Alex Hutchins - Ski Expert"Chamonix is a truly iconic resort in the shadow of Mont Blanc offering challenging skiing, a lively atmosphere and a variety of activities off the slopes. The 1 hour transfer from Geneva adds to the appeal of a short break!"
With the Mont Blanc towering behind as a backdrop, skiers are attracted by the challenging terrain and breathtaking glacial scenery. Many consider Chamonix to be the centre of the skiing world as well as a year-round resort and the HQ of everything mountaineering in the summer. With the added bonus of being only a one hour transfer from Geneva, Chamonix is, to many, the perfect ski holiday weekend destination. The streets of the old town are a mix of old-world elegance with French charm and the cobbled pedestrian centre, with a river that runs through it, is compact and easily accessible. The town is busy and has a lively nightlife with shops selling everything from ski gear to high-end jewellery and watches. It is home to an excellent array of restaurants, bars and late night bars/clubs to guarantee the excitement is not just confined to the slopes. For those looking for a more relaxing apres scene on their Chamonix ski holiday, there is a cinema, a bowling alley, an ice rink and a large sports centre with an indoor pool.
Our top hotel picks for Chamonix: Excelsior Hotel & Spa
SKI AREA OVERVIEW
Despite its reputation for steep runs and extreme off-piste terrain, the Chamonix Valley has 155kms of piste with runs catering for all abilities. Beginners are well catered for at Le Tour or Les Houches, with much more gentle skiing in comparison to the other areas so it is probably the best area for less confident skiers. Intermediate skiers can enjoy the long cruising high altitude blue and red runs of La Flegere (now linked by gondola to Brevent) and Les Grands Montets. Lifts to two of the areas are within walking distance on either side of the centre of Chamonix, all the others are linked by an efficient bus service included in the cost of a lift pass. Chamonix is also home to the Vallee Blanche, probably the most famous off-piste run down over the glaciers that descend from the Mont Blanc. A mountain guide is a must but it is a truly exhilarating experience for good skiers.
Your Chamonix ski holiday awaits!
- Montanvers funicular railway to the bottom of the mare de glace offers amazing views and there is an ice cave to explore. You can ski in la tour then all the way down to Vallercine and get the train back to Chamonix.
- Chamonix ski holidays aren't just about the skiing and apres - why not visit the local market? The local market is every Saturday morning from 8am at Place Mont Blanc in the centre.
- The Vallée Blanche is a once in a lifetime experience that every skier has to do at least once. Not one of the most difficult routes to ski but almost certainly the most breathtaking in terms of scenery. The route can get busy so it is best to get an early lift
- Your pass will cover you for a day's skiing in Courmayeur/Verbier so it makes a great day out to take the bus through the Mont-Blanc tunnel for a day Italy
- Chamonix town is a great place to buy any winter gear you may be after, with shops to suit all budgets.