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Chamonix Mt Blanc
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Peak Transfer | Chamonix Winter Ski Guide
31st October 2016

Chamonix Winter Ski Guide

The Chamonix Valley stretches over 16 km from Servoz in the West to Vallorcine in the far East of the valley. The Chamonix valley offers 4 (or 5 if including the Les Houches) self-contained ski areas spread over both the north and south faces of the valley and limitless unrivalled backcountry to challenge even the most advanced skier. There is a reason why the Freeride World Tour is held in Chamonix every year, claiming its rightful title as the All-mountain capital of the world.

Great tall peaks and rocky spires cloaked with glistening glaciers all year round shoot up on both north and south aspects to create the rather unique Chamonix Valley. Also unique to Chamonix is its vibrant diverse cosmopolitan ambience offering something for all. From 5-star luxury chalets and chic sophisticated wine bars for those looking for lavish splendor on their winter getaway. Or perhaps a raucous ‘dancing on tables’ apres scene combined with a centrally located budget friendly apartment or studio perfect for those on tight purse-strings looking to make the most of their annual ski holiday. Chamonix itself is magical, oozing an exciting vibe, surrounded by dramatic peaks and it comes as no surprise that its visitors fall in love with the town, as well as the amazing skiing.

Chamonix Ski Area and Ski Pass explained by Peak Transfer

KEY FACTS

REGION: Mont Blanc Region, Rhône-Alpes, France

 

ALTITUDE: 1,035m

 

HIGHEST LIFT: Aiguille du Midi – 3,842m

 

SKI TERRAIN:

Chamonix Le Pass – Groomed Piste: 152 km (16 Green, 27 Blue, 25 Red, 12 Black),  Off-Piste: Vast varied terrain, Cross Country: 43 km

Mont Blanc Unlimited – Groomed Piste: 952 km (88 Green, 154 Blue, 183 Red, 65 Black), Off-Piste: Exceptional world class terrain, Cross Country: 50 km +

 

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Geneva – 100 km / 60 mins

SKI

Chamonix’s off-piste opportunities are probably considered in higher regards than its pisted itinerary however it is not lacking on either front. With high altitude lift systems Chamonix is snow reliable throughout the season with the lifts open from early December (and sometimes November) until early May. Chamonix boasts various lift pass options depending on activity and terrain access wanted but the two main passes available are the Le Pass Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Unlimited.
Chamonix Le Pass
The Le Pass Chamonix resorts include:

  • Brevent-Flegere area (including Savoy and Planards area)
  • Grands Montets area (top lift not included)
  • Balme Tour Vallorcine area (including Vormaine and Chosalets)

Apart from the combined Brevent-Flegere ski areas the rest of the valleys ski areas are self contained. Although this might initially seem a disadvantage it does provide vast and various terrain to choose from allowing you to pick the best area based on personal preference or immediate snow and weather conditions. To help this Chamonix run extensive and reliable free bus services throughout the valley to aid in getting you around plus many of the resorts boasting large free car parks at the bottom stations.
peak-transfer-chamonix-ski-area-ski-passes
The Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass not only boasts access to additional ski areas crossing 3 countries including Verbier’s notorious 4 Vallees resort in Switzerland and the Italy’s charming Courmayeur ski resort. But also free access to Chamonix’s very own Aiguille du Midi lifts and Mer de Glace train in addition to neighbouring Les Houches ski area and Tramway du Mont Blanc. This access provides exponentially more off-piste and groomed terrain including infamous runs such as the Vallee Blanche.
Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski Pass
The Mont Blanc Unlimited pass includes:

  • Brevent-Flégère area
  • Grands Montets area
  • Balme Tour Vallorcine area
  • Aiguille du Midi
  • Montenvers Mer de Glace train
  • Tramway du Mont-Blanc
  • Les Houches area
  • Courmayeur area
  • Verbier 4 Vallées area
  • Evasion Mont-Blanc (St Gervais, Megève, Les Contamines, Combloux)

Although there is ample terrain to choose from for the beginner and novice skier Chamonix comes into its own for the intermediate and advanced skier and rider. With all terrain above 1100m high, and the highest at 3,842m Chamonix boasts endless off piste potential, particularly for those willing to put a bit of effort in by ski touring or splitboarding. For more detailed information regarding the lift passes available and specific details for each ski area check out our in-depth guide to the Chamonix ski areas here.

Peak Transfer Take Advantage of Fresh Powder Skiing when Ski Touring

Lessons in Chamonix are provided by Ecole du Ski Francais,  Evolution 2 and the British Alpine Ski School (BASS) throughout the valley. However, novice skiers are normally directed to Le Tour or Les Houches ski areas where the terrain is considered less steep and challenging in comparison to Chamonix’s more central areas. Ski guides can be arranged for off-piste skiing, ski-touring and ski mountaneering through the ski schools previously mentioned or directly with the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix. For webcams and weather reports head to the Chamonix website .

