Chamonix – Mont Blanc

Chamonix is the world capital of mountaineering and ski holidays, a favourite destination for mountain lovers in both summer and winter.
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A stone’s throw from Italy and facing the magnificence of Mont Blanc, the Chamonix valley is known throughout the world for the beauty of its landscapes, the charm of its typical villages and above all for its legendary peaks, to be discovered all year round.

This municipality in Haute Savoie is sandwiched between the Aiguilles Rouges and Mont Blanc massifs on the border with Switzerland and Italy. The world capital of skiing and mountaineering, this charming high-mountain town welcomes 2.5 million tourists every year who flock to test themselves on the ski slopes, trails and climbing walls.

Things to do in Chamonix – Mont Blanc

The Lac Blanc

The traditional Alpine village of Chamonix lies at the foot of the majestic snow-capped peak of Mont Blanc, the highest in Europe. This picturesque town, full of charm, historic churches and cosy inns, is the most famous and popular resort in the Alps.

In fact, Chamonix is considered the most important ski resort in the Alps, attracting ski lovers from all over Europe. Apart from being so popular during the winter season, Chamonix offers numerous activities all year round: from canyoning to hiking, from rock climbing to paragliding, from mountain biking to via ferratas, from simple nature walks to spas in which to relax.

Aiguille du Midi

Climbing the Aiguille du Midi is one of the most incredible experiences you can have in Chamonix. From the village centre, you will have to climb the cable car that will take you to a height of 3,842 metres in just 20 minutes. Here, a centre with panoramic terraces awaits you: an amazing 360° view of the entire French, Italian and Swiss Alps.

It is a journey in two stages. The first stage takes visitors to the Plan de l’Aiguille (2,317 m). The second stage, without any supporting pillars, crosses the Les Pelerins glacier before ascending the north face of the Aiguille du Midi to the mountain station (3,778 m). A footbridge connects the station with the Central Piton terrace. A lift inside the rock leads the visitor for the last 42 m to the upper terrace at 3,842 m.

The centre has a bar, a souvenir shop and a restaurant to taste Savoyard specialities in a unique setting, surrounded by the highest peaks in Europe.

Once up there, don’t miss, included in your ticket, Le Pas dans le Void, a technological feat: a room made entirely of glass, a cube that allows an incredible experience of emptiness on the glacier. Not recommended for those suffering from vertigo. Also not to be missed is the Tube: this is a 32-metre tunnel through which you can take a complete tour of the central peak of the Aiguille du Midi.

Skyway Monte Bianco

2Strada Statale 26 dir, 48, 11013 Courmayeur AO, Italy (Website)

From the terraces of the Aiguille du Midi starts the Mont Blanc Panoramic Cable Car, the highest cable car in the world, connecting France to Italy. The 5 km journey traverses the Mont Blanc massif, from the Aiguille du Midi to Point Helbronner.

From Point Helbronner, the line descends to the La Palud area of Courmayeur in Italy. Rebuilt and reopened in 2015, the Italian top station is a beautiful place to visit, with a sun terrace offering 360-degree views of the Mont Blanc massif and a different perspective of the mountains.

Tramway du Mont-Blanc

3Nid d'Aigle, 74170 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, France

For those who just want to take a non-fatiguing day trip to admire the scenery, we recommend the Mont-Blanc Tramway, which leaves from Le Fayet or Saint-Gervais and makes two stops: Bellevue and Nid d’Aigle.

At an altitude of 1,900 metres, Bellevue will give you exceptional views. From this stop, a scenic walk starts, which in summer leads along beautiful green pastures to the village of Les Houches.

If you wish to continue on to the summit, descend to the Nid d’Aigle at 2,372 metres: this point is located just below the rugged summit of the Aiguille du Goûter (the starting point for mountaineers intending to climb Mont Blanc) and offers a wonderful view of the Bionnassay glacier. Several undemanding trails also start from here, circling around the Nid d’Aigle and offering views of the glacier.

La Mer de Glace - Montenvers

435 Pl. de la Mer de Glace, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France (Website)

Another iconic hike from Chamonix is to Montenvers, an enchanting alpine village: the picturesque little red train climbs the mountainside for 20 minutes, passing through fragrant pine forests and dark rock tunnels to arrive at the La Mer de Glace glacier at 1,913 metres above sea level. This is one of the largest glaciers in Europe, almost 7 kilometres long, and the view is truly impressive. Provided you are accompanied by an alpine guide, you can hike to admire this wonder of nature up close.

Several scenic hiking trails also start from Montenvers and offer breathtaking views: we recommend the Grand Balcon Nord (13 km) and Les Praz (10 km).

