Chamonix

Ski resorts in France
Chamonix includes Argentière – Les Grands Montets, Le Tour-Vallorcine, Les Houches

The birthplace of extreme skiiing, Chamonix offers the biggest and the most when it comes to skiing. Every inch of the mountain and the village has a sense of history and this is the place to visit if you are interested in steep hill skiing. Many legends have chosen to reside under Mont Blanc - the tallest mountain in the Alps.

Unfortunately, many have also lost their lives on the mountain's extreme slopes.

The resort consists of four ski systems: Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere-Le Brevent.

In 2010, the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc county had 9 054 residents, but many more people visit the area daily. Chamonix has more visitors in the summer than in the winter with around 100 000 per day during summer and 60 000 per day in the winter time.

The first Winter Olympic Games took place here in 1924.

Chamonix is located in the Southeast of France, only a 20 minute car ride from Italy going through the Month Blanc Tunnel. You are close to both Geneva and Milan and the travel time to the Geneva airport is an hour as it is located approximately 50 miles away.

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Best Off-Piste:
Not a very easy question to answer, I’m afraid. There is just soooo much to do. Definitely take a guide and try Grand Montets if there’s any hope of powder. You’ll not be disappointed.

Best Black Run:
Charles Bozon at Brevent Flegere. Stunning views, accessed by a cable car only so not often crowded ... especially when you see the off-piste just past the sharp right hander on the left.

Best Red Run:
Belle Place at Tete de Balme in Le Tour. Fantastic red I never get bored of, leading onto the wonderful blue run, Les Esserts, for powder tree-skiing extraordinaire.

Best Blue/Green:
The super long Index run in Flegere that has enough challenge to keep the good skiers happy and is exciting for the not-so experienced too. A lovely run.

By: Candice Gilg former World Champion Moguls Skier, Olympian and stunt double in the James Bond film, 'The World is not Enough'

What do you think about Chamonix?
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Algy
02/03/2019
Nice place. Nice village. Good skiing. But the buses to and from the systems are a big minus. Add to that the sign on the buses is poor and that the bus drivers are not so communicative. The frequency of the bus departures is poor. Crowded and queuing.
An entirely different observation; It feels like the number of skiers who skies very fast and uncontrolled has increased in recent years.
Visit again? Well, not yet for a while.

jason baxton
jason baxton (Guest)
10/08/2009
I was in charge of booking our anual ski trip this year and Chamonix was a hot favourite for the group with plenty of high skiing and lots of different runs for the styles of skiiers and boarders in our motley crew!

We found Chalet Tisseres www.iceandorange.com via one of the big chalet websites and contacted the owners directly. Renska (nice Dutch lady) who owned and ran the place with her husband Damo gave us a super fully catered deal including airport transfers from Geneva in Switzerland.

We arrived and were blow away by the place. Fantastic rennovated traditional French Chalet with great sized en-suite rooms and the most amazing view up to the aiguile de midi.

The food was simply restaraunt standard with classic French style and international dishes as well. Really enjoyed the scallops and Lamb Tajine.

I'm not a serious wine type but friends in the group who know their wines kept being very surprised as to the quality of wine served with supper. Well though out and balanced with each meal.

The outdoor hot tub is a great addition and the in house after ski massage service from Ali was just what the doctor ordered. The team arranged all our lessons with a local company who were first class and picked us up and dropped us off at the chalet each day, great personable instructors.

On the chalet night off Damo arrnaged for us to have a ski doo night above Courmayeur. Blasted up to the Maison Vielle on the back of a ski doo in the dark for some fab local Itlaian food and booze....... Definately the highlight of the stay.

All in all the best ski trip we have had in a long time and we are looking to book next year and take the kids along in the group as well.

Liked — living room and huge fire place
Disliked — would love bigger hot tun, only seated 8.

Pat
Pat (Guest)
06/07/2008
I have to disagree with the comments made about Le Touring hotel. I've stayed there a numer of times and have found it to be quite sufficient. I't not a five star hotel but it's well priced and the staff there are very helpful. The food that I had there was fine. The staff there also kept luggage for me while I did the Tour de Mont Blanc which is very useful as there is no longer a "left luggage" facility at the train station.

