Top Things to do in Chamonix in Summer

As the ski areas close and the snow starts to melt away, Chamonix transforms into a bustling town full of visitors, who come here mostly to admire the views. But it’s not just the views that attract people here, after all Chamonix is known for being a hub for extreme sports & outdoor activities.

During the summer months there are so many things to do here. You can be as active or as relaxed as you like on a visit to Chamonix; take a trip on the cable car to the highest gourmet restaurant in town at the Aiguille du Midi, take a ride on one of two rack & pinion trains or simply enjoy people watching one of the many restaurants terraces in the valley. For the more adventurous of you, you could climb Mont Blanc, fly over glaciers in an unforgettable helicopter ride, go for a glacier hike on the longest glacier in France, try one of the via ferrata courses or you could spend days in the back-country on some of Chamonix’s iconic mountaineering routes staying at mountain refuges along the way.

Take a look through our list of the best things to do in Chamonix this summer, and if you haven’t booked your holiday yet, we’re sure there will be plenty to tempt you to do that right here… Timetables, prices and more information can be found via the links below.


Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix’s number 1 tourist attraction is the Aiguille du Midi, which you can visit on a two-stage cable car. You’ll be whisked up to 3842 metres above sea level, where you can get panoramic views of Mont Blanc from the terraces and look back on the Chamonix Valley, way down below. From here you can watch skiers and mountaineers descending the arete onto the infamous Valley Blanche or heading up to climb to the summit of Mont Blanc. At the mid-way change over for the cable cars, you can go parapenting (more on this below).

Step into the Void - Chamonix TO

Step into the Void

Also at the Aiguille du Midi is a thrilling experience “Step into the Void” where you can step into a glass box, suspended 1000 metres above a drop over the rock faces below. You can access this via the summit elevator at the very top of the Midi for some truly unforgettable views (if you’re brave enough!)

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Panoramic Mont Blanc Gondola

Also at the Aiguille du Midi, you can take a trip across to Italy, soaring over the glaciers on the Panoramic gondola. It’s only open in summer and if you’re looking to do something a bit different, take the up and over experience – Start on the Aiguille du Midi Cable car, head across on the Panoramic gondola to the top of Helbronner on the Italian side and descend into Courmayeur on the Skyway Monte Bianco Cable car. Then pick up a bus in Courmayeur and head back into Chamonix via the Mont Blanc tunnel.


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Montenvers Train & Mer de Glace

Experience the best views of France’s longest glacier at the Montenvers – Mer de Glace site. Take the iconic rack and pinion train from Chamonix centre all the way to the top at 1913m, from where you can descend by cable car and around 400 steps to visit the ice cave within the glacier. There are a couple of restaurants, a mountain refuge and a gift shop up here as well as a glacier exhibit and  crystal gallery. From here you can access the Mer de Glace for ice climbing, mountaineering routes, glacier walks and a number of hiking routes (more on these below).


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Tramway du Mont Blanc

Chamonix has another famous rack and pinion train line, this time down in Les Houches, connecting the town of St Gervais with this part of the Chamonix Valley. The Tramway du Mont Blanc normally opens for summer in mid June, and plenty of mountaineers use it to access one of the start points for summit attempts on Mont Blanc. It’s more popular for non-mountaineering visitors to take a ride to enjoy the fantastic views, or to access some of the many walking routes in this area.


Climber Flegere

Climbing, Mountaineering, Bouldering & Via Ferrata

The Chamonix Valley offers climbers and alpinists of every level of skill and experience something to tackle, and it’s renowned as a place that offers some of the best climbing in the world. There are plenty of places to go bouldering, ice climbing, trad climbing and there are a couple of family friendly crags with sport climbing routes at Gaillands and down in Les Houches.  Les Houches also has an indoor climbing wall that you can access on rainy days or if you are just looking to practice indoors. There are in the region of 100 routes ranging up to 22 metres in height and from 4 to 8c in grade.

