Despite its small size, “Cham,” as the locals call it has one of Europe’s best nightlife scenes. “Après-ski” culture was born in the Alps, so you can only imagine how rowdy the Chamonix nightlife can get. Its renown as one of the world’s best resorts for expert skiers and skiers attracts a wide variety of people, from celebrities to van-living ski bums, so no matter who you are you’ll find an array of nightlife options from affordable beers to cutting-edge mixology cocktails, and of course, top-notch French wine. Be sure to check out the Chamonix nightlife publication, Le Petit Canard, to see what’s going on.
Chamonix is a place where you ski hard and then play even harder off the slopes. With so many options you do need to know where to go. Here’s Ski.com’s Chamonix après-ski picks:
The Rhododendrons, which also doubles as an affordable hotel, is conveniently located at the Flégère base area—less than 500 feet—and offers live music and is ideal for young people looking for cheap drinks.
• MBC for local microbrews and live music.
• Lapin Agile for tasty Italian small plates and exceptional wine choices.
• Cantina Club, The Garage, Moneky Bar, Le Vert and The Jekyll offers some of Chamonix’s best dance parties.
• No Escape and Soul Food offer a chic atmosphere and extravagant cocktails.
• Chambre Neuf has a live band at 5 p.m., and gets packed, so get there early.
If you’ve had your fill of late evenings and early mornings, then take it easy one of the nights during your stay and catch a flick at Cinema Vox.
To learn more about Chamonix nightlife call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
As an international destination for extreme skiing, Chamonix is best left for experts. Beginner skiers, especially first timers, should head to the north end of the valley to the Domaine de Balme, out of the town of Le Tour, or Brévent-Flégère on the west side of town. If visibility is poor, the family-friendly Les Houches ski area has gentle on-piste skiing on tree-lined runs.
The most convenient area for beginners is around the Savoy lift near the base of the Brévent-Flégère area, or even Les Planards, near the base of L’Aiguille du Midi. But the warmest and best Chamonix beginner terrain is found seven and a half miles away in the town of Le Tour. Beginners will find and wide array of progressive beginner runs at higher altitude, providing gorgeous views.
To learn more about Chamonix beginner skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
As one of the most renowned ski areas in the world for expert and extreme skiers and snowboarders, Chamonix is brimming with affordable options from budget hotels to cheap eats. A Chamonix budget ski vacation is also possible thanks to the resorts proximity—just an hour—to Geneva, making travel less expensive. And for the same reasons, Chamonix also sees a significant weekend warrior crowd of Europe’s expert skiers, so you can bet there are plenty of budget-friendly options on a Chamonix ski vacation.
Simple, charming and close to everything, Hotel Le Faucigny is a traditional gem waiting to be discovered. The three-star hotel offers 28 cozy rooms, a lounge bar with fireplace, a courtyard with views of the Mont Blanc, and ski room with a boot dryer. If this isn’t enough, enjoy the Jacuzzi, sauna or relaxation room in the hotels spa. The hotel is located smack-dab in old Chamonix, so there are many historical attractions right at your fingertips, including ski shops.
Located close to the heart of Chamonix, three-star Hotel Prieure is a very comfortable Savoyard chalet-style hotel, with a lively, friendly atmosphere. Ideal for groups of friends and families, the rooms are all spacious and well furnished. Connected rooms are available, which can accommodate four to six people. With a wide array of amenities like balconies, minibars, fully equipped modern bathroom, an inviting lounge area and bar, Internet cafe, billiard room, and a fireplace you’ll be hard-pressed to remember that you’re staying in one of Chamonix budget hotels.
For quick, cheap—and good—grub you’ll want to head to Papillion or Poco Loco Chamonix. Poco Loco serves up classic American/French fast-food fare, like burgers, fries, subs and even breakfast items. You’re bound to have a couple meals here, whether early in the morning on your way to lifts or late at night after a proper Chamonix après ski. Papillion only offers food for take-away (aka “to-go”), but it’s fresh, gourmet and very affordable.
To learn more about Chamonix budget ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Chamonix hasn’t earned its repute as one of the world’s legendary ski areas for no reason. Chamonix is a place where fantasies come become a reality for many an expert skier and snowboarder, especially on a powder day. So be sure to purchase Chamonix’s “Unlimited” pass so you access the area’s famed Aiguille du Midi, via the cable car, and the area’s six other ski resorts. The Chamonix expert skiing is spread between the Grands Montets ski area and the Aiguille du Midi area, both which offers endless off-piste terrain andglacier skiing. Regardless of your ability, a professional guide is highly recommended, as off-piste, and especially, glacier skiing can be treacherous when you don’t know where you are going.
Skiers and snowboarders looking to experience Chamonix in its full “extreme” regalia need look no further than the Aiguille du Midi’s Vallée Blanche, which is the area’s famous glacier route. This zone is limitless—it’s 12 miles long—and can be everything from somewhat mellow and playful to incredibly steep and even dangerous, which is why Ski.com highly recommends hiring a professional guide. Skiers and snowboarders looking for a bit of exercise will be pleased with Chamonix’s many ski touring programs.
