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 Ski Area

Of Chamonix valley's six ski areas, only Le Brevent and La Flegere are lift-linked. It's a stroll across town to reach l'Aiguille du Midi which accesses the Vallee Blanche, but Les Grands Montets, Le Tour and Les Houches have to be reached by bus or train.

The Chamonix valley is a narrow yet profound trough through Europe's highest mountains and glaciers, measuring 23 km (14 miles) from the Col de Voza to the Col de Balme and separating the Aiguilles Rouges to the north from the Mont Blanc massif. The valley was created by an immense glacier at a time when the entire region was glaciated, with the present site of Chamonix buried under at least 1,000 m (3,281 ft) of solid ice. Glaciers, along with their dangerous crevasses, remain a striking feature of the Chamonix ski area and it comes as no surprise that the biggest of them, the Mer de Glace is the second largest glacier in the Alps after Switzerland's Aletsch glacier. For this reason, any serious off-piste skiing should not be considered without a guide.

For reasons of local politics Les Houches is not available on the main Chamonix ski lift pass and is often overlooked as a consequence - a shame because it offers some good tree-lined skiing, though its low altitude - 1,000 m (3,281 ft) rising to 1,900 m (6,233 ft) - can mean poor snow cover. If it were included on the main lift pass, it would serve as a nice alternative to Le Tour at the other end of the valley.

The diverse and separate nature of the ski areas does not really pose a problem as they are all worth skiing in their own right, unless you are in a mixed-ability group when you are likely to want to ski different ski areas. There is no doubt that the skiing in Chamonix is more heavily skewed to strong skiers than practically any other resort. Intermediates looking for lots of piste mileage will not find it here as in most areas the marked trails are kept to a minimum in order to preserve the off-piste terrain.

Le Tour

The predominately west-facing slopes of Le Tour are generally regarded as having the best intermediate pistes in the valley which have been further enhanced by the lift from Vallorcine. The tree skiing on the north/north-east face down towards Vallorcine is also well regarded, though it can be avalanche prone. One of the best runs in this area is the blue Liaison Balme (T13) which is a lovely long run from which you can either follow the circuit back to Charamillon or carry on down the T17/T19 through the trees to Vallorcine for an epic 8,000 m (26,248 ft) long run.

Les Grands Montets

Les Grands Montets above the village of Argentiere is the heart of the Chamonix ski area. Its steep, wide flanks are fantastic in powder and within a week will be covered in moguls to make it one of the best areas for bumps in the Alps. The skiing rises to a height of 3,275 m (10,745 ft), though access to the final cable car requires a small payment for every journey (you get two free uplifts on a six-day pass). It is becoming quite a popular option to stay in Argentiere and many people ski Les Grands Montets more than anywhere else. Most of the slopes face north or northwest and have the best conditions in the valley.

Le Brevent and La Flegere

The most scenic skiing in the valley is at Le Brevent and La Flegere, as from here you get sublime views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix peaks. Even skiers who are not strong enough to make the descent from the top of Le Brevent (the run down is one of the steepest in the valley) should take a ride up the cable car on a clear day to check out this most iconic vision of the mountains. The two areas are linked along a south-facing flank and the skiing takes place above the tree-line between 1,900m and 2,400m. There are several picturesque runs hidden in the bowls: check out Combe de la Charlanon (B8) and Crochus (F13), a 4,500 m (14,764 ft)-long red which has been opened up by the addition of a short drag at the top of l'Index 2,385 m (7,825 ft) and drops down 750 m (246 ft) of vertical. Note that the cable car linking the two areas can be closed in high winds and there is a daily free bus links between Le Brevent and La Flegere, every half hour from 3:30 pm.

Les Houches

Les Houches, at the opposite end of the Chamonix valley to La Tour, is a honeypot for skiers in bad weather. It is the only area in the valley where there is treeline skiing. Surprisingly, it is the biggest single ski area in the area but as it is owned separately it is not covered by the standard Chamonix ski pass. Les Houches has some of the easier runs in the Chamonix valley, and has the best nursery slopes in a resort renowned for its difficult runs. At the other end of the scale is the legendary Verte run, which hosts Chamonix's Kandahar World Cup Downhill race every January.

The Vallee Blanche

The final ski area comprises the off-piste routes down the famous Vallee Blanche from the top of Aiguille du Midi. It's one of the most common reasons for people to come to Chamonix and, despite the crowds, is certainly a must-ski. More information on this can be found in the off-piste section.

Chamonix Ski Lifts & Passes

The Chamonix Valley lift system has over 40 ski lifts and is busy all year round. The worst areas for queues is the Grands Montets lifts above Argentiere (reserve a place online in advance). The expensive Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass covers everything in the valley and a lot of neighbouring resorts but there are other cheaper passes too.

Chamonix's ski lift system leaves a lot to be desired and although improvements are underway, progress is slow and queuing is a major problem. The lift system includes 7 cable cars, 4 gondolas, 17 chairlifts (including 10 older fixed-grip chairlifts) and 13 surface lifts. Most of the lifts are old and slow; nowhere near the standard of other leading ski resorts such as Val d'isere or St Anton, and yet Chamonix lift passes are relatively expensive. 

Most Chamonix ski lifts open in early December. Le Brevent, La Flegere and La Tour generally close by the end of April, with the lifts on Les Grands Montets staying open into early May if snow conditions are good. Skiers and snowboarders invariably grumble about the long queues found at the bottom of the four base stations (Le Brevent, La Flegere, La Tour and Les Grands Montets). While the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc has begun an overhaul to replace slow lifts and put in new links to ease bottlenecks, progress is slow and the fact that there are still too many old slow lifts is a problem. 

Le Tour at the far end of the valley is reached by gondola from the small village of Le Tour, as well as from Vallorcine (another small village beyond Argentiere and over the Col de Montets). There are seldom queues other than on bad weather days when the whole valley descends to make the most of the tree-lined slopes.

Les Grands Montets base station is in Argentiere - catch a bus or train there or drive, though the free car park fills quickly. There are two lift choices - the busier cable car up to the Lognan mid-station or the Plan du Joran chairlift, which starts to the left of the cable car. The latter is always quieter, and colder, but often beats standing in line for the very popular cable car. One of the worst queues in Chamonix is at the mid-mountain station of Lognan for the Grands Montets cable car - when this opens, there is a rush to be in line, and that is despite the fact that many people will have lift passes that don't entittle them to ride the lift for free, so they will have to pay extra. You can reserve places and if necessary pay for tickets online at www.montblancnaturalresort.com/en/domaine-skiable-grands-montets .

