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).

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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.


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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.

Order your Ski passes for winter 2018-19!

Early bird passes, ski 1 day for free & other great ski deals…

Winter is coming and we’ve got some great deals for you on ski passes.
Prices for the 2018-19 season have been published & we’re now ready to start taking your orders.

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eb prices

Enjoy massive savings on Mont Blanc Unlimited ski passes when you buy them through us before 30th November 2018. You must be skiing within selected dates for the discounts to apply > Early Bird details & pricesOrder your ski passes.


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Buy Mont Blanc Unlimited or Chamonix Le Pass ski passes from 6-9 days you can ski one day for free! e.g. for 6 day passes you pay the price for 5 days, for 7 days you pay for 6… > Ski 1 day for freeOrder your ski passes.


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First snow prices:

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There are also offers for skiing early (first snow) or late in the ski season (spring skiing), special deals for families with 2 children or more and discounts for veterans. Find all of the main season prices for 1-21 days here. Order your ski passes.

Spring Skiing prices:

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When do the Chamonix ski lifts open? If the snow arrives early we could see higher parts of the ski area opening on weekends in November or the first week in December. This year’s opening dates are yet to be released but when they are you’ll find them here.

Read more about the different types of ski pass available & what’s suitable for you, plus information on ski insurance, travel discounts and other activities included with the MBU pass.


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New for winter 2018-19! 

La Folie Douce is coming to Chamonix this winter. Enjoy a different taste of après ski at the foot of the Brévent ski area, opening in December 2018.

With any MBU pass from 3- 21 days, you get one entry to the brand new Chamonix QC Therme Spa which opened this summer.


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Why Chamonix?

Apart from the incredible ski terrain & impressive mountains, there’s plenty to do here during the winter months. Take a look at this video for some inspiration and don’t worry if there are members of your group who don’t ski.. we’ve got that covered too! Read up on our list of over 30 things for non skiers to do on a winter trip to Chamonix.

If you’ve got any questions about this year’s ski passes, please email us on info@mountain-base.com. If you know which passes you’d like to order please use this order form & we’ll get back to you to confirm the order as soon as we can.


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What to do in Chamonix when it’s raining

Sometimes the mountain weather doesn’t quite dish up the goods, and on a rainy day in Chamonix you may be at a bit of a loss for what to do..

Thankfully there are a few options to keep you or the family entertained if the rain starts to fall.


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Rafting / Hydrospeed / Airboat / Canyoning

Embrace getting wet and get booked onto a white water rafting trip through the centre of Chamonix or down at the lake in Passy. There are family friendly experiences to be had, or a more challenging grade 4 rapids to tackle over in Italy. Talk to our friends at Evolution 2 Chamonix and tell them you’re with Mountain Base for priority on any bookings. Prices start from €35 per child.


cinema1.jpgCinema

Catch the latest movies at Cinema Vox in Chamonix centre or down in Les Houches next to the Mairie. If you’d like to watch films in English, make sure to buy tickets for the “VOST” films. They will be the original English speaking films with French subtitles. Ticket prices start from €5.50 per adult.


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Spa / Massage / Swim

There are plenty of choices of places to go in Chamonix for a spa session, in fact at most of the larger hotels. Here are some of our favourites: Hotel Heliopic tucked behind the Aiguille du Midi lift station, Park Hotel Suisse just across the square from the tourist office,  Grand Hotels des Alpes on the main pedestrian street in Chamonix centre, Hotel Mont Blanc next to the tourist office and the Refuge des Aiglons near Chamonix Sud bus station.


Indoor climbing Les Houches

Indoor Climbing

There’s a bouldering wall at Chamonix sports centre and a larger indoor climbing wall down in Les Houches for anyone looking to get their climbing fix. Bring your own climbing shoes or you can rent them from most sports shops for a small fee.


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Swimming

Chamonix’s indoor swimming pool is located at the Richard Bozon Sports centre. It’s 25m in length with massage jets, a jacuzzi, 130m water slide and a river rapid. Open every day of the week in peak seasons although only on afternoons at the weekend. There’s also a gym, sauna and steam room to make use of in the centre.


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Ice Skating

Don your ice skates (which you can rent on site) and head onto the ice for a skate about. Located just round the corner from the main sports centre you can pop across the road afterwards for a tasty burger and a beer at MBC.


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Museums / Galleries / Library

There are a good number of exhibits to visit at museums across the Chamonix Valley, from Vallorcine to Servoz. Learn about local history, crystals, mountaineering exploits in days gone by or pop into the library to borrow books or DVD’s to while away a rainy day.


 

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Casino

If you fancy a flutter, Chamonix’s casino can be found near the Terrasse bar and central post office. They have traditional card tables as well as 70 slot machines and electronic roulette.


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Arcade games / Table football / Ping pong

The Rocky Pop Hotel in Les Houches has covered areas where you can play table tennis, table football, and some classic arcade games. Grab a bite to eat from the restaurant or enjoy a drink from the bar whilst you’re there.