There are a couple of Via Ferrrata routes to try out too, one at Flégère and one down in Passy. You can hire harnesses and special carabiners at most sports shops in Chamonix and going with a guide is totally optional. The Climbing World Cup comes to Chamonix each summer too, with lead & speed climbing competitors battling it out to become champions – an event not to miss!


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Hiking / Mountain Walks

The Chamonix Valley is interlaced with lots of walking routes, from the valley floor up to higher altitude paths, taking you to stunning mountain lakes, the edge of glaciers, waterfalls and stunning ridge walks. Two of the most famous (and therefore most popular) long distance hiking itineraries to do here are the Tour du Mont Blanc, which circumnavigates Western Europe’s highest mountain, and the Haute Route, which links Chamonix to Zermatt in Switzerland. There are plenty of family friendly, less difficult walks to do too, for example taking you for a stroll along the Arve river or up to a small hillside cafe (Floria) near the valley floor.

Have a chat to one of the guide companies we work closely with to enquire about prices and availability for walking guides – Chamonix Experience / Evolution 2 Chamonix. Or simply pick up a map and trail information from the tourist office, or ask any of our team members for advice.


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Trail Running

Chamonix is a mecca for trail runners, who come here in their droves to experience high altitude trails and to compete in some of the toughest and longest races in the world. Each year the UTMB (which is actually made up of 5 different length races), The Marathon du Mont Blanc (consisting of 8 different races) and the Trail des Aiguille Rouges (2 races) bring runners here from every corner of the globe. Of course if you’re not at the level of running Ultra Marathons, you can still enjoy the many trails around the Chamonix valley at your own pace. A couple of our team are seasoned trail runners, so please ask us if you’ve got any questions.


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Bungee Jumping

If you’ve got a head for heights and want to see what it feels like to drop 90 metres into a tree-lined gorge, then head to nearby St Gervais where you can bungee jump off the viaduct. You can take the train, bus or drive to get there. (Please note if you’re taking the train you’ll have to pay the full fare from Chamonix to St Gervais, as your guest card only allows free travel to Servoz).


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Mountain Biking

Chamonix has two dedicated bike parks, one in Les Houches and one at Le Tour, plus lots of natural trails and paths, taking you into neighbouring Switzerland or to other hamlets in the Chamonix Valley like Servoz & Vallorcine. If you’re tempted to try mountain biking for the first time or are looking for family friendly trails, there are plenty of options for those too. You can hire bikes from Legend CHX, Slash, Zero G & Intersport and MTB guides with Evolution 2 Chamonix. Ask us if you’ve got any questions about Mountain Biking in Chamonix.


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Skydive

Jump out of a perfectly good helicopter over Mont Blanc at a height of around 5000 metres above sea level. Skydiving is definitely an experience you won’t forget in a hurry with the incredible mountains of the Mont Blanc massif filling your vision and you’ll get photos and/or a video to remind you of your experience.


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Road Cycling

Hire a bike from one of the many hire shops in the Chamonix Valley and explore some of the classic routes around the area. If you’re bike touring through the area, we have some great apartments for you to stay in, some of which have their own garage where you can store your bikes securely overnight.


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Horse Riding

You can actually ride horses all year round in Chamonix (although it’s obviously a lot warmer in summer) with trekking experiences available from half days up to several days long. Discover hidden corners of the Chamonix valley with friends, family or colleagues. One of our team is an experienced horse rider, so if you have any questions, please ask us!


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Rafting, Canyoning & Watersports

The river Arve that runs through the centre of Chamonix offers all kinds of water-based activities, including rafting, hydro-speeding and canoe rafting. The rafting in Chamonix is on low -level rapids, so is family friendly and not very intimidating, but if you’re looking for more high-adrenaline rapids, you can nip through the Mont Blanc Tunnel into Italy, where the Dora Baltea river and grade 4 white water awaits. Canyoning is also really popular in summer, it’s a great way to explore parts of the Chamonix valley that you may not have been to before as well as a nice way to cool off from the heat of the summer sun.


Paragliging 2Paragliding / Parapenting

See the Chamonix valley from a totally different perspective, 1000 metres above the ground on a tandem paragliding flight. After a short running take off, the wing lifts you and your pilot from the ground and you fly across the valley to enjoy some truly spectacular views. There are various take off points around the valley and different prices may apply for each location. If you’re lucky you may be allowed to take the controls..


