Boasting beautiful scenery, fabulous ski conditions, quaint Alpine villages and the breathtaking Mont Blanc, it’s easy to see why snow sports enthusiasts come to Chamonix, year after year
Located just an hour from Geneva airport, Chamonix is an iconic mountain sport mecca. This French skiing holiday resort is revered by the A-listers, including the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and with very good reason.
Boasting beautiful scenery, fabulous ski conditions, quaint Alpine villages and the breathtaking Mont Blanc, it’s easy to see why snow sports enthusiasts come to Chamonix, year after year.
1. Exceptional Snow
Because 90% of Chamonix’s skiing is located above 2000m, it’s the ultimate spot for early and late skiing. The snow-sure area of Grands Montets soars to 3300m, providing magnificent conditions from December to May.
2. Buzzing Après Ski Scene
From cosy cafes to swanky late night bars and lively clubs, Chamonix’s après ski scene is not to be frowned upon. Moo Bar, Elevation and Chambre Neuf offer unrivalled live music, whilst La Caleche and Michelin-starred Pierre Maillet’s Albert 1er boast Savoyarde fine dining – foodies won’t be disappointed! Beer buffs will want to pay a trip to MBC (Micro Brasserie de Chamonix), a microbrewery serving up its own tasty array of artisan beers.
3. Picturesque Alpine Town
You don’t have to be sports-mad to appreciate Chamonix. More than half the winter tourists don’t even ski, but simply relish the atmosphere of this exciting Alpine town. The pedestrian centre offers a brilliant choice of shops and boutiques, sunny street cafés, and a massive choice of restaurants, including two with Michelin stars.
4. Sightseeing and Activities Galore
Don’t miss taking the Montenvers cog railway up to the Mer de Glace and ascend to the dizzying heights of 3842m with the Aiguille du Midi cable car. After a hard day on the slopes, be sure to make use of the free buses and trains in the valley to explore the far-flung villages and hamlets. For thrill seekers, there’s dog sledging, skijoring or even paragliding.
5. Handy Location
Geneva airport, with excellent motorways and main roads, Chamonix is easy to reach by car or plane. It’s a great ski spot for the weekend, thanks to its short transfer times.
Chamonix certainly doesn’t slack when it comes to on-piste skiing, offering diverse and wide-ranging ski areas on both sides – as well as at either end – of the valley. Altogether, there are around 157km of pistes, split between Chamonix/Brevent, La Flagère, Les Grands Montets, Le Tour/Balme, Les Houches, and La Vormaine. A novice? You’ll want to head to either Les Houches at Chamonix Town’s Les Panards, or at Teleski de Savoy – which nearly routes into the centre of Chamonix under the Brevent cables car.
Nestled at the bottom of Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, and eclipsed by towering glaciers, the town of Chamonix is in the heart of the Alps’s best off-piste skiing. Even better, you’ll find the very best guides – vital for anyone wondering whether to go off the beaten track, away from the marked pistes. Will you dare attempt the legendary 20km Vallee Blanche run, which starts at the Aiguille du Midi cable car – and drops 2,800m to the Montenvers rail terminus?