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!)

Telecabine-Panoramic-Mont-Blanc_OT-Vallee-de-Chamonix---Salome-ABRIAL

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.


Montenvers-Mer-de-Glace_OT-Vallee-de-Chamonix---Salome-ABRIAL

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).


Tramway-du-Mont-Blanc_OT-Vallee-de-Chamonix---Salome-ABRIAL-8338(1)

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!


Mer-de-Glace_B.-Tsuda

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.


DA1_3259_Pascal-Tournaire

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.


bunjee

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).


1335-VTT-Tour-98_Monica-Dalmasso

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.


skydive

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.


CDM

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.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!


IMG_9489-Stephane-Marmonier

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..


get VERTICAL - SALEWA

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.


treetop zip wire

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.


gorges de la diosaz.jpg

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.


OT-Vallee-de-Chamonix---Salome-ABRIAL-9687

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.

beach volley ball

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.


paradis des praz.jpg

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.


zhivago

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.


coaster.jpg

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.

slide

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.


pool

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.


 

13988268_1648786472103883_5960094741904290008_o.jpg

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.


St Bernard 2

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.


parc merlet

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.


Golf(1)

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.


paintball.jpg

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…


 

casino chamonix.PNG

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.


tom hine

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.


 

market

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.


cha

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.


high street

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.


verticalp.jpg

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.

Advertisements

Make the most of Summer 2018 with a Mont Blanc multi pass

As we wave goodbye to another winter season here in Chamonix, we seem to have missed spring all together and moved straight into summer – temperatures are already hitting over 20 degrees on a regular basis and the snow is melting fast.

Once the ski areas have closed, the lift operator switches over to summer multi-pass sales, which you will be able to buy from 2nd May to 30th November 2018 inclusive.

Validity Areas

Activity map for the Mont Blanc Multi-pass
Areas covered by the Summer Multi-pass in Chamonix Mont Blanc

The multi-pass is a great way to access the mountains and various visitor attractions in the Chamonix Valley.  The areas that the multi-pass covers are as follows:

  • Brévent / Flégère
  • Grands Montets
  • Balme – Le Tour / Vallorcine
  • Aiguille du Midi & Step into the Void
  • *Montenvers Mer de Glace (train and site access)
  • *Tramway du Mont-Blanc
  • Les Houches
  • Les Bossons Chairlift
  • St Gervais (Evasion Mont Blanc area)
  • Megève (Evasion Mont Blanc area)

*The Panoramic Mont Blanc gondola at the Aiguille du Midi will be closed for the whole summer to undergo repairs.

*The Tramway du Mont Blanc will not stop at the Nid d’Aigle stop due to ongoing construction work.

*The ice cave at the Mer de Glace will be closed on selected dates – see timetables below for more info).

Take a look at the various timetables and operating hours for these areas to help plan your days out.

Added Extras

alpine-coaster-summer-01

Not only does your Chamonix summer pass give you access to all of the above, but you’ll also benefit from:

You’ll also get access to the Chamonix valley bus service for free (timetables).

2018 Multi-Pass Prices & Special Offers

Summer prices multi-pass

Family passes allow 2 adults &  children a discount of up to 20% from the public rates if you buy them online (passes must be bought at least 3 days in advance of your arrival and be for a minimum of 1 or 2 consecutive days or 3 non consecutive days). Extra children up to a maximum of 3 can be added on for free.

There are also special online rates for the Aiguille du Midi and Montevers Mer de Glace (between 1st May & 16th June 2018) and for mountain bikers and parapenters all summer. Contact us for more information on these.

Note that passes are hands-free and cost 3 euros each. They are non-refundable but you can re-charge them for subsequent summer or winter visits.

Use our online form to order your Chamonix summer lift passes

Mountain Base Summer Top Tips

Aiguille-du-Midi_Copyright-OT-Vallee-de-Chamonix---Salome-Abrial

  • Buying a multi-pass in advance through us means that you don’t have to queue at the ticket offices each day you want to use the lifts. We’ll have your hands-free passes ready for when you arrive at your accommodation, so when you’re ready to use them you go straight to the turnstile or gate to access the lifts.
  • If you’re visiting in July or August, we’d highly recommend you book in advance for the Aiguille du Midi or the Tramway du Mont Blanc. You can do this at any of the cash desks or online (once the tickets go on sale) and if you already have your Mont Blanc Multi-pass it’s free (pay 2 euros if not).
  • For ultimate flexibility we’d suggest you buy the non-consecutive day passes, especially if you’re here for longer than a week.
  • Our team includes keen trail runners, cyclists, hikers and mountain bikers, so if you’ve got any questions about activities and things to do in Chamonix in Summer, get in touch and we’d be happy to share more top tips and answer any more questions that you may have.

