With its stunning setting beneath the cliffs of the Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix is a genuine paradise for all winter sports lovers! Just imagine amazing mountain scenery with thrilling panoramas of Mont Blanc... With its legendary steep slopes of over 3 000 meters, it is no surprise that Chamonix Valley was chosen to host the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Since 1760, when a Genevois scientist offered a prize for the first ascent of Mont Blanc, the Chamonix Valley has been a bucket list experience for ski lovers from all over the word.
Best Ski Resorts in Chamonix
The Chamonix Valley directly beneath Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, is considered as the best freeride resort in the world. The breathtaking scenery of vast glaciers and the exceptional range of slopes has even attracted Hollywood film-makers. Did you know that part of the famous James Bond movie – "The World Is Not Enough" – was filmed near Chamonix on the Italian-French border?
Chamonix boasts 6 ski resorts — Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, Le Tour/Balme, La Flégère, Le Brévent and Les Houches
The Grands Montets
The Grand Montets area (1235 - 3275 m) facilitates the skiing of the greatest height losses in the world in the heart of the mountains, close to a glacier. The quality of the snow coverage is remarkable until May. For freestyle enthusiasts, a Snowpark and a Boarder Cross are open in the Lognan area. Grands Montets ski area: 15 slopes - 6 black, 4 red, 5 blue, snowpark; 28 km of pistes
Aiguille du Midi
Aiguille du Midi(3 812 m) offers stunning views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. From the village of Argentière, take either the Lognan or Grands Montets cable cars. At the summit of Aiguille Verte, enjoy the thrill of the breathtaking mountain scenery with Europe’s largest glaciers.
If you regard yourself as an advanced skier and are in a perfect physical condition, descend the legendary Vallée Blanche, a 20-km off-piste run. As a totally unmarked and unmaintained off-piste run with many crevasses, ice falls, clifftops, ice towers, and caves, Vallée Blanche is a winter playground for all Alpine adrenaline junkies and powder enthusiasts. Even though you seek the adrenaline rush, it is highly recommended that you hire an expert mountain guide to help you find a safe way across the glacier.
From Charamillon, enjoy wide open gentle slopes overlooking the entire Chamonix Valley and ski the beautiful tree-lined pistes bordering Switzerland on the Vallorcine side. Tour/Balme ski area: 20 slopes - 8 red, 11 blue, 1 area for new snow sports; 29 km of pistes.
Enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the ‘roof’ of Europe. You can access Brévent from the center of Chamonix, or Flégère from Chamonix Les Praz (3 km from Chamonix). At the bottom of the ski area, there is a beginners' area, called the Savoy. Brévent side: the Brévent freestyle area is equipped with 5 rails and is fully supervised by instructors from 1.00 PM. Flégère side: explore your limits this winter in the la Flégère area. Shatter speed records on the 500-meter speed piste with 150-meter height loss. Free piste on the edge of the Chavanne. Brévent/Flégère ski area: 28 slopes - 7 black, 7 red, 13 blue, 1 green; 56 km of pistes
If you prefer a quieter vacation, head to Chamonix’s smaller neighbors such as Les Houches or Argentière. They all offer top-quality slopes without the hustle and bustle of large resorts. From the summit, one has a spectacular 360° view of the Mont Blanc mountain. Les Houches ski area: 22 slopes - 2 black, 12 red, 6 blue, 2 green; 55 km of pistes
What else to do in the area
Even if you are not a skiing daredevil, there are still a myriad of hiking trails and options for alternative winter sports to satisfy you on your vacation. And just to relax, why not soak up the atmosphere in a local café or sip mulled wine beneath the slopes:)
An exceptional experience is a visit to the 200-meter-deep Ice Cave - Grotte de la Mer de Glace. The cave is filled with ice sculptures and frozen tunnels — seeing the play of colors is simply incredible! The Ice Cave is reached either by cable car from Montenvers or on foot from Plan de l’Aiguille on the Grand Balcon Nord trail.
Summer in the Chamonix
You can spend a great summer vacation this season in the Chamonix mountains thanks to the wide range of activities that this surprising venue offers. Activities are suitable for every family member — kids will certainly have lots of fun! Don’t miss the Snow Garden at the summit of Grands Montets for that refreshing snow feeling even in the middle of summer!
If you are a fanatic sports enthusiast, there is the option of choosing from countless outdoor activities such as trekking and hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, trail running with the Mont Blanc Marathon, and also water sports such as canyoning and rafting. Enjoy the beauty of unspoilt Nature!
Chamonix also provides a host of activities to keep children of all ages entertained! Your kids will love the adventure parks in Chamonix, ideal places to spend quality time with the family! They will have fun discovering the various strange animals in the zoos and animal parks.
The Valley is immense and can be a little confusing for a first-time visitor.
Be prepared to travel a bit, if you wish to ski multiple areas. There are free buses to transport you around the Valley, but it can happen that the bus is full and you have to wait for the next one..so it's best if your accommodation is located within walking distance of the lifts. Enjoy staying in a cozy wooden cottage in Chamonix located with easy access to the ski lifts.
The Chamonix Valley is a superlative Alpine resort, combining the area's traditional charm and natural beauty with a vibrant nightlife. There are plenty of accommodation options. It's up to you whether you choose a cozy wooden chalet or family cottage, a cabin, ski apartment or convivial chalet-style hotel. Many of these are located within walking distance of the lifts.