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Glacier Walks

Summer is the time to hire a guide and head out onto one of Chamonix’s many glaciers. Explore the Mer de Glace, the Albert Premier glacier or the Valley Blanche up close and learn about glaciers in the Chamonix Valley from your guide. They can help you organise any additional equipment you might need too. Speak to our friends at Chamonix Experience or Evolution 2 for more information.


Helicopter flights

Helicopter Flights

Soar over Chamonix’s glaciers and see the impressive mountains of the Mont Blanc Massif from the comfort of a 6-seater helicopter. Flights of 4 different durations are available, each one taking slightly different routes around the mountains. It really is an unforgettable experience. You’ll find the CMBH helicopter base at the foot of the Grands Montets ski area where there’s also a lovely restaurant in the woods (La Cremerie du Glacier) to grab a bite to eat and a drink.


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Treetop Adventure Courses

Chamonix has three different treetop adventure courses to choose from, each with routes of varying difficulty and heights; The Accro Park in Gaillands, The Magic Forest in Les Tines and the Forest of Mont Blanc in Les Houches (Coupeau). Equipment can be hired on site and there’s also a snack restaurant next to the Gaillands park.


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Gorges de la Diosaz

One of Chamonix’s many natural wonders, the Gorges de la Diosaz are a short train ride away in the pretty village of Servoz (you get free train travel to Servoz with your carte d’hote guest card). A wooden walkway takes you deep into a natural chasm in the earth, past plunging cascades and dripping rock formations. It’s suitable for young children but not advisable with a pram or pushchair, or for those who are less mobile as there are lots of steps.


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Tennis & Squash

There are plenty of places to play tennis around the Chamonix valley. At the central sports centre there are 2 covered tennis courts, 2 squash courts and 8 clay courts. In Les Houches there are 6 outdoor tennis courts and in Servoz there are two.

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Beach Volley Ball

Also at the main Chamonix tennis centre is a Beach Volley ball court which you can play on by the hour. Find current information & prices.


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Paradis des Praz

A woodland paradise, perfect for families with small children can be found behind the golf course in Les Praz. There’s a safe paddling lake with rope swings and stepping stones, pony rides, playground, kiosk serving snacks and drinks, signposted hikes.
It’s free entry, although you are encouraged to buy refreshments from the kiosk if you want to make use of the picnic tables and toilet facilities.


Ice Hockey 2Ice Hockey Matches & Ice Skating

Watch Chamonix’s local hockey team Les Pionniers compete in an evening hockey match at the ice rink in Chamonix centre (dates in red are played in Chamonix). Tickets can be bought on the door and it makes for an alternative and fun night of entertainment. Or head out onto the ice yourselves for a skate; you can hire skates on site for a small fee and little children can borrow the balance penguins for stability. Discounts are available with your carte d’hôte travel cards.


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Dr Zhivago Horse & Carriage Rides

Take a trip around the centre of Chamonix, or further into Les Praz on ‘Dr Zhivago’s’ horse drawn carriage. This charmingly decorated carriage has become a much loved attraction in the centre of Chamonix and offers a relaxing way to explore the local area. You’ll find him parked up outside Brasserie L’M and you pay him directly for a trip.


Spa St GervaisMassage, Spas & Wellbeing

Enjoy some pampering treatments, a restorative massage or a spa day at one of Chamonix’ many hotel spas like the Aiglons, the Heliopic or the Park Hotel Suisse. Nearby you can also enjoy thermal springs and thermal baths in St Gervais and across the border in Italy, at the Pre St Didier resort.


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Alpine Coaster

The Alpine coaster in Chamonix’s leisure park is great fun for all ages and can be found next to Planards beginner ski area. At over 1300 metres long, you can go as fast as you dare on the sleds as it’s up to you when to use the brakes. Go solo or share a sled with a friend.