Ice Cave

574400 Chamonix, France (Website)

Just a 15-minute walk from the Montenvers station, you can descend into the heart of the glacier and visit a real ice cave. It is 100 metres long and descends via a staircase of 400 steps.

When you pass through the entrance, you will enter a wonderful world: the cave radiates incredible blue and azure colours of every hue and shade, so intense and brilliant that it leaves you breathless

The Grotte de Glace was sculpted by man to form the only glacier museum in France! It was in 1992 that two friends, both mountain guides, entered the Grotte de Glace glacier and realised its immense potential. To bring their project to life, they invited sculptors from all over the country to capture the greatest events of our time in the ice. Skilled in improvising with all kinds of tools, they use wood saws and even irons or curling irons to work on this collection, which continues to evolve every year .

Inside are ice sculptures and some photographs that remind us of what the Mer de Glace was like in the 19th century and how the first pioneers were amazed by its majesty.

Lac Blanc

6Lac Blanc, 74400 Chamonix, France

Nestled in the Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve, Lac Blanc is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the area, famous for its exceptional panorama, overlooking the Mont Blanc massif. It is one of the views most immortalised by tourists.

The lake can be reached by several routes from the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc valley: the hike is fabulous, although the route is quite demanding and lasts 2 hours. But the effort will be amply rewarded by a 360° view of the Mont Blanc massif and the Aiguilles Rouges.

Brevent cable car

774400 Chamonix, France

Other visits not to be missed include the cable car to Le Brévent, from where you can discover some of Chamonix’s most unspoilt landscapes.

The first stop is at Plan Praz (1,999 metres), from where beautiful hiking trails lead to Lac Cornu and Grand Balcon Sud. A panoramic view of Mont Blanc can be admired from the southern slope.

Then continue on to the Le Brévent peak at 2,525 metres: wonderful views await you. The best panoramic walk is definitely the one leading to the Aiguillette des Houches. Over the 4 kilometres of the route, incredible views of Mont Blanc will open up before you. This is undoubtedly one of the best hikes to do in Chamonix.

Green Lake

8Lac Vert, 74480 Passy, France

Surrounded by an enchanting forest, this lake offers a magnificent spectacle: its turquoise waters reflect Mont Blanc, creating a fabulous panorama. The water is exceptionally transparent and you can admire its famous blue algae, which give the lake its unique emerald colour.

This natural area designed for walking is accessible by car from April to December.

Glacier des Bossons

In the Chamonix area there is another magnificent place to visit during the summer, the Bossons glacier. To reach it, you will have to take the chairlift that leaves from the village of Bossons and takes you to a height of 1,400 metres. Get ready for a spectacular view of waterfalls, pinnacles and ice pyramids.

The best place to admire the glacier spectacle is from the Les Bossons Glacier Chalet, which is a five-minute walk from the chair lift station: from its terrace, the view of the glacier’s terminal tongue is unmissable.

This is also the starting point of a famous Jonction hike at an altitude of 2,589 metres.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Skiing in Chamonix

Map of the ski slopes in Chamonix

Chamonix is one of Europe’s best destinations for ski holidays and ski facilities suitable for beginners and advanced skiers.

The village boasts no less than 4 ski areas recommended for experienced skiers:

  1. Brevant / Flegere: this is the largest ski area in Chamonix and comprises 32 runs including 7 black runs and 13 blue runs, reserved for intermediate and advanced skiers;
  2. The Grands Montets: this is the highest and most difficult part, with 28 kilometres of slopes, including 6 black runs and 4 red runs, at an altitude of between 1,235 and 3,300 metres, above the village of Argentière;
  3. Les Houches: this is one of the largest ski resorts in Chamonix, boasting 55 kilometres of ski runs, 12 of which are red and 2 black;
  4. Le Domaine de Balme: this resort with 29 kilometres of much gentler slopes offers 20 slopes, 11 of which are blue.

Slopes for children

Chamonix also offers beginners and children the opportunity to enjoy the snow with stations more suited to the needs of beginners.

  1. Les Planards is especially suitable for children;
  2. La Vormaine, in the Col de Balme ski area, is characterised by gentle, sunny slopes perfect for beginners and snowboarders;
  3. Le Savoy, at the foot of the Brévent gondola, offers two ski lifts, a rotating carpet for beginners and a ski kindergarten;
  4. Le Grands Montets, the ESF d’Argentière ski resort boasts a ski school for children aged three and up.

Skipass Mont Blanc Unlimited

If you are planning a skiing week in Chamonix, then we highly recommend purchasing the Skipass Mont Blanc Unlimited: it allows access to all lifts and slopes of the 19 Mont Blanc ski areas in the three neighbouring countries (France, Italy and Switzerland). You will thus be spoilt for choice and have more than 1,000 kilometres of slopes at your disposal.