Book Your Accommodation

We pride ourselves on offering a high standard of properties around the Chamonix valley. Each apartment or chalet has its own parking, free WiFi and one hairdryer per bathroom. All linen and towels are included in the price, as well as an end of stay clean.

We’ve got live prices and availability on our website, so it’s easy for you to see what your options are based on your dates of travel and the size of your group. You can book a one week stay directly through the site, or for shorter stays (minimum 4 nights) or longer duration holidays, please contact us directly for a quote.

Montenvers-Mer-de-Glace_OT-Vallee-de-Chamonix---Salome-ABRIAL-smaller

See you soon!

Classic Chamonix Hikes | Our 5 Favourite Walking Trails

Summer in Chamonix is all about being outside – whether that’s hiking in the mountains, enjoying an al fresco lunch in town, climbing Mont Blanc, or splashing in the river. Here are a few of our favourite hiking trails that take in the best parts of the Chamonix valley.

hiking-chamonix-fiz-cows-01


Lac Blanc, Flegere

Lac Blanc is one of the iconic Chamonix hiking destinations. From the top of the Flegere cable car you follow the signposts high above the Chamonix valley, along rocky paths and through high altitude meadows to a crystal clear lake surrounded by towering mountains. There are two routes, either directly from the cable car or from the top of the Index chairlift. Both are only moderately strenuous and take around an hour and a half to reach the lake. The name “Lac Blanc” comes from the white snowy peaks that are reflected in its mirror-like waters. From the banks of the lake you have a panoramic view of the Mont Blanc massif on the opposite side of the valley. Those who are brave enough can dabble their toes in the icy water, extremely refreshing on a hot day! Lac Blanc is within the Aiguille Rouges nature reserve and is a common place to spot alpine wildlife such as bouquetin and marmots in their natural habitat. If you have the energy then you can hike across to Brevent-Planpraz along the Grand Balcon Sud and take the gondola back down to Chamonix.
The Flegere cable car, Index chairlift and Planpraz gondola are all included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Lac Blanc at Flegere Chamonix


Grand Balcon Nord

This stunning hike not only takes in sweeping views of the entire length of the Chamonix valley but also includes two of our favourite sightseeing attractions, Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace. The hike itself only takes around 2-3 hours but we highly recommend setting aside a full day, so that you can fully explore everything that the two sites have to offer. Starting from the Aiguille du Midi cable car, you should ride all the way to the summit at 3842m and take a walk round the various viewing platforms before taking a deep breath and stepping into the void – a glass cube suspended thousands of feet above the glaciers and crevasses of the world famous Vallee Blanche. Once you’ve taken in the jaw-dropping 360° views you can come back down to the mid-station at Plan de l’Aiguille and follow the hiking signs along the Grand Balcon Nord towards Montenvers Mer de Glace. The trail undulates gently along the mountainside, just above the treeline so that you have uninterrupted views of the whole of the Chamonix valley. The towering rocks above you and the pine forests below you make a beautiful contrast to the high altitude meadows that the paths winds its way through. Once at the Mer de Glace you can take a gondola lift down to the ice caves of the glacier, or visit the glaciorium to learn more about the fascinating geology of the area. The historic Grand Hotel Montenvers will welcome you for lunch or a refreshing drink on their terrace before you ride the little rack and pinion train back down to Chamonix centre.
The Aiguille du Midi cable cars and Montenvers train are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Hiking in Chamonix along the Grand Balcon Nord