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Children’s Leisure Park

On the same site as the alpine coaster is a leisure park designed with kids in mind. It has slides, trampolines, mini motorobikes, a water splash, a giant swing, a loop the loop, mini diggers, a carousel and lots of outdoor games to keep the children entertained. There’s a restaurant and bar on site too.


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Outdoor Swimming Pool & Leisure Centre

Chamonix has a 50 metre outdoor swimming pool plus a 25 metre indoor swimming pool, a separate children’s pool for children of 6 months to 3 years old, water slides and massage water jets. Join a water aerobics class, come for a swim or to use the gym inside the leisure centre. Or if you’re staying with us at Apartment Beausite you’ll have access to a roof top pool that’s just for residents, with direct views of Mont Blanc. A short drive down the valley will bring you to Lake Passy, where you can paddleboard, enjoy a BBQ on the beach, sunbathe & swim. There’s a special area roped off with lifeguards at one end but the rest is for open water swimming.


 

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Photography & Discovery Walks

Discover hidden areas in the Chamonix valley and learn about its history with photographer and guide Teresa Kaufman. Learn some top photography tips along the way as you take interesting photos of the locals, flora and fauna.


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St Bernard Breeding Kennels 

Learn about this iconic breed of mountain dogs at their breeding kennels in Servoz, not far from the centre of Chamonix. A typical visit last an hour and there’s a souvenir shop on site so you can take home your very own furry friend.


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Merlet Animal Park

Keeping on the theme of animals, up above Les Houches is the Merlet animal park that you can visit to see lots of local wildlife. They have marmottes, ibex deer, chamois, mouflon goats, llama, roe and fallow deer. It typically opens from the beginning of May to the end of September.


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Golf

Chamonix’s golf club lies in view of Mont Blanc in the village of Les Praz. It’s an 18 hole course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr and features numerous bunkers and water hazards. We have a number of fabulous chalets not far from the golf course; Chalet Capricorne, Chalet Betaix, Chalet Amelie or Chalet Olivier.


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Paintball & Laser Game

There are a couple of places where you can lay shoot-em-ups in the forest in the Chamonix valley, at Bois du Bouchet (minimum 12 years old to take part) and Les Tines (minimum 10 years old). Laser Game is similar but instead of firing paint pellets you shoot lasers with an infrared sight gun so you get less bruises…


 

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Casino

Chamonix has its own casino where you can enjoy a mixture of traditional table games as well as electronic roulette and around 70 slot machines. It’s open all year round and contains a bar and restaurant.


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Art Galleries

Chamonix has lots of art galleries and workshops, from traditional landscape painters and photographers, to retro decorations to more modern and pop-art style work, sculptures, postcards and prints. A few of the hotels and restaurants also feature art works that you can take home as a momento of your time here. There are also occasional art classes that take place throughout the year.


 

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Markets

In the centre of Chamonix at Place Mont Blanc, there’s a regular Saturday market that takes place year round, from 07:30 to 12:30. Markets also take place in Argentiere every Sunday and every Wednesday in Les Houches in the summer months and occasionally one pops up in Chamonix Sud too.


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Wine tasting / Cocktail tasting / Whisky tasting

Cha Cha Cha” has in the region of 800 wines plus a great election of whiskey, rums and other spirits which you can buy to take home, or try before you buy on one of their popular tasting evenings. Or just pop in to enjoy a glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere.


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Shopping

Chamonix has a great selection of outdoor clothing and gear specialists, as well as high-end clothing retailers, shoe shops, supermarkets, souvenirs and homeware. We’re not going to list them all here, but take a stroll down Chamonix’s pedestrinaised shopping area and you’re sure to find something to tempt you into a purchase or two.


