Thinking of skiing in Chamonix? Set at the foot of the Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps at 15,781 feet, Chamonix is a fascinating, traditional ski resort established in the 19th century.
Why Chamonix Ski Resort?
- Traditional village with a bustling atmosphere
- Great après ski
- Excellent challenging skiing opportunities
Chamonix (Mont Blanc) Information
The centre of Chamonix is car free and has cobbled streets, beautiful buildings and a fast running river. The picturesque village offers a good range of attractions, shops, bars and restaurants as well as a large sports complex offering a variety of activities, a swimming pool, and an ice rink.
Chamonix town is part of the international “Best of the Alps” network which groups together twelve resorts that are emblematic of the history of the Alps. They all share the same respect for tradition and an ongoing quest for quality.
A trip to Chamonix is not complete without a ride on the famous 3842m Aiguille du Midi cable car. See the 360 degree view from the top of the Aiguille du Midi (hold down the left click of your mouse and drag left right, up and down whilst still holding on the left click button to move 360 degree).
The Alps had become the “playground of Europe” for a mountaineering elite. This intense period of exploration and adventure was pioneered by the Victorians, along with their invaluable Swiss and Savoyard guides. 1865 was immortalized by 65 first ascents across the Alps and 7 in the Mont-Blanc Massif including the Aiguille Verte, the Grandes Jorasses and the remarkable Brenva Spur on Mont-Blanc!
The Chamonix Tourist Office staff are happy to help you during your stay with any information, help or advice that you may need. They are open every day during the winter season from 08:30 - 19:00.
Chamonix ski facts:
- No. of slopes: 354
- Green slopes: 65
- Blue slopes: 110
- Red slopes: 127
Accommodation in Chamonix
- Ski Info
- Ski area
- The Skiing
- Ski hire
- Ski passes
- Ski school
- Historical snow
- Opening dates
- Restaurants & Bars
Chamonix Valley, itself, is divided into 5 main areas some at a short bus ride away and has many seperate ski areas, providing a variety of runs for all skiing and snowboarding abilities.There are 5 main areas: Le Brevent, La Flegere, Grand Montets (Argentiere), Domaine de Balme (Vallorcine) and Les Houches.
The domain has excellent range of testing and high altitude glacier runs. Chamonix boasts unbeatable snow and remains the undisputed off-piste capital of Europe. The Vallée Blanche decent which is skied with a guide provides 24km of unforgettable skiing in stunning scenery. La Tour is an excellent all round intermediate area with spectacular views down the valley, and good for a day's family skiing.
Though Chamonix is highly recommended for expert skiers, beginners will also enjoy the gentle nursery slopes of Les Planards. Ski Pass Mont Blanc opens up to 700 km of pistes covering a dozen local resorts including Megève. Please note you’ll need to drive your own car to reach interconnecting resorts.
Clients booking for pre or late season dates should be aware that not all facilities in your chosen resort may be open - including some ski lifts. We would advise you to check the resort tourist office website or our Resort Opening Dates page for details before making a booking.
Experience the famous Aiguille du Midi cable car ride up to 3842m one of the highest cable car ascents in Europe. It’s a two-stage ride, the first taking you to the steep powder run of Pre des Rochers. The second stage takes you to the glacier and access to the Vallée Blanche. Chamonix’s mountainous terrain is an enticement to adventurous skiers and boarders who are attracted by steep, long runs which provide the ultimate rush.
Les Grands Montets is the largest piste skiing area in the Chamonix valley. The altitude of 3300m and north facing slopes guarantee quality snow, even late into the season. The sheer size of the area, its vertical possibilities and high mountain atmosphere, place it in the Premier League of great ski resorts. The Grand Montets area is the best for off piste due to its vast area and challenging terrain. For beginners Le Tour and Les Houches ski areas are most accommodating.
New for Winter 2015/16
For 15/16, nearby Les Houches will hold the Men's World Cup Downhill in February 2016. Last year, the Plan Joran chair at the base of Les Grands Montets was replaced by a 10 person gondola.
Skiing in Chamonix is made easy as all five areas are linked by an efficient bus service (free with lift pass).
Le Brevent and La Flegere (1030m - 2525m)
Green: 1, Blue: 13, Red: 7, Black: 7
The Le Brevent and La Flegere ski areas in Chamonix are linked by cable car and offer one of the most spectacular panoramas of the Alps. With sunny south-facing and varied slopes, skiers and snowboarders can take in the views over the Mont Blanc Massif. Ideal for all skiing abilities. Brevent has a freestyle area that is equipped with 5 rails and fully supervised by instructors from 13:00. For those with a need for speed, there is a 500m long speed piste in La Flegere.