Aiguillettes des Houches

This vertiginous ridge walk looks out beyond Chamonix into the gorges and mountain ranges of the surrounding valleys. You get a strong sense of the incredible landscape and the massive scale of the Alps from this breathtaking vantage point. Starting from the centre of Chamonix you take the gondola up to Planpraz, followed by the cable car to the summit of Brevent at 2525m. From here you can pick up signposts for Aiguillette des Houches, but be sure to make the small diversion to the serenely beautiful Lac du Brevent. You can either take a picnic to enjoy at the lake, or stop off at the Bellachat mountain refuge for a traditional Savoyard lunch of cheese omelette and homemade myrtille tart. The trail takes you along a stunning high altitude ridge with carpets of wildflowers and berries stretching out on either side, past the ancient stone shepherds’ huts at Chalets de Chailloux. Once you’ve reached the pinnacle of the ridge the path drops down through the forest, past Parc de Merlet and back down to Les Gaillands, from where you can take the train or bus back to Chamonix centre. Public transport in Chamonix is free of charge with your carte d’hote, issued to you by Mountain Lifestyle.
The Planpraz gondola and Brevent cable car are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Hiking in Chamonix


Alpage de la Charme, Les Houches

A short walk from the Prarion gondola brings you to the aptly named alpine pastures of La Charme in Les Houches. This short ramble is perfect for families and those who prefer a gentle stroll to a strenuous hike. Picturesque views and a multitude of picnic spots make this a lovely day out, especially if you call in at the goat farm for a taste of locally produced cheese. To turn it into a full day out you can take the train from Chamonix to Saint-Gervais and ride the Tramway du Mont Blanc up to Nid d’Aigle at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier in Les Houches. Once you’ve admired the majestic view you can ride the tram back down to Col de Voza and follow the hiking signs from here to La Charme, taking the Prarion gondola back down at the end of the afternoon and hopping on the bus back to Chamonix.
The Prarion gondola and Tramway du Mont Blanc are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Les Houches in Summer in Chamonix


Aiguillette des Posettes, Vallorcine & Le Tour

Make the most of the free public transport in Chamonix and hop on the train to Vallorcine, the train station is right beside the gondola lift that will whisk you up into the pastures of the Domaine de la Balme, right on the edge of the Franco-Swiss border. From here you can hike up to the pinnacle of the Aiguillette des Posettes at 2201m, a stunning viewpoint surrounded by high peaks in all directions. The steep descent will bring you back down to the gentle rolling meadows of Charamillon, where the clinking of cow bells fills the air. You can either hike down to Le Tour car park on a narrow twisting trail or save your knees and take the gondola. From the car park you can pick up the bus back to Chamonix, or walk ten minutes down the road to Montroc train station.
The Vallorcine and Charamillon gondolas are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Hiking in Chamonix


All of the above hikes can be done simply by following the hiking signs. If you’d like to go farther afield or venture out onto the glaciers then we recommend booking a guided hike to fully appreciate the experience.

Please contact us directly or find out more about hiking in Chamonix on our website.

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

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?!

Summer of Adventure : Chamonix Summer Events & Activities

Chamonix is world-famous as a ski resort and winter sports paradise but did you know that’s it’s also an amazing place to visit in summer? Mountains, music and myriad opportunities for adventure await you in Chamonix this summer…

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Mountains
Mountaineers flock to Chamonix from all around the world to challenge themselves amongst the peaks and even summit Mont Blanc. It’s not just for elite alpinists though, there is plenty of opportunity for rock climbing of all types, you can learn new skills on an alpine course, or venture out onto the mythical glaciers of the Vallee Blanche and the Mer de Glace.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Summer Events
The summer is jam-packed with events of all sorts including the Marathon du Mont Blanc, Climbing World Championships, Bastille Day, Cosmojazz, Ultratrail du Mont Blanc and more – you can find the main ones listed on our website, or keep an eye on our Facebook page for all the latest updates.
Find Chamonix accommodation for summer events

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in Chamonix
Photo credit : Michel Cottin

On Your Bike
From gnarly downhillers to lithe lycra-clad road bikers, it seems that everyone in Chamonix gets about on two wheels. If you’re one of the mud-covered full-body armour types then you’ll find heaps of single-track, steep descents and challenging cross-country trails to get your teeth into, find more information on Chamonix mountain biking here. If skinny tyres and padded pants are more your thing then Chamonix is definitely the place to be this summer, with no less than 3 stages of the Tour de France taking place within pedalling distance! Get in touch if you want to be part of the action and join us at the start/finish lines.
Find out more about Chamonix lift passes in summer

