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Chamonix

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Atlantis Chalet Chamonix Luxury Alpine Villa
Sleeps:
15 (8 Bedrooms)
Luxury 8 bedroom 8 bathroom Chalet on the Eastern end of Chamonix town near the Swimming pool and Sports complex. Opposite the Bouchet forest and parks where your hiking and mountain bike trails begin.
 
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Chalet Rimaye
Sleeps:
8 (4 Bedrooms)
A luxury 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom chalet located just minutes from Flégère cable car and transport links to other ski areas. Open fire, flat screen TV, WiFi, uninterrupted views of the Mt Blanc massif.
 
Price:
EUR 1,100
-
EUR 4,700
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Lodge aux Praz
Sleeps:
8 (3 Bedrooms)
Luxury 3 bedroom chalet/apartment, completely renovated Summer 08. Just minutes from Flegere cable car and transport to other ski areas. Full kitchen, home cinema, WiFi, sauna and fantastic views of the Mt Blanc massif.
 
Price:
EUR 895
-
EUR 3,675
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Chalet D'Ile Ski Breezy
Sleeps:
10 (4 Bedrooms)
Beautiful winter accommodation in a catered ski chalet. Close enough to Chamonix town to walk in and far enough away not to hear it.
A cosy relaxed chalet with great food and flowing wine. Check us out on Tripadvisor!
 
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APARTMENT IN THE HEART OF CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC
Sleeps:
6 (2 Bedrooms)
Very nice renovated apartment of 40m² for 4/6 persons, duplex situated in town center, 5mn from the station.
- 2 loft rooms
- 2 bathrooms with toilet
- kitchen with a dining area,
- a living area with TV and WIFI and sofa bed
- parking
 
Price:
EUR 600
-
EUR 1,100
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Chalet Baby Bear
Sleeps:
4 (2 Bedrooms)
Our smallest luxury chalet is picture perfect and so cosy you will never want to leave. Chalet Baby Bear provides the ideal family break or romantic getaway. Sleeping up to 4 guests in two en-suit bedrooms.
 
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Clos des Etoiles 2
Sleeps:
6 (2 Bedrooms)
This fantastic chalet/apartment sleeps 4 guests in 2 bedrooms, with one ensuite and a sofa bed to sleep 2 more if needed. Just 10 mins walk from central Chamonix, smartly furnished with a large south facing balcony, perfect for couples or families.
 
Price:
EUR 560
-
EUR 1,895
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Chalet Flegere, Chamonix
Sleeps:
8 (4 Bedrooms)
Semi-detached luxury ski chalet sleeping 8, only 300m from the slopes...
 
Price:
GBP 3,400
-
GBP 7,600
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La Petite Savoyarde
Sleeps:
8 (3 Bedrooms)
A spacious 3 bedroom apartment right in the heart of Chamonix and a short walk from Brévent cable car. This beautiful chalet has been restored and divided into spacious apartments, each with a balcony and magnificent views of the Mt Blanc massif.
 
Price:
EUR 950
-
EUR 3,850
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2 pièces à CHAMONIX Face au Mont Blanc
Sleeps:
4 (1 Bedrooms)
Location à la semaine d'un deux pièces non fumeur pouvant accueillir jusqu'à cinq personnes, situé au centre de Chamonix dans le quartier piéton de Chamonix Sud. A 100 m du Télécabine de l'Aiguille du Midi, 50m de la gare des Bus, arrêt SNCF
 
Price:
EUR 200
-
EUR 580
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Contemporary Chalet Annabelle, Chamonix Valley
Sleeps:
11 (5 Bedrooms)
Private transfers from Geneva included
Daily chauffeur to the slopes between 08.30 and 09.30 and return between 16.00 and 17.00
Egyptian cotton bed linen
Luxurious bath & hand towels
Hot-tub
Sleeps 11
5 bedrooms all with private facilities
 
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Chalet Walker - 4* chalet with breathtaking views
Sleeps:
8 (4 Bedrooms)
Built in 2010, the chalet has 4 bedrooms, 3 with en-suite bathrooms, and can sleep up to 8 people. Included: central fire-place, satellite television, wifi, private underground garage, underfloor heating. 15-minute walk to the Flégère ski-lift.
 