Grand Montets (Argentière) (1235m - 3300m)
Blue: 5, Red: 4, Black: 6
The Grand Montets ski area is situated in the heart of the mountains, close to a glacier and features some very steep descents. The pistes are spread over three slopes - the Argentière glacier, Lognan and the Pendant which also offer magnificent off-piste, known throughout the world and a must-do for freeriders. The area is well-known for good snow cover up until May. There is also a snowpark and boardercross open in the Lognan area.
Domaine de Balme (Vallorcine) (1453m - 2270m)
Blue: 11, Red: 8
Accessed via the villages of Le Tour and Vallorcine, Domaine de Balme offers numerous possibilities on two mountain sides. From Charamillon, enjoy the wide open gentle slopes overlooking the entire Chamonix Valley and on the Vallorcine side, ski beautiful tree-lined pistes bordering Switzerland.
Les Houches (950m -1900m)
Green: 2, Blue: 6, Red: 12, Black: 2
Situated at the foot of Mont Blanc, Les Houches ski area offers lots of forest skiing. There is a dedicated beginner's area at the top of the Prarion gondola and a snow park for freestylers. Snow coverage is guaranteed with 120 snow cannons.
You can find out more detailed information about the Chamonix ski area on the Tourist Office website including piste maps, photos, videos and tips.
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There are a variety of gentle nursery slopes within easy reach of Chamonix. There are 4 ski areas which are particularly suited to children and beginners:
- La Vormaine
- Les Chosalets
- Le Savoy
- Les Planards
The Les Houches ski area also offers a variety of pistes for all levels which is ideal for family skiing.
The Brevent-Flegere ski area is particularly suited to intermediate skiers. The terrain of Le Brevent is considered slightly more challenging than Flegere so intermediate skiers may wish to progress from one to the other over the course of their week's skiing holiday.
Chamonix Experts & Off-Piste
There are a great range of pistes for advanced to expert skiing in Chamonix. Chamonix is the undisputed off-piste capital of Europe and it won't take you long to work out why. An off-piste guide can be booked locally. See the Chamonix Guides' website. The Vallee Blanche is ideal for confident, energetic skiers and the Grand Montets above Argentiere gives access to exhilirating glacier runs.
Snowboarding in Chamonix
Chamonix has long been known as the extreme free-riding capital of Europe. It has vast areas of accessible off-piste, man-made and natural half pipes, gullies galore, and plenty of varied terrain to suit any rider.
If you're into tricks, you can try the natural kickers at Le Brévent and La Flégère. There's a half pipe built at the Grands Montets and a natural one at Le Tour.
Chamonix is not the best place for beginners
There are 42km/26 miles of trails. The majority of these lie along the valley between Chamonix and Argentière. There is a good selection of green, blue, red and black trails.
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Save up to 47% when you pre-book with us!
We have a conveniently located hire shop in Chamonix for all your ski and snowboard equipment needs. Our hire shop is located within 10 minutes walk from Les Balcons du Savoy, in the resort centre. We offer competitive prices and special offers are also available. Pre-booking your equipment hire will allow you to save precious skiing time once in the resort and means you can budget for your ski holiday, knowing that it is already book and paid for.
We have selected Sport 2000, which ensures that only the highest standard of equipment and service will be provided for all levels of skiers: regularly waxed and edged skis, boots disinfection between each rental and bindings adjusted by a qualified technician in the resort. We are confident that most adequate equipment will be provided and adjusted when you arrive at the shop.
However, the technicians will be happy to re-adjust the bindings, swap your boots or skis if you require after a few hours or days skiing. If you wish to exchange skis against snowboard mid-week, this will be possible, at a supplement, payable locally. Please note that during peak periods, it may be difficult to exchange equipment, but the staff on site will be happy to assist you the best they can, so please do not hesitate to ask.
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You have the choice to purchase a ski pass which covers the whole ski area or the smaller local ski area. We suggest that you purchase the larger area lift pass, unless a complete beginner, as shown in our table below.
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Our chosen Chamonix ski school is the very reputable L’Ecole de Ski Francais (ESF), with English speaking (level varies) and fully qualified ski instructors. This brilliant ski school offers skiing and snowboarding for adults and children of all levels in groups or private lessons and also caters for children as young as 3 years old.
