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Servoz - a pretty Alpine village

Servoz, which lies in the Chamonix Valley in the Haute-Savoie department of the Rhone Alps region in eastern France, is a very pretty, traditional Alpine village. Well placed for accessing some of the best ski slopes in Europe, and offering spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding peaks, Servoz marries great skiing with an unspoilt Alpine tranquillity. In addition, Servoz benefits from a location in one of the sunniest parts of the valley, having lots of brilliant sunshine in both winter and summer.

Charming and low key

Servoz is quite a small village, and the lifestyle is low key in comparison with the big, bustling ski resorts such as nearby Chamonix. However, what it lacks in nightclubs the village makes up for with character and charm. There are a couple of good restaurants and a very handy "8 a Huit" supermarket, open, as the name suggests, from 8am to 8pm everyday. All other shops and services are easily found in neighbouring Les Houches or Chamonix.

Visit Servoz's church and exhibition centre

Servoz also has a lovely little church (St Mark's) built in traditional Savoyard style, and an excellent exhibition centre, the Maison d'Alpelage. Here there are regular exhibitions of local interest so if you have a genuine love of this incredibly beautiful part of France, take a look and discover that there is so much more to the area than just great skiing! Servoz is also home to an art gallery and a couple of craft shops showcasing traditional mountain crafts.

Enjoy the Combats of the Cows and other festivals

What really is outstanding about Servoz, though, is the stream of festivals held in the village every year. These are not only huge fun, but a wonderful way to learn about the life and culture of the area. Events include such fun and games as the Combats of Cows, an event which is called Cow Fighting but is actually more like, well, cows having a minor argument then getting bored and leaving the arena to find something to eat. So it's cow fighting, yes, but not at all like blood thirsty bull fighting! Two prime cows from local herds are pitted against each other, but this is not a blood sport, just a chance for farmers to show off their animals. The cows usually push each other around a little, then lose interest and amble off. The last cow to leave wins! It's more fun than it sounds, though, and keeps a great local tradition alive.

Sights and attractions nearby

The spectacular Diosaz Gorges are worth the walk, as the views of this protected natural area are breathtaking. Further attractions include some kennels which specialise in breeding St Bernard dogs, those life saving giants who traditionally carry little bottles of brandy to revive fallen skiers and victims of avalanches or other mountain accidents. The kennels are open to visitors, and a trip there makes a delightfully different day out.

On the slopes and the great outdoors

Being set near Chamonix and Mont Blanc, it goes without saying that the skiing in the area of Servoz is beyond excellent! Transport to the slopes is laid on in all seasons, so whether you are enjoying a summer walking holiday, playing golf in stunning scenery, skiing, snow shoeing or mountain biking you will find easy access to your chosen pursuits.

How to get there

Geneva airport, with a good choice of departure points from around the UK, is just a 50-minute drive from Servoz. Airlines servicing Geneva include British Airways, Air France, easyJet, Bmi Baby, Flybe and Jet2. The village has a train station which benefits from also being on the TGV line, so those who prefer the train can arrive quickly and easily, while drivers should follow the A40 from Geneva, finding Servoz close to the N205. Coach services are also available to the area.

Property prices and availability in and around Servoz

Property in Alpine skiing areas is always on the expensive side, and Servoz is no exception. A good 2-bedroom apartment here will probably cost you upwards from 250,000 Euros, with prices reaching as high as you wish to pay for a stunning luxury chalet or fully renovated large farmhouse.

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WHERE IS Servoz?

Servoz is situated in the east of France, lying in the south-east of the Haute Savoie department.

Servoz Property Map


Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map


Haute-Savoie Guide

  Haute-Savoie Map

Population: 942

Access: By air: Fly to Geneva. By rail: The excellent TGV service runs to Servoz. By road: The town is easily accessed from the A40 from Geneva and the N205.

Economy: The economy is based on tourism and agriculture.

Interesting fact: Of the many festivals that take place in Servoz, the Combats of the Cows is perhaps the most unusual.

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