Chamonix Ski Resort

In the shadow of Mont Blanc, the Chamonix valley attracts off-piste skiers, freeriders and ski tourers from all over the world. There is plenty of piste skiing too but it's scattered around Chamonix itself and the nearby villages of Argentiere, les Houches, le Tour and Vallorcine.

With several ski areas distributed across the huge mountain ranges to north and south, a thriving town in the centre and smaller mountain villages like Les Houches, Argentiere, Le Tour and Vallorcine strung out along the valley, there's something for everyone in Chamonix. Adventurous skiers have most to gain from a visit, however, because Chamonix is the sacred citadel of off-piste skiing in Europe, Mont Blanc is its altar, and the valley's numerous mountain guides are its high priests. But even if you're a beginner, an intermediate, or a non-skier you can still look up and admire the valley's steep sided mountain peaks.

At 4,810 m (15,781 ft), Mont Blanc and its massif are magnets to skiers, mountaineers and all extreme sports devotees. For skiers, a long season in Chamonix is guaranteed with lifts open into May; there are glaciers and permanent snow fields, ski runs with a vertical elevation of more than 2,000m (6,562ft) and the Vallee Blanche, the most famous (and crowded) off-piste run in the world. All this only one hour from Geneva airport; in many ways, Chamonix is a resort like no other.

There are disadvantages though: the skiing is scattered along a long valley (it's 24km from les Houches to Vallorcine) and the only lift pass that covers it all is very expensive. Most of the ski areas are not lift-linked, so waiting for a bus or a train to commute between them is the norm. With the basic lift pass, you have to pay extra to take the two highest lifts - Les Grands Montets and Aiguille du Midi - and regardless of what pass you have you usually have to book a specific departure time well in advance. And as for ski-in/ski-out accommodation, forget it unless you want to stay in a mountain refuge.
So Chamonix can be hard work. But the scenery, the skiing and its unique vibe make it worthwhile.

Ski & Board Hire in the Chamonix Valley

Not just the town but the whole valley is full of ski rental shops but prices can be high and you're unlikley to get a discount if you simply walk into the nearest shop when you arrive. 

SKISET has outlets in Chamonix, Argentiere, Le Tour, Les Houches, Les Praz etc, so one should be close to your accommodation. It will give discounts of up to 50% if you book online here.

ALPINRESORTS.com also works with several shops in the town and along the valley and can secure discounts of up to 60% if you book here

Chamonix Pros and Cons

+ Excellent off-piste
+ Beautiful scenery
+ Attractive town centre and mountain villages
+ Vibrant, fun nightlife
+ Quick transfers from Geneva
+ Skiing to suit all standards (but not in the same place)
- Inconvenient journeys to and from the slopes
- Separate ski areas spread out along a long valley
- Can be very crowded especially at weekends
- Key lifts have to be booked in advance
- Lift passes are expensive for what they cover.

Chamonix Rating

  • Ski Area star rating
  • Snowsure star rating
  • Advanced star rating
  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
  • Resort Charm star rating
  • Apres Ski star rating
  • Non-Skiers star rating
  • Getting There star rating

Chamonix Statistics

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionHaute Savoie
  • Base1,035 meters
  • Summit3,842 meters
  • Elevation2,807 meters
  • Beginner31 %
  • Intermediate47 %
  • Advanced23 %
  • Longest trail22 km
  • Total lifts47 
  • Funicular
  • Chairs30 
  • Surface lifts16 
  • Riders per hour54,660 

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

  • 17th HeavySnow 0° -15° Heavy snow New Snow 0cm
  • 18th Sunny 0° -7° Clear skies New Snow 0cm
  • 19th OccLightRain 4° -11° Patchy light rain New Snow 0cm
  • 20th OccLightSnow 1° -14° Light snow New Snow 0cm
  • 21st Sunny 0° -7° Clear skies New Snow 0cm
Ski-AreaMap

Best Hotels & Apartments in Chamonix

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