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Chamonix Snow Report
For up-to-date snow and weather conditions including last snowfall for Chamonix please visit OnTheSnow. This service is provided by skiinfo.com and we have no control over its content. Here is the snow record data for Chamonix.
Top slopes shows the average snow cover in cm at the top of the ski area. Bottom Slopes shows the average snow cover in cm at the bottom of the ski area (this is generally where the nursery pistes are located). About 10 cm is generally enough to ski but it very much depends on what’s below ie. grass or more rocky surface.
|Upper Slopes (cm)||38||68||102||125||156||207||215||226||255||266||264||284||299||304||308||313||332||333||328||321|
|Lower Slopes (cm)||14||20||18||24||39||56||49||48||57||54||60||58||58||51||43||59||60||50||45||51|
Chamonix historical snow record 2014 – 2015
|Upper Slopes (cm)||n/a||11||70||76||136||100||111||124||136||214||187||196||210||212||202||186||189||200||200||174|
|Lower Slopes (cm)||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||18||11||3||8||24||54||46||34||41||20||11||1||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
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Resort Opening Dates
Chamonix ski area open: 5th December 2015.
Clients booking for pre or late season dates should be aware that not all facilities in your chosen resort may be open - including some ski lifts. We would advise you to check the Resort Tourist Office Website or our resort opening dates page for details before making a booking.
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Cap Loisirs - Maison pour Tous
A weekly programme of activities, adapted to various ages. Different themes are discovered each week and include: arts, sciences, sports and nature activities...
Daily inscriptions are possible subject to availability. Please book at the welcome desk of the MJC from Monday to Friday from 09:00-12:00 and from 14:00-18:00
Craft Workshops for Children
Le Petit VIP arts, crafts and face painting for children aged 3 years and over. New: Lepetit Diddi Dance is aimed at the under 4’s and is not only a great way of keeping fit and active, but it’s also great fun! Nursery rhymes and actions in both English & French, favourite songs and music to fill 45 minutes of jumping, singing, clapping, turning, galloping, moving & shaking. Advanced booking strongly recommended. Open 08:30-18:00 in the Winter.
109-111 Promenade Marie Paradis, Chamonix Sud.
Tel:+33(0)6 78 22 59 35 or e-mail: email@example.com
You can hire a number of baby products locally in Chamonix. Baby Kit Rental is a Chamonix-based company that has a whole host of baby items available for hire including pushchairs, high chairs, cots, bedding, warm clothing.....
Prices start from €10 per day for a pushchair or car seat (€50 for the week).
The company also has adult ski clothing for rent - €50 per week for a ski jacket and €30 per week for salopettes.
Children can learn to ski from 3 years old in Chamonix with ESF Chamonix. Ski school is pre-bookable with Ski Collection. See our ski school tab.
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There is a large sports complex in Chamonix offering a sports hall, indoor and outdoor ice rink, speed skating rink, 19 tennis courts (including 4 indoor), squash courts, swimming pool complex with water-slide and a fitness centre (saunas, Turkish baths and solarium). You could also try snowshoeing, paragliding or enjoy a sleigh ride. See below for more details on the various activities available in Chamonix.
Step into the Void
This sky walk opened at Aiguille du Midi during the Winter 13/14 season and has proven very popular. Visitors are invited to step out into a 2.5m glass box that overlooks a 1000m precipice
Find out more about Aiguille du Midi and Step into the Void on the Chamonix tourist office website.
Chamonix Aiguille du Midi Cable Car
After a breathtaking two-stage ride in one of the world’s highest cable cars, you will reach the Aiguille du Midi (altitude 3,842 m). Surrounded by famous peaks you can admire the unique panoramic view of Mont Blanc and the Alps.
Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix
The oldest and largest guides’ association in the world, employing a total of 240 self-employed mountain guides and leaders. Offering everything from snowshoeing, heliskiing, ice climbing, nordic walking, off-piste skiing and more, there is something for everyone to explore this region.
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 00 88
Fax: +33 (0)4 50 53 48 04
Maison de la Montagne - 190, place de l’Église
Open every day from 08:30-12:00 & 15:30-19:30.
Montenvers - Ice Cave
The Montenvers rack railway starts from Chamonix and, in 20 minutes and in total safety, reaches the bottom of the Mer de Glace (1,913 m), France’s largest glacier (7km long, 200 m thick). This historic site offers a panoramic view of famous peaks such as Les Drus and Les Grandes Jorasses.
