FAQ's

We are often asked questions about Samoens, or about Apartment Buqa.. or simply general queries about local services, etc. We have compiled some of the common questions with answers to assist guests in planning their trip. Feel free to contact the Buqa Team for further information or assistance, we'd be delighted to help.

Q1. Where is Samoens?
A1.Samoens is a summer and winter French Alpine resort, that makes a significant part of the Grand Massif domain. It is sat in the Giffre Valley, with River Giffre running alongside side it, in the Haute-Savioe region of France.

Samoens is sat at 800m and is an authentic and picturesque, rural village, popular amongst families, couples and those who enjoy outdoor activities. The Grand Massif Station is in the village centre; this takes you up to Samoens Plateau at 1600m in 9 minutes, where you can enjoy skiing or absorb the spectacular views.

Samoens is 45 minutes drive from Geneva Airport, and 45 minutes drive from Chamonix Valley.

To view or download the location of Samoens, click here to visit Google maps.

To view or download a map of Samoens Village, see the Download section on our website for a pdf or click here

Q2. How do I get to Samoens?
A2. From Geneva Airport the ideal mode of transport is by car, although the rail and bus services are also an option. If you choose to hire a car, then we suggest that you hire from companies on the Swiss side of the airport (not the French side). See our section on 'How to get to Apartment Buqa' for more detailed information.

If you choose the option of a private transfer to and from the airport/the apartment, we can recommend a company called Powdercab, as they are reasonably priced, reputable and reliable. For further information, visit www.powdercab.com

Q3. Are there any local amenities within walking distance of Apartment Buqa?
A3. A quick descent into the village opens you up to all the local amenities and facilities that you may need whilst on your holiday.

Banks
There are two French banks, both accept all major credit/debit cards and operate in Euros: Bank Populaire des Alpes and Credit agricole. They also have a 'hole-in-the-wall' for out of hours services.

Supermarkets
There is a local Petit Casino supermarket in the village centre, ideal for essentials.
There is a fresh fruit and vegetable market which is open daily.
In addition, the village square holds a local food and crafts market every Wednesday.
For a big shop, there is a large Carrefour supermarket in the next village of Taninges, with almost everything you need under on roof, (and an adjoining fuel station). This is a 5 minute drive from the apartment.

Carrefour - Horaires d'ouverture
Monday: 08:30 - 12:30 / 14:30 - 19:15
Tuesday: 08:30 - 12:30 / 14:30 - 19:15
Wednesday: 08:30 - 12:30 / 14:30 - 19:15
Thursday: 08:30 - 12:30 / 14:30 - 19:15
Friday: 08:30 - 12:30 / 14:30 - 19:15
Saturday: 08:30 - 19:15
Sunday: 09:00 - 12:00
Link to Carrefour website
Voiture: voir l'itinéraire
- Latitude: 46.08578
- Longitude: 6.70321

Other services/facilities
The village has two florists, a post office, a dry cleaner, two bakeries, two chocolatiers, a pharmacy, a fuel station, a tourism office and a sports centre.
There are ample clothes shops, sport equipment shops, souvenir shops, craft and jewellery shops, bars and restaurants dotted throughout the village.

Q4. Can you recommend anywhere for ski/bike equipment hire in Samoens?
A4. There is a good choice of sport equipment hire shops throughout the village, all similar in quality of service. One we can personally recommend is Xtreme Glisse. They are opposite the Grand Massif Express. We have arranged a 15% discount and a free locker. You must let them know that you are staying at Buqa or they wont pass this on!. please speak to Francios at Xtreme Glisses. He will be happy to assist you in getting equipment suited to the individual and in line with his/her requirements. Our apartment host can arrange a visit to the ski shops and even pre-book equipment for your convenience. Tel +33 450 898 230

Q5. How do I arrange ski lessons in Samoens?
A5. Ski and snowboarding lessons are widely available for individuals and groups. There are several English speaking instructors in most schools. The most widely recognised School is Ecole du Ski Francais. www.esf.com. There is an ESF base on Samoens 1600 Plateau.

Our Buqa host other ski schools he can recommend and is happy to book in advance for you.

Remember, especially if you are a novice to skiing/snowboarding or cycling, it is highly recommended that you undertake some level of fitness prior to coming out for your trip, as its no fun aching after Day 1 of outdoor activity. Stretching specific muscle groups is a good start. See our section on Buqa Fitness for a recommended regime.