As for Chamonix itself. Great place.

Egidio
Egidio (Guest)
26/03/2001
As first experience in the Alps, the last week has been great (and not wonderfull only due to the bad weather conditions). Main reason of this comments is to help people in selecting the right Travel Agency and avoid unfortunate surprises. In fact, I've been travelling with STS Resor with the following facts happening:

- the flight to Geneva got a delay of 13hours (instead of
14.50 the 010317 we left at 03.30 the 010318)
+ STS resor paid back 1/7 of the cost of the trip
+ all people were guested at Eurostop Hotel in Arlanda with
dinner before the departure of 010318.

- the Hotel "Le Touring" in Chamonix claimed to be a **, but
it was less than a * I would say. In fact the bath/shower did not work at our arrival, and although we mention the problem the english staff of the hotel simply neglect the problem. We were adviced to use the staff shower outside our room, but after the first use of it, the staff closed down
the warm water which made useless that shower too.

- although we had paid in advance a full package with breakfast/lunch/dinner included. The quality of food was quite poor in more than 1 occasion: one dinner we got 3 shrimps + salad!! All the lunches were made by: 1/2 baguette with some cheese OR a slice of ham + a coke + a small chockolate bar!

- the restaurant could not handle all the people which had paid in advance to have dinner. The 2nd day we (3 people) arrived in the restaurant and due to the lack of space we were told to split in 3 different tables (we did not know the other people). Although our polite request to get some other
arrangements, we did not receive any help...instead we got a real proof of HOW UNPROFESSIONAL was the "le Touring" staff and open a discussion. At the end we decided to go out and eat in another restaurant...some real French food.

- another day the same episode occured to a couple
of guys. The STS Resor guy without even asking the 3 of us, just took forks, knife and plate and fix it on our table (with the clear intention to fix 2 places for the 2 guys at our table). Considering that there is nothing strange to get to know the 2 guys, I did not really appreciate the rude way
in which the STS Resor guy was unprofessionally solving the
strange situation.

- the last day we did not have any electricity in the room sockets.

- one girl of the staff, while serving pretended not to understand the english spoken by a friend of mine.

- the service on the table was efficient but rude.

I reccomend you all to avoid "Le touring" hotel!

Kristofer Tonelord
Kristofer Tonelord (Guest)
27/04/2019
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Went with UCPA v.14 myself
The first day before I found someone to keep up with my friend met my guide it felt boring. Difficult signpost, hard to find. Fairly good food. Nice boards to rent. Fair snow. Undo I didn't bring my own. Then in the evening I find some people who were there many times when it was immediately more fun. They took me to some nice local pubs. Set in a t-shirt to drink beer to sunbathe between 16-19 the first 3 days. The snowboard coach was very good teacher and took me to the best spots every day. I learned a lot of new techniques that I didn't think I needed. On Wed there was a storm and woke up with 20cm fresh snow in the village on thurs, long queue at the lift that morning. But everything wasn't open. Heard a lot of blasting that morning. Come up on the mountain and there were just over 1m pillows everywhere !!! Totally fantastic. The guide took us to untouched snow all the time some really good spots that I never got enough of going. The best powder the day I ever had. Refused rest until my legs did not work. Finished thurs with hockey match in a hockey rink with Sweden-France with local people to seasonal. Really good move on the stands. Nice detour from the mountain. On Friday there was sun and powder in the morning. Finished with beer in the sun at Elevation 1904, really good staff and nice people. Met many Swedes living there.
Where to really want to buy a board made in Chamonix, DuPraz. Pillows board. Recommended. Met many fun people. Got many long laughs. We who hung the most will do the same trip next year. Everyone thought it was the best trip for a really long time.
The village was wonderfully cozy. Very affordable to go with UCPA, paid 12500kr incl. Flight, transfer, lift pass, bus pass, train card, breakfast lunch dinner and Guide 4 full days, Stayed with 4 other lone riders.
Was there 7 full days. Good info and everything was well-ordered from UCPA.
Longing back ...