Price:
EUR 1,000
-
EUR 3,000
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Vue sur le Massif du MONT BLANC 2 pièces CHAMONIX
Sleeps:
4 (1 Bedrooms)
Logement Non Fumeur, dans une Résidence privée située à 200 m du centre ville, 100 m du Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi et tous commerces, 50 m du départ des Bus gratuits desservants toute la Vallée, arrêt SNCF à 200m.
1 salon avec cli
 
Price:
EUR 200
-
EUR 580
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Town Centre Stone Walls and Fireplace
Sleeps:
6 (2 Bedrooms)
Apartment Anna Bouclier is in a 300 year old building in Chamonix Centre. It features metre thick stone walls, a fireplace, wifi and a balcony along the Arve river on the high street close to everything.
Ski in Chamonix without need for a car.
 
Price:
EUR 500
-
EUR 1,500
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Chalet Amazon Creek
Sleeps:
10 (5 Bedrooms)
Chalet Amazon Creek is an outstanding luxury chalet, sleeping up to ten guests in five stunning en-suite bedrooms. With spectacular spa facilities includung sauna, hammam, sunken jacuzzi and outdoor hot tub.
 
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Resort guide for Chamonix (Click the arrows)

Bansko

Chamonix is a real town shrouded in history in the shadow of Mont Blanc. Just an hour’s drive or transfer from Geneva airport makes it very accessible. It lies in a steep sided valley on the French border with Switzerland and Italy. With over 115km of pistes Chamonix offers skiing and snowboarding from 3300m down to the valley floor at approximately 1000m. The resort is made up of 5 main ski domains spread along the valley, only 2 of which are linked. In this respect it is very different from many of the resorts in the French Alps.

We like

  • Very mountainous area with great views wherever you are
  • It’s a real town, alive year round, with loads of character
  • The lifts give access to varied challenging terrain especially off-piste
  • The Aiguille du Midi lift gives access to the amazing Vallée Blanche, (17km glacial run)
  • The extended lift pass also covers Courmayeur and Verbier so you can ski 3 countries
  • Great range of accommodation options from apartments to luxury catered chalets and hotels
  • Easy access from Geneva means it is ideal for short breaks

We don't like

  • Only a handful of charming restaurants to eat in up the hill (the rest are run by the lift Co)
  • The unlinked nature of the domains means that mixed ability groups will more than likely
    have to split up
  • A lot of the lift system is slow & old
  • Bad weather can delay opening of the ski domains and even close them
  • Long queues at peak periods
  • Public transport at peak times can be very full

Location

 

Though in France the nearest airport is Geneva. There are a number of transfer companies you can book to pick you up from there and take you directly to your chosen accommodation in the Chamonix Valley. Having said that if there are more than 3 of you in a group it is worth looking at hiring a car. Having a car in resort gives you more freedom to come and go to wherever you want without having to plan for and deal with the public transport. There is also train and bus options from the airport but they take longer, don’t go to the door and cost about the same as a transfer.
 
Chamonix has a resident population of around 10,000. This swells by about tenfold at peak periods during the winter season. The town itself is made up of a variety of different building styles from traditional alpine chalets and art nouveau-style Cafés to modern hotels. There is a bustling typical French market every Saturday morning in the middle of town. Once upon a time when the glaciers traversed the valley floor the main local industry was cutting ice and transporting it to the major cities to keep food fresh before refrigeration.
 
The Chamonix valley is some 20km long and apart from Chamonix town there are a number of quaint villages and hamlets as well. Le Tour at the head of the valley has a small church and narrow streets between old converted farm buildings. Then there is Argentiere, beautiful Le Lavancher, sunny La Joux and loads more. Les Houches, composed of 6 hamlets, is at the valley entrance and as well as a ski domain it is famed for its physics school and being the start/finish of the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 7-10 day walking tour around the Mont Blanc Massif taking in Italy and Switzerland as well as France.

 

 

Resort stats

Size of ski area (km) 115km (or 410km with extended pass)
Resort height
1035m
Highest lift 3842m
Lowest piste 1035m
Maximum vertical 2800m
Green runs 11%
Blue runs 44%
Red runs 30%
Black runs 15%
Lifts 42 or 124 on extended pass
Snowmaking 18%
   
Currency Euro

On the slopes

 

From Chamonix town itself there are 3 lifts to access the mountain. One is Le Brévent (1030 m - 2525 m), a new bubble lift with multi storey car parking. This domain stretches across the south facing slopes of the Aiguilles Rouges offering spectacular views of Mont Blanc and loads of sunshine. As with all the domains in the Chamonix Valley the lift system gives access to some formidable off piste terrain. Over recent years the Freestyle World Tour has used Le Brévent as a venue. To access the highest part of the domain you take a “James Bond style” cable car which is well worth it for the views even if you don’t fancy the black run down. From the top you can access many couloirs for extreme skiing (some involving an abseil to get in) and it may be worth using a local Mountain Guide if you don’t know the routes. Le Brévent offers great intermediate skiing and there is a beginner slope serviced by a drag lift. There is also an air bag jump which is monitored for safety by the ski lift employees. Le Brévent links with La Flégère via a cable car which offers great terrain for snowboarding and is again south facing. La Flégère is also great for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiing and boarding but the off-piste is more difficult to scout from a lift.
 