Chamonix triathlon, bike ride
Photo Credit : Evergreen Endurance

Music Festivals
The big music event of the summer is Fete de la Musique, a celebration that takes place every midsummer. Free concerts, live music and DJs get the whole town dancing in the streets from midday until sunrise the following morning. Throughout the summer you’ll find live music being played almost every day – hip jazz bands at the Maison des Artistes, chilled acoustic sets on the terraces of bars and cafés, DJs spinning tunes late into the night… And if you want big names you don’t have to travel far – this year sees Elton John, Muse, ZZ Top, Amy Macdonald, Jamie Cullum and many more playing in the surrounding area. Not forgetting, of course, the annual Cosmojazz festival right here in Chamonix that keeps on getting bigger and better every year.
Find Chamonix accommodation during the festivals

Cosmojazz Chamonix

Hiking & Trail Running
Run to the hills and immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Chamonix valley is criss-crossed with miles and miles of hiking trails, from easy riverside meanders to high altitude ridges. You’ll discover alpine meadows, ancient glaciers, remote mountain refuges and hopefully spot lots of local wildlife such as marmots and bouquetin on your travels. Hiking with an IML guide makes the trip so much more rewarding as they have a wealth of knowledge about the local area, flora, fauna, etc and know the valley inside out. If you’re looking to improve your fitness or are training for a race, you can hit the trails with a qualified running coach and multiple ultra trail finisher to pick up lots of top tips and expert advice.
Find out more about Chamonix lift passes in summer

hiking-chamonix-fiz-cows-01

La Vie en Rose
One of the best things about life in France is enjoying the simple pleasures of a warm croissant at a café first thing in the morning, trying out the lingo and sampling local cheese at the market, dipping your toes in a crystal clear lake on a hot day, spotting a timid chamois amongst the pine trees, sipping a cold rosé whilst watching the sunset turn the mountains pink… once you come, you’ll never want to leave!
Find Chamonix accommodation this summer

Chamonix in summer with flowers and Mont Blanc

Climb Mont Blanc – Discover the Alternative Route

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps, the biggest glacier in western Europe, and at the top of many people’s bucket list of “must do” experiences.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Tramway du Mont Blanc in Les Houches, ChamonixThousands of people flock to Chamonix each summer to see this magnificent sight, hundreds are fortunate enough to reach the summit at 4809m. The classic Mont Blanc route starts with a ride up through the pastures of Les Houches on the Tramway du Mont Blanc, a night in the refuge, followed by a dawn ascent. It is an incredible experience, but often one that is shared with a lot of other people, especially during the busiest months of the summer season.

But… did you know about the other route? The path less trodden? The Italian Mont Blanc route is slightly longer and more technical, with more daily ascent and no lift assistance, making it a more authentic experience for “purist” mountaineers.

Val Veny in ItalyStarting from the beautiful valley of Val Veny, you spend a night at the Rifugio Gonella, a remote mountain hut at 3071m nestled beneath the Miage and Dome glaciers. The ascent to the summit of Mont Blanc is via the Piton des Italiens route; a long but spectacular climb amongst breathtaking scenery.

The solitude of this itinerary means that you have a greater chance of seeing alpine wildlife such as ibex and chamois, as well as enjoying the tranquility of the mountains. After a full day on your feet you will reach the summit and find yourself looking out over the peaks of France, Italy and Switzerland from the highest point in the Alps.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Take a while to soak up the view and experience the emotions that come with such an achievement before beginning the descent via the Gouter refuge, back down to the classic route to Chamonix. The beauty of this trip is that you get to experience both sides of Mont Blanc!

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Training to climb Mont Blanc in ChamonixDue to the technical and physically challenging nature of the Italian route, this is best suited to experienced mountaineers with a love of authentic alpinism. However, you do not have to be an expert as our mountain guides will spend three days prior to the trip preparing you for the terrain amongst the crags and glaciers of the Chamonix valley; ensuring that you have all the necessary skills needed to use crampons, axes and ropes effectively.

If this sounds like your kind of adventure then visit our website or contact us directly for more information. Places are already booking up fast, so don’t delay!