Mountains loom large almost everywhere you look in Chamonix. Skiers and boarders have a choice of pistes along the valley, while in summer the same lifts access hiking and biking trails. For all the desolate beauty of the mountains, downtown Chamonix hums with life.

Look up, admire and then get your breath back!

At the foot of the behemoth that is Mont Blanc, the aptly named Chamonix-Mont-Blanc sits just inside the junction that joins France with Switzerland and Italy in the French Alps. "Discovered" by the English in 1741, the Hotel d'Angleterre, the first in the valley, was built in 1770, and the town held the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924. But it was Mont Blanc and the fiercely steep and jagged Chamonix Aiguilles – needles – which made it a Mecca for

the British, before the bars and clubs put it firmly on the party map.

However, while the cluster of resorts is easily one of the most popular skiing locations in France, that is not all this area’s known for. Counting breath-taking scenery, historical sights and exciting year-round activities as popular draws, there's plenty of things to do in Chamonix for all the family to enjoy. In fact, you will be surprised to know that there are more tourists visiting Chamonix in the summer than in the winter. In spring, with a fewer crowds than in winter, you can probably have the chance to ski without risking a collision with someone. During the summer season, the mountain becomes paradise for anyone looking for some fresh air, awe-inspiring landscapes and fantastic activities, such as hiking (like the Tour du Mont Blanc or the Vallée blanche), mountain biking, paragliding, alpine slides, etc.

1.5 hour max
from the airport

Walking distance
to the ski bus

Good location
in the valley

1 hour to
a golf course

When to go

There is no bad season in Chamonix because the decor is always magical whatever the time of year. Nature-lovers appreciate it in any season, but the choice depends mainly on the type of activity practiced. A hiker will prefer the summer to trudge along the hiking trails surrounded by marmots and ibex. Ski enthusiasts and other snow sports will prefer to visit Chamonix in winter.

How to get there

Arrive in the region directly by rail via the Chamonix station or by plane landing in Lyon or Geneva before boarding a train. Geneva is the fastest and most convenient option, which can be reached by car or train. The main excursions are from the city centre and everything can be visited on foot.

August makes a lot of sense for me and my family. I go to both ski and beach holidays every year and could not decide whether I should get a summer house or a flat in the Alps. Now I’ll get both!
Peter and Lucy, Manchester

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