© Christophe Henry, Chamonix Tourist Office
Well known for its proximity to Mont Blanc, Chamonix is one of the oldest resorts in France, boasting spectacular scenery, world-renown skiing and mountains of summer activities (forgive the pun). Hosting the inaugural Winter Olympic games in 1924 and some of the most exhilarating ultra marathons, ski tours and festivals, Chamonix is a resort with a buzzing year wide community and plenty to keep a group with skiers, non-skiers and children all thoroughly entertained. Using one of our hand picked chalets or hotels as a base, explore this incredible resort and it’s breathtaking surroundings in all seasons.
1. Summer Skiing in Chamonix
Chamonix is an Alpine hub of activity during the summer months, with a full range of adrenaline pumping sports right through to the more leisurely hiking and walking on the well-trodden trails. Clearly Chamonix is a climber’s mecca, many with the aim of ascending Mont Blanc; now done by over 20,000 climbers a year, originally summited by Paccard and Balmat in 1786. Look no further than Evolution2 for all your needs in terms of guides, instructors and advice; they offer canyoning, all sorts of water rafting activities, climbing, biking and flying experiences.
2. Ski Activities
© Patrice Labarbe, Chamonix Tourist Office
The Montenvers cog railway wends its way up to the Mer de Glace in 20 minutes, offering beautiful views of the 7km glacier and access to the pretty alpine village of Montenvers. Once there you can also visit the Mer de Glace ice cave, displaying exhibits of how the locals would have lived in 19th century. Or ‘Step into the Void’ in a glass room overhanging a 3842m drop; with its glass floors you can really test your vertigo nerve!
3. La Vallée Blanche Glacier
For some, this potentially full day of skiing is an unmissable highlight of a week in Chamonix. Start at Aiguille du Midi and end up in Chamonix after 20km of skiing an unmarked, unmaintained and unpatrolled high mountain glacier. We advise hiring a guide, since safety is paramount whilst skiing a glacier and conditions can vary the routes from mainly red to unquestionably black.
4. Luxury Ski Chalets and Accommodation
Given its established history in the tourist industry Chamonix does not disappoint for where to stay. And since it’s an all-year-round resort, many chalets are glorious throughout all seasons and weathers. A prime example is the stunning Chalet Amazon Creek, boasting vast living areas, a cinema room and a fully equipped luxury spa with hammam steam room, sauna, sunken Jacuzzi & an outdoor pool for Summer. Les Rives D’Argentiere sleeps 38 people, has a hot tub, sauna and a conference room making it perfect for corporate groups or large family parties and it also has an outdoor pool for Summer visitors. Hotel Mont Blanc stylishly mixes classic with traditional, luxury at every turn and is located at the heart of the village. Other desirable chalets include Bouji Lodge, Chalet Baby Bear and Chalet Baloo.
5. Off-Piste Guides
Chamonix offers some of the most challenging and exciting off-piste and glacier skiing in the Alps, however to ensure maximum expertise and enjoyment we highly recommend Prestige Outdoor for private guiding and instructors. Their years of experience and passion for the local area genuinely ensure an adventurous and action packed day on the slopes!
6. Chamonix Location
Just an hour’s journey away from Geneva airport, Chamonix has become a weekend skier’s dream resort, as well as the ideal option for those wanting to avoid too much travel. Chamonix also has excellent road access using the European motorway network and the 11km Mont Blanc Tunnel.
7. Restaurants in Chamonix Ski Resort
Michelin starred Le Bistro, headed up by chef Daniele Raimondi, offers delicate local flavours, plenty of attention to detail and passion in creativity of exceptional dishes. Two-starred Albert 1er, with the strap line “it’s simplicity that makes perfection”, is considered one of the world’s best ski resort restaurants and well worth an evening sampling their locally inspired menu and investigating their impressively vast wine cellar.
8. What is in Chamonix Town
Photo Credit: edwin.11
Chamonix has a pedestriansed main street with, as can only be expected given it’s reputation as an adventure and extreme sport haven, an excess of the best sports shops (but also high-end fashion boutiques!). Together with traditionally styled cafés, restaurants and spas, hours spent ambling through the picturesque town can slip by very nicely.
9. Peaks, panoramas and views
These do not need much explanation given Chamonix’s unique location; the endless beauty of this resort will impress you at almost every turn. Either skiing or from many of the chalets, the dramatic ridge-lines and majestic Mont Blanc will, in any weather, cause you to stop and stare for a while.
10. Après ski in Chamonix
At Chambre Neuf you will find impressive cocktails, as well as live music from 5.30 pm onwards. It can get very lively later on so be prepared to dance in your ski boots if you’re there later on! But if you’re heading there for a relaxing drink then we would advise getting there earlier in the afternoon.