Chamonix Mont-Blanc 

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Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Chamonix lies at the foot of Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s tallest mountain at 4,810 metres 

It has a reputation for challenging skiing both on and off-piste.  

It boasts the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, which takes passengers from the bustling town of Chamonix at 1,035 metres in the valley to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3,842 metres. 

The first winter Olympics were held in Chamonix in 1924. 

Season

December 12, 2020 – May 1, 2021

Ski area 

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 for all five resorts, Courmayeur in Italy, the 4 Vallées in Switzerland, and one visit to Evasion Mont-Blanc (St Gervais or Megève). 

Accommodation 

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. 

Non-ski activities and experiences 

The Mont-Blanc Unlimited lift pass also offers access to the Chamonix pool, cinema, ice skating rink and museums.  

Other activities include snowshoeing, ice climbing, paragliding, mountaineering, dog sledding and tobogganing.  

Après-ski 

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. 

Resort altitude 1,035m
Skiable area

Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass (France, Switzerland & Italy):

– Brevent-Flégère area
– Grands Montets area
– Balme Tour Vallorcine area
– Aiguille du Midi
– Montenvers Mer de Glace train
– Tramway du Mont-Blanc
– Les Houches area
– Courmayeur area

– Verbier 4 Vallées area (50% Off 1 Day Pass)

– Evasion Mont-Blanc – St Gervais or Megève

Hotel Les Grands Montets
|Chamonix

200m from slopes and Grand Montets cable car, Argentière - Chamonix Mont-Blanc. As you cross the doorstep, you are immediately immersed in an authentic chalet atmosphere. The smell of woodfire and spa blends together to reek each corner of the lobby. The wood on the walls, the terracotta tiles, the old posters and paintings, the antique skis and furniture invite

Alpina Eclectic Hotel
|Chamonix

With its highly contemporary architecture, the Alpina Eclectic Hotel has a great look in the very centre of Chamonix, a mythical resort if there ever was one. The hotel welcomes you to the very cradle of mountaineering, a meeting place for all mountain enthusiasts and lovers of wide open spaces. An unparalleled location for the ultimate mountain experience.

Chalet Hôtel Le Prieuré
|Chamonix

Chalet Hôtel Le Prieuré is just 150 m from the bus stop that leads to the Brevent Cable Car. From there guests can access the Flégères, Les Grands Montets and les Houches. In 2015, the hotel was completely renovated, while still preserving its history and authenticity.

Hotel Le Morgane
|Chamonix

Hotel Le Morgane. The Morgane is a boutique hotel with 56 guest rooms, ideally located right in Chamonix. The hotel features magnificent views over Brévent and Mont-Blanc from its sunny terraces.

Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons
|Chamonix

Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons. Le Refuge des Aiglons is a contemporary hotel with 107 guest rooms just a few steps from the Aiguille du Midi cable cars and boasts one of Chamonix’s most beautiful views of Mont Blanc from the lobby or the sunny terrace. Resolutely modern, the 4 star Le Refuge des Aiglons boasts a daring layout and

Residence La Ginabelle
|Chamonix

1 to 2 Bedroom apartments. Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence La Ginabelle is ideally located in the centre of Chamonix, allowing you to enjoy the bustle of the resort, with its pedestrian streets, shops and restaurants. The apartments in this luxurious 4-star residence with views looking across to Mont-Blanc allows you to enjoy a holiday in the heart of the

Le Cristal de Jade
|Chamonix

1 to 3 Bedroom apartments. Le Cristal de Jade. Located next to the Aiguille du Midi cable car, near the ski resort center and all the facilities. The residence is composed of three chalets, one is dedicated to your welcome and your relaxation with a private swimming pool and wellness center. “Le Cristal de Jade” offers 51 apartments combining space and

Approximate (private) transfer time to Chamonix from:

  • Geneva airport: 1hr 15min
  • Chamonix has its own train station

Resort altitude: 1,035m

Mont-Blanc Unlimited ski area

Brévent Flégère, Les Grands Montets (Argentière), Balme (Tour Vallorcine), les Houches Saint-Gervais, Aiguille du Midi – Mer de Glace et Tramway du Mont-Blanc, Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area, Courmayeur (Italy). 

Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski Area Map

Chamonix Le Pass ski area

Brévent- Flégère area (Chamonix), Balme area (Tour – Vallorcine), Grands Montets area* (Argentière), Les Planards, Le Savoy, Les Chosalets, La Vormaine (Family ski areas in low height).

Chamonix Valley Map

Brévent – Flégère

Brevent-Flegere trail map

Les Houches

Les Houches trail map - chamonix

Les Grands Montets (Argentière)

Grands Montets Trail Map Chamonix

L’Aiguille du Midi

Aiguille du Midi map - Chamonix

Balme (Le Tour) – Vallorcine

Balme - Vallorcine trail map

Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area

Megève (Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois, Jaillet and Cote 2000), Combloux, Cordon, La Giettaz, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Le Bettex, Saint Nicolas-de-Véroce, Les Contamines-Montjoie

Evasion Mont Blanc Trail Map
What makes Chamonix ski resort unique?

Chamonix is home to the highest summit in Europe, the Mont Blanc at 4,810m.

The Chamonix ski resort has many different ski areas to choose from, all under the one lift pass: The Mont-Blanc Unlimited.

All of the ski areas offer awe-inspiring views not only of the Mont Blanc, but also of the different surrounding peaks – Aiguilles Rouges, Aiguille du Midi, Aiguille du Dru and Aiguille Verte.

Chamonix also boasts the longest off-piste ski run in the world, “La Vallée Blanche”, which ends with a visit to the ice cave Montenvers Mer de Glace (sea of ice) followed by catching the iconic Montenvers red cog wheel train down to the town centre of Chamonix.