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Day Trips – to other parts of France / Italy / Switzerland – Take a day trip from Chamonix to explore some of the best of the surrounding area;

France Lake PassyAnnecy, Yvoire

Italy Courmayeur, Aosta

Switzerland Verticalp funicular & railway, Martigny, Montreux, Large Hadron Collider (CERN)


 

If this has convinced you that coming to visit Chamonix in summer is a good idea (and why wouldn’t it?) take a look at our great choice of chalets and apartments, which you can book directly online for week-long stays. For short breaks and longer duration holidays, please contact us for a quote

Mountain Base Locations, Chamonix

 


 

 

Photo Credits: Chamonix Tourist Office, Lonely Planet, Chamonix Parc Loisirs, Teresa Kaufman, Evolution 2, Chamonix Experience, CMBH, Chamonix Parc Loisirs, Pre St Didier Spa, Escalade Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc skydive, Verticalp, Paint Ball Cham, Hine Ink, Merlet Animal park, Bungee Mont Blanc Elastique, Cham Aventure, Les Pionnieurs.

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Breaking News – Plans for Mont Blanc Summit lift announced!

Exciting news is breaking in Chamonix this morning, as it has been announced that a new lift connecting the Aiguille du Midi to the summit of Mont Blanc will be built in the next 10 years.

Not intent with simply viewing Mont Blanc from afar, visitors to Chamonix in the not too distant future will be able to enjoy standing on top of Mont Blanc at a new visitor centre with gift shop, set to be built at the arrival point of the lift.

Click here for more information >>>

The Tube – The Newest Addition to Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix

After many months of planning and construction work, the newest attraction at the Aiguille du Midi has been unveiled – The Tube.

The Tube at Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix
Photo Credit : Radio Mont Blanc

The name might not sound very inspiring but the new structure certainly is. The Tube is a 32m viewing tunnel that circles around the central peak of the Aiguille du Midi, giving you a 360° tour of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Made mostly of steel panels and glass windows, you’ll be strolling around at over 3700m altitude, whilst taking in some of Europe’s most breathtaking views.

The Tube at Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix
Photo Credit : Radio Mont Blanc

The Tube cost around 2.5 million euros and has taken about a year to build. The best news is that it is included in your Mont Blanc Multipass, so you don’t have to spend a single extra euro to try it out for yourself!

The Tube at Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix
Photo Credit : Radio Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Multipass

Your Chamonix summer lift pass includes all of the following at no extra cost:

Aiguille du Midi cable car ChamonixAiguille du Midi

  • Two cable cars up to the summit at 3842m
  • Viewing platforms looking out over some of the highest peaks in Europe
  • Step Into the Void – a glass cube suspended over a 1000m drop, do you dare to step into it?
  • L’Espace Vertical – the highest museum in the world!
  • The Tube – the newest visitor attraction in Chamonix

Montenvers Mer de GlaceMontenvers & Mer de Glace

  • Montenvers Train – an historic rack and pinion train that takes you from Chamonix town up to the Mer de Glace glacier
  • Le Glaciorium – find out how the glacier developed and the geology of the area
  • Le Temple de la Nature – a quaint little natural history museum housed in an ancient stone building
  • Grotte de Glace – enter into the glacier itself to see the wonderful sculptures carved into the ice
  • Grand Hotel des Montenvers – a fine old 19th building where you can enjoy lunch on the terrace and admire the traditional Savoyard interior

Tramway du Mont Blanc in Les Houches, ChamonixTramway du Mont Blanc

Follow in the footsteps of thousands of alpinists by taking this historic tram ride up through the forests and meadows of Les Houches to reach the Nid d’Aigle – the starting point for many a Mont Blanc summit expedition.

Luckily you don’t need ropes and crampons to get out and explore the gentle terrain at the foot of the glacier. The tram starts in Saint Gervais and there are various stops where you can access the many hiking trails that weave through this beautiful area.

You can either return to Saint Gervais by tram or take one of two cable cars directly down to the town of Les Houches, returning to Chamonix by bus or train.

Hiking in ChamonixHiking Paths & Biking Trails

Cable car, gondola and chair lift access up to the multitude of hiking paths and mountain bike trails in the Brevent, Flegere, Le Tour, Vallorcine, Grands Montets and Les Houches sectors of the Chamonix valley.
Chamonix Summer Activities

Alpine Coaster ride at Les Planards in ChamonixAlpine Coaster

Enjoy a free ride on the Alpine Coaster, a thrilling descent through the pine forests and meadows of Les Planards!

