Set at the foot of Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain at 16,000 feet, Chamonix has been a major alpine centre since the 19th century and is one of the most visited natural sites in the world.
It hasn't changed so much since Charles Dickens said, "Mont-Blanc and the valley of Chamonix, and sea of ice, and all the wonders place are above and beyond one's wildest expectation. I cannot imagine anything in nature more stupendous or sublime".
Chamonix is a fascinating traditional resort with a bustling atmosphere and is excellent for activities of all kinds. The picturesque town of Chamonix offers a good range of attractions, over 100 shops, bars and restaurants, a casino, as well as an Olympic ice rink, a sports complex with swimming pool, water slides & fitness centre (saunas, Turkish baths, solarium), 19 tennis courts, climbing wall, a bowling, 3 cinemas.
Describing all the activities that are available in Chamonix area would be long but with more than 46 different sports activities you will be spoilt for choice. There is even an incredibly scenic 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones senior. With 350km of signposted walking area and many lifts operating throughout the summer the choice for hiking and rambling is endless. Sunday is market day in Chamonix.
Chamonix is the 3rd most visited natural site in the world.
Multipass Mont Blanc Card
The Multipass Mont-Blanc chip card is the best way to enjoy many of the world renowned facilities in the Chamonix Valley. It gives you free access to all the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc facilities and will save you valuable time by avoiding ticket queues and extra reservation fees (eg for Aiguille du Midi). Facilities include the Aiguille du Midi (inc. booking fee of €2 + Free access to the top lift of Aiguille du Midi -instead of €3), Montenvers train to the Sea of Ice, Mont-Blanc Tramway, Flégère, Brévent, Balme, Grands Montets, Bossons lift and Prarion gondola in les Houches. You will also get discounts on the Chamonix tourist train and Courmayeur lifts in Italy.
Places of interest in Chamonix Valley
· Europe's highest cable car in Chamonix will take you to the fascinating Aiguille du Midi. The views from Europe’s highest cable car station (3842m) are literally breathtaking. It is the closest you can get to the Mont-Blanc without climbing training! From there you can walk back to the famous ‘Mer de Glace’ with ease and catch Montenvers train back to town.
· The Montenvers romantic red train journey to the famous ‘Mer de Glace’ or ‘Sea of Ice’ is also captivating. Discover what a real glacier is: 7km long, 40 sq km in area, 200 metres thick. Also available on site is a crystal gallery, a wildlife exhibition and the famous ice grotto.
· Argentieres’s cable car to Les Grands Montets glacier also offers the starting point for superb walking itineraries. Reach Italy by cable car with the Helbronner cable car, which flies over the glaciers for more than 5km from the Aiguille du Midi. The Mont-Blanc tramway is the highest rack & pinion train in France and takes you from Saint-Gervais to the Eagle’s Nest (‘Nid d’Aigle’) at 2372m.
For more ideas read our blog about the '9 Summer Holiday Experiences Not to be Missed in Chamonix'!