For Chamonix expert skiing that’s a little less consequential, head up on the Grands Montets cable car, where you’ll find a slew of steep, ungroomed pistes. Many of the Grands Montets pistes are adjacent to the Argentière glacier and provide center stage views of the looming crevasses. Brévent ski area, across town from L’Aiguille du Midi, offers experts some steep skiing with few crowds.
To learn more about Chamonix expert skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
While Chamonix doesn’t have a variety of beginner slopes or a ton of kid-friendly on-mountain attractions, its views of Mont Blanc alone are definitely worth the trip. Just think: your next holiday greeting card could be the whole gang atop the Aiguille du Midi tram, with Europe’s biggest mountain in the background. If everyone wants to ski or snowboard together a Chamonix family ski vacation is best left for advanced adults, older children and teens. However there are a couple options for those learning, especially in The Planards area of Chamonix. Beginners looking to explore a little should head to Balme ski area down the road. Intermediates ready for a manageable challenge should try Les Houches at the south end of the valley.
Located less than 250 yards from the Les Planards beginner ski area, the Hotel Le Morgane takes a lot of guesswork out of a Chamonix family ski vacation. The hotel is located at the center of the town and also has a bus stop in front of the property to access the larger ski areas with beginner and intermediate runs. Plus, the whole family will enjoy relaxing at the spa, which includes an indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath and massage services.
If ski in, ski out convenience, a pool and kitchenette are high priorities for your Chamonix family ski vacation, a stay at four-star Les Balcons Du Savoy is a must. Minimize the challenge of organizing everyone and keeping them happy at this ideally situated hotel. Plus, the hotel offers baby-sitting services so parents can slip away for their own special evening.
Thanks to its varied menu and reasonable prices, The Jekyll, on Route des Pelerins, is a popular family spot. In fact, many will frequent this Chamonix family restaurant multiple times a day since it serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and late-night bites. This pub-style restaurant will please just about everyone in the family with items ranging from hearty appetizers and ribs, to burgers and soups.
If the whole family wants an evening of light French cuisine that won’t break the bank, then a visit to Le Revola, on Avenue Cachat Le Geant, is in order. The menu seasonally fresh ingredients and the prices are quite reasonable for the quality. If there are members in your family with food sensitivities then they’ll be pleased with Restaurant L’Impossible since they serve up tasty, fresh vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options.
To learn more about Chamonix family ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Chamonix sees a lot of international and local, weekend-warrior traffic, so the town is bursting with lodging options. Chamonix’s lodging is among some of Europe’s most affordable and accesses some of the Alps best skiing.
Here are Ski.com’s picks for the top places to stay for the budget-conscious guest, families and those looking for luxury digs:
If you’re looking for a truly special luxury experience, Hotel Mont Blanc is the prime choice in the center of Chamonix. The 100-year-old establishment was completely renovated in 2013. The new design celebrates the typical architecture of the Chamonix valley and features all the modern amenities any discerning traveler could desire. The small but luxurious spa features treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art gym, sauna and steam room, and an outdoor Jacuzzi and swimming pool with stunning views of Mont Blanc.
To learn more about this Chamonix lodging properties, call, or chat, with one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
There’s a reason that Chamonix is home to some of the world’s best extreme skiers and snowboarders, among them Glen Plake, so unless you’re up for a challenging off-piste adventures, intermediates may find that Chamonix proper, especially the Aiguille du Midi area, has limited options. You won’t find long, sustained groomed runs here; it’s nearly entirely off-piste skiing.
Depending on the weather and snow conditions, advanced intermediates looking for an adventure can enjoy some of the more mellow lines on the Vallée Blanche glacier route accessed by the Aiguille du Midi. Be sure to hire a professional guide when venturing into Chamonix’s off-piste areas. Ask one of our European Mountain Vacation Specialists about available mountain guides. More experienced intermediates can enjoy plenty of runs in the Grands Montets region, which offers a nice array of red runs and a couple blues.
Less aggressive intermediates will enjoy Domaine de Blame in the town of Le Tour, which is about seven miles from Chamonix. The area offers perfect, sunny groomers and few crowds. Brévent-Flégère has wide-open blue and red runs with spectacular views of Mont Blanc. Les Houches offers tree-lined runs, similar to skiing in the states, with gentle slopes and charming on-mountain restaurants.
To learn more about Chamonix intermediate skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
If skiing epic off-piste lines is your idea of luxury, then Chamonix offers elegance in spades. This famed expert and extreme skiing paradise is certainly not for the timid, but offers challenge seekers an unforgettable ski vacation. As a sought-after destination and only an hour from Geneva, Chamonix has plenty of high-end hotels and upscale restaurants to please those who desire world-class experience on- and off-mountain.
The historic Hotel Mont Blanc was built more than 160 years ago. All finely decorated rooms are spacious and comfortable with private bath, hairdryer, bathrobe, WC, radio, satellite TV with English language channels, safety box, direct-dial phone and minibar. The "Flambeau d'or" award for 150 years of hotel tradition was given in 1999. The "Le Matafan" restaurant features Savoyarde cuisine served at tables surrounding a magnificent open fireplace and an exceptional wine-list. Internet cafe, beautiful lounge and bar with occasional piano music.