This two-person roller coaster is open during summer and winter and is suitable for anyone over 3 years old (children must be accompanied by an adult).

Les Bossons GlacierGlacier des Bossons

Take a scenic ride up to the snout of the Les Bossons glacier on a charming little chairlift, relax with a drink on the terrace of the little cafe and discover the history of this fascinating place.

Relics of the Malabar Princess aeroplane crash of 1950 are still being found amongst the crevasses and some of them are on display beside the glacier.

The Mont Blanc Multipass is your ticket to exploring everything that Chamonix has to offer this summer. Discounted rates apply for families with two or more children, and all passes of 6-9 days benefit from one day absolutely free of charge! Buy your Mont Blanc Multipass here or contact us directly for more information.

Check out this time lapse video of helicopters lifting parts of The Tube into place – impressive, eh?!

Autumn Lift Openings & Things to Do in Chamonix this Week

No sooner have we had our first dusting of snow than the lifts are open again for the autumn half-term holidays! Brevent gondola and cable car open tomorrow morning at 9am – here are our favourite things to do in Chamonix, both on and off the mountain.

Photography in Chamonix, guided walking toursDiscovery Photo Walk
Take a guided tour with a difference and find all the hidden corners and secluded backstreets of Chamonix. Teresa has lived in the valley for long enough to know all its secrets and you’ll see whole different aspect with her as your guide. You can either enjoy the walk for its own sake or bring along your camera for some expert tips on getting some great shots – Teresa is also a professional photographer. This Thursday she is visiting the historic Hotel Mont Blanc and meeting their Michelin starred chef, as he invites you into his kitchen to see him at work. For 50€ you will also enjoy a gourmet lunch at the 5* hotel.
Discovery Photo Walks in Chamonix – find out more

Paragliding in Chamonix parapenteParagliding
With two paragliding sites open in the valley this week there are plenty of flight options! You can either take off from the grassy plateaux of Brevent and soar along the valley right opposite Mont Blanc, or take to the skies from Aiguille du Midi and drift over the glaciers of the Vallée Blanche. Either way, you’ll enjoy amazing views and be able to see exactly where the snow has fallen in the past few days.
Paragliding in Chamonix – find out more

Mer de Glace ChamonixGlacier Hike
The Aiguille du Midi cable car and Montenvers train are both open until the end of November, giving access to the Vallée Blanche and the Mer de Glace glaciers. What could put you in the mood for winter more than exploring the icy wonderland that lies between the seracs and crevasses of the Mont Blanc valley? Roped up and accompanied by a guide, you’ll learn how to move safely across the ice using crampons and ice axes to discover another world.
Glacier Hikes in Chamonix – find out more

Lac du BreventLakes & Mountains
Brevent is a great area to explore with a network of hiking trails that lead to a number of beautiful alpine lakes. Now that winter is almost upon us many animals are starting to prepare for hibernation and you’re likely to see marmots bumbling around on the rocks and chamois coming down from the higher terrain to be closer to the forest. You can either grab a trail map and find your own way, or go on a guided hike with an IML who can show you all the very best sights and point out local flora and fauna.
Mountain Hiking in Chamonix – find out more

Autumn in Chamonix : Activities & Things to Do

Now that the excitement of the UTMB and the last big event of the summer is behind us, you might be thinking that Chamonix is starting to shut up shop for the autumn – but you’d be surprised…

September and October are wonderful months to visit Chamonix; the bustling crowds have dwindled, the sweltering heat has mellowed to a pleasant temperature, queueing for lifts and buses is non-existent, you can get a seat outside your favourite bar – life is good!

cropped-2014-10-26-autumn-mountains1.jpgThe majority of the lifts in the Chamonix valley remain open until 20th September*, making it a fantastic time of year for hiking and mountain biking, with fewer people on the trails than even just a week ago. You see a real change in the seasons out here and summer green quickly turns to autumn gold – the colours in the mountains are just incredible. Quieter trails increase your chances of spotting some local wildlife such as deer and ibex, you may even see marmots making their last preparations before they hibernate for the winter!

