Chamonix Mont-Blanc is the highest resort in the Haute-Savoie department. The capital ofmountaineering, it is also appreciated for its ski areas in winter and its hiking trails in summer.
The largest ski resort in the department
Located at the foot of the Mont Blanc massif, the ski resort of Chamonix welcomes you to the heart of a beautiful ski area. The commune lies between 1,035 and 3,842 metres above sea level and is one of the favourite destinations for skiers! Chamonix Mont-Blanc is also known as the capital of mountaineering.
From agriculture to tourism
Before becoming the tourist resort we all know, Chamonix was a small farming village.
Until the 18th century, this was the main activity, although the winters were harsh and long. Tourism started with the passage of young Englishmen, who were doing their Grand Tour.
Since then, the resort has continued to develop and the mountain is no longer associated with fear. This mysterious territory has become a real playground for sportsmen who come from all over the world to climb Mont Blanc and discover the ski slopes or hiking trails.
The Chamonix Mont Blanc ski area
In a few figures, Chamonix Mont-Blanc is a paradise for ski lovers:
- 182 kilometres of downhill ski runs
- 70 runs, including 8 green, 29 blue, 20 red and 13 black
- 44 ski lifts
- 47 kilometres of cross-country ski trails
Most winter sports can be practised in this magnificent resort: freeride, freestyle, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountaineering and speed riding.
Top rated hotels
Finding tourist accommodation in Chamonix Mont-Blanc is easy. There are many, to suit all profiles and budgets. All you have to do is find the rental or hotel of your dreams and make your stay in the mountains a success.
Depending on your budget, we have selected five hotels in Chamonix that offer excellent value for money. They have very good reviews from guests.
Heliopic Hotel & Spa
A beautiful 4-star hotel with a 500 m² spa, indoor pool, sauna and tepidarium. You can rent your ski equipment. The Akashon restaurant has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand. The train station is a 10-minute walk away.
From € 104 per night.
La Folie Douce Hotels Chamonix
This hotel complex is located opposite the Savoy piste. It is a 2-minute walk from the town centre. Enjoy the heated outdoor swimming pool and the wellness centre. There is a dinner show every night except Sunday.
From € 83 per night.
Alpina Eclectic Hotel
The Alpina Eclectic Hotel is ideally located 5 minutes’ walk from the city centre and 950 metres from the Aiguille du Midi cable car. The restaurant is located on the 7th floor and offers a panoramic view of Mont Blanc. There is a bus station serving Le Brévent.
From 124 € per night.
Chalet Hôtel Le Prieuré
Very well located at 6 minutes walk from the Aiguille du Midi ski lifts, this establishment has south-facing rooms with a view of the surrounding massifs. Ski equipment rental is available for your convenience.
From 92 € per night.
Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons
Le Refuge des Aiglons is another 4-star hotel that we recommend for its location near the city centre and its wellness area. Its excellent restaurant “La Table du Refuge” offers innovative and refined cuisine.
From € 108 per night.
The most beautiful chalets
For an unforgettable holiday in the mountains, we offer three chalets for rent in Chamonix that have received excellent reviews from guests:
Chalet Rock and Roll
An exceptionally well decorated chalet with luxurious facilities: outdoor swimming pool, private parking, barbecue, terrace, sauna, whirlpool. There are 8 rooms in total, spread over 400 m². The crystal museum and the casino are located close to the accommodation.
Small Cosy Mountain Chalet
A small chalet of 55 m² located in the Bossons area, near the chairlift of the same name. It includes a bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen, a living room and a bathroom with shower. It has a garden and free private parking.
This beautiful 160 m² chalet has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with a jacuzzi. The wellness area has a sauna. It is 1 km from the Bossons glacier. The view from the chalet is magnificent. Chamonix town centre is just a few minutes’ walk away.
Downhill skiing is not the only winter activity to be enjoyed in Chamonix during the winter season. You can also try cross-country skiing. About twenty kilometres of tracks are accessible. Night skiing is also organised every other school holiday, from 6.30pm.
Another possibility is to be tempted by a dog sled. With respect for nature and the animals, you can rediscover the mountains from a new perspective. You can even learn to drive the sled.
The resort’s athletes
Chamonix, a land of mountaineering and skiing, has many high-level athletes. They evolve in various disciplines and not only in alpine skiing. Presentation of three of them.
Blaise Giezendanner, a native of the valley, began his career at the Chamonix ski club. His abilities as a descender were quickly noticed and he joined the French group at the age of 20. His good results in the European Cup allowed him to reach the World Cup. In 2022, he was on the podium in Kitzbühel and created a surprise.