The town itself has an adrenaline-filled atmosphere with lively restaurants and bars and plenty of pretty shops offering everything from souvenirs, ski gear and clothing to locally produced cheeses and saucissons.

Who would love Chamonix ski resort the most?

Chamonix is the pinnacle destination for free-riders and advanced skiers alike looking for challenging on and off piste terrains with stunning views.

Skiers and snowboarders of all levels wanting to experience a different area every day of their ski holiday will be spoilt for choice and variety.

Be mindful that Chamonix is a valley town and not a ski village. So to get to the different ski fields, you will need to catch the local buses (FREE) which can take anywhere from 10 to 25min and run every 30min.

This makes it not so ideal for families travelling with young children. However, if you are bringing the young ones, you are better off staying near a ski area that caters best for families such as Les Houches with perfect easy groomers for beginners and intermediate skiers.

What is there to do for non-skiers in Chamonix?

From a calming yoga session on the mountain top to racing through the night to get to an Italian mountain restaurant on the back of a skidoo, there’s something to suit every taste and budget, both here in Chamonix and in neighbouring Italy and Switzerland. 

  • Aiguille du Midi cable car to the summit (3,842m) – This is the number #1 tourist attraction in Chamonix with stunning views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley.
  • Montenvers train & Mer de Glace – (sea of ice) Experience the best views of France’s longest glacier at the Montenvers – Mer de Glace site. Take the iconic rack and pinion train to the top at 1913m and then descend by cable car and around 500 steps to visit the ice cave within the glacier.
  • Paragliding – See the Chamonix valley from a totally different perspective, 1000 metres above the ground on a tandem paragliding flight
  • Husky rides – Every Wednesday, subject to snow conditions, you can learn to drive your own sled from 8 years of age, or enjoy the ride as a passenger from any age.
  • Paret sledge – Parets are traditional wooden sledges with one runner. Take the last lift up to experience the slopes of Grands Montets on a paret, once the skiers have gone home. Open to kids from 12 years of age.
  • Sledging – Babies and toddlers can get a taste for some downhill action on the small slopes in Chamonix town centre. You can also take sledges on dedicated slopes at Les Planards or at the top of Prarion in Les Houches.
  • Deluxe Igloo & Fondue Adventure. Head off into the Swiss forests (not too far from Chamonix!) to ride the 3km sledging track as many times as you want. You’ll then strap on your snowshoes for a beautiful hike to the real snow igloo, where after working up that appetite you’ll enjoy a traditional cheese fondue.
  • Luge Alpine Coaster (toboggan on rails)- ride along the 1300m track at the bottom of the Les Planards beginner ski area, in Chamonix town centre. Children can ride from 3 years old, and unaccompanied from 7
  • Outdoor ice-skating rink with unbeatable views of Mont Blanc. Or witness a local game of ice hockey.
  • Swimming pool – there is also a fun zone with slide, rapids and massaging jets and a sauna and hammam.
  • Museums – At the Alpine Museum, explore the history of the Chamonix valley, including the beginnings of mountaineering, the first ascent of Mont Blanc, winter and summer sports and the birth of tourism.
  • French language lessons – since Chamonix is a town centre and suitable for longer term stays, some people like to combine their France snow holidays with an immersion in French language and culture.
  • Other activities – these include wilderness evenings, Ice climbing, snow yoga, Fat biking, Massage, Spas & Wellbeing, art galleries, markets, Wine tasting / Cocktail tasting / Whisky tasting, shopping and much more…
How do we get to Chamonix?

Chamonix is a 1-hour 15min drive by private transfer from either Lyon or Geneva Airport.

Chamonix has its own train station in the town centre but depending on where you’re coming from, a private transfer is usually the best option, especially if arriving/departing from either Lyon or Geneva airports. There are many train stops and changes and it takes twice as long by road.

Top Snow Travel can also arrange helicopter or scenic flight transfers from all airports or other ski resort altiports in the region.

How long does the Chamonix ski season last?

Next winter Chamonix is scheduled to open from December 12th 2020 to May 1st 2021

Which other ski resorts are part of the Mont-Blanc Unlimited lift pass?

The Mont-Blanc Unlimited lift pass provides unlimited access to Brévent- Flégère area (Chamonix), Balme area (Tour – Vallorcine), Grands Montets area (Argentière), Les Planards, Le Savoy, Les Chosalets, La Vormaine (Family ski areas), Megève & St Gervais (Evasion Mt Blanc ski area), Aiguille du Midi, Montenvers Mer de Glace, Tramway du Mont-Blanc, Courmayeur (Italy).

When is the best time to go skiing in Chamonix?

January 2nd to Feb 6th 2021 is the cheapest and best time to go (low season), followed by 6th March until mid-April 2021 (the shoulder season).

For Australians travelling to France to ski during our January summer holidays, we benefit from the cheaper rates on offer in the French ski resorts’ low season.  This happens to be when the French and Europeans go back to work and school after the 2 week Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Europeans and the Brits flock to the resorts through February into March (DO NOT TRAVEL from 6th Feb to 6th Mar 2021 as this is the French school holidays). The slopes are extremely busy, the queues at the lifts are long and the price for accommodation is very expensive during that time.  Even all the restaurants are booked out!

Typically, in January, the snow is dry with the largest build up. It is also the coldest time, so you will need to make sure that you dress warmly. It is still wise to choose a high-altitude resort in case mother nature has not been kind earlier in the season. Bear in mind though, that snow-making is used to supplement natural snowfall in high traffic areas.

So, not only is January the cheapest time to go skiing in the French Alps, it is also the best time to go thanks to the weather conditions, the lack of queues, more availability and choice of accommodation and you get to breathe fresh air with your loved ones, rather than with thousands of other people!