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Haute Savoie

Haute-Savoie (Arpitan : Savouè d’Amont / Hiôta-Savouè) is a French department of Auvergne-Rhone Alps region, named for its location in the Alps mountain range.

Town Property Guides


Haute-Savoie is a department, located in the Alps mountain range. It is adjacent departments of the Ain and Savoie, and the cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Valais in Switzerland and Val d’Aosta in Italy. A portion of the border with Switzerland is marked by Lake Leman.
On its territory lies the Mont Blanc, on the Italian border, the top highlight of the Western Europe with its 4 808.45 m. Between its various elements revolve valleys.
Its natural resources include: lake Geneva, lake Annency, 3 500km of rivers, 170 000ha of forests and 9 nature reserves.


It is a sub continental climate and the bulk of the department, mountain, cold and snowy winter, mild and thunderstorms in the summer. The intersaisons (April and October) are on average more dry, but the rainfall is generally one of the highest in France.
At Annecy, there are averages + 1 ° C in January to + 20 ° C in July. This summer heat allows the presence of local vineyards. Temperatures in Chamonix: – 3 ° C in January, + 16 ° C in July.
The snow, thanks to good rainfall and low winter temperatures, on average, and given the same altitude, the best of France (Jura). In the middle of winter there is usually snow from 500 to 1 000 metres. Around 2 000 m, it persists in October-November to April-May. Over 2 500 to 3 000 m form of glaciers.


Morzine is a beautiful Alpine village, situated in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, which preserves its authentic Savoyarde charm and traditions alongside the modern facilities and vibrant atmosphere of a fashionable ski resort. Morzine was voted 5th best ski resort in the world in the Daily Telegraph Travel Awards, 2001 and is the second most popular destination for all British skiers arriving in the area. It has many restaurants with traditional regional menu as well international cusine.

The town of Evian-les-Bains is located in the northern part of Haute-Savoie. It’s the most famous town on the French shore of Lake Geneva, well-known around the world for its mineral water Evian. It’s also one of the leading spa resorts in France. From April to September the most popular attraction is the Nautical Centre on the lake. The major excursion from Evian is a boat trip on Lake Geneva.

Chamonix lies in a valley at the foot of one of the most beautiful panoramas in the Alps. It is a vibrant town and rich in tradition, offering not only a whole host of activities, but also numerous shops and restaurants. The Chamonix Valley is famous for being the best free-ride resort in the world. For the advanced skier there is Vallee Blanche- 20km ski run through glaciers, crevasses and some of the most astonishing mountains in the Alps.

The town of Samoens is located in the Valle du Giffre and has been distinguished to be one of the most beautiful towns in France. It is a popular summer destination as well as the site of a ski resort listed as a “Historic Monument”. There are guided tours of the old Samoens and a very interesting gallery of cheese manufacture. It attracts a lot of families for the good facilities for children and scenic gentle slopes.


Obviously the most popular attractions are the winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, touring skiing and ice climbing. Other mountains activities are hiking, walking, snowshoeing, sledging, dos-sleddingg and mountain climbing.
The possible water activities on the lakes and rivers are: yachting, sailing, rafting, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, hydro speeding, hot-dogging, fishing and water skiing.
There is also a variety o golf courses and offer to paragliding, hang-gliding and helicopter and hot air balloon flights.


Of all Savoie Mont Blanc’s local products, cheeses are without a doubt at the top of the hit parade. The area has no fewer than 5 AOC cheeses: Reblochon, Beaufort, Tome des Bauges, Abondance and Chevrotin. In addition, Emmental and Tomme de Savoie are governed by an IGP guaranteeing their provenance and production conditions.

Savoie’s vineyards produce an amazing variety of wines, covering 4 AOCs (appellation d’origine contrôlee), 22 vintages and 23 grape varieties. With this diversity comes a multiplicity of flavours and bouquets that will delight even the most demanding palettes. For example Pinot red wine and Altesse white wine.

Pork is one of the pillars of Savoie cuisine. As well as being essential ingredients in many Savoyard dishes, pork offal, bacon, streaky bacon, cheeks and filets form the basis of a wide range of hams and sausages.
Savoie Mont Blanc’s rivers are full of trout and its lakes are home to many species of fish, including members of the salmon family, such as lavaret and arctic char, and coarse fish, such as pike or perch.
Savoie’s frequently harsh climate and rugged terrain are best suited to hardy vegetables, such as potatoes which is the main ingredient of Tartiflette (potato loaf with bacon, dried fruit and spices). Green cabbage used to be a staple food in Savoie. As well as being the main ingredient of “potée savoyarde”, it is also used for making the pork-based dish farcement. Cardoon is definitely the most Savoyard of vegetables: a member of the artichoke family, it is completely unknown in many other areas.

For the dessert there is gateau de Savoie-sponge cake, brioche de St Genix- with pink pralines, rissoles- fruit turnover, chocolate truffles de Chambery, eponge aux pralines-sweets cakes and many more.

Useful information:

Tourism office in Rhone Alps

Maps of Rhone Alps

Travel from the UK

By air: Easyjet flies from London Stansted to Lyon, and from Bristol, London Luton and London Gatwick to Lyon.
Easyjet flies from every airport in the UK to Geneva.
Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Grenoble.

Ski season flights from the UK: Jet2 flies from Manchester and Leeds to Chambéry (on December 2005)
BMI flies from London Heathrow to Lyon (from December 3rd to April 21 st)
British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Grenoble (from Dec 10 th)
Flybe flies to Chambéry from Southampton (from Dec 15 th) and from Birmingham (from Dec. 18th).

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Haute Savoie. We have a large network of estate agents in Haute Savoie. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, barn, gite, B&B, country house, chalet, we will do our best to find a ski property in Haute Savoie matching your requirements. To find out more about our properties for sale in French Alps do not hesitate to contact us.

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