Le Brevent and La Flegere, the only lift-linked areas, are connected by a cable car on the mountain. Le Brevent is the only ski area accessible from Chamonix itself - and surprisingly has the shortest queues, except at ski school rush hour. The base station is a short (uphill) walk from the town centre or drivers can pay to park in the multi-storey nearby. The base station lift to La Flegere is an old, slow cable car (which often closes in high winds) just a short walk from the small village of Les Praz or a bus ride from elsewhere in the valley. When queues snake inside the base station building the wait is at least half an hour and sometimes an hour or more. 

The Vallee Blanche is reached by riding the Aiguille du Midi cable car up from Chamonix which takes you to the start of the infamously long off-piste descent..

Les Houches, a 10 minute drive from Chamonix, has its own ski lift system which has been improved by the installation of a modern gondola but the Bellevue cable car is still inadequate and both access lifts suffer from queuing in bad weather when Les Houches tree-lined slopes are especially popular. The chairlifts on the mountain are also slow.

Chamonix Ski Lift Passes

With so many options available, choosing a lift pass in Chamonix is a complicated business, but for experienced skiers wanting to ski the whole area the most popular ski pass is the Mont Blanc Unlimited. You will need a car, or be perepared to spend a lot of time on buses, to make the most of it though.

Mont-Blanc Unlimited (MBU)

Yes it's expensive but it covers enough skiing for a month, let alone a week. It covers all the Chamonix Valley (Les Grands Montets including the top lift, Le Tour, l'Aiguille di Midi, Flegere, Brevent, les Houches); plus Verbier, Nendaz and the rest of the 4 Vallees in Switzerland 9at least a 50% discount on day passes); plus Courmayeur in Italy on the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel; plus the Evasion Mont Blanc Resorts including St Gervais and Megeve (this may require a small supplement/ extension - conditions change at short notice). There are also some important fringe benefits such as free use of the Mont Blanc tunnel (in a car only) or a free ride on the rather limited Chamonix-Courmayeur bus service and the more frequent Chamonix-les Houches bus service, and some less important benefits like discounted cinema tickets. For details and online purchases see: www.montblancnaturalresort.com/en/montblanc-unlimited .

Chamonix Le Pass

Gives access to all of Le Brevent, La Flegere, La Tour and Les Grands Montets, except the Lognan-Grands Montets cable car which can be paid for on a per ride basis, and to the Chamonix beginners' lifts. It does not cover the Aiguille du Midi but this again can be paid for on a per ride basis. Annoyingly, for reasons of politics rather than geography or logistics, it does not include Les Houches but a day pass to this area is not too expensive. This is probably the pass for most intermediates and near novices who have graduated from nursery slopes to get if they are staying in Chamonic for one week, although intermediates should budget for one trip up the Aiguille du Midi and down the Vallee Blanche which the pass will not cover.  For details and online purchases see: www.montblancnaturalresort.com/en/chamonix-lepass

Les Houches Ski Forfait

This does what it says on the tin: IE: it covers les Houches ski area (2 black pistes, including the famous World Cup downhill course "La Verte des Houches", 12 red pistes, 5 blue pistes and 2 green pistes) and free access to the Tramway du Mont Blanc, the old rack and pinion railway going up the ski area from St Gervais. It also covers the SKICAMP winter sports entertainments area at the summit of the Prarion gondola near the Ecole chairlift which includes snow tubing, toboggan runs, zip lines, curling and village animation. Please note that although some people call it this the les Houches-St Gervais pass it does NOT cover the main St Gervais ski area which is on the other side of St Gervais and stretches over to Megeve which is covered by an Evasion Mont Blanc pass. 

Theer are plenty of discounts for young skiers, old skiers, whole families, groups, early season, late season etc. 

Special Beginners Passes

All the Chamonix valley nursery slopes except les Houches are covered by the Chamonix Le Pass (and all the Les Houches ones are covered by the les Houches pass) but there are special offers to cover just the beginners lifts at Savoy (near the Brevent lift), Les  Plannards (near the Aiguile du Midi lift) , Les Chosalet (near Argentiere/Grand Motets ski area) and La Vormaine (at le Tour) which is the best beginners area in the valley. You pay by either the half day or the full day. The new beginners area at Lognan (above Argentiere) built for the 2018/19 season and the beginners area at the top of Les Houches require you go up from the valley in a lift so you must have either the Chamonix le pass or les Houches pass   


Compagnie du Mont-Blanc
35 Place de la Mer de Glace
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc 
Tel: +33 4 50 53 22 75
Web: www.montblancnatural resort.com

Chamonix Beginners

Le Tour and Les Houches at opposite ends of the Chamonix valley are the best resorts to learn to ski. In Chamonix itself there are nursery slopes at Savoy and les Planards, and there is a new beginners area at Lognan above Argentiere but overall Chamonix is not ideal for beginners.

Beginner Skiing in Chamonix

Le Tour is the best village in the Chamonix valley for beginners, with nice nursery slopes next to the village and good runs to progress onto. At the other end of the valley les Houches has two good beginners' area - one at the valley level (Le Tourchet) and one at the top of its main lift. 

In between les Houches and Le Tour are several inexpensive valley floor nursery areas serviced by short drag lifts. Because they are separate from the main ski areas, they are far from ideal if you are in a mixed ability group, because you will be split up from others in your group making it difficult or impossible to meet up for lunch. Also, apart from at le Tour the valley level nursery slopes can suffer from bad snow (because they are very low for ski slopes) but also be very cold as they are shaded by the towering mountains that hide the sun.

All the nursery slopes apart from those at les Houches are covered by the basic Chamonix pass. However you won't even need that for the valley floor ones because they have cheap day and half day passes which cover just these nursery slope lift(s).

Le Tour (La Vormaine) and Vallorcine (La Poya)

Beginners are best served by Le Tour where the La Vormaine area opposite the car park is perhaps Chamonix's best beginner area - it's usually bathed in sunlight and is sheltered from the wind for a start. There are three lifts of increasing size with two green pistes and a longer blue to tackle before you muster the confidence to go up the mountain.