Mer de Glace ChamonixThe Aiguille du Midi cable car and Montenvers train remain open throughout the autumn until 18th December, giving you the opportunity to rope up and explore the glaciers with a guided tour of the Vallée Blanche or the Mer de Glace – a unique and unforgettable trip that requires no mountaineering experience.

Paragliding in Chamonix parapenteAirspace over the Aiguille du Midi also opens up to paragliders after the end of August – you can take off either from the halfway point at Plan de l’Aiguille, or go for the full James Bond effect and launch from the summit at 3842m – almost level with the top of Mont Blanc! Together with a tandem pilot, you’ll soar over the glaciers, drifting amongst the towering peaks of the Massif du Mont Blanc before floating down to land in the centre of Chamonix.

With cheaper flights and low-season prices on accommodation, autumn really is a great time to visit Chamonix. All of the above lifts are included in the Mont Blanc Multipass, as well as the Tramway du Mont Blanc.

*with the exception of Flégère and Les Grands Montets, which close on September 6th and 13th respectively. Don’t forget that the Brévent lift reopens for a week in October during the half-term break of 17/10/15 to 01/11/15 – find more information on lifts and mountain areas on our website.

Fete des Guides : Mountain Guide Festival in Chamonix

This weekend is the annual Fetes des Guides; a celebration in honour of the men and women who dedicate their lives to the mountains.

Fete des Guides ChamonixThere have already been events throughout the week in Lavancher, Les Houches and Argentiere but Saturday is the grand finale. The day begins with a special church service at 9:30 to remember all those guides that have lost their lives in the mountains, followed by a traditional ceremony in the centre of Chamonix to bless the ice axes and welcome all newly qualified guides to the company.

Fete des Guides ChamonixThere will be stalls, entertainments and face painting in the centre of town until 4pm when the party moves to Lac des Gaillands. There is an entry fee of 13€ for adults and 5€ for children aged 5-12 (free for under 5’s), all the proceeds of which go to Caisse de Secours – a charity fund that supports the families of deceased or injured mountain guides.

Fete des Guides ChamonixThe celebrations carry on into the night with live music, a helicopter rescue demonstration, outdoor games, BBQ and the essential giant tartiflette. The guides themselves will star in a “grand spectacle” played out on the rock face with laser lights and sound effects – expect lots of whizzing about on zip wires and swinging off ropes. Their acrobatic skills are very impressive, even if the storyline is incomprehensible and the acting a bit dodgy… The night ends in a blaze of fireworks, set off over the lake against the night sky.

Without the expert skills of qualified mountain guides, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy a fraction of what you can do in Chamonix; here are some of the fantastic things you can experience when accompanied by a mountain guide:

Mer de Glace ChamonixExplore the Glaciers
Thanks to the Aiguille du Midi cable car and the Montenvers train, the glacial terrain of the Vallée Blanche and the Mer de Glace is amazingly accessible. If you want to do more than just sightsee you’ll need alpine equipment such as crampons and harnesses, as well as the knowhow to explore the crevasses and marvel at the seracs in safety. You can join a group or organise a private trip tailored to your own interests – contact us now to book your glacier hike.
Glacier Hiking in Chamonix – find out more

Hiking in ChamonixHike the Haute Route
A legendary trek from Chamonix to Zermatt, taking you from the foot of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn via alpine forests, glaciers, meadows, mountain trails and remote refuges. See the brightest stars you’ve ever seen as you settle into your lodge for the night and work up a hearty appetite for classic dishes such as cheese fondue and saucisson. This trip can be done over 8 or 14 days, depending on the route – contact us now to plan your Haute Route hike.
Haute Route Chamonix to Zermatt – find out more

Rock climbing in Chamonix
Photo Credit : Chamex

Rock & Ice Climbing
Thanks to its high altitude terrain, you can find superb mixed climbing routes even in summer – huge granite crags leading to spectacular ridges high amongst the snow covered peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif. From one day ascents to multi-day expeditions, we offer a range of options to suit all levels – contact us now to find out more.
Alpine Climbing in Chamonix – find out more