Snow
Snow (Guest)
11/03/2019
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Been here for half a day and I never know it again. Skiing is certainly good when it is good with snow. Now we turned to one for the two open systems.

Lift queue was at least 200m long, and it is probably required cabin down again. Logistics really sucks purjo.

We'll see if I change myself, but right now the feeling is the first and the last time.

E Sandstedt
E Sandstedt (Guest)
03/03/2019
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Chamonix has played its role as Europe's best ski resort. I have had the pleasure of tourists in Chamonix 3 times over a 25 year period. In the early 90s, the Chaminix ski boomers paradise and with it all right. Stayed for a total of 6 weeks. Now 25 years later I don't feel at all at all. Certainly I have grown older and have other requirements, but Chamonix has lost your brilliance.
It's really just a system that applies, Grand Monte. Unfortunately you can't go with the Greek lift anymore so you won't get up on the top. If you have chosen a ski system, you do not change during the day. This is because you have to be bused between the different systems. The drivers run like blue tears and we who do not get seated dad as pick pick. The buses rarely go and are always packed. They are also badly signposted and if you ask the driver, he usually screams something incomprehensible in French. If you are fortunate enough to get loose snow skiing, then in principle everything is run-up within an hour. Many also run very fast and uncontrolled in the hill, called blueberries. Very expensive to eat and drink on the slopes, but cheaper If you are able to go down to the center. No, any fourth time to Chamonix it will not

Algy
02/03/2019
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Nice place. Nice village. Good skiing. But the buses to and from the systems are a big minus. Add to that the signage on the buses is poor and that the bus drivers are not so communicative. The frequency of the bus departures is poor. Crowded and very queuing.
An entirely different observation; It feels like the number of skiers who travel very fast and uncontrolled has increased in recent years.
Visit again? Well, not yet for a while.

Mathias A
Mathias A (Guest)
21/02/2019
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Know that Chamonix is a little loaded for "real" skiers and seasons who place high demands on "real skiing" but I still think that Cham is really good for us soon 40-year-old small children papers that come loose once a year for some adventure and skiing so the sweat runs in combination with après-ski (Chambre 9 with the band "No Limits" is absolutely perfect!) and not least fantastic bars and restaurants.
It has been four years in Cham now and in March I and the guy go there again. The best part is the whole with on-and off-piste which is really challenging for us which can nevertheless be considered quite experienced and well-trained (well ...) and said gryma afterski / restaurants!

This year, the top lift to Grand Montet will be out of service so it remains to be seen how this affects. However, there is always the possibility of variation by getting to Verbier or Courmayeur ...

However, one should know that (free) bus is a necessity for getting to several of Chamonix's different ski systems. It can be nasty crowded and sweaty in the morning and afternoon tours. It's really the only negative I have to say about Cham.
 


moneysister
15/01/2019
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At home we often say that we might just be moving to the Alps, and then we aim to come to Chamonix. I have been to Cham on several occasions, both in the summer and winter. The city is relatively large and offers a rich social life, most restaurants and a huge ski system. Chamonix is at its best when you can draw a bearded somewhere and check out the very best skiers, inspired by the fact that the whole city breathes skiing, wildlife and where everyone has a huge smile on their lips. The fact that you are surrounded by these beautiful peaks does not make the view worse. It is also not unusual to hear Swedish speaking both here and there. Chamonix is a convenient destination for a get-away, an hour's drive from Geneva makes the trip easy.

But (!) Skiing is not as smooth as in other alports. The system is spread out and requires that you can transport you, have the time spent in the calculations, that you have thought out your routes and know where you are going. Of course, you can strategically choose to stay at one of the systems and keep you going - but let's say you live in Le tour and it starts to dump in Flegere, then you need to be inclined to move. The same applies if a system is closed due to hard winds while another is open. The lifts are many and long. Time is ticking! Chamonix is amazing - go there at least once for skiing, I don't want to say anything else - but for those who go on one-two ski trips a year, there are other places to recommend for both quality and quantity.

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