There is a nice network of progressive blues which have been further opened up by the link from Vallorcine; the 3.2km Foret Verte (T19) blue down through the trees is a fine option. Other cruising runs in Le Tour to consider are L'Arve (T4), Liaison Balme (T13) and Les Marmottes (T7) all good for improving beginners. 

Vallorcine has valley floor beginners slopes in the next door village of La Poya. Once you have mastered these you should take the bubble lift up (and down at the end of the day because the run back is a red) and ski over to le Tour on the gentle blues.

Argentiere / Grands Montets (Le Chosalets and Lognan beginners area)

A new beginners area was installed here at the mid mountain Lognan cable car station for the 2018/19 season. But there are only limited easy pistes to move onto because this is an area oriented towards advanced and off-piste skiers.  The Marmottons (L7) blue is a possibility.

La Chosalets is a small beginners' area close to Argentiere. It is about 500m from the Lognan lift, so it's not easily accessible in ski boots. La Chosalets has two tiny pistes for beginners, which certainly are not worth the drive if you are not accommodated in Argentiere.

Chamonix: Le Brevent (Savoy) 

At the bottom of the Planpraz telecabine there is a small nursery section for beginners called Savoy before they consider going up the mountain. For the more adventurous who simply want to get up the mountain the 2000 green (B3) can be accessed via the Altitude chairlift after Planpraz. 

Chamonix: Les Planards

Close to the Aiguille du Midi cable car is another valley level ski area - les Planards. It tends to have better snow than Savoy but it can be very cold.

Les Praz/ Flegere

Flegere also has a few decent green runs, Trappe (F6) and Libellules (F7), which are accessible from the Flegere and La Trappe lifts. For those who have progressed beyond blue the Chavanne (F10) and the Liaison Chavanne (F11) and Liaison Flegere (F12) blues are easy enough.

Les Houches (Le Tourchet and Prarion/Ecole)

The Les Houches valley level ski area is called Le Tourchet. It's near the centre of town and has two drag lifts. There is another good beginners area at the top of the Les Houches ski area at Prarion around the Ecole ski lift, with plenty of easy blue runs to progress onto nearby. As the Les Houches ski area is not covered by the basic Chamonix lift pass  (Chamonix Le Pass), this can make Les Houches more expensive to visit for novices staying elsewhere in the valley. 

Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Chamonix, les Houches and Argentiere

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Chamonix Intermediate Skiing

Chamonix offers intermediates some really exhilarating skiing and most of them are able to ski the Vallee Blanche, but if you are looking for hundreds of kilometres of well-groomed pistes and high speed lift connections then look elsewhere.

Strong intermediates should be comfortable skiing all of Chamonix's different ski areas, but the fact that most ski areas are not lift connected means that Chamonix is not a resort for those who like to cover vast distances of well-groomed pistes. If you like hundreds of kilometres of well groomed pistes for high speed cruising all day, there are plenty better places to ski, but if you want to test your skiing ability and have to work on your technique as you descend steep and narrow reds and blacks, Chamonix is the right place.

Le Tour

The place to start is Le Tour which has the some of the easies intermediate terrain; the blues are enjoyable and the reds are far easier than those in the rest of the ski area. Bear in mind that the short runs from the top of Aiguillette de Posettes get the first sun of the day.The Belle Place (T16) red through the trees is good for better intermediates, while the Ecuries (T3), Chatalet (T2) and Caisets (T1) join up to make one long red at almost 3km in length. There is snowmaking at the bottom, where it can also get crowded at the end of the day. The Esserts (T17) blue offers outstanding views of Mont Blanc at the top before winding through the forest. It links up with Belle Place.

Grands Montets

The Grands Montets ski area is not for the faint-hearted, but intermediates can still have a wonderful time and make the step up when they are ready. La Pierre a Ric (L10) red is the ultimate carving piste with wide sweeping turns perfect for it up until mid afternoon when it starts to get busy. The Variante Hotel (L5) is an ungroomed red run that joins up with the Pierre a Ric. From there to the bottom it can often be one large mogul field so you had better like bumps. At the top of the Variante, the piste is a continuation of the Blanchot (L12) black, one of the easier black runs in Chamonix. It means that if you start at the top of Blanchots, which in turn is an extention of the black Pylons (L2), you can ski the whole of the Grands Montets descent. The twisting blue Les Arolles (L8) offers an outstanding view of the Chamonix valley and is perfect for those who want something a little less taxing.

Le Brevent and La Flegere

The slopes of Le Brévent have been redesigned to make them more intermediate friendly. The Combe de la Charlanon (B8) red at the top of the Col Cornu chairlift has a black variant and is perfect for intermediates looking to further their experience. La Flegere is home to many reds which would definitely be called blacks in most other resorts and the best runs are accessed from the top of the Index chairlift, with the Combe Lachenal (F12) red a particular favourite. The Crochues (F13) red is 4.5km long and is spectacularly free of human presence and stand opposite the Grandes Jorasses and the Mer de Glace, the longest glacier in France.

Les Houches

After La Tour's Balme area, Les Houches is the next best bet for intermediates. Les Houches has 12 reds and six blues which are set mainly within the treeline. The lower slopes are almost exclusively blues and there are long blues and reds from the top of the Bellevue & Prarion telecabines, where you get an extraordinary 360 degree view of the Mont Blanc massif.

Chamonix & Off-Piste Advanced Skiing

Most advanced skiers in Chamonix head for Argentiere’s legendary Grands Montets ski area, but Chamonix's other areas also provide testing skiing on piste and in good weather the off-piste skiing in Chamonix is virtually limitless.

Most of Chamonix's advanced skiing is off-piste but there are also some testing black pistes and ungroomed runs that are avalanche controlled, throughout Chamonix's different ski areas.

Le Tour

Le Tour is best for intermediates and often overshadowed by Les Houches in bad weather but it also offers some of the best tree skiing around including some advanced descents. What's more, Le Tour has historically one of the highest and consistent snowfall levels in France. The north facing flanks of Le Tour are home to another fabulous itinerary, the Emosson black (T18), while the red of Belle Place (T16) takes you over 2km to Les Esserts (T17). Both runs wind through pine and larch forest and provide some of the best tree cover in the Chamonix valley.

