Chamonix3.5 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
  • Recommend
    92%
  • Would Revisit
    92%
European Ski & Snowboard Safari Tours

Chamonix France, home the famous Vallee Blanche.
Chamonix France, home the famous Vallee Blanche.
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France

Chamonix

Chamonix Ski Resort France

Legendary Chamonix in France should be on any ski or snowboard bucket list. Chamonix has an allure for the hard core & adventurous, with world renowned off-piste skiing and freeriding. Some of the lines are so challenging that one may need to wear a diaper (or nappy, incontinence pad) to avoid embarrassment!

The area is dominated by the highest mountain in Western Europe, 4,810m Mont Blanc. It serves as a playground for extreme sports enthusiasts and the ooh aah brigade. Between ice climbing, paragliding and extreme skiing, it’s not surprising that Chamonix has been described as the "the death-sport capital of the world"! One only has to view the engineering for the amazing Aiguille du Midi cable cars in order to comprehend that parts of Chamonix are on the edge.

If you’re not an expert mountaineer, Chamonix also has a softer side for those who just want a relaxed European ski holiday. The 11 Chamonix ski areas have more than 170km of piste on which to cruise. The 4 main ski resorts are Grands Montets, Balme-Tour-Vallorcine, Brevent-Flegere & Les Houches. There are plenty of restaurants & bars to enjoy the famous food & wine at each resort.

Summary of Pros & Cons for Chamonix Ski Resort

Pros

  • Glorious location & surrounding mountains;
  • Good range of piste trails for all abilities on all aspects;
  • Excellent off piste & freeride terrain including glaciers & tree skiing;
  • Generally, very good value (for a large French ski area!);
  • Excellent après ski & restaurants;
  • Easy access by bus or train from Geneva airport.

Cons

  • Ski areas not lift interconnected;
  • Limited ski in ski out accommodation;
  • Transport between the different ski areas can be painful;
  • Lift infrastructure is getting quite dated; 
  • Lift pass options are needlessly complex (i.e. Grands Montets);

Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective

  • Chamonix and all the surrounding villages are lively real towns not just resorts;
  • World’s most extreme ski lift & terrain;
  • Valley elevation is quite low and often has no snow;
  • Ski areas spread across a huge area.

Chamonix Ski & Snowboard Terrain

The Chamonix area offers a sensational amount of skiing &snowboarding terrain, both on & off-piste. Chamonix has a network of more than 60 lifts but they are not interconnected. Ninety percent of the skiing area is above 1900m and a long season is the norm with some lifts open into May.

Whatever sort of skiing you want &whatever your ability, you will find a suitable ski area in Chamonix. In the Chamonix Valley there are 4 main ski resorts, 4 small local ski hills, the Aiguille du Midi and other resorts nearby in Italy and Switzerland.

Of the 4 main areas, world class skiing can be found at Grands Montets, 8km up the valley near the village of Argentière. The ski resort features a huge vertical & exceptional snow quality. It’s primarily an advanced mountain with an abundance of steep terrain. Note that a fire in Sep 2018 destroyed the top cable & so it will not run in season 18/19, limiting access to the best off piste terrain.

Sunshine abounds on the southeast facing slopes of Brevent-Flegere ski resort, the closest to Chamonix. With piste trails for all ability levels, it’s an idyllic place to ski and gently acquire a tan while soaking in the views.

Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort is the most mellow of the Chamonix resorts above the villages of Le Tour (3 km further up valley from Argentiere) and Vallorcine (on the opposite side near the Swiss border). With no designated advanced trails, it is best suited to beginner & intermediate skiers.

Tree lined slopes can be found at Les Houches ski resort, the lowest elevation of the main Chamonix ski areas. Located 8km down valley, it is a great spot for tree skiing or during a blizzard.

For beginners & children there are 6 small skiing areas in the Chamonix valley that offer exclusive slopes for novices.

The Vallée Blanche is the most famous (& crowded) 20km long off-piste run in the world. It is accessed by a spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m), which when constructed in 1955 was the highest cable car in the world. In addition to wonderful views and incredible feats of engineering at the Aiguille du Midi, it also provides access to a host of other ski routes, many of them serious enough that a fall will result in death.

Getting your head around the different types of ski passes for the Chamonix can be a complex task.

See our Skiing Chamonix page for more information.

Where is Chamonix, France?

The town of Chamonix and the Chamonix Valley are in south-eastern France in the French Alps. Lying at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is very close to the borders of Italy and Switzerland. Gateway airports are Geneva (GVA) and Lyon (LYS).

Geneva airport is about an 1hr 15min away (105km). There are various options for airport transfers from Geneva airport to Chamonix including the train, bus or private transfer.  Buses provide the cheapest and most efficient means of transport between Geneva GVA & Chamonix. Book with GoEuro here*.

From Paris there’s a Snow Special TGV that operates on Friday nights and the weekend. The train trip from Paris takes 5.5hr.


The ski areas in Chamonix Valley are not lift-linked (Brevent and Flégère are the exception), so it’s necessary to use the free buses to get around the valley to the various ski resorts. There’s also the efficient shuttle bus “Le Mulets” that loops around the town at very regular intervals.

