The tiny, unspoilt village of Vallorcine is superbly located at the foot of Mont-Blanc, 20km from Chamonix and close to the Swiss border.
The last village in the Chamonix valley, Vallorcine is a peaceful mountain village. Hidden behind the col des Montets, at the foot of the Aiguilles Rouges, La vallée des Ours (the valley of bears) has retained all the charm of a traditional mountain village while developing its various tourist attractions.
Vallorcine is made up of several hamlets on the foothills of the surrounding mountains stretching to the Swiss border. The scenery is stunning and Vallorcine is a family-friendly resort with a relaxed atmosphere. It offers many excursions, hiking and walks in the mountains being surrounded by forests and at the gates of the Aiguilles Rouges and Berard Valley nature reserves.
Facilities in the Vallorcine village itself are blessedly limited. There are a handful of simple restaurants. However, if you’re looking for a livelier night out or more extensive facilities, it’s easy to get Chamonix.
Chamonix, 10 miles away, is a fascinating traditional resort with a bustling atmosphere and is excellent for activities of all kinds. 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, 19 tennis courts, a climbing wall, bowling and a 3-screen cinema.
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.
Whether you are a beginner, an experienced hiker or somewhere in between, the Valley offers 430km of well-maintained and equipped hiking trails to suit all abilities.
Chamonix is the world's top trail running destination. Set in an exceptional natural environment, the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley offers a variety of spectacular trails for all abilities. Every summer the valley hosts major international competitions and attracts athletes from all over the world. Not to be missed: the now famous Mont-Blanc Marathon and the must-see UTMB®.
About its location
The Chamonix valley is situated in the north-westerly part of the Alps, just 15 km from the Swiss border via the Col des Montets and 15 km from Italy via the Mont-Blanc tunnel. This valley, comprising Servoz, Les Houches, Chamonix, Argentière and Vallorcine, also contains Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak at 4,810.45m.
The valley is of glacial origin and measures 17km, from the Col des Montets at the northernmost point to the Taconnaz torrent.
Some recommendations for visits in Chamonix Valley this summer
- 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, 40sq km in area, 200 metres thick. Also available on site is a crystal gallery, a wildlife exhibition and the famous ice grotto
- Argentiere'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'!