Grand Montets

Argentiere's legendary Grand Montets has the most advanced terrain in the Chamonix valley. The Grand Montets area is reached either by cable car to Lognan or the high-speed quad to Plan Joran. All of the runs here are steep and narrow at some point and are all worth close scrutiny. The dividing line between piste and off-piste becomes blurred very quickly and the whole mountain is quickly covered in bumps - it is very popular. 

The Bochard lift opens up much of the mountain including the Combe de la Pendant and Lavancher bowls, but be sure to ride the second stage cable-car to the top of the mountain 3,275m (10,742 ft) for spectacular views and the 100 metal step descent to the slopes. 

Here you have the 1,000 m (3,281 ft) vertical of the Point de Vue black (L1) itinerary and its views across the Argentiere glacier or Pylones (L2), a similarly long black run which is often icy and usually bumpy. Both of these are an absolute must, but do not stray off on to the glacier without a guide - you have been warned!

Other black runs in the Grand Montets ski area to consider are the steep and 3.4km Chamois (L4), which gives sumptuous views back into the Lavancher bowl and the La Remuaz (L14), which is often cut up into bumps. Both are entirely dependent on the Retour Pendant chairlift so check it is open at the top of the Bochard gondola before you embark on either piste.

Le Brevent and La Flegere

Brevent and Flegere also have some great pistes. In the Brevent area the Charles Bozon black (B1/B1b) is all about the pitch and there is truly testing skiing across the flank. The Nants (B10) black is thin and winds down through the trees to the Planpraz gondola. As a result, it can get very busy in the afternoon as a route home and it also suffers from poor snow quality at the bottom. Great views though. 

Flegere offers the Praz (F1) and Floria (F14) blacks, both long winding runs that are perfect for accessing some of Chamonix legendary off-piste. Praz takes you back to the valley floor. Although intermediate red runs, the Charlanon (B8) and Crochues (F13) are often ungroomed and provide a decent challenge. For those who like skiing in uncrowded surroundings, the Combe Lachenal (F12) red is the only run in the huge Lachenal gully that also provides good off-piste options.

Les Houches

The main draw for experts in Les Houches is the famed Verte black, which is the only piste approved for World Cup racing in the Haute Savoie. The Verte is surrounded by fir trees, which means the sun rarely gets to the snow making it icy. What's more, it is almost 3.5km in length, has an 870m vertical and a series of jumps including the well-known Cassure and the Goulet, but it's only difficult if you are skiing over 80kph like a pro. The likes of Didier Cuche and Alberto Tomba have done it in less than two minutes. Challenge accepted?

Chamonix Off-Piste

Skiing off-piste is a way of life in Chamonix with backcountry ski terrain to suit everyone from 'powder puppy' to 'extreme skier' including open slopes, couloirs, powder or spring snow (on the same day), cliff jumps, crevasses, the Valle Blanche and some of the most dramatic high mountain scenery imaginable, within an hour of Geneva airport.

Grands Montets,one of the world's top off-piste ski mountains, has plenty of off-piste terrain within easy reach of the pistes, but when venturing off-piste close to the pistes you still need to be aware of avalanche risks and other hazards. Les Houches is often best for skiing fresh powder in bad weather and Le Tour has some great terrain for learning to ski off-piste and includes some of the best tree skiing in the Chamonix valley. La Flegere has stupendous views of the Mer de Glace and the Grandes Jorasses and is worth visiting on busy powder days to introduce skiers to deep snow and when Grands Montets is too busy. Le Brevent has plenty of good off-piste skiing close to the lifts including short steep descents in the Brevent Col area which are great for practising your technique.

Chamonix Snowboarding

Chamonix snowboarders and freestylers will like the natural jumps, quarters, and gullies of Le Tour and La Flegere, including the infamous Big Tit jump, but for boarders, as for skiers, Chamonix is not an ideal place to learn.

The gentler slopes of Le Tour are mostly serviced by draglifts though the rest of the ski areas are thankfully served by cable cars, gondolas and chair lifts, which offer relief from the draglifts except that most of the ski lifts are old and slow, and queuing is too often a problem. The infamous Big Tit jump at La Flegere, just off the side of the main red run from the top of the Darth Vader lift (L'Index), is reputedly the biggest natural kicker in Europe. Le Brevent (linked to La Flegere by a low-level gondola) has some good on-piste and steep powder runs, the best of which are accessed from the top of the Col Cornu chairlift, and the runs beneath the Parsa chair are good for fast on-piste riding. There is also a boardercross at Le Brevent.

There is a snowpark with a half pipe accessed via the Marmottons, Tabe and Plan-Roujon chairlifts in Grands Montets. It is quite extraordinary at almost a 1 km long with around 20 jumps, rails and a wall. Crucially, it has a beginners' area which is perfect for practising without the more proficient watching on. For updates on new obstacles please visit www.ho5park.com

There is a snow park south of Chamonix covering much of the small resort Les Bossons (one chair lift and 3 pistes) which is privately owned and not covered on the normal lift pass (open afternoons and evenings for around 10 Euros a session), but there are not many big jumps and with so much amazing natural terrain on offer in Chamonix it is not really worth the effort. 

For experienced boarders, however, the mountains of Chamonix open up like a picture book. While the infamous Vallee Blanche is mostly too flat for easy riding, there is plenty of good off-piste terrain; described in detail in Chamonix off-piste.

Chamonix Mountain Restaurants

Chamonix focuses on skiing, not eating on the mountain, and the choice on any given day is limited partly due to the distance between the various ski areas and partly by the poor quality of some mountain restaurants.

Given the wide separation of the major ski areas, you have to make do with the restaurants in the area you are skiing on any given day. The logistics of a group skiing the Grands Montets and meeting for lunch with an intermediate group skiing Le Tour are impractical, even though these areas are relatively close. Perhaps surprisingly in a resort that is a member of the Best of the Alps and so focused on the skiing, the mountain restaurants are often disappointing. 

Most of Chamonix's mountain restaurants are self-service but there are some notable exceptions. 
The Plan Joran is the Grand Montet's best restaurant though the Cremerie du Glacier, off the side of Pierre a Ric (L10) in the trees above Argentiere is a traditional small mountain restaurant that also offers excellent local food. The Chalet-Refuge off the beaten track at Lognan is also worth visiting and La Bergerie is your best bet in Le Brevent. The Col de Balme refuge offers a fine Plat du Jour in Le Tour, though there is a short but worthwhile walk to get there, and an even longer wait for service.

