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Chamonix France

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Chamonix at-a-glance

Best known for:

Expert Skiing


Activities


Budget Vacation


Mountain Stats

  • Skiable Area:

    308.370732

    hectacres
  • Vertical Drop:

    2233

    m
  • Snowfall:

    671

    cm

Current Weather

10°C

High:23°C
Low:10°C
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Chamonix photo gallery

Quick info

Stay...in the lively mountain town of Chamonix.
Ski...at a top elevation of 12,605 feet on the Aiguille du Midi to the Valle Blanche.
Travel...by flying into Geneva ultimate convenience.
Enjoy…breathtaking views of Mont Blanc—the tallest peak in Europe.
Explore…the idyllic villages and hamlets.
Learn…about the area’s rich mountaineering history at the Alpine Museum.
Taste…190+ restaurants.
Treat…yourself to ritual at Hotel Les Aiglons Resort & Spa.
Experience…25 miles of Nordic skiing and train ride to Mer de Glace—a few examples of Chamonix’s many winter activities.

Mountains rule in Chamonix France. Some of the world's best expert skiing can be found on Chamonix’s jagged peaks and glaciers that rise 12,500 feet above the valley. A proving ground for alpinists, mountaineers and skiers from all over the world, Chamonix, or “Cham” as the locals and core skiers call it, has more of an authentic alpine flair than resort glitz and glamour. Chamonix is renowned as an avid mountaineer destination, so you can expect to see a lot of advanced skiers and boarders schlepping climbing equipment around. Tucked beneath the shadow of 15,767-foot Mont Blanc—France’s treasure—the power and beauty of this area are unmatched.

This “bucket list” destination is the oldest ski resort in France, and is popular as both a destination and weekend trip. Chamonix’s village is brimming with tons of stores, from jewelry stores and designer boutiques to high performance outdoor gear shops. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy an extensive Nordic trail, ski touring and winter paragliding. The casino and a variety of nightlife hot spots will fill your evenings. The Mt. Blanc ski pass also includes Courmayeur, Italy, and Megeve and Les Contamines, France.

Ski Chamonix France

Chamonix France offers five main ski areas, accessed via the area’s mini base villages; 50 lifts transport skiers of all abilities to the resort's famed slopes. Le Brevent cable car begins just above the town and climbs to more than 8,000 feet. Les Houches, Le Tour and sunny La Flegere are where beginners and intermediates will find many trails to ski. Les Grands Montets is the most popular area for the intermediate and the more advanced skiers. Strong intermediate and above skiers will want to challenge themselves in the area off of the Aiguille du Midi, reached by a two-stage cable car. This 7,000-foot descent on and along the glacier of Vallee Blanche features spectacular mountain scenery dominated by Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain.

Chamonix Ski Vacation Packages

If you can envision yourself schussing next to Mont Blanc, enjoying classic French apres-ski and rubbing shoulders with some of the world's best skiers and mountaineers, make a ski trip to Chamonix a reality this season. Start planning your Chamonix ski vacation today with Ski.com. Our online booking services and our Mountain Vacation Specialists make it easy to book your entire ski vacation in one online session, call or chat. If you would prefer to book online, visit our Chamonix lodging page to start the process. If you prefer to have that personal touch, call or chat now with one of our knowledgeable Specialists.

Request A Group Quote

From air, lodging and excursions to ground transfers, lift tickets and equipment rentals, We will manage all your trip components so you and your group can get the most out of your time playing in the mountains and building memories that will last a lifetime.

Call Us At

1-800-908-5000

Online group quote

Customer Reviews (6)

Overall Customer Experience*

4.5
Excellent
*based on the average of all Overall Experience ratings given in Traveler reviews.

What the experts are saying

Ray Polglaze
Ray Polglaze
Mountain Vacation Specialist
1-800-908-5000 X 3366
4.1
Good

Chamonix trip - March 2016

Alicia Nisberg
29/02/2016

We Are Chamonix!

