Chamonix: an authentic alpine town
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: in pole position
Located in France at the junction between Switzerland and Italy, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc has it all
1 Dec 2022

An exceptional location

The valley extends over 28 km and is flanked by the superb summits and needles of the Mont Blanc massif and the Aiguilles Rouges. The historic town of Chamonix sits in the middle of the valley, a mere 30 minutes’ drive from both the Swiss and Italian borders and just one hour’s drive from Geneva.

An authentic alpine town

Chamonix is where modernity and tradition live harmoniously side by side, giving the place a unique vitality and character. Its colorful history and architectural heritage offer an extraordinary journey through time, from the first explorers in the 1700s to the technical prowess of one of the most remarkable cable cars in the world (Aiguille du Midi – 1955), Chamonix has never ceased to be a pioneer in mountain tourism. 

The first Winter Olympic Games, hosted by the town in 1924, promoted the development of winter sports. Today, both summer and winter seasons are equally popular and, unsurprisingly, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is hailed as the birthplace of mountaineering and the world capital of skiing!

A renowned ski destination

Proud to be a member of the “Best of the Alps” resorts, Chamonix offers outstanding skiing from December to May, with reliable snow cover and excellent springtime conditions. Best known for its iconic descents such as the Vallée Blanche (a 20 km long glacier itinerary), its free-ride spots and vertical drops, the valley also offers gentle tree-lined slopes, wide open panoramic pistes, snow parks and nursery slopes for beginners and children alike.

Skiing the Vallée Blanche

Accessible from the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m), the Vallée Blanche is one of the greatest glacier descents in Europe. This unmarked off-piste route of 20 km and 2000 m vertical drop allows experienced skiers to discover an exceptional setting, surrounded by legendary peaks, whilst descending the Glacier du Géant and the famous Mer de Glace… It is strongly recommended to use the professional services of a high mountain guide.

Ski touring: on the up!

Over the past few years in the Chamonix Valley, ski touring has grown in popularity. To facilitate training and practice, there are now four marked routes, or itineraries, of different lengths and difficulty which are not patrolled and are for different levels of ski tourers. 

• Les Houches / Prarion: elevation 841 m

• Argentière / Lognan par La Trapette (not recommended for beginners): elevation 730 m

• Argentière / Refuge de Lognan: elevation 800 m

• Le Tour / Charamillon: elevation 358 m

A new gondola on the Balme Ski Area for Christmas 2022

The existing gondola, which departs from the village of Le Tour, will be replaced by a new generation Doppelmayr 10-seater panoramic gondola for the next ski season. The future installation has a capacity to transport 2,200 people per hour, over double the current capacity. The new cabins will travel the 376 m elevation in 5.26 minutes, a speed of 6 meters per second.

Ski Mont Blanc…unlimited

The “Mont Blanc Unlimited” lift pass lets visitors enjoy 1,000 km of skiing in three countries: Chamonix Valley, Megève, Saint-Gervais, Courmayeur (Italy), Crans Montana and Verbier (Switzerland)… as well as the sight-seeing excursions of the Aiguille du Midi, the Mer de Glace and the Tramway du Mont Blanc (France).

It’s not all downhill

Cross-country skiers may enjoy more than 40 km of scenic slopes, a perfect way to discover the valley. Other winter activities include dog-sledding, snowshoeing, ice climbing, scenic flights, tandem paragliding, the Alpine Coaster luge, and not least QC Terme, the most scenic spa in the Alps! The newly opened International Crystal Museum is also a must for every visitor to Chamonix!

A paradise for sightseeing

From the town center, explore the wonders of an incredible high-mountain environment by riding the famous Aiguille du Midi cable car, up to 3842 m. This is the closest you will get to the summit of Mont Blanc and the sweeping 360° view of the Alps is breathtaking!

Or, embark on the romantic Montenvers rack and pinion train to the Mer de Glace glacier (the largest in the Alps) and visit the Ice Grotto and the historic Grand Hotel at 1913 m. Hop on the panoramic valley train (free of charge) to discover the valley’s outlying villages and hamlets, or take one of the many lifts to lunch in a mountain restaurant.

Heart and soul of the Alps

Chamonix is truly cosmopolitan, an international melting pot offering an eclectic choice that reflects the people who live here and the people who visit: from luxury hotels to backpacker’s gîtes, from Michelin star restaurants to Savoy food trucks, from attractive boutiques to high-tech sports outlets, from sunny street cafés to lively clubs and bars…the list goes on.

World Cup: skiing the Kandahar – February 4, 2023

This winter, the world circuit’s best alpine skiers will return to the famous “Verte des Houches” for a spectacular slalom event. Find out more here:

For everything you need to know about Chamonix: 

* Céline Gruffat is a Press Officer at the Office de Tourisme, Vallée de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.
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