With a reputation for challenging skiing, Chamonix lies at the foot of Western Europe’s tallest mountain, the 4,810-metre Mont Blanc. The first winter Olympics were held here in 1924, and it is home to the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, which takes passengers from the bustling town of Chamonix at 1,035 metres to the summit of the Aiguile du Midi at 3,842 metres.
December 16, 2017 – May 1, 2018
Chamonix consists of five resorts spread out over 150 kilometres – Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flégère and Le Brevent. The latter two are linked by lifts, while free shuttle buses connect the others. There are 65 lifts, with 16 green runs, 27 blue, 25 red and 12 black, plus two terrain parks. The Mont-Blanc Unlimited Lift Pass is valid in all five resorts, as well as Courmayeur in Italy, the 4 Vallées in Switzerland, with one visit to Evasion Mont-Blanc (St Gervais or Megève) also included.
Stay in the historic town of Chamonix to be close to shops, bars and restaurants, or choose the quieter village of Argentière, family-friendly les Houches, authentic Servoz or the more remote Vallorcine, near the Swiss border.
Where to stay in Chamonix
The Mont-Blanc Unlimited lift pass also offers access to the Chamonix pool, cinema, ice skating rink and museums plus one luge Alpine Coaster descent per day. Other activities include snowshoeing, ice climbing, paragliding, mountaineering, dog sledding and tobogganing. As well as traditional restaurants offering fondues and raclettes, you will find Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Mexican options. For après, head to Chambre Neuf for live music, the terrace at Elevation 1904 or La Terrasse, or try some local ales at Micro Brasserie de Chamonix.
The car-free medieval farming town of Megeve has cobblestone streets encircling a 1000-year-old church, with horse-drawn sleigh rides, traditional markets each Friday and visits to a nearby deer farm adding to its charm.
December 23, 2017 – April 7, 2018
Megeve is divided into three ski areas spread across 320 kilometres known as the Evasion Mont Blanc. It has 79 lifts, with 19 green runs, 28 blue, 25 red and 11 black. You can also buy ski passes that also allow you to ski in nearby Chamonix.
Stay in a restored farmhouse, luxury ski-in/ski out chalet or historic hotel in the town centre.
Where to stay in Megeve
Megeve has a casino, bowling alley, outdoor ice skating rink, cinemas and a sports centre. Other activities include horse riding, sledging and dog sledding. It has more than 40 restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Flocons de Sel, Le 1920 and Le Refuge. For après check out The Wake Up, Bar-Tabac Saint Paul or 5 Rues.