Ski Holidays in Chamonix, France
One of the oldest and most famous French resorts, Chamonix is as popular with summer climbers as it is with winter freeriders. The ski area encompasses four different mountains, meaning it is a little spread out but there is plenty to explore and definitely something for everyone. The Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass not only gives you access to all areas in the Chamonix valley, but also a day in Verbier, Switzerland and a day in Courmayeur in Italy.
Chamonix is not lacking in upmarket shops and good restaurants, such as Albert Premier with its two Michelin stars. For a more reasonable meal, head to La Maison Carrier (sister restaurant to Albert Premier) with in a lovely rustic chalet for fantastic regional dishes and views of Mont Blanc. MBC is a great microbrewery and restaurant for a fun evening out with live music on some evenings and a selection of ales and lagers brewed directly behind the bar.
For great shopping and internet access in Chamonix town centre - Shop 74 is a trendy snowboarding/skate shop wit... read full
The most exciting Vallée in the world. So much great skiing and adventure. Most people neglect the ski areas of... read full
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The centre of Chamonix is a pedestrian-only area and there is a good choice of interesting shops and galleries to explore. On bad weather days, wander along the River Arve and stop off for a hot chocolate at one of the cafes or pay a visit to the Alpine Museum to learn more about the area. There is a swimming pool at the sports centre along with a sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room; there is also an Olympic-sized covered ice rink here. Aiguille du Midi is home to the famous off-piste itinerary, Vallee Blanche.
There are no pistes on the Aiguille du Midi so this is expert-only territory, however anyone can enjoy lunch at the Restaurant Le 3842 and take in the views of the Mont Blanc Massif, the Mer de Glace and Chamonix valley. Beginners should head to Le Tour for gentle slopes after graduating from the nursery slopes at village level. There is a natural half-pipe at Le Tour, snowparks on Les Grands Montets and Les Houches
and an air bag in the Brevent-Flegere sector. Les Houches is also good for intermediates with long tree runs and has views to Mont Blanc.
Skiing in Chamonix
The ski season begins around mid-December but depending on snow conditions, the lifts may open much sooner. Natural spring snow allows for great skiing up until the 8th of May when the season officially ends.
Despite its low altitude (1035 m), 90% of the ski areas are located above 2000 m, making Chamonix a "guaranteed-snow" resort. The ski terrain is divided into three areas all linked by an efficient shuttle bus service and a panoramic sightseeing train (free with Guest Card or Ski Pass). The world famous Grands Montets is considered the Mecca for skiers, snowboarders and freeriders but there are many different possibilities available for skiers of all levels throughout the resort on their ski holidays in Chamonix. It has a long standing reputation amongst skiers, many of whom come eith to ski the famous "Vallée Blanche" or to takle some of the most challenging off-piste skiing available. The lift pass also offers a day's skiing in Courmayeur in Italy.
If you prefer walking or snowshoeing, then ski holidays in Chamonix have just what you need to enjoy high mountain scenery: discover the Mer de Glace with the picturesque cog railway of Montenvers, take Europe's highest cablecar to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, ride on the Tramway du Mont-Blanc, France's highest cog railway, fly over the Mont-Blanc range with Chamonix Mont-Blanc Helicopters - or simply enjoy the 17 km of footpaths which take you deep into the winter landscape. For a change of scenery, the Chamonix Bus Company offers day trips to beautiful nearby cities such as Annecy, Geneva (Switzerland) and Aosta (Italy).
Ski holidays in Chamonix host a wide selection of typical cafés and tempting pastry shops along with 14 bars, 80 restaurants, 100 shops and 7 discotheques. The world-class casino in the centre of town will tempt the gambler in you with black jack, roulette and slot machines of the purest tradition. The Vox Cinema delights movie goers with all the latest films - and frequently in the original version.