Chamonix is the most famous winter resort in the world.
Chamonix ski resort is the place known to all where tourism flourishes all year round. Most overseas tourists on their European tour stop at least for a day in Chamonix to climb via the Aiguille du Midi cable car to 3880 meters above sea level and take a closer look at the glaciers of Mt. Blanc. During the winter, the same cable car is less crowded because the weather needs to be ideal to enable skiing on the firm and wild Valee Blanche trail down the glacier. The twenty-kilometre-long descent is not too steep, except in some parts, and it is advisable to hire a mountain guide because they are the ones who know best where to go and where the dangers of avalanches lie. This is one of the more trophy alpine trails, and everyone who manages to execute a downhill ride has something to boast about.
Landscaped trails and bus lines
Skiing is possible on substantially long and quite landscaped trails in different locations, which are interconnected by ski buses. Buses and trains connect Saint Gervais-le Fayet and Martigny passing through Chamonix and are free for those with a Carte d’Hôte pass. The ski resort set at the highest altitude is found on the Les Grands Montets glacier. It begins in Argentière (1252 metres above sea level) and the terrain rises all the way up to 3275 meters high to the upper gondola station.
A bit further from Chamonix is the Balme ski resort. It starts in Le Tour village and stretches out to the Swiss border. The ski trails are mostly blue and red.
The gondola lift Planpraz goes from Chamonix to the largest zone of the connected cable cars, Brevent – Flégere, to an altitude of 2000 meters, where the ski trails begin. Unfortunately, no trail descends to the centre of the city, but rather to the neighbouring village of Les Préz from where bus rides are organized for the return back to Chamonix. The ski resort is the steepest one of all in the area. The red and black trails should only be used by the most experienced skiers. Being positioned towards Mt. Blanc and the south, the trails are mostly sunny and have one of the most beautiful views. If you enjoy good skiing, the other side of the Mt. Blanc tunnel and the Italian town of Courmayeur is something to try.
You can ski during spring as well
Chamonix is a ski resort where you can ski during the spring months and the season lasts until the end of April. Some cable cars stay open even longer.
Other attractions and activities
This ski resort is ideal for lovers of deep snow and free ride freaks. There you can also find a large snow park with many types of jumps, half-pipes, and similar terrains for boarders and skiers. In addition to adrenaline skiing and snowboarding, Chamonix offers paragliding, panoramic flying, sledding, paintball, skating, ice climbing, and four theme parks for the whole family.
The main attraction is the jagged mountain train that runs to the foot (1913 meters) of the largest French glacier nicely named Mer de Glace. – Mother of Ice.
Chamonix is a very charming settlement that stands out among other alpine resorts. As the place lives well all year round, the offer is very interesting and quite abundant. The shops are diverse: from boutiques with ski jackets dotted with exotic bird feathers for wealthy Russians, to sports shops with a large selection of mountaineering equipment and backpacks with airbags for surviving avalanches. The offer of restaurants, pubs, and cafes is very good as well. Apart from several expensive gourmet restaurants in the pedestrian zone, everything is tailored to younger visitors. Since smoking in bars is banned in France, you can see people hanging out in front of the bar and staying up late into the night. Chamonix offers diverse accommodation. One can stay in a hotel, private accommodation, hostels, residences, or camp. We slept in a great refurbished 4-star hotel Le Morgane, in a very good location close to the town centre, the cable car to Aiguille du Midi, and the ski bus stop.
All the mentioned ski resorts here approve the use of the same ski pass Mt. Blanc Unlimited, which costs 67 euros per day. It can be used for all cable cars and trains in the region and the cable cars on the Italian side. Additionally, you can take advantage of unlimited skating, pool use, and museum entrances. With this ski pass, you have free and unlimited entry to the Skyway and Courmayeur ski area.