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

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

Alpine Coaster ride at Les Planards in Chamonix

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

 

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

Rafting in Chamonix, family activities

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

Tramway du Mont Blanc in Les Houches, Chamonix Mont Blanc

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

Chamonix rock climbing

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

mountain-biking-chamonix-01

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

Paragliding in Chamonix

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

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Autumn Lift Openings & Things to Do in Chamonix this Week

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

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

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

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

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

Hiking, Flying & Climbing in Chamonix : Autumn Activities

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Chamonix. Yes, summer is glorious and winter is magical, but the golden glow and tranquillity of autumn can’t be beaten.

Autumn in Chamonix

You see a real difference in the seasons here in the Alps – each one is distinct and comes with its own colour palette. At the moment the leaves in Chamonix are ranging from fiery red to deep green, while the mountains are carpeted with a thick bed of purple and orange heather that will soon become covered over with snow.
Chamonix Webcams

Autumn in Chamonix Le BuetOne of the best things about autumn is how peaceful it is; you can hike for hours and barely see another soul, which means that you are far more likely to spot alpine wildlife such as chamois, bouquetin and marmots.

The lifts may be closed but there are plenty of wonderful hiking trails lower down in the valley; you can hike the Petit Balcons between Chamonix and Argentiere, or ramble around the lovely old stone chalets in Vallorcine. The trail from Le Buet to the Refuge de Bérard is stunning at this time of year and if you don’t mind a bit of uphill then the rolling alpages of Le Tour and Les Houches are definitely worth the effort.
Hiking in Chamonix

Autumn in Chamonix hiking, biking and climbing

There may be an autumnal nip in the air but it’s not too cold (yet) to go rock climbing. The Chamonix valley is full of low, middle and high altitude crags that get the sun on them at different times of day so there’s always somewhere to go. If you’re new to the area or a beginner to climbing, then consider hiring a climbing guide for the day. They’ll take you to all the best spots and give you invaluable tips on improving your technique. And, at this time of year, you’ll never find yourself having to wait for a route at the foot of a busy crag.
Climbing in Chamonix

Autumn activities in Chamonix climbing

The only lifts that remain open at the moment are the Aiguille du Midi and Montenvers; you can get a return lift pass that covers both and the hike from Plan de l’Aiguille across to Montenvers is one of our all-time favourites. Parapenting is a fantastic way to see the Chamonix valley in all its glory – floating past high peaks and over glaciers as you drift back down to earth. At this time of year you can still fly from the Plan de l’Aiguille at 2317m, or from the summit of Aiguille du Midi at 3842m.
Paragliding in Chamonix

Paragliding in Chamonix parapente

The Brevent lift will soon be reopening for the All Saint’s holiday (half-term for many schools) at the end of October (17/10/15-06/11/15), opening up more hiking trails, rock climbing crags and parapente take-off sites.
Lifts in Chamonix

Autumn in Chamonix Le TourYou can find great last minute deals and low season rates on accommodation in Chamonix at this time of year, so come and see what all the fuss is about!
Accommodation in Chamonix

Autumn in Chamonix : Activities & Things to Do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music in the Mountains : Chamonix Cosmojazz Festival

One of our favourite events of the year starts this weekend – Cosmojazz! 8 days of live music in Chamonix, in the mountains, even amongst the glaciers.

cosmojazz-03Many of the concerts are free to watch and feature amazingly talented musicians from all around the world, from Timbuktu to Rio de Janeiro. Some of the most stunning venues are up in the mountains, beside lakes or in an Alpine meadow – you’ll need a lift pass to access them but other than that, they are totally free.

If you’ve got the whole week to enjoy the festival then we’ve concocted the perfect itinerary to combine as many concerts as possible, with some of Chamonix’s best activities.

Saturday 25th July
Start the day with a scenic train ride to Chatelard and then a short bus journey to the tiny Swiss village of Trient to catch the first concert of the festival with Mohamed Abrozekry, playing the oud (an Arabic lute) from 11am to 4pm beside the glacier. Relax, listen to the tunes, enjoy a picnic lunch then follow this hiking route to Vallorcine, where you should arrive in time to catch the funky Caribbean grooves of Professor Wouassa. You can then catch the train back to Chamonix in time for the evening entertainments.

emosson-dam-01Sunday 26th July
Back over to Switzerland, this time to spend all day at the magnificent Emosson Dam. Professor Wouassa will be filling the air with tropical beats from 11am followed by Guillaume Perret & the Electric Epic playing an eclectic mix of jazz-rock and African folk music from 2pm. While you’re up there, make sure you find time to do one of the many hiking trails – the views are as epic as the music and you may even find some dinosaur footprints…