We had a great week in Chamonix. Our hotel was a great location to town, and to the bus station - which was most important to getting to all the ski areas. Its important to have a guide as soon as you arrive to ski the Vallee Blanche and some other cool parts of Chamonix. While it isn't a beginner mountain, any intermediate and above can enjoy all aspects of Chamonix! The food is delicious, and no need to order special bottles, the house wine is always delish! Stop into Payard for some smoked saussicons! The only negative is it takes effort in Chamonix to get on the mountain, we didn't really have any ski on ski off options. Its a city, and you walk or bus to the mountains.
Guy in New york
25/02/2011

Memories that will last a lifetime

I have been skiing since I was a teeanger but had always dreamed of skiing the alps. Finally got it together and hooked up with a friend of mine that was living in Zurich. Flew into Geneva from JFK and took a 2 hour bus into Chamonix.

The town is lovely but what really struck me were how truly awe inspiring were the mountains. Jagged peaks of sheer rock, massive walls of snow that surrounded the village on both sides. I have skied alot in the Rockies and thought I would be prepared for how majestic these mountains were, but I was wrong. You can see why these mountains inspired generations of romantic writers and poets.

There are 4 ski areas there for all levels. I am an advanced but not expert skier. Therefore, I skied several days at Les Grand Montets. Unlike US skiing, there are huge wide open areas, similar to bowls in places like Vail, with no trees. Some is groomed, some is ungroomed and you can ski the ungroomed and when you're tired get back on the groomed. Many of the runs were massive and the lines were never bad.

We got lucky with the weather because we got dumped on. Huge amounts of powder. I did not ski La Vallee Blanche but you can see many glaciers from the expert runs.

On the last day, just for a change of pace, we took the tunnel into Italy and skiied Courceval. Besides lots of great terrainm, the food there on the slopes was even better than France. You have not eaten pasta until you've had a warm bowl of carbonara after skiing hard all morning.

As you would expect, the area is very international with people from all over the world. IF the snow is good, I guarantee it will be a ski vacation you will never forget.

Louis in Santa ana
24/04/2009

Greatest Experience

I have never skiied Europe, but have been to Europe several times. The Hotel Mont Blanc is the best place to stay. Close to the Ski School, the tour office and the bus stop. It has some of the best food I have ever had in Europe and the staff is the best. The terrain is challenging and beautiful.
The Ski Instructors are very friendly and personable
I will return again soon.
carolyn in Voorhees
30/03/2009

Magnifique!

Taking two children on an escorted trip was great. We loved the quaint village, eating and skiing with new (and old) friends. The kids loved skiing France, Switzerland, and Italy. Having ski guides and escorts enabled us to not having to read the trail map or bus schedules once. Now that's a vacation!
Linda in Sherborn
25/03/2009

Chamonix - A skier's delight

Chamonix offers happiness for just about every type of skier. The terrain is abundant and diverse, the village provides post-ski entertainment and the food is very good. I went with an escorted group which facilitated the arrangements for guides (required for certain areas) and decisions about where to ski, but anyone with a sense of adventure will find the effort worthwhile.
Shelly in Rifle
05/03/2009

Great experience

The terrain is challenging, diverse and beautiful! Great location for more than just skiing.

Expert Reviews (2)

Key:
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4.1
Good
  • 4.5
    Dining
  • 4.5
    Activities
  • 5.0
    Expert Skiing
  • 4.5
    Family Vacation
  • 4.5
    Luxury Vacation
  • 5.0
    Accommodations
  • 2.5
    Beginner Skiing
  • 4.0
    Intermediate Skiing
  • 5.0
    Nightlife
  • 4.0
    Budget Vacation
  • 2.5
    Terrain Park
  • 4.0
    Access
  • 4.0
    Spa
  • 5.0
    Shopping
  • 2.5
    Ski-in Ski-out
Expert reviews are written by our seasoned mountain vacation specialists based on their first-hand experiences.

