Chamonix offer such a wide variety of both sporting and leisure activities throughout the year, making it appealing to pretty much everyone and anyone. It is so diverse with its breathtaking scenery, great nightlife and vast number of ski slopes that allows each person to enjoy it at their own pace. It is the perfect place to visit time and again, be it for a week, a season or just one weekend, you will always find something new to enjoy.
Chamonix village is a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés, with an outdoor market every Saturday that is overflowing with local crafts and produce. On bad weather days you can visit the cinema, museums, bowling alley, ice rink, or swim, go to the gym and even do a bit of climbing at the sizeable sports centre.
Chamonix & its Surroundings
Chamonix is bordered by Switzerland and Italy and dominated by the remarkable Aiguilles de Chamonix mountain chain, peaking at 4810m at Mont Blanc – the highest mountain in Western Europe. Although Chamonix has two well-defined seasons, namely summer and winter, it remains busy for most of the year with its diverse activities appealing to a large number of visitors.
Chamonix covers a valley of 28km that stretches from Le Fayet all the way to Switzerland, interspersed with many different and charming villages that include Le Tour at the top of the valley, through to Montroc, Les Praz, Servoz, Les Houches, Argentiere, Les Bossons, and Les Tines.
Because of its location at the top of the valley, Le Tour offers a splendid opportunity for walkers to get a taste of high-altitude terrain without too much technical difficulty along with the greatest views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley.
What to do in Chamonix
You will find the Chamonix Golf Course at Les Praz (1050m), along with numerous hotels and chalets. The Flégère cable-car ensures easy access to the ski area and the Les Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve. Les Praz is within a 20 minute walk from Chamonix town bordered and is great place to begin or end scenic walks, runs, or bike rides.
Servoz (816m) is a very picturesque village and you will find many local artisans’ workshops to browse, not forgetting the magnificent Gorges de la Diosaz which is well worth a visit.
With six hamlets Les Houches (1000m) is the first big ski resort with its own lift-system and exceptional skiing on offer. Before choosing whether or not to stay here, you need to confirm that the Les Houches ski area is included on the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass, as the ruling changes from year to year.
With the exception of Chamonix town, Argentiere (1250m) is the biggest village in the valley with its own unique character that is reflected in its many bars, restaurants, hotels and chalets. Given that it is one of the foremost alpine ski resorts due to its fortunate location at the foot of the powder fields of Les Grands Montets (1250-3300m), you can’t go too far wrong if you choose to stay here.
The tranquil village of Les Bossons (1010m) is where the first high alpine excursions used to depart from, offering several chalets and hotels that look towards the Glacier du Bossons and Taconnaz.
Les Tines consists of a number of delightful hotels and chalets that are dotted along the top perimeter of the golf course and offers incredible views of the valley and Mont Blanc. If you prefer a quiet getaway whilst remaining within reach of all there is to do, then you might enjoy staying in the charming hamlet of Le Lavancher.