Clément Masson is a member of the Chamonix hockey team. The French forward, originally from Paris, has spent most of his career with Les Pionniers. He joined the Magnus league in the 2005-2006 season.
Baptiste Ellmenreich is originally from Passy. He is a member of two Chamonix clubs and competes at a high level in ski mountaineering. The young man from Haut-Savoie, in addition to being a member of the French team, has created his own brand of eco-responsible headlamps. During the 2020-2021 season, he finished 3rd in the overall classification of the U23 World Cup.
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The Cosmojazz Festival
This music festival, initiated by Alain Manoukian, is becoming increasingly popular with each new edition. Concerts take place at high altitude, on splendid natural sites. These shows are free of charge with the possibility of supporting the festival.
The Cosmo Jam is a series of improvised meetings in the evening from 7pm at the Maison des Artistes. Bars and pubs in the city centre host local artists as part of the Cosmo Jazz Festival. Impromptu interventions are carried out by artists in emblematic places of the resort of Chamonix. The Couttet Park, located in the centre, hosts concerts every afternoon from 5pm. The Cosmo Jazz village is next door with bars, small restaurants and a festival shop.
The festival takes place every year at the end of August for a week.
Alpine Skiing: The ski pass in the ski resort of Chamonix gives you access to three of the ski areas listed below. These are the Grands Montets, Brévent / Flégère, Les Houches ski area and the Domaine de Balme. This resort offers a large number of ski passes, so it will be easier for you to discover them directly on the official website: Chamonix website.
Cross-countryskiing: Adult day: 10€. Children’s day: 5€. Week adults: 40€. Children’s week: 19€. Season pass for adults: 61€. Season ticket for children: 25€.
The resort of Chamonix has many routes for snowshoeing. They are marked out and accessible to the whole family:
- The golf circuit in Chamonix: the departure is from the golf car park, next to the Praz train station, or from the Flégère bus stop.
- The Chavants loops in Les Houches: this 3 km circuit around the Chavants lake continues in the forest.
- The Planchette itinerary in Servoz: this pretty loop winds through the sunny meadows on either side of the Nant de la Planchette.
- The Granges circuit in Vallorcine: this beautiful loop takes you to the typical village of Les Granges. It will allow you to enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Aiguille Verte.
- The Trois Gouilles snowshoe trail: you will discover a real trapper’s trail, through a preserved wooded area.
Ideas for summer activities
The resort also has a lot to offer if you want to spend a few days in summer. Here is a guide to five must-do activities:
The Aiguille de Midi
This mountain, which rises to 3,842m, is accessible by the cable car of the same name. You will have a magnificent view of the other peaks and the valley below. The Mont-Blanc and the Bossons glacier are particularly sumptuous. You can try your hand at the Pas dans le Vide at the top of the Aiguille du Midi.
The Mont Blanc Tramway
This is a cogwheel train that takes you from Saint-Gervais station to the Nid d’Aigle in 1 hour 15 minutes. If you are staying in Chamonix for a few days, it is best to do so in fog-free weather to enjoy the view. You can have a snack at the Nid d’Aigle refuge.
The Mer de Glace
To reach this famous glacier, you have to take the Montenvers rack railway. After enjoying the view, you can walk down to the Grotte de Glace along a path that allows you to see the ancient levels of the Mer de Glace. The return journey can be made via the Plan de l’Aiguille cable car.
Hike to the Lac Blanc
The hike to the Lac Blanc is certainly one not to be missed in the valley. Depending on your level, you can start from the top of the Flégère gondola, the Col des Montets or Argentière. We recommend sunrise or sunset on the Lac des Chéserys.
The Merlet Park
Another activity to do with the family in Les Houches is the Parc de Merlet. Here you can see the local wildlife roaming freely, such as marmots, chamois and ibex. With a bit of luck, you might even spot a herd of mouflons.
Access and public transport
The ski resort of Chamonix can be reached via the Autoroute Blanche (E25 / A40), the Col des Montets via the Swiss town of Martigny, or from Italy via the Mont Blanc tunnel.
Chamonix offers holidaymakers several means of public transport:
- The urban bus network covers all the communes in the Chamonix valley, from Servoz to Vallorcine. Buses run every 10 minutes on the main routes. The ticket costs 3 €, but the network is free for holders of the Carte d’Hôte and ski lift passes. The Carte d’Hôte is given to all visitors who stay at least one night in the valley.
- The free shuttle called “Le Mulet” serves Chamonix town centre with 19-seater electrically powered buses. The “Mobil’Bus” service is available to people with reduced mobility for door-to-door service.