Marathon du Mont Blanc ChamonixTuesday 28th July
After a day of rest we’re ready to hit the hills again amongst the towering crags of Le Brevent to listen to Émile Parisien on saxophone and Vincent Peirani on accordion at 11am. After the concert we recommend doing one of our favourite hiking routes along the Grand Balcon Sud to Flegere, it’s absolutely beautiful and if you’re lucky you might spot some marmots or chamois. If you want to increase your chances of sighting some mountain wildlife then think about booking a hiking guide to take you off the beaten track. From Flegere you can get the cable car back down to Les Praz and hop on the train or bus to Chamonix in time for apero-jazz with the Gangbé Brass Band in the centre of town from 4:30pm.
The Brevent and Flegere lifts are both included in your Mont Blanc Multipass

Les Houches in Summer in ChamonixWednesday 29th July
Today we’re off to Prarion at Les Houches, easier to reach by bus than train, to go on a musical voyage of Jewish, Oriental and Middle Eastern music courtesy of Yom and his clarinet at 2pm. From here you can enjoy a beautiful hike along the Col de Voza to Bellevue, making sure to call in and say hello to the goats at La Charme along the way. Take the Bellevue gondola back down to Les Houches, where you can enjoy afternoon tea and cakes at Kitsch Inn with more live music from 5pm, before picking up the bus back to Chamonix in time to catch all the great bands that will be playing in various bars and restaurants until late – you can find the full evening programme here.
The Prarion and Bellevue lifts are both included in your Mont Blanc Multipass

Thursday 30th July
Hop on the historic red train up to the Mer de Glace, established in 1908 to take the very first tourists to marvel at the glacier. Songhoy Blues will be playing African-inspired music there from 2pm, giving you plenty of time to go and visit the ice caves and enjoy lunch at the Hotel Montenvers beforehand. Afterwards you can hike the Grand Balcon Nord across to the Plan de l’Aiguille and then ride up to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m to gaze at one of the most spectacular views in the world. The last lift back down to Chamonix is at 6pm, just in time to catch a jazz/hip-hop/funk fusion experience in the town centre by the Youngblood Brass Band, a collective of 11 young musicians from Wisconsin, USA.
The Montenvers Train and Aiguille du Midi are both included in your Mont Blanc Multipass

Parapente ChamonixFriday 31st July
15 years of road tripping have given Moriarty plenty of tall tales and unusual encounters to influence their bluesy-folky style. They’ll be playing up at Les Grands Montets from 1pm; take the cable car up to Lognan and do the short but rewarding hike to see the Argentiere glacier, then chill out in the sunshine with a glass of something chilled and enjoy the music. If you want to see the glacier in all its glory then treat yourself to a parapente flight – an unforgettable ride past the dramatic peak of the Drus, above the Mer de Glace, with majestic views of the Grand Jorasses and the Italian border. You’ll be back in Chamonix just in time to catch Minor Sing at the Maison des Artistes, a beautifully restored old house in the centre of Chamonix that has recently become a very hip jazz club.
The Grands Montets cable car is included in your Mont Blanc Multipass

Lac du BreventSaturday 1st August
Today we’re back up at Brevent for two concerts at Planpraz, so pack a picnic and make a day of it. The three brothers that make up Trio Joubran will be playing melodic sounds influenced by their Palestinian heritage from 11am and then Violons Barbares (the barbarian violins!) will be plucking an usual selection of strings from 2pm. Try to find time during the day to take the second cable car to the summit and walk to Lac de Brevent – a beautiful mountain lake with one of the most stunning backdrops in the valley. The intriguingly-named Guts will be rocking out with a lively mix of rap, jazz, soul and hip-hop from 6pm in the centre of Chamonix, followed by plenty more concerts in various restaurants, bars and clubs until late.
The Brevent lifts are both included in your Mont Blanc Multipass

mountain-biking-chamonix-01Sunday 2nd August
The last day of the festival takes us to Le Tour for two concerts in the beautiful alpage at Charamillon, Dan Tepfer at 11am and Yaron Herman at 2pm. Le Tour is one of the best mountain biking areas in the valley with a network of trails and plenty of descent. Alternatively you could take the train to Vallorcine and get on the gondola to hike across the Col de Balme to Le Tour; it’s one of the most typically “Alpine” trails in the valley with fantastic views both along the Chamonix valley and over the other direction into Switzerland. If you’re feeling particularly energetic there are plenty of variations, including trails up to the Aiguille des Posettes and the Albert 1er refuge, if you want to explore the valley properly then you can always join a guided hike from just 25€ per person. To end the Cosmojazz festival in style there will be a concert in the centre of Chamonix at 6pm by renowned jazz musician and festival organiser André Manoukian, followed by a jam session at the Hotel Alpina until the small hours.
The Vallorcine and Le Tour lifts are both included in your Mont Blanc Unlimited Multipass

All the concert details and the full programme can be found on the Cosmojazz website, with events taking place the length and breadth of the valley – don’t forget that public transport within the valley is completely free of charge with your Carte d’Hote guest card, given to you when you check in to your accommodation.

Summer Lift Openings & Discounted Lift Passes in Chamonix

Summer is officially here! The sun might have been getting in plenty of practise over the last couple of weeks but now the real fun begins, when the lift system starts up again for another season of hiking, mountain biking, trail running, paragliding, rock climbing… the possibilities are endless.