Grands Montets

Plan Joran (Tel: +33 4 50 54 05 77)
The Plan Joran in Grands Montets is for proper dining and serves interesting food such as rabbit with foie gras, sucking pig and terrine of beef shank. 

Chalet-Refuge
(Tel: +33 6 88 56 03 54)
The Refuge at Lognan has a good terrace and is worth visiting but difficult to get to and therefore really only for good skiers as it is accessed by black runs or pedestrians via a cat-track. 

Cremerie du Glacier (Tel: +33 4 50 54 07 52)
The Cremerie du Clacier serves hearty mountain food including fondues and giant omelettes which are very filling.

Brevent

La Bergerie (Tel: +33 4 50 53 05 42)
Located at 2,000m, La Bergerie offers hearty meat dishes from a small but quite expensive menu. The plat du jour is inexpensive and often tasty.

Le Tour

Col de Balme (+33 4 30 54 02 33)
The Col de Balme is tricky to access as it involves hiking, although the leisurely walk back helps with digestion! Worth the effort and the plat du jour is worth the price.

Chamonix Villages

Chamonix has an attractive, bustling old town centre, but parking is a problem. Chamonix is not the only base, however: the smaller, quieter ski stations of Argentiere, Les Houches, Le Tour, Vallorcine and les Praz offer a different style of resort life.

Chamonix Town and Les Praz

A large town on the valley floor, Chamonix is one of the most visited tourist destinations in France and was a centre of mountaineering long before it became a ski station. Nowhere could be further removed from the purpose-built ski resorts developed across France in the 1970s than the old town of Chamonix, with its narrow, cobbled and pedestrianised streets along the banks of the River Arve. This is the preferred place to stay in the valley, despite the fact that there are only two main lifts that emanate from within the town centre area. 

To appreciate Chamonix for what it is you have to adjust your perception of what a ski resort means to you. For Chamonix is not your typical ski resort, but more of a base camp from where you can explore the different ski areas, not only directly within the confines of the Chamonix valley but also many of the other areas which are accessible on the Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass. Regardless of where you stay, some of your skiing days will inevitably involve taking a bus or car between the different ski areas and a car is highly recommended for complete flexibility.

The old town centre of Chamonix is attractive, but the fringes continue to grow with some unsightly apartments, and which with every passing year make the centre seem smaller. The atmosphere is of a bustling market town: there is a busy railway station, restaurants aplenty and a sense that day-to-day life goes on as usual while pleasure seekers hit the slopes above. Chamonix's living population is around 10,000 and the town receives more visitors during the summer months than in winter.

Getting your bearings is easy enough in the pedestrian centre, but arriving by car can be a challenge. If you are staying centrally, make sure parking is provided. For day visitors there are pay car parks to the south of the approach road and dotted around more centrally; there is also pay and display on-street parking, if you can find a space. 

The Aiguille du Midi cable car station is the main bearing south of town centre; heading into town from here there is a good range of ski/mountaineering shops, many with ski and board rental, followed by increasing numbers of cafes, restaurants and bars as you near the middle of town. There is every sort of accommodation, and at almost every price point.

Heading out of town in a Nort West direction and going up the valley, you pass through the outer subsurbs of Les Nantes and Les Rosieres, until you reach the Golf Club at Les Praz. Its lift (Flegere) connects with the Le Brevent sector reached by the Plan Praz gondola rising from the centre of town. Les Praz itself is really just a part of a larger suburb/village called Les Bois The whole area is quiet and lacks its own identity, but it can be a convenient base for skiers who want to alternate between Chamonix and Argentiere. 

Argentiere

The small village of Argentiere is the next most popular resort centre, where commerce and resort life is based along one main road which is lined with ski and food shops, bars and restaurants and with more accommodation in chalets and apartments than hotels. In contrast to Chamonix town, Argentiere feels more like a traditional ski resort with typical alpine charm. All facilities are within walking distance including access to the skiing. Les Grands Montets ski area is a five minute stroll from the ski resort centre while the easier slopes of Le Tour are an easy 10 minute drive away. There's a train link to Chamonix with a regular service running from early morning until early evening. Argentiere has everything you need for a week's ski holiday except for a decent nightclub.

Vallorcine and Le Tour

Vallorcine over the Col des Montets and 2 km from the Swiss border is growing in popularity with plans for a new resort centre and new property developments in the next few years. At present Vallorcine - and the neighbouring village of Le Buet - are embryonic ski resorts. Between them they have a couple of restaurants, a couple of local bars and limited accommodation in hotels and gites. The main attraction is the efficient and modern gondola lift link that takes skiers up to the back of Le Tour. Like Argentiere both are linked to Chamonix by train, a sometimes essential connection when heavy snowfall shuts the Col des Montets and cuts off the villages from the rest of the valley. On the other side of the the Col des Posettes, the small village of le Tour provides access to the same area.

Les Houches

Les Houches lies at the north end of the valley before you reach Chamonix on the motorway from Geneva. It is a linear resort centre, which develops year on year and it is home to many of the younger year-round residents who can't afford Chamonix's high property prices. One of two main access lifts out of the ski resort was upgraded with a new gondola at a cost of several million Euros, but the old cable car remains inadequate. There is plenty of accommodation in the resort and also in the satellite villages of Le Lavancher, Les Praz, Les Bossons, Les Tines and Montroc.

Chamonix Bars & Restaurants

Chamonix has an abundance of bars and a huge variety of restaurants serving every food type including Italian, Japanese, French, Tex-Mex, Indian and fine dining.

Restaurants in Chamonix

The Gault Milau-rated Le Chaudron is probably the best for local specialities though it is very small, so book ahead. Alternatively try La Bergerie or Le National. If you have overdosed on traditional Savoyard cheese dishes,Munchie is the perfect restaurant to visit excellent for Thai and modern European fusion that won't hurt your wallet. The fresh sushi served at Satsuki is another good alternative to Savoyard overload - the lunch-time menu is a bargain. The cooking at the Maison Carrier, the non-Michelin starred restaurant at the Albert Premiere, is also extremely good. For excellent fish dishes try the French formality of L'Atmosphere restaurant.

