The resort of Chamonix Mont-Blanc first drew winter tourists in the 18th century, and hosting the first Winter Olympics in 1924 sealed the deal. Today, Chamonix is more popular than ever and, despite being excellent for experts, is losing its purely ‘hardcore’ appeal. It is just an hour from Geneva and makes a great destination for short breaks, and there are areas that do the job for beginners and intermediates. The ski areas are separated from each other and so it’s not the most convenient resort, but if it’s a historical, happening, one-off mountain experience you want, in a spectacular setting, come to Cham.
Snow reliability is not an issue here with skiing up to a (literally) breathtaking 3840m, and a northerly aspect. 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.
The town has every sort of accommodation, food, drink and activity you might want. There’s après ski and nightlife, but it’s the varied pub scene of a town rather than the umbrella bar rumpus of party resorts.