Make the most of your time in Chamonix with an extra day on your lift pass for free! For example, book a 6 day pass and only pay for 5 days. This special offer is available on all lift passes of 6 to 9 days, children and family passes included.
Contact us directly to purchase your reduced rate summer lift pass

The following lifts are scheduled to open at 9am tomorrow morning:

Hiking in ChamonixLe Brevent
Looming over the centre of Chamonix, this sunny mountain is one of the most popular spots for paragliding. A gondola lift takes you up to the midway point at 2000m and then a cable car will whisk you all the way to the top at 2525m. There are hiking trails galore, one of the most beautiful being the Aiguillette des Houches via Lac du Brevent.
Paragliding in Chamonix – find out more 

Lac Blanc at Flegere ChamonixLa Flegere
Rising up from the pretty little village of Les Praz is the Flegere cable car, taking you high above the golf course to an Alpine paradise. Fantastic views of Mont Blanc and the Argentiere glacier are reflected in the glassy waters of Lac Blanc. Hiking the trail across from Brevent to Flegere is an absolute must – keeps your eyes open for marmots! There are lots of lakes, mountain huts and remote trails in this area; consider a guided hike to make the most of your stay.
Hiking in Chamonix – find out more

Les Houches SummerLes Houches
You can reach Les Houches in 3 ways; the Bellevue cable car, the Prarion gondola or the Tramway du Mont Blanc. The first two options are the most convenient but the tram is a real experience, starting in Saint-Gervais and gently chugging up the mountainside to the highest point at Nid d’Aigle beside the snout of the Bionassay glacier; this is where many a Mont Blanc expedition starts from. The Les Houches area is a tranquil haven of goat pastures, wildflower meadows, gentle hiking trails and cross-country mountain bike tracks. Make sure you pop in to the goat farm at La Charme to taste some genuine local cheese!
Climbing Mont Blanc – find out more

summer-chamonix-le-tour-03Le Tour & Vallorcine
Right on the Swiss border, these rolling hills and sweeping trails are a mecca for hikers and mountain bikers. A large network of dedicated trails and bike routes make it easy to explore the alpages. There are also a couple of mountain restaurants with sunny terraces looking out over panoramic views of the Chamonix valley.
Mountain biking in Chamonix – find out more

The Aiguille du Midi cable car and Montenvers-Mer de Glace train are open year round, with the new attraction Step Into the Void scheduled to open soon. Les Grands Montets is scheduled to reopen on the 27th June.

Please visit our Chamonix Summer Activities page for more inspiration on what to do during your visit.

Forget Paris, Chamonix is Where the Love is at this Valentine’s Day!

So, you’re in Chamonix for the most romantic day of the year? Oooh la la… Swerve the busy pistes and do something special together with one of our favourite winter activities.

Skidoo to Restaurant in ChamonixDiner à Deux
Go for dinner. Really? That’s it? You can do that anywhere! Hang on, how about skidoo up under the moonlight to a cosy mountain restaurant, enjoy a wonderful meal with local wine, ski or sledge back down under the stars… ahhhh.

See here for more ideas on how to spend a truly special evening…

Spa Pre Saint Didier in CourmayeurChill Out
Indulge in some serious relaxation. The daily grind is hard work and being on holiday is your chance to unwind and spend some precious downtime together. The Pre Saint Didier Spa is the perfect place to do this, you can even combine it with a day out in Italy for the ultimate romantic getaway.

Find out more about our favourite spas in the Chamonix area…

Paragliding in ChamonixOn the Wings of Love
Flying over Mont Blanc is an unforgettable experience; either snuggle up in a helicopter, or wave to each other from the air as you each do a tandem parapente flight. Either way, you’ll have done something very special to remember the day!

Read on for details of all our air adventures…

Husky sledding in ChamonixMush!
Take the reins and drive a team of huskies through the snow while you steer the sled. Husky sledding is great fun and you’ll get the hang of it in no time, either drive your own sled or travel as a passenger.

See here for more information on husky sledding…

Snowboarding Les Grands Montets, Chamonix Mont BlancPlay Safe, Stay Safe
If you ski or snowboard together then you should know how to look out for each other. Take one of our avalanche awareness or off-piste safety courses to make your days out on the mountain as fun and safe as possible.

All off-piste courses and mountain guiding can be found here…

Chamonix Wine TastingDiscover Fine Wines
Toast your happiness with an excellent wine. Our partners at ChaChaCha offer wine tastings every evening of a selection of 6 wines, sampling the finest of various regions. Book through us and get a special 20% discount, leaving you enough cash to splurge on a nice bottle to take home!

Contact us to book your place…

Chamonix Christmas LightsWe also offer a great choice of other activities and we’re happy to organise something special on request – visit our website or contact us for a chat to see what we can do!

If you’re looking for information on the best bars and restaurants in Chamonix then take a peek at our resort information pages, where you’ll find the lowdown on all our favourite places to eat and drink.