The Micro Brewery de Chamonix (MBC) is a good choice for more casual dining with a menu of burgers, Thai curry and pleasing appetisers. Often overlooked by the tourist crowds it is well-known by the guiding community and seasonnaire population so book a table before you go. Back in town Casa Valeria is the top choice for pizzas and pasta - the Dolce Vita next-door deals well with the over-spill of customers unable to get a table. If you can't quite handle a fondue for lunch the popular Bistrot des Sports does a good menu of salads and simple French dishes including a reasonably priced 'plat du jour'. There are plenty of places to take-away: from toasted sandwiches from Belouga, burgers and chips at Poco Loco, pizza from Pizza Salsa and kebabs at Cappadoce.

Chamonix restaurant listings

L'Atmosphere
123 Place Balmat - Tel: +33 4 50 55 97 97
Classic French restaurant enjoying a river-side location, the entrance to L'Atmosphère is missable but shouldn't be missed. Diners are organized into two sittings.
Web: www.restaurant-atmosphere.com

Belouga
56 Avenue Ravanel le Rouge - Tel: +33 4 50 18 47 26
Take-away for excellent hot sandwiches toasted in minutes and an ice-cream counter for warmer days.

La Bergerie
232 Avenue Michel Croz - Tel: +33 4 50 53 45 04
A deceptively large Savoyard restaurant with enough room for big parties for fondue, raclette and meats grilled over an open fire.
Web: www.labergeriechamonix.com

Le Bistrot des Sports

182 Rue Joseph Vallot - Tel: +33 4 50 53 00 46
A French clientele, a menu of French staple dishes and service in the French style. Le Bistrot is the perfect place to escape the tourist hordes. The Ultimate ski team had an excellent lunch in there.
Web: www.lebistrotchamonix.com

Cappadoce
3 Route Salle - Tel: +33 4 50 53 20 04 
Chamonix's only kebab shop.

Le Chaudron

79 Rue Moulins - Tel: +33 4 50 53 40 34
A small, sweet, family-run restaurant on the Rue des Moulins serving classic French & Savoyard dishes with room for a handful of lucky diners.

Eldorado

Address - Tel: +33 4 50 53 31 23
Tasty Tex-Mex restaurant and a laid-back atmosphere.

MBC
350 Route de Bouchet - Tel: +33 4 50 53 61 69 
For burgers, beer and relaxed dining in this edge-of-town micro-brewery; it's best to book a table.
Website: www.mbchx.com 

Maison Carrier
44 Route de Bouchet - Tel: +33 4 50 53 00 03
Maison Carrier in La Ferme - the annexe to the celebrated Hotel Albert 1er - offers classic French dining in a delightful rustic chalet setting. Pork dishes are a speciality, though leave room for the extensive cheeseboard and the delicious desserts. If you can afford the Albert 1er itself it will be one of the best meals you will have in your lifetime. 
Web: www.hameaualbert.fr

Munchie
87 Rue Moulins - Tel: +33 4 50 53 45 41
Always reserve a table as Munchie is popular with locals and holidaymakers alike for its quality Asian and Scandinavian fusion food. Good alternative to the Savoyard cheese feast.

Le National
3 Rue Docteur Paccard - Tel: +33 4 50 53 02 23
Chamonix's oldest Savoyard restaurant and a landmark among the mountaineering community, the food and service at Le National is reliably good and well-priced.

Pizza Salsa
215 Avenue Michel Croz - Tel: +33 4 50 53 96 90
Good pizzas served quickly with no option to sit-in. 

Poco Loco
47 Rue Doct Paccard - Tel: +33 4 50 53 43 03 
A narrow strip of a restaurant serving tasty burgers and chips, including the ultimate American burger and chip butty combo. Take-away available.

Satsuki

288 Rue Joseph Vallot - Tel: +33 4 50 53 21 99
Fresh tasty Japanese sushi with a bargain lunch menu. Like Munchie the restaurant offers a good alternative to Savoyard fare. Satsuki has outposts in Megeve and Tignes. Also does take-away.
Web: www.satsuki.eu

Restaurants and bars in Argentiere

Argentiere's few restaurants and bars heave in the peak season weeks and it is best to reserve a table at popular places such as The Stone Bar, which a popular choice for good pizzas and pub games with beer. The Office Bar by the Tourist Office is another hub of apres ski resort life in Argentiere, with the emphasis on beery socialising. The Rencard in the Commercial Galerie appeals to seasonnaires with its down-at-heel charm - and hot sandwich counter for lunch on the go - while The Rusticana, better known as Rusty, has a welcoming feel and also serves good food. For a slice of local life check out the traditional La Savoie Bar.

The Office Bar
274 Rue Charlet Straton, Argentiere - Tel: +33 4 50 54 15 46
Sunday roasts, tasty nachos and well-filled baguettes, the Office serves something to suit every taste plus live football and rugby on TV. 
Web: www.the-office-bar.eu

Le Rencard
20 Galerie Grand Roc - Tel: +33 4 50 54 14 02
A funky venue in the Galerie Commercial with Wi-Fi internet access serving decent pizzas and take-away a hot sandwiches for lunch.

Le Rusticana
216 Rue Charlet Straton - Tel: +33 4 50 55 88 28
Open from 4pm and a good choice for pleasant apres ski, often with live bands, and a good menu for dinner later. Free Wifi.
Web: www.lerusticana.com

La Savoie Bar

The Stone Bar
390 rue Charlet Straton - Tel: +33 4 50 54 13 17
The best pizza in the valley served in a buzzy, smoky atmosphere - bookings advised. Drinkers are welcome to sit at the bar; and there are pool tables in a separate room.
Web: www.stonebar.net

Other restaurants and bars elsewhere in the Chamonix Valley

Some of the best eating experiences are found away from Chamonix's town centre, in the outlying villages of Vallorcine, Le Buet and Les Praz. One of the nicest is La Ferme des Trois Ours over the Col des Montets in Vallorcine. Still a working farm - the cows live beneath the restaurant - diners choose between Savoyarde favourites and excellent beef dishes. Another good choice is Sarpé, tucked away in the woods behind Les Praz, and known by a lucky few for its wonderful menu, including a daily selection of fresh fish. Also in Les Praz, the restaurant at the Hotel Eden has a loyal following.

L'Arret Bougnette
Plan de l'Envers, Vallorcine - Tel: +33 4 50 54 63 04
Only open at lunch-time, make the most of the limited hours to enjoy bubbling hot croutes, good salads and simple omelettes.

