Santa’s Grotto If you’ve not sat on Santa’s knee yet and told him what you’d like for Christmas, then hop on the Montenvers train before it’s too late! Special Christmas trains are running over the weekend (included in your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass) up to the Mer de Glace, where Santa and his elves have set up their workshop in preparation for the big day. Once there you can also see the glacier, visit the ice caves and check out the crystal gallery.
Christmas Market The centre of Chamonix is lined with little wooden chalets, decked out in fairy lights and offering all sorts of festive treats. Perfect for a bit of last minute Christmas shopping, you’ll find unusual Alpine gifts and interesting local products whilst enjoying a mulled wine – better than battling round a packed shopping centre any day.
Chambelles Christmas Concert Those of you who missed the ladies of the Chambelles Choir in all their sparkly splendour last night have one more chance to catch them for an evening of festive frolics and Christmas carols on Sunday 20th December, 6pm at the Eglise Reformée (church opposite the train station). Entry is free, with all donations going to a worthwhile charity.
Tramway du Mont Blanc For a magical ride into the mountains, the Tramway du Mont Blanc is a wonderful experience for all ages. Opening tomorrow and included in your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass, it leaves from Saint-Gervais and chugs up the mountainside to the ski slopes of Les Houches. Take snow shoes or sturdy boots and get out at Col de Voza for a stomp around in the snow and hot chocolate at the charming old Courant d’Air farmhouse.
Finally, don’t miss out on the Christmas Eve celebrations in the centre of Chamonix with music, entertainments and a final appearance by Father Christmas himself before he flies off in his sleigh. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from Chamonix!
Merry Christmas! We hope you had a lovely day filled with fun and surprises! It wasn’t quite the white Christmas that we’re used to out here, but that looks set to change very soon with quite heavy snowfall forecast for this weekend – bring it on!
So Christmas may be over for another year but there’s still plenty going on in Chamonix. The biggest night of the year is just around the corner and there’s so many parties to choose from that it’s just as well most places will be taking advantage of the all-night license that is granted every New Year’s Eve.
The biggest party will be at La Terrasse, right in the centre of town. With 5 DJs playing across 2 floors it looks set to be a great night; funky party vibes downstairs, house and techno upstairs – tickets cost 25€ each and can be bought in advance at La Terrasse.
If something a bit more chilled is more your style then why not check out the chic new lounge bar at Hotel Heliopic where Erik, Mollie & Thibaud will be playing laid-back jazz and blues classics. They have a great cocktail menu and big cosy armchairs to nestle back into, not to mention the absolute forest of Christmas trees that they have decked the place out with – it’s like Narnia in there!
There’ll be plenty going on in all the bars and restaurants so if you don’t want to tie yourself to just one event then take a stroll round town and soak up the atmosphere. Rue du Moulin always has a good carnival vibe going on, with people milling in and out of all the hip bars on the tiny old backstreet. There is a little Chamonix tradition of gathering at the clock tower just before midnight to count in the New Year, it’s crowded and chaotic but lots of fun. If you’ve got children then put them on your shoulders so that they can get a good view of the firework display that follows the countdown.
Many restaurants are offering a special New Year’s Eve menu with such decadent treats as champagne, scallops and truffles. Booking is highly recommended if you want to be sure of a table, have a look at our restaurants guide to see which ones are our favourites.
Don’t forget that if you want to enjoy a delicious feast at home without the hassle of shopping, cooking and cleaning we can organise private catering for you – anything from a full dinner party to dropping off some freshly cooked heat-and-serve meals prepared by one of our talented chefs. Visit our website for all the various catering options and prices.
If you need a bit of downtime to recover from all the partying then you can’t beat a trip to the spa at Pré Saint Didier over in Italy. Housed in a beautiful old villa, it’s a labyrinth of treatment rooms and relaxation suites with every hot, cold, soothing, exfoliating, invigorating, relaxing sensation you can imagine. We’ve been a few times and still keep discovering new rooms every time we go back! Our partner company, Haute Transfer, run regular bus trips there and back from just 44€ per person – read more about Pré Saint Didier and other nearby spas here.
So, what will 2015 bring for you? Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions that you want to achieve in the New Year? How about skiing the world-famous Vallée Blanche with a mountain guide? Or ice climbing on frozen waterfalls? Flying over the peaks perhaps and getting a bird’s eye view of Mont Blanc with a parapente flight or helicopter ride? You can do all these things right here in Chamonix, as well as plenty more besides. Have a look at our winter activities page to find out more about all the fantastic experiences you can have and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
In the meantime, we wish you a very happy New Year and all the best for 2015!
The snow dances have paid off, prayers have been answered and bizarre weather rituals have been rewarded – it’s snowed!!!
Just as the Compagnie du Mont Blanc was surely starting to get a bit twitchy about this weekend’s scheduled lift openings, the clouds thickened and the skies whitened. Granted, it’s been a bit wet down in the valley but the mountains are now covered with a lovely blanket of crisp fresh snow – just in time! Have a quick peek at the webcams to see what conditions are like right now.
