Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or more simply, Chamonix, is one of the most magical mountain towns in Europe.
Iconic peaks and mountain ranges coupled with its famous glaciers, Chamonix is breathtaking in its natural state. It’s also a great jumping off (ski jumping off?) point for your perfect winter holiday in France.
Since the earliest days of mountain climbing, people have been coming to the area to explore. Mont Blanc is one of the most famous mountains in the world, and it provides a stunning backdrop to a winter vacation here.
Getting to know Chamonix
Chamonix is located in the east of France, where it meets Switzerland and Italy at natural border of Mont Dolent. Just across the Italian border is the iconic winter resort of Cormayeur. Located at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, Chamonix renowned for its skiing. It was home to the first winter Olympics in 1924, cementing its place as a true icon in winter sports.
This valley is composed of the villages of Servoz, Les Houches, Chamonix, Argentière and Vallorcine. It also contains Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak at 15,785 feet.
You can arrive here by plane, flying into Geneva and then taking a transfer across the border. You can also take the train is through St. Gervais-le Fayet. Driving directly, however, is the easiest, and you can reach Chamonix through France, Switzerland, or Italy though the Mont Blanc tunnel.
Activities off the slopes
There are so many things to do here for our active clients, but also for those who prefer to take in the scenery and relax.
If you can only do one thing in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley, then you must visit the Aiguille du Midi. In just 20 minutes by cable car you arrive at the dramatic heart of Mont Blanc itself. It’s breathtaking (in every sense of the word!). “The world’s highest museum” features important historical moments in mountaineering in the area. Perhaps most unique is the “step into the void” – a viewing box with glass panels on five sides over a sheer drop of 3280 feet below.
Another activity from Chamonix is to take the gondola lift to Plan Praz at 6500 feet. After, a cable car to Le Brévent at 8280 feet. Discover the south slope and its great panoramic view of Mont Blanc.
Located a little over 650 feet deep and 4 miles long, the Mer de Glace is France’s largest glacier. Meaning “sea of ice” it is only a short train ride away from the center of town. The glacier is worth a visit for its beauty alone, but it is also a dramatic example of the changing climate. It almost touched Les Tines a few years ago, now the glacier is receding and shrinking at a dramatic pace.
Skiing in Chamonix
For our clients who live to ski, Les Grand-Montets is a north-facing ski area with excellent snow coverage. It’s a dream for those who free ride and love a steep slope.
The sunny Le Brévent and La Flégère ski areas are perfect choices for recreational casual skiing at the foot of the Aiguilles Rouges. Meanwhile, those looking to chase an olympic medal can head to La Chavanne slope where they can race the clock!
Snowshoeing, mountain trekking and snowboarding are also great activities with one of the most beautiful backdrops in Europe.
A taste of local culture…
The typical food from Chamonix Mont-Blanc is called “Savoyarde”. It’s a hearty cuisine based mainly on cheese and potatoes. These are products that can be produced locally in summer and stored during the long winter months. Some favorite dishes are fondue and the famous grilled raclette cheese.
Don’t miss having an aperitif in the villages as well. A past time every evening after the slopes close, people gather around in Chamonix town center or Argentière to enjoy this french ritual! Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches all have lots of typical bars where you can stop for an “apero”.
Winter wanderlust in the snow
We hope that we provided some travel inspiration for a winter trip in Chamonix. Please check out our website or contact us directly for other ideas here and also our other destinations.
As always, its our mission and promise to make your Mediterranean travel dreams come true – even in the show!