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La Petite Folie

Chamonix’s only soft play cafe is located in Chamonix Sud, next door to Monkey Bar. There’s a cafe on site and they host occasional events during the peak holiday seasons. Always ring ahead to check opening hours.


Hopefully the rain won’t last too long, but if you want to check in on what the weather people have predicted, take a look at some of our favourite Chamonix weather forecasts:

Chamonix Meteo

Chamonix Tourist Office

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Chamonix Snow Forecast

Regional Storm Forecast & Alerts across France


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30+ Things for non-skiers to do in Chamonix Mont Blanc

Chamonix is known as the extreme sports capital of the world, with a seemingly endless list of high-octane, high adrenaline sports and backcountry skiing itineraries. But what if you aren’t that extreme, don’t ski, want to enjoy some more relaxing activities or simply take in the views?

From a calming yoga session on the mountain top to racing through the night to get to an Italian mountain restaurant on the back of a skidoo, there’s something to suit every taste and budget, both here in Chamonix and in neighbouring Italy and Switzerland.

Here’s our pick of the best activities and things to do in the area if you don’t ski.


HuskiesHusky Rides

This is hands down the most popular winter activity for non-skiers in the Chamonix valley. Head out into the mountains on your own husky sleigh, either as the driver of your own sledge or travel as a passenger with a musher. Enjoy the breathtaking mountain scenery as you speed along specially marked out paths in the forest. Contact us to book.


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).

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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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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.


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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 winter in mid December and it’s more popular for non-mountaineering visitors to take a ride to enjoy the fantastic views, or to access some of the snowshoeing routes in this area. It stays open until the beginning of April – weather permitting of course.


Paret GMParet descents

A great activity for groups of friends, where you take the last lift of the day up to Grands Montets ski area mid station, and slide all the way down the home run on traditional wooden ‘paret’ sledges. Great fun for anyone over 12 years old and for groups.  Contact us to book.


Italian snowmobilesItalian snowmobile adventure

Head over to Italy for this adventure. Put your head torch on and jump on the back of a snowmobile, and get ready to race up the mountain to 2000 metres, where a cosy restaurant and sparkling champagne awaits you. Contact us to book.


Paragliging 2Paragliding

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.. Contact us to book.


Helicopter flightsHelicopter 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.  Contact us to book.


Snowshoe Chamonix TOSnowshoeing

Discover some of the quieter parts of the Chamonix valley, where frozen waterfalls, secluded trails and mountain views await you. Join a half day, full day or a week long excursion with a local mountain guide. Contact us to book.


ice-climbing-chamonixIce climbing

Discover some of the best ice climbing in Chamonix or neighbouring Italy, either for beginners looking to experience it for the first time, or more experienced climbers looking to hone their skills. Take part in a 1 day outing, or join a course for up to 5 days.  Contact us to book.


snow yoga 2Snow Yoga

Join a yoga class with a difference, on the snow, with incredible views of Mont Blanc as you hold your positions. Individual classes are available, as well as longer retreats and private instruction.  Contact us to book.


Ice Hockey 2Ice Hockey matches

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.


Wilderness eveningsWilderness evenings

Descend the home run piste at Grands Montets after the lifts have shut for the day on a traditional wooden ‘paret’ sledge. You’ll be met at the bottom by a roaring campfire, followed by dinner in a Mongolian Yourt, tucked away in the forest. Contact us to book.


dr zhivagoDr Zhivago horse & carriage

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.


Mont Blanc Escalade indoor climbingIndoor climbing

Les Houches has an indoor climbing wall that you can access on weekdays all winter long. There are in the region of 100 routes ranging up to 22 metres in height and from 4 to 8c in grade. Courses are available on request.


Fat Biking 2Fat biking

Hire a fat bike from one of the local bike shops and head out onto the specially groomed trails that run alongside most of Chamonix’s cross country ski trails. The wide, low pressure tyres help you get good grip on the snow & you can explore for hours.


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.


Alpine Coaster 2Alpine Coaster

Take a thrilling descent on the Alpine coaster in Chamonix’s leisure park, next to Planards beginner ski slopes. 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.


Indoor swimmingIndoor swimming pool & leisure centre

Chamonix has a 25 metre indoor swimming pool, with 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 or just come for a swim or to use the gym.


Photo walksPhotography & 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 kennelsSt 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.


bowling

Bowling, pool hall & crazy golf

This ten pin bowling alley can be found in Chamonix Sud and also houses arcade games, pool tables (American & English tables) and crazy golf. It makes a good place to head to on bad weather days or with larger groups and families. There’s a bar on site too.


cinema

Cinema

Chamonix’s cinema shows most of the latest film releases in VOST (English with French subtitles) or French only. They’re also partial to showing locally made climbing and ski films. Screenings take place throughout the week.


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Hair & beauty treatments

There are a good selection of hairdressers for men and women in the Chamonix valley, most of which also offer manicures and some of them also offer massages too. There are plenty dotted around the main shopping areas in the centre of Chamonix as well as in Les Houches & Argentiere.


casino winter

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.