The 14 chalets of Les Granges d’en Haut are located high above les Houches, at the entrance to the Chamonix Valley. Each luxury chalet is built over three floors consisting of four bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as a private sauna. Guests are able to take advantage of hotel services such as a restaurant, spa by Caudalie, which includes an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, tropical showers and treatments with the Caudalie product line. Fine dining and creative cuisine in the best French tradition can be enjoyed at the gastronomic restaurant “La Table des Granges”.
While Chamonix may be a “bucket list” destination for the world’s most dedicated ski bums, it’s also a quick weekend vacation from many of Europe’s major cities, so you can bet there are options to satiate the most discerning urbanites and cutting-edge foodies. At the top of the list is Le Bistrot. Gourmet aficionados will love Le Bistrot, located on avenue de l’aiguille du midi. Le Bistrot is one of Chamonix’s few Michelin restaurants, so foodies are guaranteed a meal they won’t soon forget an evening there. Chef Mickaël Boudrillat’s menu is a beautiful balance between traditional and contemporary French techniques, sure to delight every palate. The wine list is phenomenal as well, you’re in France after all. Le Panier des 4 Saisons, a French restaurant on rue Paccard, serves up a nice mix of traditional and fusion game and fish dishes, with an obvious French flare and offers a great wine list. This spot is off the beaten path, which is nice if you’re looking for a quiet dinner.
To learn more about Chamonix luxury ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
After several consecutive days of skiing or snowboarding Chamonix’s notorious terrain, you’re bound to tire. Thanks to a storied winter-sports and mountaineering history Chamonix is brimming with plenty of off-mountain things to do sure to provide plenty of entertainment, enjoyment and relaxation. Chamonix’s shops provide top-of-the-line, high- performance ski, snowboard and climbing equipment, making it an ideal place for gear junkies to shop.
If you’re looking to simply unwind and rejuvenate your fatigued muscles, the Chamonix Sports Centre provides access to several pools, saunas and hot tubs for a reasonable price.
Chamonix offers tourists several museums that feature educational exhibitions regarding the region’s culture. Musee Alpin takes visitors through the area’s skiing and climbing culture, specifically early summits of Mont Blanc. You’ll be blown away at how early the first ascents took place. Musee Montagnard, in Les Houches area, offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s mountain life in the past.
As one of the world’s favorite year-round meccas for outdoor recreation, you’re sure to find some Chamonix outdoor activities to suit your preferences. You can organize any number of excursions with one of Chamonix’s guiding operations. In addition to heli-skiing and off-piste tours, you can Nordic ski tour, ice climb and tandem paraglide. Ask one of our knowledge European Mountain Vacation Specialists more about which guiding company will match your outdoor interests.
A ride up the famed Aiguille du Midi cable car is like nothing on earth and yields incredible photos of Mont Blanc and the surrounding Vallée Blanche on sunny, clear days. There are two cable cars that ascend more than 9,000 feet in about 20 minutes, making this experience a convenient and quick activity. Get a lower perspective of the Vallée Blanche by boarding the Train du Montenvers. After a 25-minute ride, guests reach the bottom of the Mer de Glace, which translates to the sea of ice and is France’s largest glacier. Take the tour of the Grotte de Glace to see the ever-changing ice caves and into the heart of the glacier. And, if you’re legs aren’t completely tired, or you’re looking to experience the region’s beauty from a different perspective, Chamonix’s 25 miles of cross-country trails will also please.
To learn more about things to do in Chamonix call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
With Geneva just a hop, skip and jump away—an hour to be exact—you can bet that Chamonix serves up a nice array of cuisine and dining options to please both the European weekend warrior and a destination vacation crowd. Chamonix’s status as one of the world’s favorite extreme skiing playgrounds also attracts a hardcore ski bum crowd, which is good news for the budget-conscious as there are plenty of affordable dining options.
If you’re a foodie looking for fresh gourmet fare, then Panier de 4 Saisons should be at the top of your list. The menu features modern French cuisine and an exceptional wine list. If you’re looking for one of Chamonix’s classic fine-dining experiences, make a reservation at Michelin-star Le Bistrot, which offers a traditional French bistro menu with some “haute” influences. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Munchie, is a great place for reasonably priced, international gourmet food with a lovely atmosphere. Also moderately priced, Casa Valerio is a cozy Italian restaurant and serves delicious pastas and wood-fired pizzas. For an affordable meal, head to Moo, a locals’ favorite burger joint with a lively atmosphere.
If you’re in the Grand Montets ski area, you’ll find that the Chalet-Refuge de Lognan is a great place to enjoy wine, views and some great “haute” food. Plan Jordan offers both table service and buffet-style, and has a large patio ideal for enjoying on sunny days. But, the Brévent ski area actually has the best on-mountain Chamonix restaurant. Bergerie de Planpraz offers table service and a cafeteria, and serves surf and turf and classic haute savoyard cuisine. Reservations are recommended. The cafeteria offers homemade burgers and great sandwiches.
To learn more about Chamonix dining call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.