After spending two weeks here we understand why people say Chamonix is a "must ski" destination. The oldest skiing area in the French Alps offers some of the world's best expert skiing off the surrounding saw-toothed peaks and shimmering glaciers that rise 12,500 feet above the valley floor. And we love that the area has more of an authentic alpine flair than other ski resorts’ glitz and glamour. This is a dazzling location with off-the-charts views of awe-inspiring mountains everywhere you look, and old world streets packed with side-walk cafes, boutique shops, fine dining restaurants, and lively bars.
Highlights - Five main ski areas accessed via the area’s mini base villages; 50 lifts transport skiers of all abilities to terrain that fits their skills. Les Houches and Le Tour are ideal for beginners and intermediates to enjoy the slopes, plus advanced skiers can find their thrills as well. Sunny side Brevant and La Flegere can accommodate beginners and intermediates as well, but there are plenty of off-piste bowls and couloirs to test expert adrenalin seekers. And ok, if you arrived looking to challenge yourself, then Les Grands Montets is the place. Long steep runs, on and off piste, combine with couloirs and chutes to make you earn your lunch at one of the many slope-side restaurants. And finally, if you want the ultimate bucket list ski adventure, challenge yourself in the area off of the Aiguille du Midi, reached by a two-stage cable car from downtown Chamonix. The views from the top are ridiculous so make sure to have your camera as you gaze into Italy and Switzerland. Then the 8,000+-foot descent on and along the glacier of Vallee Blanche features spectacular mountain scenery dominated by Mont Blanc. Definitely recommended to hire a guide for this spectacular experience. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy an extensive Nordic trail, ski touring and winter paragliding. The Mt. Blanc unlimited ski pass includes Megeve and Les Contamines in France, Courmayeur, Italy, and Verbier, Switzerland.
Stay and Eat - Chamonix’s village is brimming with tons of stores, from designer boutiques to high performance outdoor gear shops. We recommend staying in the town of Chamonix, either in City Centre or Chamonix South. From these central location in the village you are within walking distance of all the amenities, gourmet dining, cool pubs and burger joints, plus easy access to shopping, nightlife, and the bus line to access the valley. For 5-star luxury digs our top recommendations are Hotel Mont-Blanc Chamonix and The Hameau Albert 1er Hotel with it's Michelin recommended dining. Both hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to all the valley ski areas. If you prefer to spread out in a nice apartment our favorite accommodation choice is Le Cristal de Jade Palace. Recently remodeled throughout, this feels more like a residence club than a hotel.
Some of our favorite restaurants in the town of Chamonix include: La Table, Le Panier Des 4 Saisons, La Telecabine, Le Matafan, Atmosphere, Munchie, Le Cap Horn, and La Maison Carrier. And for a killer burger, try Poco Loco. Slope-side, lots of choices at each ski area. Two of our favorites are at Grands Montets ski area - La Cremerie du Glacier and L'Argentero. Best to make reservations at all the restaurants.
Private chalets and apartments: Many options, from luxury to economical spread throughout the valley. Let us know your style and we'll make recommendations.
Getting Here - Just a 60 minute private car ride from Geneva International Airport. Great to combine with a stay in Geneva at one of our favorite lakeside hotels, or at other nearby resorts like Megeve and Verbier.
Custom Travel Planning - We can arrange every aspect of your trip to Chamonix from your hometown and back. Email Stephen to begin planning your personalized adventure.
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Stephen and Kim Vletas