Reviews

Ray Polglaze
Ray Polglaze
Mountain Vacation Specialist
1-800-908-5000
X 3366

Chamonix trip - March 2016

4.3
Good
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Chamonix is a beautiful village, located in a spectacular valley at the foot of Mont Blanc. There is a lot of history in the area. It was first settled almost 1,000 years ago and a Benedictine priory was established there in the early 1200’s. The mountain history and recreation in the area is what draws most visitors today. Mont Blanc was first climbed in 1786 by two local alpinists Balmat and Paccard – a feat that is still considered one of the greatest in the annals of mountaineering. You can find their statues in the pedestrian area. Balmat was a notoriously arrogant character while Paccard was much more down to earth, which probably explains why they have separate statues.

Chamonix was the site of the very first Winter Olympics in 1924 and is now the base area for several excellent ski areas that are close by: Le Brevent/Flegere, Argentiere-Les Grands Montets and Les Houches. It is also the site of the Aiguille du Midi cable car – with the longest vertical gain of any lift in the world at 9,210 feet – which takes you up to the spectacular starting point of the Vallee Blanche.

The village itself is quite compact and relatively flat, so it is easy to get around. The pedestrian area (Rue Docteur Paccard – Rue Joseph Vallot) is a very entertaining stroll full of excellent restaurants, outdoor cafes and mountain sports equipment retailers. It also contains Chamonix’s biggest grocery store and pharmacy. Most areas of the village offer excellent views of Mont Blanc.

Getting there:

The easiest way to get there is to fly to Geneva (GVA) and then take a private shuttle. Chamonix is 55 miles (approx. one hour travel time) from GVA. Travel by train is a little more complicated as two of the main train stations in Geneva are being completely renovated and will not reopen until 2018. Under normal circumstances, the train trip from GVA to Chamonix takes about 3 hours.

Ski areas:

Le Brevent/Flegere: This is a large ski area on the sunny side of the valley, with exceptional views of the Mont Blanc massif. The easiest way to get there is to take the Plan Praz gondola from Chamonix. Most hotels are within a short walk of the gondola but the free shuttle bus will take you right there, if you don’t feel like walking. On a powder day, Le Brevent/Flegere doesn’t tracked out nearly as quickly as Argentiere/Les Grands Montets.

Argentiere/Les Grands Montets: The largest and most popular ski area in the Chamonix Valley, with 6,700 vertical feet of skiing. Take the free shuttle bus from Chamonix. There is not much terrain for beginners but you will find the gentlest slopes in the Marmottons area. We recommend that you hire a guide if skiing on the glaciers that are accessed from the Grands Montets cable car.

Les Houches: A smaller ski area, better suited for beginners and intermediate skiers. You can access the area via the free shuttle service. A heads-up for snowboarders - Les Houches has quite a few drag lifts.

Aiguille du Midi: The Vallee Blanche is a must-do for intermediate and advanced skiers. The run is more than 12 miles long and drops nearly 9,000 vertical feet. The main feature, however, is the incredible scenery. Only recommended with a mountain guide and on a clear day, it is an unforgettable alpine experience. The cable car leaves from Chamonix.

Hotels:

Hotel Mont-Blanc (5 stars): Just a block from the main pedestrian section, this hotel has undergone a full renovation within the last few years and is a really nice blend of elegance and contemporary innovation. The property has a beautiful spa, outdoor pool and private shuttle service. You won't be disappointed if you stay here. Highly recommended.

Heliopic (4 stars): Situated right next door to the Aiguille du Midi cable car station, the Heliopic is a 5 minute walk from the pedestrian area and the ski shuttle stop. Decorated in a contemporary Scandinavian style, the property was nice enough but seemed to lack warmth and atmosphere. I also found the bathrooms to be fairly small for such a new property. There are 90 rooms (34 standard, 38 superior and 18 family).

