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The enduring popularity of Chamonix

30 November 2011
Ski News brought to you by SkiWeekends.com, specialists in Bargain Ski Holidays and Ski Holidays in France.

Although experienced winter sports enthusiasts can probably tell you all of the best resorts in Europe, there are some which even those who have never been skiing before will be able to name – and one of those is Chamonix.

Located in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, Chamonix was first established on the global winter sports map when it hosted the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924 and since then has grown in stature to become a mecca to many skiers and snowboarders.

Situated close to the huge peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges at the summit of Mont Blanc, Chamonix and its neighbouring commune of Courmayeur in Italy boast some of the most enviable weather conditions and slopes on the planet and it is easy to see why the resort's popularity never dims.

At 4,810 metres above sea level, Chamonix was recently named as the world's third most visited natural site, which is a tribute to the skiers and snowboarders who return there year after year to test out their skills and enjoy one of the best atmospheres of any resort.

These attributes were recently highlighted by author and skiing expert Mark Pawlak, who has visited Chamonix many times and explained why his enthusiasms for spending ski weekends in the resort never wanes.

He pointed out that Chamonix is not the only option in the French Alps, with other areas having gigantic snowboard theme parks and a huge array of slopes, but said Chamonix has "undeniable appeal".

"Perhaps it's the four villages in one valley, each with its own charm? Or is it the tree runs and off-piste offerings? And in terms of backdrop, Chamonix is second to none - looming ever large is Mont Blanc, Western Europe's tallest mountain," the expert elaborated.

Mr Pawlak noted that there are three airports within easy transfer time - Geneva International, Haute-Savoie and Lyon International at 88 km, 90 km and 220 km respectively – while trains also serve the Chamonix Valley well, as do road routes via the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

As far as the skiing opportunities go, the specialist said "the stats tell the story", as, of the 69 pistes, ten are black, 20 are red, 28 are blue and just eight are green.

He added: "Chamonix has one drawback it's that it's too good - by that we mean too good for some riders. It's clearly not the best choice for a beginner, but for advanced and expert riders into all-mountain action and wild mountainsides, it's perfect."

The expert noted that there are still options if people are new to snowboarding, but they need to keep on the right routes.

These skiing opportunities were also highlighted recently by the advice site Get around Europe, which pointed out that Chamonix is regarded as one of the most attractive and luxurious ski resorts on earth.

"Located in the French Alps, at the base of the famed Mont Blanc, Chamonix is a top pick for those wanting incredible scenery, plentiful skiing terrain and trails, and an apres ski atmosphere that is truly incredible," it noted.

For beginners and families skiing in Chamonix, the source noted that the top destinations include Les Houches and Le Tour, while from the centre of town they can easily reach the Brevent and la Flegere, which are two options that are primarily for those with some experience skiing.

It added that an "extreme skiing adventure "awaits those ready to take on a challenge in the Vallee Blanche and The Grand Montets, as these offer high altitude slopes and a gear challenge for even the most experienced of skiers.

With a huge number of thrilling slopes and a great apres ski atmosphere, there is no danger of Chamonix's enduring popularity waning any time soon.

Chamonix Skiing Holiday Deals.

Posted by Phillip Renner ADNFCR-1958-ID-801226288-ADNFCR

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