Spring Skiing in ChamonixEnjoy Chamonix in the spring
Sitting at the Alpine border between Italy, France and Switzerland is the Chamonix valley, and its extended family of villages and resorts centred on this eponymous town. Chamonix is renowned as a great skiing destination for the spring and summer, whilst the winter see’s many of its most picturesque routes closed the warmth of spring opens them up. The winter winds and poor visibility also die down and the routes are far more accessible in general, better for those who are still beginners. The spring sees the legendary Vallee Blancet route across the glaciers open. Chamonix resides just inside France, in the Haute Savoie region and is easily accessible from resorts in Italy, such as Courmayeur or Verbier in Switzerland. Criss crossing the region is well established with a great lift system which will take you between the slopes of all three countries.
Chamonix is a classic Alpine resort with picturesque chalets and beautiful wooden buildings dotted around the town between more modern apartment blocks. Remaining a classic destination, it continually reinvents itself, and today it’s just as suited to families as it is to young groups of snow bunnies! Chamonix is where the serious après ski action kicks off in the Alps, with a lively party scene.
Chamonix without the crowds
Chamonix: runs and lifts
The Chamonix valley stretches from France through to Switzerland and borders Italy. Though the Chamonix is in France it is well connected to resorts over the Italian border in Courmayer In Chamonix you will find over 260 runs across 762km of piste. Chamonix has 51 beginner runs, 190 great intermediates and 21 challenging advanced runs. Make sure you take in a few laps of the Aiguille du Midi, for a great spring time run.
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The best ski runs
Chamonix valley has a wealth of downhill runs and cross country tracks spread over 700 kilometres of on and off piste area. Whether on ski or on foot, you can follow the 160 kilometre Tour du Mont Blanc loop which trails through Italy, Switzerland and France. A well recommended tour route is the ski safari; again you can criss-cross the borders here. There are other excellent runs between resorts such as the ‘Haute Route’ stretching 180 kilometres from Chamonix to Zermatt. At St Bernard you can ski a steep 10 kilometre run from Switzerland down into Italy.
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International resorts close by
Chamonix is well connected to the wider Alpine region, giving you a wealth of resorts and off piste action on your doorstep. The lower sloped resorts are coming to the end of the season but in the upper elevations you will still find plenty of snow covered piste. Just through the Mont Blanc tunnel and still sitting at the base on the mountain is the Italian resort of Courmayeur, a characteristically Italian village with an old Roman centre. Most ski passes will cover multiple resorts so it’s a good idea to see which you would like to visit on a day trip and choose one covering it.
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Off piste action
Chamonix is famous for its social scene and renowned as a hub of activity. As you would expect, Chamonix is home to a host of traditional cafes and restaurants, and dotted throughout the mountains are a myriad of restaurants with excellent views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding peaks. Chamonix itself is home to 100 or so shops, with many big name brands on offer. After your day of skiing, why not unwind in one of the 14 bars before heading into a nightclub? There are seven to choose from! If you stay on the Italian side in Courmayeur, you will still be spoilt for choice; there's a lively après ski scene with discos and an American bar.
With spring in the air there is plenty for the non-skier and those who need to take a break from the piste! Try some of the beautiful walking trails in spring which offer unique alpine flowers and animals starting to emerge. The lower slopes of Mont Blanc and the surrounding area are a great place to explore and as on ski you can wander across from France to Italy and Switzerland before heading back for dinner.
Chamonix in the spring is much quieter than the high season giving you much more freedom to explore the area without the crowds. As always it is a lively and invigorating destination suitable for couples, groups or family trips and is home to lively après ski scene and wide range of runs. Whilst it may seem focused these days on a younger crowd, there are plenty of surrounding villages pouring down into Italy, France and Switzerland which are perfect to relax in. The surrounding mountains are great for cross country skiing and there are excellent facilities for skiers and non-skiers alike.