Resort Guide: Chamonix

A captivating view of Chamonix, nestled in the Mont Blanc massif, showcasing the iconic Alpine town surrounded by snow-covered peaks. Skiers and snowboarders enjoy the slopes, highlighting the dynamic winter atmosphere and the thrill of alpine adventure in this renowned ski destination.

Resort Guide: Chamonix

Resort Statistics

🌲 Resort height: 1035m

🏔️ Highest point: 3842m

🗺️ Total ski area: 170km

❄️ Season Dates: December- April

🚡 Lifts: 65

🎿 Snow Parks: 2

🟢 Green runs: 6

🔵 Blue runs: 30

🔴 Red runs: 31

⚫️ Black runs: 10

Live Weather in Chamonix:

✈️ Getting to Chamonix
The nearest major airports to Chamonix are Geneva Airport (GVA) in Switzerland and Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) in France. From either airport, you can arrange airport transfers, take a shuttle, or rent a car for the approximately 1 to 2-hour journey to Chamonix.


Ski & Snowboard Lessons in Chamonix

Top Tips from Chamonix’s best ski schools and instructors:

  • For beginners and many intermediates, the Mont-Blanc Unlimited pass is overkill and the smaller, cheaper Chamonix Le Pass gives you access to most of the easier terrain on offer. Should you decide mid-week to want to see more you can simply upgrade to an Unlimited pass by paying the difference.
  • Chamonix town is very big by ski resort standards and location is key! The best location in town is the area north of the river L’Arve and around the main square; Rue du Docteur Paccard and Place Balmat bordered by Ave d’Aiguille du Midi and Ave du Mont Blanc. The best shops, eateries, etc, are located in this area.
  • Take the Montenvers train from the town centre to see the Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France.

Children’s ski lessons in Chamonix

Children can begin to ski in small group classes from the age of three in Chamonix with top schools like Evolution2 and ESF. Most ski schools and independent ski instructors will also begin to teach children from the age of three in private classes.

Lessons for very young children and beginners usually take place directly on the beginner’s areas in town like Le Savoy or Les Planards where children can learn the basics of skiing from how to stand on skis, to snowplough turns, to how the all important lesson of how to stop!

Older children and those going beyond their first steps on snow may venture to the beginner’s area up in the sector of La Balme which features very short ‘bunny hill’ type slopes as well as undulating green and blue runs which are fantastic place for children to progress.

That’s not to say that all children’s ski lessons are tame! Once kids have been skiing for a couple of weeks they can begin racing or even take their first laps through the snowpark. Many children’s lessons will also end the week with a medal or a certificate for your child to take home as a souvenir of their time on the snow.

Chamonix for Beginners

Contrary to its freeride reputation, Chamonix actually has two beginners areas in the centre of town as well as a third area up on the hill.

Le Savoy

Has a free magic carpet lift that is perfect for first-timers. It also features two drag lifts that require the purchase of a lift pass. If you’re in a mixed-ability group this is a great place to use for a meeting point as the Brevent gondola to the main ski area also leaves from here.

Les Planards

Is the larger of the two beginner areas in the town centre and is a great place for beginners to progress with longer drag lifts, a slightly steeper green run and even a blue piste and a gentle red. You’ll need a ski pass for all the lifts in this area.

La Balme

Accessed from the villages of Vallorcine and Le Tour (a 5 minute bus ride from Chamonix centre), is the gentlest of Chamonix’s ski areas and is a great place for beginners to cut their teeth on slightly steeper terrain. It’s also more snow-sure than the two areas on the valley floor in Chamonix proper.

Chamonix for

Intermediate skiers will have fun all over Chamonix. The terrain is varied and well suited to progressing riders, and even in just Brevent and Flegere, there’s plenty to ski both on and off-piste. Argentiere is a perfect introduction to powder, too, and Le Tour is great fun if you want to get away from the crowds. Just be aware of the bus-transfers between and plan accordingly.

Brévent and Flégère – now both accessible from town via the Brevent gondola – offer varied and challenging piste skiing and spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif. Both of these areas offer a good variety of nice blues and reds which, along with the odd green and black, make them the ideal areas for families or groups of mixed abilities. They’re also both South-facing meaning they get loads of sunshine!

Just a few minutes away by bus, Les Houches is another excellent Chamonix Valley ski area for intermediates that falls under the same ski pass jurisdiction.

Another option from town is the Aiguille du Midi. Built in 1955 and topping out at 3842m, the Aiguille Midi cable car is an astounding piece of engineering and gives access to the world-famous Vallée Blanche – a nearly 20 kilometre long off-piste route with nearly 3000 m of vertical drop!

Although suitable for intermediates this route takes 4 to 6 hours and you’ll need to hire a local mountain guide to keep you safe and make sure you find not only the correct way down, but the right route for your ability level.

Chamonix for Experts

Les Grands Montets is famous for high, steep, north facing terrain and endless ski-touring possibilities. The black runs here are real blacks and can have vertical descents of up to 2000m. Les Grand Montets is also home to all manner of extreme off-piste descents. For serious off-piste skiers and snowboarders, there is no greater challenge on the planet than Chamonix.

Of course, the Aiguille du Midi is on offer, though it’s certainly not something to be taken lightly. Do your research and find a guide if you’re intent on surfing the Alps’ biggest wave. Alternatively, Argentiere offers great high-altitude powder and is more than a suitable alternative if plans don’t come to fruition on the slopes of Mont Blanc herself.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, the Mont Blanc Unlimited gives access to the slopes of nearby Megève, Courmayeur (on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc tunnel) and Verbier in Switzerland.

Summer Skiing

Chamonix offers a unique opportunity for summer skiing on its high-altitude glaciers. The primary location for summer skiing in Chamonix is the Mont Blanc massif, where you can find the following notable spots:

Vallee Blanche Glacier:

  • Accessible via the Aiguille du Midi cable car, Vallee Blanche provides summer skiing options with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.

Mer de Glace Glacier:

  • The Montenvers Railway takes you to the Mer de Glace, and during the summer, you can find skiable terrain on this iconic glacier.

Les Grands Montets:

  • While primarily known for winter skiing, Les Grands Montets may offer summer skiing opportunities, depending on snow conditions.

La Tour Glacier:

  • Another potential spot for summer skiing, La Tour Glacier, is accessible by the Balme ski area.

Summer skiing in Chamonix typically begins in June and continues through July, allowing enthusiasts to experience the thrill of skiing in a stunning alpine setting even when most resorts are transitioning to summer activities. It’s essential to check with local authorities and ski resorts for the latest information on summer skiing availability and conditions.

Après Ski

Chamonix boasts a lively après-ski scene with numerous options for unwinding after a day in the mountains. Here are some popular après-ski spots in Chamonix:

  1. Elevation 1904: This stylish bar offers a sophisticated après-ski experience with craft cocktails, a diverse wine list, and a cozy ambiance.
  2. Moo Bar: Moo Bar is known for its lively atmosphere, extensive beer selection, and regular live music performances. It’s a great place to mingle with fellow skiers.
  3. Micro Brasserie de Chamonix: For beer enthusiasts, this microbrewery in the heart of Chamonix serves a variety of locally crafted beers along with a pub-style atmosphere.

Ready to book? explore our ski schools, instructors, guides & activities here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *