Chamonix Events | Fete des Guides

This weekend marks a special tradition in Chamonix – La Fête des Guides. This annual event honours the men and women who have made the mountains their life and their livelihood; the mountain guides who keep thousands of people safe every year, whether they’re climbing Mont Blanc in summer or skiing the Vallee Blanche in winter.

Rock climbing in Chamonix


Friday 12th August, Le Lavancher

The festivities begin today in the little village of Le Lavancher with a traditional bread baking session in the old wood oven. You can buy a freshly baked loaf from midday to 4:30pm, while the children take part in climbing demos and various entertainments. A special dinner will be held at 7pm, followed by music and dancing; tickets cost 15€ not including drinks.

Fetes des Guides in Chamonix


Saturday 13th August, Les Houches

Fun and games at Les Chavants near to the Prarion lift station in Les Houches from 2pm to 7pm. The lake and climbing wall will be the venue for various activities hosted by the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix such as hiking, climbing, orientation, rope work, etc. At 6:30pm there will be a short speech by the mayor of Les Houches, followed by a sing-song with the mountain guide choir accompanied by alpine horns.

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Sunday 14th August, Argentiere

Argentiere hosts its own Fête des Guides today with entertainments and activities in the town from 9am to 12:30pm for children and adults. There will be a display of the beautiful crystals that have been found in the mountains and make sure you don’t miss the traditional ceremony at 5:30pm when all the guides turn out in their official uniforms. From 8pm there will be a party with live music, bar and snack stalls.

Fete des Guides in Chamonix


Sunday 14th August, Chamonix

The main celebrations take place on Sunday at Les Gaillands in Chamonix, starting at 5pm with activities such as climbing and slacklining to try your hand at. The PGHM will be doing a helicopter rescue demo at 5:30pm and you can learn all about the stars in the planetarium. Tombolas, live music, beer tents, snack stalls and plenty of entertainment make this a great afternoon for everyone of all ages. The grande finale is the sound and light show; a fascinating and usually quite surreal spectacle enacted by the guides themselves on the sheer stage of the climbing crag, followed by a firework display over the lake.

Fete des Guides in Chamonix


Monday 15th August, Chamonix

The official ceremony takes place this morning in the centre of Chamonix from 10am to 2pm. All the members of the Compagnie des Guides will gather in the Place du Triangle de l’amitié, dressed in their traditional uniforms for the blessing of their ropes and axes. New guides will be welcomed to the company and everyone will pay their respects to former guides, with a homage to those who have lost their lives in the mountains and a medal presentation for long-serving guides. The square will be lined with stalls, displays and refreshments.

Fete des Guides Chamonix


All profits from the Fete des Guides are donated to the Caisse de Secours, which supports guides who have been injured in the mountains and the families of deceased guides. Many of the events are free to enter, with the option to buy food and drinks. Entry to the festival at Les Gaillands on Sunday evening is 15€ per adult, and 5€ per child under the age of 12, entry is free for children under 5 years old. Please note that the programme may change according to the weather forecast.

Chamonix Bureau des Guides Mural


Chamonix Mountain Guides

The mountain guides of Chamonix enable us to explore the massive playground that is on our doorstep. Chamonix and the Mont Blanc massif is an amazing place to hike, climb, ski, run, ride and fly but the risks should never be underestimated. The beautiful wilderness of the mountains and particularly the glaciers are best discovered with a qualified mountain guide who will not only keep you safe but will also share their wealth of knowledge and experience with you. Contact us directly or visit our website if you would like to find out more about mountain guides in Chamonix.

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Our Favourite Family Activities in Chamonix | Summer Fun for Kids

School holidays are here and there are enough exciting family activities in Chamonix to keep everyone happy! We’ve picked out a handful of our favourite Chamonix children’s activities, all of which are fun for the whole family.


Rafting & Canyoning

Cool off your over-excited youngsters with a splash in the river! The gentle rapids of the River Arve are perfect for younger children, providing just enough excitement as you bob and bounce along the valley from Chamonix to Les Houches. If you want a wilder ride then older teens and adults will love the white water rapids over in Italy, this is a real adrenaline buzz! Other adventures include canyoning and hydrospeed; canyoning involves wading through streams, jumping into plunge pools and sliding down waterfalls while hydrospeed is a hilarious ride along the river on a body board. There is something to suit everyone from 7 to 77 years old and everyone always has a fantastic time – this is one of our favourite activities!

Rafting & Canyoning in Chamonix

Rafting in Chamonix, family activities


Discovery Photo Walks

Unleash their inner David Bailey with a guided tour around Chamonix’s hidden nooks and crannies. You’ll discover charming gardens, quaint little footpaths – you might even find yourself milking a goat or picking herbs with a genuine French chef! Wherever you end up, you’ll have a story to tell afterwards and a memory card full of wonderful photos. Your guide is the lovely Theresa, who has lived in the valley for many years and knows all it’s secrets. Walks can be tailored to suit your family or you can join a group, so contact us to find out more.

Chamonix Discovery Walks

Alpine wildlife on the trails of the Tour du Mont Blanc trek


Climbing & Via Ferrata

Little “grimpeurs” can experience the thrill of nailing their first ascent from the age of 6 with one of our expert climbing guides. There are plenty of crags in the Chamonix valley that have a good choice of routes, ranging from very easy to rather challenging, meaning that everyone can find a route that suits them. This is a great adventure for the whole family, building teamwork as you learn to belay each other and give encouragement from the ground! Teens can test their nerves on a via ferrata route; a network of ropes and ladders suspended high above the ground. You are secured roped up and harnessed, allowing you to climb higher and further than you could otherwise venture.

Climbing in Chamonix

Chamonix rock climbing


Nature Hikes & Wildlife

Summer in the Alps is like something out of a children’s story book – drinking from mountain lakes, wild goats skipping across rocks, the sound of cow bells, picnics in remote meadows… Explore the very best spots of the Chamonix valley on a guided nature hike; you’ll discover and learn so much more with someone who knows all the secrets of the mountains! Our IML hiking guides are experts in local flora and fauna, as well as essential survival skills such as which mountain huts serve the best homemade fruit tart.

Hiking in Chamonix

Hiking in Chamonix


Mountain Biking

Mountain bike trails in Chamonix vary from steep gnarly descents to flat gentle paths, with plenty in between to suit everyone. There are lots of easy routes alongside the river and through the forest, with dedicated biking trails at Le Tour and Les Houches. You can hire a guide to show you round and give you a few tips, or just grab a trail map and head off on your own adventure. Mountain bikes and helmets can be hired for children and adults, starting from half a day.

Mountain Biking in Chamonix

mountain-biking-chamonix-01


Mont Blanc Multipass

To really make the most of your family holiday in Chamonix we recommend that you invest in the Mont Blanc Multipass – not only will you have unlimited access to all of the mountain lifts in the valley but it also includes:

  • Montenvers Train – ride the old rack and pinion train up to the glacier at Mer de Glace, explore the ice caves and visit the glaciorium.
  • Tramway du Mont Blanc – chug up through the meadows of Les Houches to the Glacier de Bionnassay, you’ll find lots of nice picnic spots and easy hiking trails around the Col de Voza.
  • Aiguille du Midi – two cable cars will whisk you up to the summit at 3842m, where you’ll be surrounded by the towering peaks of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Bring your head for heights and “Step Into the Void”, a glass cube suspended thousands of metres above the icy crevasses of the Vallee Blanche.
  • Les Bossons Chairlift – this cute and colourful little chairlift takes you up to the Bossons Glacier. Peer into crevasses, learn the fascinating history of the area and enjoy a snack on the terrace of the pretty little café.
  • Tourist Train – take a guided tour of Chamonix on the little red train that loops around the town, tickets are discounted with your Mont Blanc Multipass.
  • Alpine Coaster – visit the adventure park at Les Planards and get buy-one-get-one-free on the mini roller coaster ride that whizzes down through the forest.
  • Megeve & Saint Gervais – take a day trip over to our neighbouring resort of Megeve and Saint Gervais; the Mont Blanc Multipass now includes their lift system, which opens up a huge new area of hiking trails, picnic spots and sightseeing.

Best of all, the Mont Blanc Multipass is great value for families as you only pay for 2 adults and 1 child – all other children are included free of charge! Please visit our summer lift pass page for more information on the Mont Blanc Multipass and our summer areas page to find out where you can go with your lift pass.


Childcare & Babysitting

If you fancy a night out or a day in the mountains then don’t worry about where to find a babysitter; we work with a great team of professional, fun and reliable child carers. They have all been thoroughly checked, have excellent references and speak a variety of languages. So, just contact us directly to enquire about anything from a few hours to full days. Your little ones will have a great time and you can rest assured that they are receiving the very best care.

Babysitting and childcare in Chamonix with Baby-Cham

Family Activities in Chamonix : Things to Do for Kids of All Ages

Now that summer is underway and the school holidays are not far off, we’ve been getting lots of enquiries for children’s activities. There are tons of things to keep kids of all ages entertained in summer, here are our favourite family activities in Chamonix:

Alpine Coaster ride at Les Planards in Chamonix

Chamonix Parc
Each summer Les Planards ski area is transformed into a mini-fairground with rides and games for children as young as one year old and upwards. The star attraction is the Alpine Coaster, a 1300m toboggan ride that twists and turns as it whizzes through the trees. Best of all, you can get a free ride on the Alpine Coaster with your Mont Blanc Multipass.

 

Rafting & Canyoning
The Chamonix rapids are perfect for families who are looking for thrills and adventure that they can enjoy together. Children from 10 years can go rafting from the centre of Chamonix, while the tamer waters of Passy are ideal for youngsters of 7 years and over. If you’ve never tried canyoning before, then you’ve missed a treat! Plunging into rock pools, splashing through waterfalls and abseiling across rivers will be the highlight of your holiday. In both activities you’ll get wet anyway, so they are great options for days when the weather isn’t great.
Watersports in Chamonix

Rafting in Chamonix, family activities

Trams & Trains
All kids love a train ride and Chamonix has two fantastic ones. The Montenvers train has been chugging up to the Mer de Glace since 1909 and is still a great day out. As well as France’s longest glacier, you’ll also be able to see the sculptures carved into the ice caves, the treasures of the crystal gallery, and find out more about the fascinating alpine fauna and geology at the museums up there. At the other end of the valley is the Tramway du Mont Blanc, which sets off from Saint-Gervais and trundles up through the meadows and pine forests of Les Houches to the foot of the Bionnassay glacier. Little explorers will find it very exciting to see all the mountaineers using the tram to start their ascent of Mont Blanc. There are various places en route where you can get off the tram to go for a hike, have a picnic or to visit the goats at La Charme. Both the Montenvers train and the Tramway du Mont Blanc are included in your Mont Blanc Multipass.

Tramway du Mont Blanc in Les Houches, Chamonix Mont Blanc

Climbing
There is lots of choice in the Chamonix valley with everything from rope bridges through the trees to bolted rock climbing routes on rugged crags. Our expert rock climbing guides will teach your children the essential skills to have them scampering about the mountains in safety and with confidence. You can also learn as a family, taking it in turns to belay each other and give encouragement from the ground. Little “grimpeurs” can experience the thrill of nailing their first ascent from the age of 6 with one of our expert climbing guides.
Chamonix Climbing

Chamonix rock climbing

Mountain Biking
With trails marked in the same way as ski pistes from green (easy) to black (hard), you’ll find something to suit everyone in the Chamonix valley. You can either hire bikes and helmets and set off on your own adventure, or book a mountain bike guide to show you the best trails and share a few tips on hammering down them like a pro. If you don’t fancy the thought of cycling uphill, then you’ll be pleased to hear that most of the trails can be accessed by the lift system and are included in your Mont Blanc Multipass, so you don’t even need to be super fit to enjoy them!
Chamonix Mountain Biking

mountain-biking-chamonix-01

Teen Adventures
As well as all of the above there are plenty of options that older children will love – scrambling high above the valley on a via ferrata route, learning how to use ice axes and crampons on a glacier hike, paragliding over the mountains, hydrospeeding down the river… All these activities are great fun and a real adventure for anyone aged 12 years and over.

Paragliding in Chamonix

The Mont Blanc Multipass has a family option, which is worthwhile looking into for any families with two or more children. You only pay for two adults and one child, then all other children are included free of charge (with a maximum limit of 5 children in total). The pass includes all the lifts in the Chamonix valley including the Aiguille du Midi cable car, the Montenvers train and the Tramway du Mont Blanc as well as free entry and/or discounts on lots of other attractions. A family of 5 would save over 200€ on a 6 day pass, contact us now to find out more.

Book Now & Save Up To 1000€ on Your Chamonix Ski Holiday!

The Early Bird deal is an exclusive offer, not available on line, that will save you 25% on the price of your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass. To further sweeten the deal, we’re offering great savings on accommodation, airport transfers and ski hire when booked at the same time as your lift pass.

Whether you’re travelling as a couple, a family with kids, or as a larger group, we can save you as much as 1000€ on your winter ski holiday in Chamonix.

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Group Discount Package

Travelling off-peak brings many advantages – cheaper flights, quieter ski slopes, and fantastic special offers! Take a look at what we can offer to save you money on your Chamonix ski trip.

  • 6 Day Mont Blanc Unlimited Lift Pass*
  • 7 nights in a 3 bedroom self-catered apartment**
  • 6 return transfers between Geneva airport and Chamonix***
  • 6 pairs of rental skis, boots & poles****

Your Group Discount Package comes to just 4350€, saving you up to 1000€ on the price of your holiday! Contact us now to book your dates between 7th and 27th January or between 4th March and 7th April 2017.

*6 adult Mont Blanc Unlimited lift passes
**Saturday to Saturday on selected properties
***Shared transfer to and from your accommodation
****Upgrades and snowboards available on request

Ski the Vallee Blanche from the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix


Family Discount Package

Taking the family skiing can be an expensive affair, which is why we’ve teamed up with our partners to offer you a great deal on lift passes, accommodation, airport transfers and ski hire – leaving you with more cash in your pocket to spend on having fun!

  • 6 Day Mont Blanc Unlimited Family Lift Pass*
  • 7 nights in a 2 bedroom self-catered apartment**
  • 4 return transfers between Geneva airport and Chamonix***
  • 4 pairs of rental skis, boots & poles****

Your Family Discount Package comes to just 2350€, saving you up to 500€ on the price of your holiday! Contact us now to book your dates between 7th and 27th January or between 4th March and 7th April 2017.

*2 adults + 2 children, 3 extra children may be added to the pass free of charge
**Saturday to Saturday on selected properties
***Shared transfer to and from your accommodation
****Upgrades and snowboards available on request

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Bespoke Packages

Plan ahead and make massive savings this winter on lift passes, ski/snowboard rental, airport transfers and accommodation in the heart of Chamonix Mont Blanc. The bigger your group, the more you save – contact us now for a personalised quote.

We are offering exclusive deals to suit everyone – starting with 25% discount on your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass. Book your Mont Blanc unlimited pass through us before the end of October and unlock further great savings on the rest of your holiday. On receipt of your order for your Early Bird Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass we will give you an exclusive discount code that can be used to save hundreds of euros on Chamonix accommodation, airport transfers and ski/snowboard rental.

Off-piste ski course with Chamonix Experience mountain guides


It’s never too early to start planning your next ski trip, especially when you can save so much money by booking now. The Early Bird discount is valid on all Mont Blanc Unlimited lift passes from 7th – 27th January and from 4th March to 7th April 2017. You must place your order by 31st October to benefit from these discounted rates.

5 Reasons to Love Chamonix in Spring

Time to Relax

The difference between Chamonix during peak season and inter season is dramatic – come during the quieter periods of spring or autumn and you’ll find a haven of peace and quiet. The town doesn’t go into hibernation like some of the purpose-built ski resorts do, it just slows its pace a little. Once the hoards of holidaymakers have gone you can enjoy simple pleasures such as hiking up to deserted lakes, running along empty trails, strolling round the market on Saturday morning, enjoying a coffee at a pavement café… not to mention being able to get a table in your favourite Chamonix restaurant at short notice!

Chamonix hiking trails in spring and summer


Chamonix spring flowersFlora & Fauna

As the snow melts, the colours of spring reveal themselves in all their glory! Pink blossom has started to appear on the trees, a bright carpet of wild flowers is poking through the remnants of snow, marmots and other alpine animals are starting to venture out of their burrows. You don’t have to venture very far to explore this magical land and there are plenty of accessible hikes that don’t require lift access. Join us on a discovery walk with Teresa and discover the hidden treasures of the Chamonix valley, keen photographers will pick up some invaluable tips on capturing their favourite views.


End of Season Parties

Chamonix loves nothing more than a good party (well, maybe an epic powder day but one often follows the other) and the end of winter is always marked by a raft of parties, BBQs, fancy dress nights, and general merry-making. The closing party at Les Grands Montets is the one that no one wants to miss with rail comps, tunes, crazy outfits and the legendary water slide – this year’s bash takes place on Sunday 1st May, don’t miss it! Many of the bars in Chamonix stay open throughout interseason and as the weather gets warmer the BBQs come out and we make the official switch from vin chaud to rosé as the apres-ski drink of choice. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for all the upcoming events and parties.

Freeride Days end of season party at Les Grands Montets


Chamonix climbingWarm Weather & Longer Days

The sunny spring weather brings a whole new list of fun things to do; the hiking and biking trails are clear of snow, the climbing crags are drying out and road bikers are enjoying sunny days and quiet roads. Lighter mornings and evenings mean that training can now start in earnest for all the summer events such as the Marathon du Mont Blanc and the UTMB. Join us for an invigorating retreat to kick-start your fitness plan.


Cheap Flights & Accommodation

All of the above, plus a few extra euros in your pocket to spend on enjoying yourself! You’ll often find deals on cheap flights at this time of year but remember to quote Mountain Lifestyle when you’re booking your accommodation and you’ll bag a 10% discount on all chalets and apartments for the remainder of this month as well. Not only that, but Mountain Lifestyle guests can claim a further 10% discount on airport transfers during April when you book on this page using the promo code “april”. Don’t forget that lift passes are also discounted for the last week of the ski season, so grab a last minute bargain and treat yourself to a spring break in Chamonix!

Chamonix in summer with flowers and Mont Blanc

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

Family Fun : Our Favourite Summer Adventures for Kids & Families in Chamonix

Now that school holidays are well and truly underway we’ve been getting a lot of enquiries about how to keep children entertained in Chamonix; the good news is that there’s plenty for them to do and you’ll have a great time as well!

Photography in Chamonix, guided walking toursDiscovery Photo Walks
Unleash their inner David Bailey with a guided tour around Chamonix’s hidden nooks and crannies. You’ll discover charming gardens, quaint little footpaths – you might even find yourself milking a goat or picking herbs with a genuine French chef! Wherever you end up, you’ll have a story to tell afterwards and a memory card full of wonderful photos.
Chamonix Walks – find out more here

rock-climbing-chamonix-kids-01Climbing
Little “grimpeurs” can experience the thrill of nailing their first ascent from the age of 6 with one of our expert climbing guides. There are plenty of crags in the Chamonix valley that have a good choice of routes, ranging from very easy to rather challenging, meaning that everyone can find a route that suits them. This is a great adventure for the whole family, building teamwork as you learn to belay each other and give encouragement from the ground!
Climbing in Chamonix – find out more here

Chamonix canyoningRafting & Canyoning
In this heat it’s easy for kids to get tired and frazzled – so take them for a dunk in the river! The gentle rapids of the River Arve provide just enough excitement to make sure that everyone gets a good splash as you bob down the valley. If you want full immersion then take the plunge with a canyoning adventure – wading through streams, jumping into plunge pools and sliding down waterfalls. Our guides have taken everyone from 7 to 77 years and everyone always has a fantastic time – this is one of our favourite activities!
Rafting & Canyoning in Chamonix – find out more here

marmots-blog-01Nature Hikes
Summer in the Alps is like something out of a children’s story book – drinking from mountain lakes, wild goats skipping across rocks, the sound of cow bells, picnics in remote meadows… Explore the very best spots of the Chamonix valley with a guided nature hike; you’ll discover and learn so much more with someone who knows all the secrets of the mountains!
Hiking in Chamonix – find out more here

To really make the most of your stay in Chamonix we recommend that you invest in the Mont Blanc Multipass – not only will you have unlimited access to all of the mountain lifts in the valley but it also includes:

  • train-tourist-chamonix-01Montenvers train up to the glacier at Mer de Glace
  • Tramway du Mont Blanc up to the Glacier de Bionnassay
  • Aiguille du Midi
  • Reduced entry to the sports centre and swimming pool
  • Special discount on the little tourist train
  • FREE ride on the Alpine Coaster

Best of all, the Mont Blanc Multipass is great value for families as you only pay for 2 adults and 1 child – all other children are included free of charge! Please visit our summer lift pass page for more information on the Mont Blanc Multipass and our summer areas page to find out where you can go with your lift pass.

Besides all of the above, there is a wealth of fun things for families to enjoy this summer. For more information on children’s activities and facilities in Chamonix, please visit our Resort Information page.