Chamonix Ski Holidays

Chamonix Ski Holidays

Since playing host to the first-ever Winter Olympic Games in 1924, Chamonix has steadily developed a reputation as one of the most popular winter sports destinations not just in Europe, but in the world. The alpine resort community’s full name of Chamonix-Mont Blanc refers to this French winter playground’s location on the highest European mountain outside Russia.

Though the traditional community of Chamonix, with its cobblestone streets and heritage buildings, forms the main resort hub and is the focus of activities in the valley, it is surrounded by five key resorts – Le Brévent, La Flégère, Le Tour, Les Houches and Grands Montets. The area sits among some of the world’s most impressive alpine scenery, and skiers enjoy excellent views across the valley while carving down established runs or through forests of deep powder.

A fantastic variety of ski runs around Chamonix offers everything from beginners’ skiing to extreme off-piste runs and glaciers best tackled by expert skiers accompanied by experienced guides. Though the main resort area itself sits at an altitude of roughly 1,100m, some of the ski runs are close to 4,000m above sea level, meaning there is a risk of dizziness and even full-on altitude sickness, especially on the rapid ascent by cable-car.

In reality, Chamonix is generally best-suited to expert-level skiers and snowboarders. Both beginners and intermediate-level skiers, unless they truly relish some challenges, may find the resort rather lacks the types of runs they can easily enjoy while their more highly-experienced friends are off having a total blast in the rewarding but advanced runs and off-piste areas. Snowboarding is world-class, with some excellent design and maintenance work giving the more artful carvers something to really dance on.

Across the valley, some 49 ski lifts spread across five resort areas provide 152kms of pisted runs including 34kms of black runs and 70kms of red runs. Chamonix is also made attractive by its proximity to other ski resorts and regional destinations, as well as the ease with which it can be reached. Four airports lie two hours or less away. In good weather, it takes only an hour to reach the resort from the airport at Geneva.