The second lift from Chamonix itself is the Aiguille du Midi (3842m) which is a large cable car that heads up to the south of the town. This gives access to the famous Vallée Blanche off-piste run on glacial terrain. There are many routes and many more crevasses so using a High Mountain Guide is recommended. In good snow conditions the run is 24km down to the valley floor, otherwise it is possible to do 17km of it and return via the Montenvers train. All the runs off this lift are off-piste and very serious! There is a huge viewing platform at the top with amazing views of Mont Blanc and the glaciers. There is also a museum of the history of the Aiguille and various adventurers over the years. Well worth a viewing visit.
 
Lastly there is Les Planards lift which is a chair lift and accesses 3 pistes suitable for beginners and intermediates. There is also a nursery slope here.
 
As the basic lift ticket also covers Les Grands Montets and Le Domaine de Balme here is a little about them too.
 
Le Domaine de Balme (1453 m - 2270 m) is at the head if the valley accessed by a gondola from Le Tour (20 mins drive from Chamonix town). Gently undulating terrain; big wide open blues and reds, perfect to get your legs going at the beginning of a trip. Great for beginners especially as there is an extensive beginner area at the base of the mountain. Huge off-piste terrain as well but you cannot scout it from a lift, so go with someone who knows or use a Guide.
 
Les Grands Montets (1235 m - 3300 m) is all north facing slopes above the village of Argentiere (15 mins drive from Chamonix town). Access by a cable car or a chair lift into the lift system. Massive off-piste terrain with just 1 or 2 pistes off the top of each lift. Steep, difficult terrain and some glacial. Not ideal for beginners but there is a great freestyle park there suitable for boarders and skiers.

Off the slopes

Chamonix has a plethora of bars to sample the Après Ski scene. Chambre Neuf is famed for dancing on the tables in ski boots to live music. Most bars have generous happy hours on various drinks. There is a local publication called “The Messenger” which lists events, live music and entertainments on a weekly basis, available over most bars for free, grab one when you get there to find out what is on. There are a handful of night clubs to choose from as well as late night bars.
 
Regular entertainments of an evening range from; free avalanche talks at the Terrasse Bar, Comedy nights at the Jekyll & Hyde and Ice Hockey at the patinoire.
 
Restaurants wise you can get just about any style of cuisine from Savoyard Fondue, Chinese, Burgers, Traditional French to Sushi. There are also a couple of Gastronomic restaurants where you can have 6 courses with a different wine with each course.
 
For non-skiers activities available during the day include; snowshoeing, husky sledding, paragliding, ice skating, cross country, photography, ice climbing, museums & galleries, Montenvers train up to the Mer de Glace and the ice caves.
 

Local tips

 

  • Head to the tourist office for information about what’s on and where to ski.
  • Use ski hire shop owners like Michel Gravier (Gravier Ski Shop) for daily tips on where the best conditions are.  
  • Make use of the free buses.  They go from a central layby near the Ski School (Ecole Ski Francais) and can take you to lots of different lift locations.
  • If you come to Morzine more than once keep hold of your lift pass, so you can add bonus points next time you buy one and eventually get a free day of skiing! 
  • On the slopes try the Vaffieu for fabulous food (at the top of the Belvedere lift), and also my favourite, the Taïka bar which serves up big mugs of hot chocolate and cooks chicken on the spit outside.  Find it on the peaceful treelined slope at La Turche, near Les Gets.

 

Resorts nearby

The only other ski domain in the valley is Les Houches which is covered on the extended ski pass. This has lots of tree line skiing and is great for those bad visibility days. Fabulous family ski area with loads for all ability levels and some great private restaurants.

Within the scope of the extended ski pass is Verbier (1 ¼ hr drive) Switzerland and also Courmayeur (20 min drive) Italy.
 
Other areas nearby include; Saint Gervais, Megeve, Les Contamines, La Clusaz, Grand Bornand, Flaine and the Ports du Soleil.
Alun Barrett This ski guide was kindly provided by Alun Barrett, a local expert living in Chamonix, where he and his wife run the fantastic Chalet D'Ile, a catered chalet just a short walk from the town centre. You can find out more about Alun and their Chalet in Chamonix at www.skibreezy.com

The images used were provided by  Nouhailler

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