Chamonix ski holidaysSki in Swiss Chamonix
At the Alpine border between France, Switzerland and Italy is the Chamonix valley, family to a number of village resorts of which the most famous is undoubtedly Chamonix. The town of Chamonix itself resides in the Haute Savoie region of France, but it's fantastically well connected to resorts which are located in Italy and Switzerland. The valley stretches from Le Fayet in France to Switzerland, encompassing the spectacular Mont Blanc and parts of the linked region. It is this well established area which provides access between the three countries where you can simply ski or take a lift across the border.
The town of Chamonix itself is a classic Alpine resort, with picturesque chalets and beautiful wooden buildings dotted through the town. Whilst it remains a classic destination, however, it continually reinvents itself and today it’s grungy enough to appeal to youngsters and snowboarders too! Chamonix is where the serious skiing and après ski action kicks off in the Alps, with its excellent facilities, links to the surrounding area, and lively party scene.
Explore Chamonix's Swiss side
Skiing at Chamonix, what you need to know
Chamonix covers a large area encompassing several villages and a large variety of piste. Though the village sits in the valley at an altitude of 1035 metres, 90% of the runs are above 2000 metres facing North, East, South and West, guaranteeing fresh powder and excellent conditions. There are 262 runs spread over 762 kilometres of piste, which are broken down into 51 beginners, 190 intermediates and 21 advanced with further off piste runs too. Getting you to the runs are 64 lifts with 18 chair lifts, 13 cable cars and 32 drag lifts. The highest of these climbs 3777 metres! As one of the most famous skiing destinations, Chamonix offers instructors and ski schools too.
Chamonix ski holidays, pick of the runs
The Chamonix valley is one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe, as it winds its way around the base of Mont Blanc, Europe's highest summit. Taking the ski safari you can criss-cross the borders between Switzerland, France and Italy across the region, one of the largest connected ski areas in the world. At St Bernard you can climb to the top of a 10 kilometre run down into Italy, and between Chamonix and Zermatt is the famous ‘Haute Route’, or high route which stretches for 180 kilometres! Whilst walking the whole route would take 12 days, it's certainly worth skiing a portion.
View chalets in Chamonix
Chamonix ski holidays, other resorts nearby
With the whole of the Alps on your doorstep, and in one of the most connected regions, you really are spoilt for choice whether you are staying in Switzerland, France or Italy. Other excellent resorts you can get to include Verbier in Switzerland, just an hour and 15 minutes away, or the Les Planards Chamonix ski area, which is a great place for beginners and easily accessible from the village centre. Before buying a ski pass, however, it’s a good idea to research all the surrounding areas as many, such as Verbier, are only included with certain passes.
Chamonix ski holidays, restaurants and night-life
As you would expect from a resort of Chamonix's caliber, you will find plenty of traditional cafes serving hot chocolate and exquisite pastries. After the slopes, why not browse the 100 or so shops, including many top brands? Afterwards, you can head out to one of the resort's 80 or so restaurants for dinner. Chamonix is renowned for its night-life, with 14 bars to kick things off, before heading to one of the 7 nightclubs. If you're not in the party mood, however, you can always try your luck at the casino or catch a movie at the Vox cinema.
Spas, cinemas and shopping while skiing in Chamonix
In Chamonix the action is not just confined to the slopes: there is plenty for the non-skier to see and do, and ample opportunities for those wanting to take a break. See the various trails by walking or snowshoeing, or head into Chamonix village to sample the large sports complex: with gym, tennis courts and both indoor and outdoor ice rinks, it also offers pampering treatments in its relaxing health spa. Out and about, you can get really good views of the area from Europe’s highest cable car, climbing up the Aiguille du Midi or riding the Tramway du Mont-Blanc. The best view is always from the air, however, so if brave enough why not try para or hang gliding, both on offer across the Swiss sections?
View villas in Chamonix
Chamonix is a lively and invigorating destination for the whole family. With its lively après ski scene it is a great destination for group holidays. Whilst it may seem focused these days on a younger crowd, there are plenty of surrounding villages pouring down into Switzerland which are perfect when you want a more relaxing holiday. The surrounding mountains are great for off piste skiing, and as an international destination across three countries, there are excellent facilities for non-skiers.
Ski chalets in Chamonix