EAT

Chamonix has something for everyone in terms of budget from 2 starred Michelin fine dining to your standard global fast food outlets and everything in between. Although you will find (like the rest of the local Haute-Savoie region) a lot of Savoyard cuisine on offer there is a rather diverse selection of cuisine on offer if you know where to look.

For very special occasions or wanting to experience fine dining at its best in the Chamonix Valley look no further than the Albert Premier. For something rather international you can find asian inspired cuisine at Munchies or for top notch Savoyard cuisine check out L’Atmosphere in Chamonix centre.

Les Vieilles Luge and the Best Mountain Resturants in the Chamonix Valley

Fish lovers should not miss the specialities of the delightful Le Cap Horn menu and those looking for good quality ‘cheap eats’ then be sure to pop into the MOÖ Bar, Poco Loco or the Pizzeria Des Moulins all based in the town centre.

For a guide to the best lunch spots on the mountain take a look at our Mountain Restaurant Guide or for detailed review of where to eat in the Chamonix Valley check click here.

APRÈS

A resort either has it, or it doesn’t and Chamonix is definitely not the latter! Chamonix is well known for its party scene which is as diverse as its international clientele. It may not have the ‘on mountain’ apres scene that some of us have been accustomed to in other resorts but it more than makes up for this when you head back to the valley floor and into town.

There is without doubt something to suit all tastes, whether you would like to appreciate a quiet rendezvous and glass of wine in a chic bar such as Vagabond or Cha cha cha. Foot tap to some excellent live entertainment at the Maison des Artistes or get rowdy dancing on tables with a large like minded crowd in Chambre Neuf. Beer lovers should not miss a trip the Chamonix’s very own micro brewery MBC where you will find a cool relaxed vibe and well plenty of unique beers and ales to choose from.

Maison de Artists in Chamonix is the Coolest New Hangout for devoted Jazz enthusiasts

Long may the holiday celebrations continue with the vast array of late night opening bars and nightclubs entertaining those in for the long haul well into the early hours. For an in depth guide to the Chamonix drinking hot spots check out our Apres and Nightlife Guide.

SLEEP

For the most part Central Chamonix predominantly consists of apartments ranging from basic budget studios in Chamonix Sud to extensive luxury apartments catering for larger groups in addition to hotels for couples or single travellers. Apartments can be found on the usual lines of enquiry through holiday rental sites and of course Airbnb. For those looking for lux glamour can habitate the classy 5-star Hotel Mont Blanc or the chic Hotel Morgan.

Luxury Chamonix Chalet

Those looking for chalet style accommodation will usually need to venture slightly further out of Chamonix into the surrounding suburbs although there are one or two exceptions to this rule. Quiet secluded chalets can be found in hamlets such as Les Praz, Les Bois and Les Tines just 5 minutes drive from central Chamonix but closer to many of the ski areas. Or those wishing to be at the foot of Chamonix’s most popular ski Grands Montets can seek chalets, apartments or even hostels in the village of Argentiere. Ski in ski out accommodation can be found for those willing to look hard enough but is rare in the Chamonix valley.

ACTIVITIES

In winter skiing snowboarding and ski mountaineering are of course the main attraction with not only fantastic terrain on offer but a number of well established world class events such as the Swatch Freeride World Tour and the FIS Kandahar Downhill. However, Chamonix is a hub for a number of extreme sports other than skiing with extensive snowshoeing itineraries, plenty of cross-country track and of course shopping, dining and sightseeing also available.The Aiguille du Midi is an Absolute must to any visitor to Chamonix

For those looking for a thrill can test their skills ice climbing or get a bird’s eye perspective of Chamonix paragliding from one of the Chamonix summits.

Take in Chamonix’s famous sights including a trip up to the Aiguille du Midi to admire the far reaching views of the alps and of course Mont Blanc itself. Perhaps explore the interior of a glacier the safe way visiting Chamonix’s very own ice grotto cut directly into the Mer de Glace by taking the magical red train to Montenvers.

Another thing Chamonix does well is its relaxation! Spoilt for choice with a plethora of luxury spa hotels and even a natural thermal bath nearby you can relax to your hearts content.

GETTING HERE

Chamonix is situated just 99 km away from Geneva International Airport making it an ideal winter skiing destination with a short and swift transfer. This means more time on the slopes and less of your precious time spent travelling to resort. Peak Transfer run private door-to-door transfers throughout the year from €185 for up to 8 passengers in our modern well equipped passenger vehicles.

EasyJet introduce Aberdeen to Geneva Route let Peak Trasnfer get you from Geneva Airport to Chamonix Valley

Let Peak Transfer take the stress out of travelling with our reliable service and complimentary SMS confirmation for peace of mind. Our professional drivers will take you directly to your accommodation door so you can just sit back, relax and get your holiday started the right way.

We do not apply additional charges for luggage including skis, snowboards and bikes or for use of our fully safety rated booster, child or baby seats. To find out more about Peak Transfer, make an enquiry or to get a quick quote here.

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USEFUL LINKS

For more information and for ski passes, visit the Chamonix website or one of the local Tourist Offices in the valley.

For last minute bookings call our transfer hotline: +33 (0) 679 851 810