Grand Hotel des Alpes (4 stars): Located right in the center of the pedestrian area, this is a very nice 4 star property. The property backs onto the river – it might be worth requesting a room on the river side of the hotel if you are mostly there for skiing and not the nightlife. All rooms have split king beds and balconies are assigned by request. The hotel is a short walk from the shuttle bus stop. Bed and breakfast only is offered. Given that there are 50 restaurants within a 5 minute walk of the property, you won’t mind that there is no half-board option.

Morgane (4 stars): The Morgane has 56 rooms and is generally offered with bed only, or bed and breakfast (15 Euros extra per person per day). Half-board is offered during high season. One block from the pedestrian area, it is a short walk from the hotel to the ski shuttle stop. They also offer a private shuttle to Le Brevent for guests. Standard rooms have queen beds but all others have a split king. Balconies are a good size and the Junior Suites have a split king plus a queen sleeper-sofa. Like most nicer properties, it has a spa area with pool, sauna and hammam.

Hotel Les Aiglons (4 stars): This is a huge hotel with 107 rooms, probably best suited for groups. All rooms have balconies and split king beds. The superior rooms have the split king as well as a twin sleeper-sofa and views of Mont Blanc. The ski shuttle stops right outside. They have a huge restaurant that is going to be remodeled after this winter season. The hotel has a huge outdoor pool as well as steam room and sauna. I found the property to be a little dirty and somewhat overrated at 4 stars.

Les Balcons du Savoy (4 stars): Perfect for those who prefer to stay in a condo style of lodging. The property has 33 one and two bedroom apartments. Very family oriented, it has a huge game room, pool, sauna and hammam. It is located right beside the Savoy Samaran beginners area and just a short walk from the Plan Praz gondola that accesses Le Brevent. There are two buildings at the property and each has a laundry room. The apartments have kitchenettes rather than full kitchens but they are nice and traditionally decorated.

Hotel Le Prieure (3 stars): A hidden gem. This property just went through a major renovation and now features a contemporary style of décor. It is waaaaay nicer than other 3 stars and even many 4 star properties. It has a total of 97 rooms and offers bed and breakfast or half-board options. All rooms have split king beds and balconies and there are connection options throughout. One interesting possibility is connecting a family room with a standard room – this would give 2 split kings plus a queen sleeper-sofa and would include two full bathrooms. Walking distance to the ski shuttle, the property also has a ski shop, hammam, sauna and hot tub. Their half board package also includes dinner at the other local hotels within their ownership group – Mercure, Alpina and Croix Blanche.

Hotel de l’Arve (3 stars): The hotel has 37 rooms and 6 apartments. They offer bed and breakfast or half-board. Some rooms have balconies. This is an older, traditional-style property and has not been renovated in a long time, so expect small bathrooms and not much storage space in the rooms. It is only a short walk from the ski shuttle and pedestrian area and is a good option for people with a low budget and low expectations.

Dana Flach
Dana Flach
Mountain Vacation Specialist
1-800-908-5000
X 3421

Chamonix France

3.8
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Chamonix lives up to its reputation as one of the top European Resorts.  During a recent trip to the French Alps, Mont Blanc was always seen from a distance.  Until Chamonix!  To see Mont Blanc so close is an indescribable stunning vision.  The town of Chamonix has lodging options for all needs and budgets.  My personal favorites are the Hotel Mont Blanc and The Grand Hotel des Alpes.  The pedestrian area is centrally located with some of the best shopping in the French Alps!  Though half board is normally recommended in Europe, Chamonix has such a wide variety of restaurants to choose from that you'll be happy to take breakfast in your hotel and have a different dinner choice each evening.   the Vallee Blanche is a bucket list item for intermediate and above skiers (you must go with a guide).  Weather dictated that we could not ski the Vallee Blanche this time, so that's just one more reason a repeat visit to Chamonix is in my future!

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