The tour of the “Grotte de glace” (Ice Cave) takes visitors into the very heart of the glacier. Re-sculpted every year, it describes the life of mountain people in the early 19th century. It can be entered either by a walk of around 20 minutes on a footpath, or by gondola lift. NB: There are more than 400 steps from the arrival of the gondola lift to the entrance to the cave.
More information and prices available on the Chamonix Tourist Office Website.
Absolute Chamonix paragliding & speedriding school - caters to all abilities.
Avenue de l'Aiguille du Midi
9 passage de la Varlope
Tel: +33(0)6 08 23 92 65
Chamonix Sled Dogs
Huskydalen. Guide Rates:Adult: €63 Child: €40
Chamonix Ice Skating Rink
Centre Sportif Richard Bozon. Outside skating rink from Dec-Feb depending on weather conditions. Covered olympic rink - 60 x 30 m. Outside rink - 26 x 56m.
Chamonix Alpine Museum
89 Avenue Michel Croz (pedestrian area). Records of valleys history. Open everyday from 3pm-7pm and in morning during French school holidays from 10:00-12:00 (approx). Adult €5, 12-18yrs €1.50, under 12’s free.
For the most up-to-date information please visit the resort tourist office website:
85 place du Triangle de l'Amitié
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 00 24
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Apres-Ski, Bars & Restaurants
Chamonix has a very lively après ski with a wide selection of typical cafes, bars, 80 restaurants, and 7 discotheques. There is a wide selection of restaurants in Chamonix such as the Michelin rated Le Hameau Albert 1er Hotel, La Caléche offering fine cuisine and Sarpé mountain restaurant.
Live music can be found in Arbat bar and Bar Terrasse. The Restaurant 3842 can be found at the top of the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m and is one of the highest restaurants in Europe. Here you can enjoy great local cuisine, whilst taking in the impressive view over the Vallée Blanche.
The world class casino in the centre of town will tempt the gambler in you with black jack, roulette and slot machines of the purest tradition. The Vox cinema delights movie-goers with all the latest films. See below for more detailed information on some of the restaurants and bars in Chamonix.
Mountain Restaurants in Chamonix
'Bar Club La Chavanne'
Facing the Mont Blanc range, a festive and friendly atmosphere is guaranteed. Sun terrace, live DJ at weekends.
'Grand Hôtel du Montenvers'
Serving traditional Savoyard dishes, this legendary restaurant possesses an authentic cachet and offers quality cuisine. Sun terrace with views. Open for lunch from 12pm. Evenings by reservation only.
'Le 3842- altitude 3842m'
One of the highest restaurants in Europe! A place where the passion for the mountains and the love of good food meet. The chef offers traditional cuisine based on local products. A breath taking view and magnificent panorama of the Mont-Blanc range will accompany your meal. This intimate restaurant offers the opportunity of lunch at 3842m to a few very privileged people.
The cafeteria “Summit 3842” is open all day. The menu offers tartiflettes, bruschetta, home made soup of the day, cold and hot home made sandwiches…along with a unique view of the Chamonix valley through the large windows.
'Rider Cafe et Le Spot - Altitude 1975m'
A self-serve restaurant with distinctive decor serving Italian food including antipasti buffet, cold meats and cheese, pizza and pasta bar, home made tiramisu and regional dishes. Sun terrace with views over the Chamonix Valley.
Restaurants in Chamonix
'Cabane des Praz'
Serving contemporary French cuisine, this restaurant combines a traditional wooden lodge with modern interior design, occupiyng an enviable location in the Chamonix Valley.
Serving traditional Savoyard dishes in a welcoming mountain atmosphere.
A food-lovers delight, serving gourmet dishes from passionate and talented chef Fabrice Taulier.
'Panier des 4 Saisons'
In the centre of Chamonix, nestled in a little alley, up the strairs is the restaurant Panier des 4 Saisons. The cuisine is based around local food, changing with the pace of the seasons.
'Annapurna - Restaurant Indien'
With curry, tandoori and naan specialities, plus different vegetarian dishes. Reservation recommended.
Après-Ski in Chamonix
Located in the main party area of the town of Chamonix, the Mix Bar offers you the opportunity to combine the famous Chamonix Après Ski and also enjoy fine and famous cocktails. DJs.
This bar with its interior décor entirely inspired by crystals and glaciers is Chamonix’s new lounge bar. Lounge music compositions with jazz and world music influences.
