Alpine landscapes and thrilling slopes: at the foot of Mont Blanc, Cha- monix is popular with advanced skiers and travelers who want options beyond the slopes. Host of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, it is the starting point for excursions to admire the landscape, especially the ca- ble car that takes you in 20 minutes from the center of Chamonix to the top of the Aiguille du Midi mountain, which has a lookout with a glass
cabin at an altitude of 3,842 m.
A paradise for skiers, whether intermediate, advanced or expert, it has more than 150 kilometers of slopes and one of the most extreme off- piste ski areas in the world. Spread over four areas at different altitudes, Chamonix has space for all profiles: ideal for families, Les Houches has slopes for beginners, intermediates and advanced and is also the one with the best infrastructure, in addition to the Chavants Children’s Club, with tubing and zip lines for the children; Brévent/Flégère concentrates intermediate level slopes; Balme Vallorcine is the best place to learn to ski and Grands Montets is a mountain for more advanced skiers, stand-ing out for its off-piste areas.
At the base of all this, the little town is a link between the past and the future. With the renovation of hotels and the opening of cool restau- rants and bars, Chamonix is becoming more and more popular, but the buildings from the Belle Époque, the typical Savoy dishes, the Al- pine-style façades that house designer shops and the decorated win- dows of pastry shops remain, lending charm to this historic ski resort.
Northern Hemisphere January to February
Base - 3418 feet
Top - 10,744 feet
106 SKI RUNS
In the village: There are many gastronomic options in Chamonix: from the most sophisticated, such as the starred Albert 1er, to the most relaxed, such as Plan Joran. This means that the traveler can find typical Savoy dishes, such as fondues and raclettes, as well as Asian cuisine. In addition, the city is dotted with bakeries and pâtisseries, which honor French tradition. On the mountain: Open for almost 20 years, La Bergerie de Plan-Praz is one of the highlights on the mountain and serves wonderful meats roasted in a wood-fired oven. Akashon, on the other hand, offers modern cuisine that values local ingredients and serves as an option to share the Reblochon cheese pie, a specialty from the Savoy region.
WHAT TO DO BEYOND THE SKIING
The trips to the Aiguille du Midi and the Mer de Glace are unmissable: the first is a lookout point with a glass cabin at almost four thousand meters high and, the second, the largest glacier in France. In the town of Chamonix itself, there are several museums that recount the region's history, such as the Maison de L'Alpage. For relaxation, QC Terme is a must: part of an Italian chain, the spa covers 3,000m².
ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
The most fun attraction for the little ones is definitely the Luge Alpine Coaster, a 1,300m roller coaster with twists and turns in the center of Chamonix. In the middle of the slopes, there are areas dedicated to children at Les Houches (Chavants Children’s Club, with tubing and zip lines), La Flégère (Mont Blanc Legend, with snow village) and La Poya (ski area with pulley lifts). The Piou-Piou Club and the Panda Club offer ski lessons.
The center has stores of big brands, such as The North Face and Moncler. But there are also interesting local stores, such as Arpin, which sells blankets and handmade woolen clothing, and Le Dogue Bleu Antiquites, with vintage and contemporary decor pieces. For gourmet souvenirs, Le Refuge Payot brings together cheeses, sausages and liquors. For ski goods, Rabbit On The Foot is a must: the owner, Peter Steltzner, makes custom-made wooden skis by hand.
The city's nightclub is L'Amnesia, but there are many restaurants that become sceneries for lively parties at nightfall, such as Les Caves, La Terrasse and Chambre Neuf. For a drink in a more relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere, QuartzBar is a good option. Another highlight is the city's growing brewery scene, as demonstrated by the MBC and Le Solerey Brewpub.
HOW TO GET HERE
Located at the base of the Aiguille du Mid lift, this hotel and its chalet is known for its charming vintage design and beautiful view of Mont Blanc. Practical, yet stylish, the luxury is in the details: the Nuxe Spa, which offers Nordic treatments, French dishes served at the retro-chic…
Named after the famous Mont Blanc mountain, this exclusive hotel showcases elegant French decor in its smallests details, from the baths to the suites. There’s a Clarins spa, ideal for R&R. The restaurant serves the best of French cuisine, and the view is consistently breathtaking-during the day, the sun illuminates…
Le Refuge des Aiglons 4* hotel can be likened to a real life social network, especially since its complete renovation in 2017. It is a cozy, modern, lively, and convivial mountain lodge right in the middle of Chamonix that can surprise you in more way than one.