La Fermes des Trois Ours
Les Plans, Vallorcine - Tel: +33 4 50 54 63 06
A charming chalet-style restaurant with an open log fire and a large terrace for sunnier days offering excellent cooking and good value set menus.
Web: www.restaurant-laferme-des3ours.com

Hotel Le Buet
Lu Buet - Tel: +33 4 50 54 60 05
While Le Buet will not win any prizes for decor, the simple dishes are tasty and good value.
Web: www.hotelbuet.com

Sarpe
Les Praz - Tel: +33 6 67 36 21 43
Sarpe in Les Praz is a simple room with a sophisticated menu. Local clientele are prepared to pay the relatively high prices for the wonderful cuisine.

Bars in Chamonix

There are over 30 bars open from late afternoon until the early hours. During the peak weeks of the ski season, the bars are full to over-flowing: at other times nightlife can be a surprisingly quiet affair. The Rue des Moulins was the centre of Chamonix's night-time entertainment until a fire in 2006 destroyed the popular Cybar and the Dick's T-Bar nightclub, as well as damaging the Queen Vic. Le Privilege escaped the fire and has established itself as the top choice for apres-skiers looking for a more refined place to drink. Bar'd Up, further down the Rue des Moulins, draws in the younger tourist crowds while Mix Bar has emerged from the ashes of the 2006 fire and serves good cocktails in a small but stylish property.

Away from the Rue, the cocktail bar at the Clubhouse is very laid-back chic but is members only, so either join up or befriend a member. Its main competition is Alpes Angels (formerly No Escape) which used to be a slick operation but is now a lap dancing venue that turns into a nightclub - great for stag and hen parties. The lovely art deco architecture of La Terrasse's first floor gives the bar a classier feel, in contrast to the more grungy ground floor. Along Rue du Docteur Paccard The Pub doesn't try too hard to be anything but is a pleasant place for a beer and a chat. Le Choucas just across the road has a very different feel to it altogether with a very male clientele. The South Bar is the heart of Cham Sud's social scene famous for its Swedish contingent and one of the few bars in the valley to have a more equal male to female ratio.

Chamonix bars listings

Le Privilege
Rue des Moulins - Tel: +33 4 50 53 29 10
One of the few bars to survive the fire on the Rue des Moulins that took out Dick's T Bar in 2006, Le Privilege is a laid-back lounge bar serving good cocktails with low-key live music.
Web: www.barleprivilege.com

Bar'd Up
123 Rue Moulins -Tel: +33 4 50 53 91 33
Popular with Chamonix's younger crowd, Bar'd Up is good for most things: beer, bands, sports and fun.

Mix Bar
90 Rue des Moulins -Tel: +33 6 11 14 96 71
Risen from the ashes of the 2006 fire, Mix Bar is a small, cool cocktail bar on the main drag open until 2am.
Web: www.mixchamonix.com

The Clubhouse
74 Promenade des Sonnailles - Tel: +33 4 50 98 42 20
This Alpine outpost of London and New York's Milk and Honey Bar offers good cocktails, decent music and a more bling crowd than you find elsewhere. Non-members need to go with a guest or go for dinner.
Web: www.clubhouse.fr

Alpes Angels
27 Route de la Tour - Tel: +33 4 50 93 80 65 
Used to be No Escape cocktail bar and nightclub, but now has added cabaret into the mix. Chamonix's only pole dancing and lap dancing club which also promotes stag and hen parties.
Web: www.alpesangels.fr

La Terrasse
43 Place Balmat - Tel: +33 4 50 53 09 95
A Jekyll and Hyde of a bar: music pumps out from the lively ground floor while the atmosphere in the first floor bar is more restrained.
Web: www.laterrassechamonix.com

The Pub
215 Rue Docteur Paccard - Tel: +33 4 50 55 92 88
The Pub is Chamonix's little corner of England in appearance, drinks and clientele.

Le Choucas
206 Rue Docteur Paccard - Tel: +33 4 50 53 03 23
Dark, dirty and full of fun, but don't expect to see many girls.
Web: www.lechoucas-chamonix.com

South Bar
Place Edmond Desailloud - Tel: +33 4 50 55 43 07
Swedish-run with Swedes in front of, and behind, the South Bar is a fun place to warm-up before heading to the Garage nightclub.

Chamonix nightclubs listings

Nightlife dies down from about 1am unless you venture into one of Chamonix's nightclubs - with nothing much beyond 1am in Argentiere or the other smaller villages. Le Garage in Cham Sud is the biggest nightclub in the ski resort where it is easy to stay until the small hours. The music is what matters at La Cantina and it attracts a clubbier crowd than a typical ski resort nightclub. Another late night option is BPM.

Le Garage
52 Rue Moulins - Tel: +33 4 50 53 64 69
Theme nights, queues to get in, baguettes for late-night munchies… the 'Gay Rage' is Chamonix's quintessential night-club experience.

La Cantina
37 Impasse des Rhododendrons - Tel: +33 4 50 53 83 80
Regular guest DJs and dance-music lovers squeezed into a small space.

BPM
Address -Tel: +33 4 50 53 63 52
BPM is best known for its weekly Scandinavian party.

 

 

Chamonix Après-Ski

The apres ski scene in the Chamonix valley has an international flavour, but unlike many resorts most of the action takes places in Chamonix town or Argentiere rather than on the mountains.

Chamonix's apres ski has a metropolitan feel, with English, Swedish and French bars. This is not the lively ski-boots-on apres ski scene found in Austria - the detached nature of the ski areas means there is no natural meeting point for drinking at the end of the day's skiing. 

Chamonix really wakes up later in the evening when ski boots are off. In the meantime Chambre Neuf, near the SNCF train station is the best bet for happy hour prices, live music and a pub atmosphere. Take a break from the relentless partying to enjoy the sunset visible from the terrace outside. Elevation 1904 across the road from Le Neuf is also popular. 

The Canadian-owned Micro Brewery de Chamonix (or MBC), a five minute walk from the town, is another popular apres ski stop. All beer is brewed on the premises and they do a nice line in bar snacks and live music. The Jekyll, on the other side of town, is the venue for Henry's Avalanche talks (www.henrysavalanchetalk.com), held weekly at 6pm on Tuesdays.

