Chamonix is world-famous for it’s dramatic position at the foot of Mont Blanc and its endless opportunities for winter sports and summer activities. Here’s the low-down on how to get the right information, where to go and what to do.
Winter ski areas
- Brevent / Flegere (take a bus from Chamonix)
- Les Houches (take a bus from Chamonix)
- Grands Montets / Argentiere (take a bus or a train from Chamonix)
- Le Tour / Vallorcine (from Chamonix take a bus to Le tour or the train to Vallorcine)
- Megeve / St Gervais (30 minutes drive from Chamonix centre or use the train)
- Les Contamines (40 minutes drive from Chamonix centre)
- Courmayeur (40 minutes drive or take the shuttle through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy)
- Verbier / 4 Valleys (60 minutes drive to Switzerland)
Winter fun for kids
- Savoy ski area (An easy walk from Chamonix Centre with a gentle sledging hill, magic carpet for skis, small food shack, nearby Folie Douce hotel for toilet and coffee breaks.)
- Prarion kids camp (Take the bus to Les Houches and go up the Prarion telecabin then walk 5 minutes down a (slippery) slope. Free sledges and gentle hill for babies and children, free plastic skis for toddlers, serious sledging hill and snow-tubing for lunatics, mini curling rink, teepees, picnic benches, near to a beginner chairlift. Free access once you are up the telecabin and there are staff members to help if you are left with more kids than you can reasonably handle 🙂 Picnic room, toilets and restaurants at the top of the telecabin. )
- Le Tour (Take the bus or train then walk 5 minutes uphill to a little button lift and sledging run (not for toddlers) and snack bar.
- Plaine Joux (A 30 minute drive to a children’s paradise with magic carpet for skis and sledges, very easy piste for sledging and toddler skiing, a beginner button lift, picnic area, indoor play/rest area with toilets, a large foam piste-basher… Tickets are a few euros and adults will need a 2euro card to access the area.)
Ski-touring, off-piste skiing, glacier skiing, ice-climbing, alpinism, mountaineering…
There is a lifetime of legendary spots around the Mont Blanc Massif to enjoy all of your favourite adventures. It is highly advisable to hire a guide for your trip unless you already have a mountain professional in your group who is familiar with the area. There are many local French and British organisations to choose from, including those who will take you and those who will inform you and train you:
I Am Adventure (how to avoid being in an avalanche and how to help others if they are caught in one). Refresher courses, one-day courses, three-day courses, 6-day courses, international qualifications…
Mountain guides for hire
Compagnie des Guides (Hire an official Chamonix guide for an unforgettable adventure in the Vallee Blanche, off piste or maybe ice-climbing…)
Information on mountain conditions
La Chamoniarde (We provide free information about hiking, climbing and skiing to visitors year-round. Office de Haute Montagne (OHM) and Pôle Montagne Risk (PMR) are essential information centres for visitors who need to prepare for a mountain excursion or to improve their knowledge of the alpine environment. Our reception areas and website offer information (booklets, videos etc.) to understand mountain hazards and adapt their practice of mountain activities. Visitors are welcome to join free public events throughout the year.
All year round activities
The Aiguille du Midi
The Montenvers Train
The Golf Course
Useful services for families
Mont Blanc Family Fun (Website summarising all the fun things to see and do in the region with babies and children)
BabyCham (babysitters and rental of pushchairs, cots, buggies, baby carriers etc)
The UTMB Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc is an essential event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year at the end of August, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix alongside almost 10,000 runners keen to participate in one of the event’s 7 races. No ticket required to watch, so head out onto the trails to watch or come into town and cheer the runners home!
The Marathon du Mont Blanc welcomes over 10,000 runners each year at the end of June to attempt one of 5 trail races, including the magical 42km Marathon. No ticket required to watch, so head out onto the trails to watch or come into town and cheer the runners home!
The Climbing World Cup is a spectacular event and more than 20,000 people come and admire the greatest champions during these three days where the competitions are open access to watch in the centre of Chamonix. No ticket required to watch.
World cup skiing
The Kandahar – Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup – has the best skiers in the world competing against each other in a Slalom and a Parallel Giant Slalom. The legendary alpine ski race that first took place in 1948 takes place in February on the piste “La Verte” in Les Houches. Ticket reservation (no fee) required to watch, with only 20,000 tickets available.