Mont Blanc ChamonixClimb Mont Blanc
Summit the highest mountain in the Alps, venturing amongst the glaciers and seracs to reach the pinnacle at 4807m. Setting off from Chamonix you’ll traverse high ridges, sleep over in mountain refuges and see the sunrise over the mountains as you set out for the summit. This is a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll never forget – contact us now to plan your Mont Blanc expedition.
Mont Blanc – find out more

Ice Climbing & Glacier Hiking in Chamonix : Unusual Summer Adventures

With this summer having been so hot you’d be forgiven for thinking that ice axes and crampons are winter-only gear. In fact, the amount of glacial terrain in the Chamonix valley means that you can be in a world of ice and snow at any time of the year, often within just a few minutes. Here are some of our favourite options for a day of alpine adventure.

Aiguille du Midi cable car ChamonixAiguille du Midi
The easiest way to get up amongst the snowcapped peaks is to take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to it’s summit at 3842m. Walk through the ice tunnel to the gate that marks the start of the famous arret – a narrow frozen ridge that leads out into the wilderness of the Mont Blanc Massif. Don’t even think about going beyond this point unless you are with a qualified mountain guide – you can enjoy the view in perfect safety though from one of the many panoramic terraces. If you’re brave enough you can Step Into the Void, a glass box suspended over a 1000m precipice, with nothing but crevasses and seracs beneath you… Access to the Aiguille du Midi is included in the Mont Blanc Multipass.
Mont Blanc Multipass – purchase online

aiguille-du-midi-chamonix-01Traverse the Vallée Blanche
If looking on from the sidelines is not your thing then hire a mountain guide and venture out from the top of the Aiguille du Midi onto the world-famous Vallée Blanche – the longest off-piste ski run in the world. Despite the high altitude and jaw-dropping surroundings, the traverse is actually not too technical and can be experienced by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and a steady head for heights. Roped up and wearing all the necessary safety equipment, you’ll be lead through spectacular glacial terrain by your guide for an unforgettable day in the mountains.
Vallée Blanche Traverse – find out more

mer-de-glace-01Glacier Hiking, Mer de Glace
Armed with crampons, ropes, harnesses and ice picks, our mountain guides will lead you across this spectacular sea of ice. Marvel at the unbelievable crystalline blues and peer into deep crevasses. Whether you’ve never set foot on ice before, or crampons are as familiar to you as a pair of slippers, this is an experience not to be missed. The adventure starts with a ride up to the glacier on the historic Montenvers train, included in the Mont Blanc Multipass. The glacier hike is a half day activity but you are welcome to spend the rest of the day at the Mer de Glace if you wish to explore the area and visit the ice caves.
Mer de Glace Glacial Hike – find out more

Cosmiques Arret, Chamonix Mont Blanc
Photo Credit : Chamex

Cosmiques Ridge
The Cosmiques Ridge or “Arete” is a spectacular journey through snow, rock and ice. Starting out from the Aiguille du Midi your guide will help you rope up, fasten your crampons and step out into another world. Making your way along a steep icy ridge is the first challenge, then you’ll follow an extremely exposed route with breathtaking views in all directions as well as two sections of abseiling. The route is stunning but not too difficult as long as you are comfortable with heights, and you’ll be in very safe hands with our guides.
Cosmiques Ridge – make an enquiry

Petite Aiguille Verte, Massif du Mont Blanc
Photo Credit : Chamex

La Petite Aiguille Verte
At 3515m, the Petite Aiguille Verte is a genuine high-mountain experience that involves glaciers, bergschrunds and mixed climbing on rock and ice. The climbing is not extremely difficult and takes you on to some spectacularly exposed ridges. This route is an excellent introduction to alpinism and is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their alpine climbing skills. Accessed by the Grands Montets, this is an opportunity to explore one of the finest day climbs in the Mont Blanc Massif.
La Petite Aiguille Verte – make an enquiry

These are just a few of the many incredible excursions that we have to offer; from gentle hiking to summiting Mont Blanc, our mountain guides are fully qualified, insured and experienced in all alpine activities. Please contact us for further details and tailor-made adventures.