Q6. How do I go about purchasing ski passes for Samoens and surrounding pistes?
A6. Ski passes can be purchased daily passes, weekly passes or by season, depending on which package best suit your requirements.

You have the option to buy a 'Skipass Massif' which cover 145km of pistes, or 'Skipass Grand Massif' which includes Flaine and covers 265km of pistes. For more details and up-to-date pricing, visit www.grand-massif.com

It is very easy to purchase the passes from the Grand Massif station booths. Alternatively you can purchase them online and save time queuing up.

Non-skiers/snowboarders can purchase a pedestrian pass to allow them to embark the Grand Massif cable up to 1600m. Please note that infants under 6 months are not permitted to use this cable car for health and safety reasons. An alternative is to drive up to Samoens 1600m, which is a 10 minute ascent.

Q7. Are there any crèche facilities locally?
A7. Crèche facilities are available from age 3 month onwards; there is a large nursery in the centre of town, which includes meals in their service. It is available throughout the year. Booking in advance is highly recommended at peak seasons.
t: +33(0)450 34 13 96 - e: gardierielesloupiots@cegetel.net

Q8. Do I need to make reservations for restaurants, in advance?
A8. It is not absolutely necessary, but we highly recommend that you do make reservations in advance, as they can get very busy during peak season. Also, some restaurants aren't open every day of the week, so its worth finding out which are beforehand, to avoid disappointment.

Q9. Can you recommend any local masseuse/aromatherapist?
A9.Yes! It is the perfect relaxation therapy after a long day on the slopes/cycling around the mountains. We can recommend a local Therapist called Claire. She is well established and the best thing is that she can deliver the treatments in the comfort of the apartment.
We can also recommend an osteopath named Bonhomme Laurent if you require more of a sports massage.
Their details are displayed on the 'Useful Numbers' section.

Apartment Buqa

1. How many does Apartment Buqa sleep?

Apartment Buqa can comfortably accommodate 8 guests. We have a master double bedroom, a twin en-suite bedroom, triple single beds in the mezzanine and a pull out sofa bed in the lounge.

In addition we also have another sofa bed in the lounge and one in the mezzanine. (From personal experience, the sofa beds have come in useful and are very comfortable!) We do not make a supplementary charge for more than 8 people, but recommend this to the maximum number of guests in your party.

2. Does Apartment Buqa have provisions for infants?

We have a travel cot, a highchair and full children's dining cutlery set. We also have ample storage space in the garage for prams/pushchairs. All the rooms are child-friendly and the mezzanine stairway has a banister for safety. As always, the responsibility for the safety of the children lies within the guests/parents/guardians, whilst at Buqa.

If there are any other special requirements for your child(ren) then we would try our best to accommodate. Please let us know in advance.

3. Do you have wheelchair /disability access?

Wheelchairs can be accessed through the ground floor entrance, which leads to the kitchen/diner and en-suite twin bedroom. However, there is no access for wheelchairs up to the first floor and mezzanine floor, where the lounge, master bathroom and balcony and bedrooms are situated.

4. Do you allow smoking in the property?
We do NOT permit smoking in Apartment Buqa, in adherence to our health and environment-conscious ethos, and to preserve the condition of the apartment.

We would also ask you kindly to refrain from the use of candles as this also poses an unnecessary fire hazard. For your assurance, we have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers as standard around the apartment.

5. Do you have storage space for ski/sports equipment at the apartment?
We have ample storage space in our adjoining lockable double garage, which can be accessed from the outside of the apartment. We suggest you utilise the space to store skis/snowboards, bikes and footwear.

6. Who do I call for assistance regarding our stay at the apartment or for the case of emergency?
For assistance regarding your stay at Apartment Buqa, your first point of contact is Gillu, our Buqa host. He is available 24/7 throughout your stay. However, if it is a matter of urgency and you are unable to get hold of him, then call Elan on +447980741085. You can use the SKYPE phone as this will charge you at normal local UK call rate.

In case of emergency, such as police, fire service or ambulance, please refer to the phone numbers provided in the 'Useful Numbers' section.

7. Can there be provisions for a catered service in the apartment?
Yes! We have our own chef named Debbie who freshly prepares and cooks meals, ranging from fresh bread delivery, to cooked breakfasts, to ready-to-heat meals to a full catered 3 or 5 course meal/ dinner service. For further details, please refer to our 'catered service' section or visit her website on De la Terre