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Chamonix today is a thriving mountain resort yet with around 10,000 permanent residence in the valley it is a real living town soul, character & characters. Add to the its excellent sporting and cultural facilities plus large selection of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping and you have the perfect place for alpine holidays both summer and winter

Although the Chamonix valley has been inhabited since the 11th century, its first recorded “tourist” visit was made by 2 Englishmen, William Windham & Richard Pococke, during the summer of 1741. Word of their discovery soon spread and travellers, adventurers and scientist soon followed in there footsteps.


The first Inn was completed in 1770 and Mt Blanc was finally conquered in 1786 by 2 local men, Jacque Balmat & Michel Paccard which cemented Chamonix’ reputation as the birthplace of mountaineering.


The real turning point for Chamonix however was the creation of road & rail links which for the first time allowed less adventurous tourists to visit and visit they did! The rail link finished in 1901 allowed access for winter visitors and skiing moved from transport to recreation.


The first winter Olympics were held in Chamonix in 1924 and ski lifts began popping up soon after, confirming Chamonix’ status as the pre-eminent year round mountain resort.

Le Tour

Starting at the eastern end of the valley on the Swiss border La Tour col de Balme has a large open bowl facing west with excellent easy intermediate terrain; on the east and north faces you will find some excellent tree lined runs a few steeper faces for the experts and some gentle off-piste. The perfect place for your first day back on skis or an introduction to the higher slopes.



These 2 linked areas - accessible from Chamonix centre and Les Praz - offer an excellent range of skiing covering all skier levels. The area is completely south facing offering unsurpassed views over the Mont Blanc massif some great restaurants and picnic spots.


Les Grands Montets

Accessed from Argentiere, the Grands Montets ski area needs no introduction to the experienced skier and boarder. It has long been known for its glaciated descents, steep bumps, undulating tree runs, powder and massive 2000+metres of vertical; a must for all dedicated skiers and boarders.


Les Houches

After a few years of local political turmoil Les Houches has finally rejoined the Chamonix Valley ski pass. An first-rate ski area with almost all runs tree lined giving great visibility in bad weather and an all round excellent family ski area


Aiguille du Midi

At 3842 metres the Aiguille du Midi cable car gives access to one of the highest lifted points in Europe, incredible views and of course the world famous Vallee Blanche. No matter which way down you choice to go or your skiing level (minimum red run skier) you will be completely blown away by the fascinating beauty of this living glacier.

Beginner areas

Beginners are well served in the Chamonix valley with 4 dedicated ski areas to help you learn the ropes in safety and with confidence.


La Vormaine is at the foot of Le Tour ski area and is an excellent place for yoru 1st turns. Whne you get to the La tour cash desk look to you right and you will see La Vormaine. It is a bit hidden behind chalets but it is large and perfect for learning on.


Les Chosalets is Les Grands Montets first timers’ area. It is accessed by turning right at the roundabout as you enter Les Grands Montets carpark. Another greta area although it can get a bit overun with kids at 1/2 term.

Les Savoy is right in teh centre of Chamonix at the foot of Brevent cable car. Easy to acces on foot from town centre. It is also has a rather good tobogan slope on it!


Planards pistes are located right in the centre of Chamonix.

Courmeyeur Italy

Just on the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel is the ski area of Courmeyeur, now included on the UNLIMTED ski pass. Fantastic family style skiing and great on mountain, family run restaurants. A great day excursion just 12km from Chamonix centre.


Megeve – St Gervais

A reasonable sized interlinked ski area best known for its excellent wide well pisted runs. Although considered a posh French resort Megeva is surprisingly welcoming and the town centre is very charming.


Les Contamines

A real gem hidden away behind St Gervais and about 30 minutes from Chamonix. Wonderful open ski area with a few mountain restaurants run by locals in the traditional warm and welcoming style. A great days skiing for an alternative day when staying in Chamonix.

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