Sitting in the foothills of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is heralded as a mecca for skiers, snowboarders and free riders. There is a wide variation in slopes, from beginner-friendly slopes in Les Houches, all the way up to the Vallee Blanche descent from the Aiguille du Midi. Although Chamonix is the main town, ski areas of Les Houches, Les Grands-Montets and Argentiere are just a bus ride away.
Approximate Transfer Times
Chambery - 2hrs | Lyon - 2hrs 30 mins | Geneva - 75 mins
Skiing in Chamonix
Chamonix has something to offer everyone, from non-skiers to advanced skiers. For beginners, Les Houches ski area is perfect, with gentle greens and blues, building towards reds and blacks as your confidence grows. For those looking for glacier skiing and more challenging runs, Les Grand Montets is ideal. If you want to try something extremely challenging and exhilerating, then book a guide who will take you down the 22km Vallee Blanche run.
In addition to Chamonix main town, there are a number of small villages in the area that are encompassed under the Chamonix Valley title, these include Argentiere, Les Houches, Les Bossons and many more. The main town it pedestrianised predominantely meaning that you can enjoy meandering through the town and sampling all that Chamonix has to offer. There is a shuttle bus that connects Chamonix with the surrounding villages and ski areas.
Chamonix has 3 main ski areas; Les Grand Montets, Brevent-Flegere, and Les Houches-St Gervais. All are connected by local bus services, and stretch the full length of the valley.
Les Grand Montets ski area sits between 1235m - 3300m and features some of the greatest height losses in the world. There are 3 main slopes as well as world renowned off-piste areas. For those who enjoy freestyle skiing, there is a snowpark and boardercross in Loghan.
Brevent-Flegere is on the sunny side of Chamonix is and is split into two areas. Brevent features a freestyle area with 5 rails. Flegere has anew area called Explore Your Limits which includes a 500m slope with 150m height loss complete with speedometers so you can show your friends how fast you were skiing when you return home.
Les Houches is a family friendly village, just a 10 minute bus ride from the centre of Chamonix, with it's own bakery and chocolatier in the centre of the village. 55km of slopes wind through forests, with a similar feel to Austria, this is a fantastic area for beginners and intermediates. If you want to challenge yourself, Les Houches is home to La Verte and the Kandahar, World Cup Downhill runs.
Chamonix Resort Overview
Chamonix is a vibrant town, with over 70 bars and restaurants there is always somewhere to enjoy a coffee and a French pastry. For those who enjoy shopping, Chamonix in recent years has developed its selection of shops, with a balance of high-end boutiques, and handcrafted artisan products. As you walk through the main street you will walk by some of the best delicatessens that the French Alps have to offer.
A short 10-minute drive in any direction will take you to beautiful little villages such as Les Houches, and Argentiere. Filled with bakeries and artisan stalls you will be sure to find a product you love. The farmers market in Chamonix takes place on a Saturday morning, be sure to arrive early to see the full range of produce on offer.
Restaurants & barsEach of the villages surrounding Chamonix has a decent selection of bars and restaurants, though most will be found around Chamonix's main high street.
Chamonix is a melting pot of Italian, French and Swiss cuisine due to its location. Speaking of melting, enjoy a sumptuous fondue at La Boccalatte. Aim to arrive before 8 pm to ensure that you can get a table. La Caleche is a beautiful alpine restaurant in the centre of Chamonix, perfect for families. If you visit on a Tuesday evening you may be serenaded by folk singers. For haute cuisine visit La Maison Carrier, their high-quality service only accentuates the fantastic array of steaks and classic French wine. If you’d like to enjoy a drink with the locals visit Bistrot des Sports, the oldest bistro in Chamonix.
There is an abundance of restaurants on the mountains. If you are skiing in Les Houches and you are on the Prarion pistes, La Cha restaurant can be found at the bottom of the Chamois blue run. This family-owned restaurant is split over two floors and now features an outdoor seating area with views of the St Gervais valley.
At the top of the Prarion piste is La Prarion restaurant, with its curved balcony seating area, you have panoramic views of Mont Blanc. Enjoy a warm bowl of French Onion soup or a mug of delicious chocolat chaud.
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