Live music, Tex-Mex food and a friendly atmosphere combine to offer an inviting evening hang-out.
A tastefully decorated wine bar (complete with water mill), close to the main restaurants and perfect for a pre- or post-meal drink. DJs.
International guest DJs and regular themed parties. The biggest night club in Chamonix, perfect for those wanting to dance the night away.
The above is just a selection of the extensive restaurants and bars within Chamonix and the surrouding area. For further information, please visit the Chamonix Tourist Office website:
More information about Chamonix Restaurants
More information about Chamonix Bars and Evening Activities
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Getting to Chamonix, France
Driving distance from Calais to Chamonix 518miles (7hrs 45)
From Calais, take A26 Motorway towards Reims and Troyes, then Dijon, Mâcon then ‘Autoroute Blanche’ Motorway (A40 Mâcon – Cluses) exit Chamonix.
Geneva: 49 miles, approximately 1hr
Chambery: 88 miles, approximately 1hr 30
Lyon: 137 miles, approximately 2hrs 30
Private taxi transfers from airports to Chamonix are pre-bookable via Ski Collection. See our airport & station transfers page for more information.
Taking the Eurostar from London couldn’t be easier. We offer 2 options: Direct Ski Train (St Pancreas or Ashford to Moûtiers or Bourg-St-Maurice) or Eurostar Beyond (with a change at Paris). See our train services page for more information.
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Step into the Void!
The Aiguille du Midi cable car that began operating in 1955 was for a long time the highest in Europe. Enabling passengers to gain access to the high mountain area in just 30 minutes, every year it welcomes thousands of visitors who wish to enjoy the grandiose panorama of the Mont Blanc range and the neighbouring Alps. For mountaineers, it also the departure point for many high mountain routes.
The Step into the Void®, inaugurated in 2013, marks a new era in the history of this site. As unusual as it is vertiginous, this attraction, a 2.5m long glass cage suspended over a 1000m drop, owes its existence to remarkable architectural and technical prowess. On the strength of this success, to improve access to the terrace at the summit and to the Step into the Void®, the Mont Blanc Company has decided to build a second lift up the centre peak.
With two independent lifts transporting up to 8 passengers each instead of a single lift transporting 16, the flow of visitors will be improved. In order to install these lifts that should be ready by the end of April 2015, the Schindler company undertaking the works must remove 70cm of rock, that is 200m3, using micro-mining techniques.
Gondola in Chamonix
The Plan Joran chair lift from Argentière to Les Grands Montet has been replaced by a new gondola with 84 cabins, each carrying 10 skiers/snowboarders at a time. The journey is to be around 7 minutes and will ascend to a new higher altitude of 2,130m. The new gondola is expected to put an end to the queues.
Celebrating 150 years of Mountaineering
Programmed for these celebrations: numerous cultural events, exhibitions to take place in the valley’s various museums - in particular, a showing of the Alpine Club’s treasures and of some exceptional private collections - along with books and films bringing to life the characters of that epoch with the artist’s view of the mountains and of our territories, during a period that saw painting and photography collide.
Check out the latest new from Chamonix on the tourist office website: www.chamonix.com
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Chamonix has a wide range of amenities including a good range of shops, banks, cashpoints and pharmacies.
Supermarché U - Payot Pertin
Located in the centre of Chamonix, selling fresh and traditional food. Open daily: 08:00-20:00.
117 rue Joseph Vallot
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 12 50
Super U - Payot Pertin
Place des Séracs - les Pélerins
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 01 58
Cooperative Fruitière Val d'Arly.
Open daily: 09:00-19:30
93 rue Whymper
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 93 15 89
Le Refuge Payot
Fine local specialties & delicatessen. Open daily.
166 rue Joseph Vallot
Tel : +33 (0)4 50 53 18 71
Fire 18, Police 17, Medical 15 (or 112 for all from mobiles).
Pharmacie des Pèlerins, Bonnet et Cavalier
Centre commercial Les Pélerins
59, Place des Séracs
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 13 55
Pharmacie du Mont-Blanc, Piot
15 rue Joseph Vallot
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 12 61
Pharmacie des Alpes
53 rue Dr Paccard
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 15 45
186 route du Bouchet
Résidence Le Corzolet
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 55 54 10
Drs Cadot, Richard, Valençant et Agrumi
Maison de la Santé
509 route des Pélerins
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 55 80 55
Drs Destre et Laspalles
192 rue du Dr Paccard
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 48 40
509 Rte des Pèlerins
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 84 00
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