The prices of the pass vary according to the duration of validity you choose: there is a one-day version, suitable for those who only want to ski on the slopes of Chamonix, for example, or extended versions, which allow access to the slopes for several days, up to a maximum of 9 days.

The Skipass Mont Blanc Unlimited also guarantees big discounts for the Mont Blanc tunnel and unlimited access to some swimming pools, skating rinks and museums with passes from a minimum of 3 days.

Spa in Chamonix

After a day of hiking or skiing, one of the best activities to take for a rejuvenating break is to spend a few hours in a wellness centre: the perfect way to relax your muscles after so much effort.

The city of Chamonix boasts many facilities but the most famous by far is certainly QC Terme Chamonix, a high-altitude thermal centre with a minimalist design, completely immersed in nature, with an area of over 3000 square metres on the edge of an alpine lake. Don’t miss the heated infinity pool, where you can admire the snow falling even in the middle of winter.

Spa Hotels

In the area of Chamonix and the neighbouring villages you will find many opportunities to stay in elegant establishments with excellent spas, wellness centres and regenerating treatments.

Among them all, the Héliopic Hotel & Spa stands out, a large centre of about 500 square metres with fabulous Jacuzzis with a view of Mont Blanc, a large indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, tepidarium and ice grotto. Particularly cosy is the relaxation area with armchairs suspended around the fire, where you can sip herbal tea after a swim or a steam bath.

Hotel
Alpina Eclectic Hotel
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc - 79 Avenue du Mont Blanc BP 135Extra sanitary measures
8.6,0Fabulous 4.104 reviews
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Heliopic Hotel & Spa
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc - 610 route BlancheExtra sanitary measures
8.9,0Fabulous 3.762 reviews
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La Folie Douce Hotels Chamonix
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc - 823, Allée Recteur Payot
8,0Very good 3.243 reviews
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Where to stay in Chamonix

The world capital of skiing and mountaineering, this charming high mountain town welcomes 2.5 million tourists every year. Chamonix is the highest municipality in France: it stretches to the summit of Mont Blanc, 4 810 metres above sea level, the highest point in Western Europe.

A destination for tourism, mountain sports and winter sports, the town benefits from being the perfect base for holidays dedicated to nature and outdoor activities. This is why, in high season, accommodation can be very expensive or sell out quickly, especially in conjunction with school holidays.

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In the centre

Sleeping in the centre of Chamonix has the advantage of being as close as possible to the cable cars to get up to the ski area in winter or to the hiking trails in summer.

The choice of accommodation is vast as well as the types available according to your needs. There is also a large concentration of restaurants in the village, allowing you to enjoy typical Savoyard dishes. The town also offers many entertainment opportunities for young and old thanks to the presence of casinos, cinemas and bowling alleys.

Being a very rich and definitely touristy area all year round, it can be expensive to stay in the centre of Chamonix and it is often necessary to book well in advance.

Les Praz-de-Chamonix

If you find it difficult to book a hotel in Chamonix, you can opt for an alternative solution: Les Praz-de-Chamonix, which offers the advantage of being close to the golf course and the La Flégère cable car.

From here, you can hike on the slopes of the Aiguille de la Floria, reaching an altitude of 2,888 metres: it is the most popular massif for climbing and ski mountaineering enthusiasts.

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

A more economical option is the small village of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, a very famous thermal resort: discovered in 1806, these cosy spas have more than 200 years of history.

A short distance from Chamonix, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains offers skiing in several areas: Mont Joly, Aiguille Croche and Les Houches.

Recommended hotels in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

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Alpina Eclectic Hotel
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc - 79 Avenue du Mont Blanc BP 135Extra sanitary measures
8.6,0Fabulous 4.104 reviews
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Chalet Hôtel Le Prieuré & Spa
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc - 149 Allée Recteur Payot Extra sanitary measures
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Excelsior Chamonix Hôtel & Spa
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc - 251, Chemin de Saint Roch Les TinesExtra sanitary measures
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How to get to Chamonix

At the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc peak, the Alpine village of Chamonix is a world-famous ski resort that has been attracting mountain enthusiasts since the famous 1924 Winter Olympics. The six different ski areas attract ski enthusiasts from all over Europe, from beginners to extreme skiers.

The nearest airport after Geneva Airport in Switzerland is Lyon Airport.

Chamonix – Mont Blanc Weather

What's the weather at Chamonix – Mont Blanc? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Chamonix – Mont Blanc for the next few days.

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Tuesday 5
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Wednesday 6
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Thursday 7
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Where is located Chamonix – Mont Blanc

On the slopes of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is located near the meeting point of France, Switzerland and Italy.

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