See our Travel to Chamonix page for more information.

Nearby Ski Resorts

A range of superb ski resorts are very close to Chamonix. Just to the west of the Chamonix valley is the collection of ski resorts with 445km of combined piste called Evasion Mont Blanc. The ski resorts include Megeve, Les Portes du Mont Blanc and Les Contamines. In Italy on the southern side of Mont Blanc in the Aosta valley is wonderful Courmayeur and La Thuile. Nearby across in Switzerland is the mega resort of 4 Vallees which includes the challenging Verbier.

Chamonix Accommodation

Accommodation for the Chamonix ski area is either in the historic town of Chamonix or one of the many nearby villages. There is no ski-in ski-out accommodation and no single area is the perfect accommodation location for skiing. As the ski areas are not interconnected you’ll need to catch a bus to get to most ski resorts anyhow. If you want to stay near the nightlife downtown, choose a hotel in Chamonix itself. If you prefer a peaceful and quiet place, the villages of Argentière or Le Tour are a great option.

Accommodation styles vary somewhat with a wide variety of hotels, guest houses, holiday centres or furnished apartments of all categories, modern and traditional. Chamonix chalets abound, many of which provide very plush accommodations. And at the other end of the spectrum there are various budget options including cheap hostels.

Search & book all Chamonix Accommodation here >>>

Chamonix Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski rentals are available in all of the Chamonix valley villages. Search & book ski or snowboard rentals in Chamonix here.

A confusing array of ski instructors, ski schools & in-resort guides ply their trade in the Chamonix valley ski resorts. To narrow down the field, search & book private lessons & guiding within the resort boundaries with the best providers here.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Chamonix?

The Chamonix area has a classic lively European ski resort feel, offering the oldest and most famous ski resort culture. Chamonix has a long rich ski history including the hosting of the 1924 Winter Olympics. The Chamonix locals do a great “fondue savoyarde” (but face it, it is just expensive melted cheese with bread!) and they certainly know how to do seriously good après-ski. Hell, they probably invented it!

Chamonix has it all and more – sensational skiing & snowboarding terrain across multiple mountains and countries, awesome scenery, friendly locals, easy access & full resort facilities.

Tours in or near Chamonix

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Chamonix Mont Blanc Powder Skiing Safari DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
Based on group of 7 for min 7 nights.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,249
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski off-piste for 6 days around Mont Blanc, discovering the largest glacial ski area in Europe. Ski descents of between 1500 & 2800m in virgin snow via the most beautiful summits & passes in Chamonix France & Courmayeur Italy. Custom tours only, get a group of 4 together for 7 nights of adventure.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Chamonix here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Chamonix Alps Ultimate Women's Ski Tour DETAILS
GUIDED SKI TOUR | WOMEN ONLY
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,995
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski 3 countries in one week with an all female group based in the legendary Chamonix. Experience the Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, the Valley Blanche, Verbier & Courmayeur in amongst the highest peaks of the Alps.
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Chamonix Ultimate Experience Ski Tour DETAILS
GUIDED SKI TOUR | MIXED GROUP
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,995
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski 3 countries in one week based in the legendary Chamonix. Experience the Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, the Valley Blanche, Verbier & Courmayeur in amongst the highest peaks of the Alps.
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Chamonix here

Chamonix ski & Snowboard Holiday Package
Chamonix ski lodging & accommodations
Hosted Ski Tours & Multi-Resort Safaris
Chamonix

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Chamonix Ski Areas

Brevent Flegere
Les Grands Montets
Balme Tour Vallorcine
Les Houches


    Chamonix Ski Resort Map
  • Chamonix Ski Resorts Map
  • Vertical (m)
     1,000m – 3,840m (2,840m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6 to 14 metres
  • Lifts (61)
    14 Gondolas / cable cars
    21 Chairlifts
  • Ski Hours
    Chamonix Ski Resorts
    Early December to late April
    8:30am - 5:00pm

    Aiguille du Midi (Vallee Blanche)
    All year except early Nov to mid Dec
    8:10am - 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 170km
    Longest run – 22 km (Vallee Blanche)
    Expert - innumerable
    Advanced - 15%
    Intermediate - 35%
    Beginner - 50%
  • Lift Pass Prices (Day- 17/18)
    Chamonix Le Pass
    Adult - €41.20 to 51.50
    Child - €35 to 39.10
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Mont Blanc Unlimited Lift Pass
    Adult - €63.50
    Child - €54
    Child u/5yr – Free

    Les Houches Only
    Adult - €37 to 43.50
    Child - €31.50 to 37
    Child u/5yr – Free

    Balme Ski Trail Map
  • Balme Ski Trail Map

    Brevent Flegere Ski Trail Map
  • Brevent Flegere Ski Trail Map

    Grand Montets Ski Trail Map
  • Grands Montets Ski Trail Map

     Les Houches Ski Trail Map
  • Les Houches Ski Trail Map

     Vallee Blanche Ski Map
  • Vallee Blanche Ski Map