more purposeful things for mountain life, like chainsaws, pick axes and pen knives.
The square in the heart of the village lives up to its name - La Place de Gros Tileul - with an enormous ancient lime tree at its heart. Its home to various shops, bars and restaurants. During the ski season, there's a lovely buzz about the place in the late afternoon, as folks stop off in town for 'apres ski'. In summer, it's leisurely lunches that drift into balmy evenings. Not so much a buzz, but a gentle hum.