Lift openings have been confirmed for tomorrow, but with some open for pedestrians only. Les Grands Montets and Flegere will definitely be open to skiers and snowboarders – see here for details of where to go.
It’s starting to feel a lot more like winter now and to get right into the festive mood we’ll be popping along to the Chambelles Christmas Concert tonight. The lovely ladies will be leading us in song at La Lucarne (next to the ice rink) for an evening of dinner and drinks, carols and cheer.
Dinner is served from 7pm with a 2 course set menu for just 12€, or you can choose “à la carte” – visit the Chambelles website for more details on menu and reservations. The concert is due to start at 8:30pm, followed by (and most likely preceded by) drinks and merriment. The concert part of the evening is free, but donations on the door are very welcome and will be given to Community Action Nepal.
Also coming up this week is the Christmas Market, also at La Lucarne, on Saturday and Sunday. Local artisans and traders will have lots of goodies to tempt you with, perfect for last-minute Christmas shopping (or just for treating yourself…).
The big man himself will be in town on Tuesday, just to check we’ve all been good before he does the rounds on Christmas Eve. The arrival will begin with something a bit different – a giant mechanical figure striding the streets and leading a parade from Place Balmat (by the post office) to Place Mont Blanc (by the Galerie Alpina). There will be entertainment from 5pm to 6pm, culminating in the arrival of Father Christmas!
Remember, if you’re visiting Chamonix for Christmas or New Year there is plenty to do to make your holiday special. From ice climbing, to paragliding, to husky dog sledding – just drop us a line or visit our website to find out more. It’s also one of our busiest times of year though, so don’t hang about!
Have a fantastic Christmas and, if you see him, remember to ask Santa for some more snow x
Apparently patience is a virtue. If that’s true then our stockings will be chock-full of goodies from Santa this year after all the patience we’ve shown waiting for the ski season to open. Hopes were high earlier this week after some fresh snowfall and temperatures have definitely dropped but, alas, there’ll be no lifts open this weekend.
You can keep an eye on upcoming weather forecasts on our new Snow & Weather page, as well as checking lift openings and webcams for the latest real-time information.
So, the snow may not be here yet but Santa is! He’s set up his Christmas workshop beside the Mer de Glace and you can find him there every weekend from 2pm to 4pm in the run-up to Christmas. Entry to his workshop is included in your Montenvers train ticket.
Chamonix is getting very festive this weekend; the Christmas lights go on this evening at 5pm in the centre of town. There’ll be carolling and hot drinks to warm your cockles, as well as entertainment for the children.
Tomorrow evening the Chamonix ice skating club are putting on a free display at the ice rink, just turn up at 6:30pm and enjoy the show.
You’ll also find Santa in Servoz this Sunday (don’t know how he’s finding time to make all those toys) at the annual Christmas Fair. There will be Christmas trees on sale, mulled wine, cakes, various stands and the all important visit from Santa himself at 15.30pm. Excellent prizes will up for grabs in the raffle, tickets are 2€ each or 6 for 10€ and all proceeds are in aid of the local school.
To round off the weekend the lovely Chambelles ladies choir will be holding a carol concert at the Protestant church near to the train station on Sunday evening. Entry is free with donations being welcomed for Restos du Coeur, an excellent charity that provides food for those who can’t afford it. Starting from 6pm with mulled wine afterwards, everyone’s welcome to come and join in – get there early if you want a seat, Chambelles concerts are always packed out!
If you’re coming to Chamonix for the festive season then make it extra special with one of our fantastic family activities – fly over the snowy peaks on a parapente, drive your own team of huskies, or sledge down the slopes after dark on a paret ride. All great fun but don’t leave it too long as they’re booking up fast! Take a look at our Winter Activities page or contact us for more information.
The lifts may not have opened just yet but more snow has been falling and Instagram has been inundated with charming pics of Chamonix looking like a Christmas card.
The snow line has been coming down tantalisingly low, with the snow pack settling at about 1200m so far; there is apparently about 50cm at the 2000m level so the base is looking good for this time of year!
Possibly just as exciting (depending on your point of view) is the news that the cherry pickers have been trundling round town, stringing up the Christmas lights! They’re not lit yet, the big switch-on won’t be until December but it still feels very festive.
With all this early snowfall there’s been talk of early lift openings… we can’t confirm anything yet but when we do, you’ll be the first to hear about it. The first areas to open are Les Houches and Les Grands Montets on 6th December. The new lift station at Les Grands Montets is coming on nicely and the new gondola cabins are waiting to be put to the test before they officially open to the public.
In the meantime, don’t forget that you have just 3 days left to save a tidy 20% on your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass. If your holiday falls between 10th January and 6th February or from 7th March to 10th April, you are eligible for this exclusive early bird discount. This offer is not available online and will not be available when you arrive in Chamonix, so contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org before 6pm on 24th November to book. The offer is valid on all Mont Blanc Unlimited lift passes, on a typical 6 day adult pass you’ll save 71.20€ so make sure you don’t miss the deadline.