Our Argentière expert is Simon Hills, who owns and runs Mountain Drop-offs airport transfer company. Having started shuttle bus transfer services from Geneva Airport to the Chamonix valley in 2003, Simon knows his way around the area like the back of his hand. We asked him for his tips on the best activities to try in and around Argentière.
Mont Blanc Massif helicopter trip
Quite possibly the best way to see the amazing Mont Blanc mountain range. Chamonix Mont-Blanc Helicopters is based in a clearing at the bottom of the Argentière glacier. Pascal Brun and his team will make sure you’re wowed by the amazing aerial views of Grands Montets, Les Drus and Mont Blanc itself. If you’re lucky, you may even touch down on top! There are a number of circuits to choose from with various prices available.
Wooden paret sledging
Fancy doing the legendary Grands Montets home-run on sledge? Take the last lift up and when all the skiers have gone home, you take to your little wooden sledge (called a Paret) and hurtle down the Pierre à Ric piste back to Argentière. Runs on Wednesdays in winter from 16:30 to 18:00 and costs 20€ per person. Get a group together for a bespoke outing – it’s a favourite Mountain Drop-offs team event! Organised by Evolution 2 Chamonix.
Just up the valley from Argentière is the village of Le Tour, where you’ll find the snowy fields of La Vormaine. This is where you can go husky sledding in winter. You’ll love the chance to be musher of your own sledge, pulled by the most gorgeous husky dogs ever. Great for all the family, non-skiers included. Depending on snow cover, the activity also operates in Les Praz at the foot of the Flégère cable car.
Try ice climbing
Get a real flavour of Chamonix’s alpinism roots when you try ice climbing in Argentière. Hire a guide and take the short walk through the woods to the frozen waterfalls. They form in the gorges at the entrance to the Argentière glacier and make perfect routes for first timers. You’ll be exhausted by the end of the day, but you can always stop by the nearby Crèmerie du Glacier restaurant, hidden deep in the woods, for a restorative vin chaud and filling fondue.
A nice cuppa
Argentière and Les Grands Montets might be known for its extreme skiing, but there’s a softer side too. On a non-ski day, or when we’re not driving to Geneva Airport, we love to pop in to Tête a Thé teashop and cafe opposite the church in the old village. A huge selection leaf teas, gorgeous home-made cakes and biscuits and a pretty much vegan/vegetarian ‘menu of the day’ for those wanting to eat at lunchtime. Regular art exhibitions are held here too.