Despite its party reputation, apres ski in Chamonix also has a quieter side. The Italian-run Lapin Agile is a charming wine bar on two floors, with a predominantly Italian wine list, decent beers and tasty free tapas from 6:30pm. 

Grand Central opposite, on the ground floor of the Hotel Pointe Isabelle, has a lengthy menu of coffees and smoothies to drink and delicious bagels, muffins and carrot cake to munch on. L'Atelier Cafe just off the Place Sassure has a pleasant location by the river. 

There are also relaxed end of day drinks at the restaurants and bars at the foot of the Grands Montets ski area as a last stop before heading back into Argentiere or Chamonix. In Argentiere village the Office Bar gets the bulk of the apres ski drinkers. In Le Buet, the bar at the Hotel Buet is popular with thirsty ski-tourers, while L'Arret Bougnete at the Vallorcine train station does probably the best vin chaud in the valley.

Apres ski bars in Chamonix

L'Atelier Cafe
Place Sassure 
Hot drinks, beers and a menu of light snacks with comfy benches outside for sunny days.
Tel: +33 4 50 52 32 36

Chambre Neuf
272 Avenue Michel Croz 
The hub of Chamonix's apres-ski with excellent live music, ever-flowing beer and a rowdy crowd.
Tel: +33 4 50 55 89 81

Elevation 1904
259 Avenue Michel Croz
A small triangular bar close to Chambre Neuf popular with locals and seasonnaires for a mid-morning coffee or afternoon beer. Sandwiches are available from the kiosk.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 00 52

Grand Central

62 Promenade Marie Paradis
Decent coffee and healthy smoothies, the bagels and cakes are perfect for lunch or afternoon tea. Run by Swedish sisters, and staffed almost exclusively by Swedes. Take-away is possible.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 56 09

Jekyll
71 Route Pelerins
The friendly bar staff serves a loyal, local crowd in this wooden chalet on the fringes of Cham Sud. Henry's Avalanche Talks (www.henrysavalanchetalk.com) held weekly, 6pm on Tuesdays.
Tel: +33 4 50 55 99 70
Web: www.thejekyll.com

Le Lapin Agile
11 Rue Whymper
A well-chosen wine list, blonde beers and a hot chocolate to die for. Free Wi-fi connection all-day and free tapas are available from 6:30pm.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 33 25
Web: www.lelapinagile.fr

MBC
350 Route de Bouchet
Excellent draught beers and tasty nachos fill the post-ski, pre-dinner gap. The very thirsty should ask for a 'camel'.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 61 69
Web: www.mbchx.com

The Clubhouse

74 Promenade des Sonnailles 
Only open to residents, members and their guests, the Clubhouse is a good spot to read the newspapers and enjoy the daily apres-ski freebie snacks. The Clubhouse is linked with London's The Player and Milk and Honey members' bars and serves great cocktails in a classy setting.
Tel: +33 4 50 98 42 20
Web: www.clubhouse.fr

Apres ski bars in Argentiere

The Office Bar
274 Rue Charlet Stratton
Open from breakfast to late evening and popular with all nationalities for drinking, snacking and playing pool. Live sport shown and free Wi-fi from 4pm.
Tel: +33 4 50 54 16 32
Web: www.the-office-bar.eu

Apres ski bars in Les Houches

Le Delice
130 Rue de l'Eglise
English-run bar/restaurant in an old bakery and popular with the local English population. Open until 2am.
Tel: +33 4 50 91 52 06
Web: www.le-delice.eu

Apres ski bars in Vallorcine

Hotel Le Buet
Les Esserts
Ski-tourers and mountaineers mix with local workers. A standard drinks menu in a very French bar.
Tel: +33 4 50 54 60 05
Web: www.hotelbuet.com

L'Arret Bougnette
Plan de l'Envers 
In the railway station, over the railway tracks at the end of the Verte piste down from Le Tour. Excellent vin chaud, hot chocolate and the usual list of other drinks.
Tel: +33 4 50 54 63 04

Chamonix Activities

Chamonix is a small town attracting tourists all year round and with plenty of activities for non-skiers from indoor climbing to ice rinks, from cinemas to day trips to Geneva and plenty of shops to browse or splash out in.

Being a town more than a resort, there are lots of non-ski activities in Chamonix. As you would expect from a centre of excellence for climbing and mountaineering in summer, there are superb indoor climbing facilities as well as a wide range of ice-climbing opportunities in winter. Staying on the ice, there are indoor and outdoor ice rinks. The Richard Bozon sports centre, which is open all year round, includes a swimming pool, gym, climbing wall, tennis and squash courts. There is also a bowling alley and a casino. If you are after an aerial view, check out the helicopter flights or paragliding. There is also a cinema and quick links to neighbouring cities such as Annecy, Turin and Geneva.

Richard Bozon Sports Centre

214 Avenue de la Plage
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 4 50 53 23 70

Paragliding and speed riding

Peak Experience
3 Route des Moussoux
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 6 20 63 18 52

Evolution 2 Chamonix
350 Avenue de la Plage
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 4 50 55 53 57

Chamonix Parapente

11 av du Savoy
Le Mummery
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 6 61 84 61 50

Cham'Aventure

Maison de la Montagne
190 place de l'Eglise
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 4 50 53 55 70

Absolute Chamonix Parapente Speed-riding
390 route des Gaillands 
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 6 08 23 92 65

Prestige Outdoor Specialists

10 Route des Drus
Clos des Chanterelles
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 6 80 20 83 70

Husky dog sledding

Huskydalen
74 chemin des Falets
74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
Tel: +33 6 84 99 34 67
Email: eguillaud@huskydalen.com
Web: www.huskydalen.com

Chamonix Rating
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  • Snowsure star rating
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  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
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  • Chamonix Statistics
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionHaute Savoie
  • Base1035 m
  • Peak3842 m
  • Vertical2807 m
  • Beginner31 %
  • Intermediate47 %
  • Advanced23 %
  • Longest run22 km
  • Number of ski lifts47
  • Chairlifts30
  • Surface lifts16
  • Riders per hour54660
  • 5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast
  • 20th
  • -14° --1° Light rain New Snow 80-100cm
  • 21th
  • -20° -2° Sunny skies New Snow 0-20cm
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  • -22° -1° Sunny skies New Snow 0-20cm
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  • -24° -1° Sunny skies New Snow 0-20cm
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