Indoor tennisIndoor tennis & squash

There are two covered tennis courts at the sports centre in the centre of Chamonix and 2 squash courts. In Argentiere there’s a dedicated, covered tennis centre where you can play with a reservation.


snow tubing

Snow tubing

Slide down a specially designated piste on a large inflatable ring and yes, although it takes place in some of the beginner ski areas in Chamonix, it’s not just for the children! You can find snow tubing in Les Houches, at Brevent , La Poya (near Les Buets) and at Les Chosalets at the foot of Grands Montets.


gallery

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.


xmas 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. There is also a Christmas market which runs from mid December to the end of the month, where you’ll regularly find street entertainers and parades entertaining the crowds.


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.


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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 – AnnecyYvoire

Italy – CourmayeurAosta

Switzerland – MartignyMontreuxLarge Hadron Collider (CERN)


 

Hopefully this has convinced the non-skiers in your family or group, that coming to Chamonix in winter is a good idea! 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, The Family Freestylers, Teresa Kaufman, Huskydalen, Evolution 2, Chamonix Experience, CMBH, Chamonix Parc Loisirs, Pre St Didier Spa, Escalade Mont Blanc, Justacoté, Je Papote

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 >>>

Marathon du Mont Blanc – Chamonix Trail Running

The sun is shining again, just in time for one of the biggest events of summer – the Marathon du Mont Blanc.

The event comprises 6 races; 23km half-marathon, 42km full marathon, 80km ultra marathon, 10km cross-country run, vertical kilometre, and not forgetting the mini-cross 3km race for the trail runners of the future. Almost 6000 runners will be taking part, with many more people turning up to cheer and offer support.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

The 80km race has already set off and is underway right now, with the front runners having already covered about 40km and are now charging their way over the Swiss border past the Emosson Dam to Catogne.

The schedule for the weekend is as follows:

  • 80km du Mont Blanc – 82km, 6000m vertical
    Starts 4am Friday 24th June
  • Vertical KM – 3.8km, 1000m vertical
    Starts 2pm Friday 24th June
  • Cross du Mont Blanc – 23km, 1665m vertical
    Starts 8am Saturday 25th June
  • Mini Cross du Mont Blanc – up to 3km
    Starts 10am Saturday 25th June
  • 10km du Mont Blanc – 10km, 325m vertical
    Starts 1pm Saturday 25th June
  • Marathon du Mont Blanc – 42km, 2730m vertical
    Starts 7am Sunday 26th June

You can follow the progress of all runners on the Live Trail website.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

The races loop round the Chamonix valley, taking in some of the most beautiful sights and stunning hiking trails in the region. With a Mont Blanc Multipass you can take the Telecabine du Vallorcine and hike across the Col des Posettes to see the marathon runners set off to reach the highest point of the course at the pinnacle of the Aiguillette des Posettes at 2201m; you can take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to Plan de l’Aiguille to cheer as the 80km runners descend back down to Chamonix via the Alpages des Blaitieres; you can hop on the Flegere cable car to encourage the 23km and 42km runners as they reach the last checkpoint before the finish line.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

All these areas offer spectacular views and are easily accessible from the Chamonix valley lift stations, they are also the starting point for some excellent hiking routes such as Lac Blanc from Flegere, Mer de Glace from Plan de l’Aiguille and Refuge Albert 1er from Vallorcine.

The finish line for the 3 longest races is up at Planpraz du Brevent, yes, that’s right, at over 2000m. Runners have the honour of a free ride back down to Chamonix on the bubble lift but everyone else, spectators included, will need a lift pass to get there and back.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

If the races have taken their toll on your legs, you might be glad of a good rub-down to get them back in tip-top shape. We strongly recommend that you book this in advance, as every masseur and physiotherapist in the valley is going be in high demand this week! Whether it’s a soothing relaxation treatment or a thorough pummelling that you’re looking for, contact us now to see what we have available.

Hiking in Chamonix

As well as hiking, there are plenty of other summer activities in Chamonix to sample while you’re out here. Mountain biking trails at Le Tour and Les Houches are suitable for all levels and access is included in your Mont Blanc Multipass. A mountain biking guide will show you the best routes and give you tips on handling the descents, twists and turns with confidence. Warm sunny weather is perfect for rock climbing, there are dozens of crags throughout the valley with hundreds of different routes to explore. To view the valley from above, it doesn’t get better than a parapente flight – you take off from Planpraz du Brevent with a tandem pilot, launch yourself off the side of the mountain and float back down to earth, swirling and swooping on the thermals as you soar amongst the peaks. If the hot weather continues then rafting, hydrospeed and canyoning are all fantastic ways to cool down and so much fun – for the ultimate adrenaline rush you can ride the fierce rapids of the Dora Balthea on a day trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy.

Chamonix canyoning

The Marathon du Mont Blanc marks the start of the summer sports season and there are many more events lined up for runners, cyclists and triathletes to get their teeth into – you’ll find the main Chamonix events here.

Best of luck to everyone taking part in the Marathon du Mont Blanc races over the next few days, we’ll be cheering for you!

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