Chamonix – France

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The resort of Chamonix Mont-Blanc has been a magnet for snowsports enthusiasts ever since it hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Today, Chamonix is more popular than ever and losing it's purely 'hardcore' appeal. It is just an hour from Geneva and makes a great destination for short breaks.

Snow reliability is not an issue here with skiing up to a breathtaking (literally!) 3840m and a northerly aspect. Chamonix has a reliable season from December well in to May. The skiing normally stops through lack of custom rather than lack of snow.

Mont Blanc rises up to a staggering 4801m, overshadowing this comparably large mountain town. It is apparently the third most visited natural site in the world! As such Chamonix receives a more diverse mix of guests than some mountain towns but rest assured, in the winter, the focus is 100% on skiing and snowboarding – and a little ice-climbing!

 

Getting around Chamonix

In Chamonix you need to be prepared to travel by bus. 'Skiing in Chamonix', really means staying in one of the villages that make up the Chamonix Mont-Blanc resort and skiing in one of the areas that flank each village.

This means that there is very little ski-in, ski-out accomodation and to make the most of the area you will want to ski and snowboard at different areas on different days.

The ski areas that make up Chamonix Mont-Blanc are: Les Houches, Le Brévent and the Aiguille du Midi, Flégère, Les Grands Montets and Le Tour/Balme.

 

Skiing in Chamonix

Chamonix offers ski terrain for everyone with the greater proportion of its slopes falling into the beginner and intermediate categories. However, it has become famous largely due to it's expert and off-piste potential.

People take skiing and snowboarding seriously here and a powder morning queue for the lift can be quite a bun fight, with ice axes, crampons, and ropes taking up every last bit of space in the lifts. The plus side is that there are a number of professional guiding and backcountry operations should you wish to explore further afield.

 

Staying in Chamonix

A fully-functional town, Chamonix has more history and soul than many purpose-built resorts, and it has better off-slope facilities than most resorts. The Mer de Glace railway is a spectacular trip, and the town centre boasts every type of shop you could wish for as well as a casino and endless eating and drinking options. The British community is strong here with more than enough bars selling Guinness and showing the football!

  1. Visit the Alpine Museum in the old Chamonix Palace.
  2. Parapenting heaven surely exists in Chamonix, and definitely worth a go.
  3. Hit the Richard Bozon Sports Centre for ice-skating, swimming, tennis and loads more.
  4. Take a gamble at the local casino if you are feeling lucky.
  5. For a rather more luxurious spa experience visit the Thermal Spa at Pre Saint-Didier.

Chamonix blogs

Best condtions in the Chamonix Valley, France

Posted by Snow forecast on 26th January 2014

Simon Halliwell, of Powderama ski clinics in the Chamonix Valley has been scoping out some of the best slopes and conditions in the past few days.


Thrilling off-piste weekend

Posted by Ski holiday deals on 27th August 2013

Anybody who has skied off-piste will tell you that nothing beats it on the mountain. So if you have always fancied trying it but need a bit more tuition and confidence then why not try this great weekend package from International Academy. This is a new course for the 2013/14 season in Chamonix and after specialist training from the wonderful guys from Evolution 2 you will be ready to take on the challenge. Read on for more information and to book.

Read more Chamonix blogs

At a glance

Resort altitude1035 m
Highest lift3840 m
Lowest lift1035 m
km of piste155
Number of lifts44
Beginner pistes52%
Intermediate pistes32%
Advanced pistes16%
Snow parks1
GlacierNo
SnowmakingYes
Nearest airportGeneva
(103 km)
Lift pass price€230 / 6 days
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