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Chamonix

As the global capital of winter sports, Chamonix’s history, skiing and scenery make it a true alpine legend. Every seasoned snow lover should come here at least once; skiing the awesome terrain from a proper mountain town with the Mont Blanc massif as your backdrop will make for a week to remember.

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At a glance: • traditional mountain resort • varied, high altitude terrain • incredible panoramic views

Great for: • Groups • Off-piste • après ski • non-skiers • snow sure

As the global capital of winter sports, Chamonix’s history, skiing and scenery make it a true alpine legend. Every seasoned snow lover should come here at least once; skiing the awesome terrain from a proper mountain town with the Mont Blanc massif as your backdrop will make for a week to remember.

Chamonix Resort

The legendary 17km Chamonix Valley is located in the north-west Alps nearby the Swiss and Italian boarders. Set at the foot of the stunning Mont Blanc and surrounded by breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc massif, this town is not only one of the most beautiful places in the Alps (it's the most Instagrammed ski resort by a country mile) but also offers a fantastically diverse skiing and snowboarding experience. It’s said to be the world capital of mountaineering as well as skiing and functions as a holiday destination all year round. This sets Cham’ apart from other purpose built ski resorts. It’s a proper mountain town which offers a fantastic combination of traditional Savoyard charm, modern conveniences and legendary après ski. In Chamonix, off-slope opportunities are endless so non-skiers are especially well looked after.

The Chamonix valley is made up of five main ski areas:

1) Aiguille du Midi
2) Les Grands Montets
3) Brevent / Flegere
4) Les Houches
5) Balme (Le Tour & Vallorcine)

The famous Aiguille du Midi cable car leads you to the world’s largest lift-served descent, La Vallée Blanche. The most popular area is sizeable Les Grands Montets above Argentiere, while Brevent and Flegere are two sunny lift-linked areas above Chamonix town. 6km below Chamonix is family friendly destination Les Houches and Domaine de Balme covers the picturesque Le Tour and Vallorcine areas and rubs shoulders with Switzerland.

Overall Chamonix has 173km of varied terrain from cruisey tree-lined slopes to white-knuckle powdery steeps. All areas are connected by a regular free bus service and 54 lifts but some prefer having a car to get around (we prefer the bus). If you have a thirst for more and want to experience the Italian and Swiss Alps too, the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass gives access to Courmayeur & Verbier as well.

Stats & FAQ

Location: France, Alps.

Established: 1741

Open: December - May

Downhill: 117km

View our detailed Chamonix snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Chamonix snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Geneva (GVA)90km, 1h5
Chambéry (CMF)139km, 1h30
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 51km 44%

  • 36km 31%

  • 30km 25%

Top Altitude:3852m
Bottom Altitude:580m
Resort Altitude:1035m
Longest run:22km (Vallée Blanche)
Slope Orientation:N, S, E, W
Vertical Drop:2800m
Skiable Vertical:2700m
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:Yes

Snow Report

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Web Cam

Chamonix web cams
Downhill Runs:117km
Beginner slopes:44%
Intermediate:31%
Advanced slopes:25%
Lift Pass Price: Mt Blanc unlimited: €266
Chamonix le pass: €185
(adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Courmayeur, Verbier, Megeve

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Chamonix

Having hosted the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924, Chamonix is a Mecca for advanced skiers around the world (even James Bond was here in The World is Not Enough).

There really is an endless amount to discover, especially for the more capable.

For the ultimate in alpine adventure get a guide, clue up on avalanche safety and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

Because of the superb advanced terrain, it’s often wrongly assumed that Cham’ serves novices poorly. There are 4 great beginner areas: one in the town centre, another nearby and two more at Grands Montets and Le Tour. With amazing views and extensive terrain, there’s no better motivation and under the expert instruction of the local schools you’ll be skiing in no time.

Balme has lots of wide, gentle slopes for confidence-building and 2000 and Savoy are two good greens in Brevent. Confident snowploughers and intermediates will also enjoy the Brevent/Flegre area which has slightly steeper, longer runs.

Anyone more advanced will love this town... On piste, there are long steeps such as the black Point de Vue in the Grand Montets area which provides lift access to some great off-piste too.

There are two absolute "must" trails that offer a dramatic experience with spectacular views. First is the legendary Kandahar run in Les Houches (where the annual race takes place) and second the famous Vallée Blanche offers a descent you’ll never forget. It’s the longest lift-served run in the world and has a vertical drop of 2700m, taking you 22km down the glacier. You’ll need to hire a guide but it’s definitely worth it.

Chamonix is a top freestyling destination with natural obstacles and 2 snowparks at Grands Montets and Les Houches. Both have a good range of rails, jumps, tables and banked turns to suit all abilities.

Chamonix Apres Ski

Not only world famous for its terrain, Chamonix has renowned après ski too with a vibrant atmosphere to soak up after a day on the hill. Spend an evening at chic Le Privilege, sample the amazing cocktails at Clubhouse or enjoy tasty food and lively evenings at The Jekyll or Micro Brasserie. For serious culinary indulgence, there are some great fine-dining venues including Michelin starred Auberge du Bois and Albert 1er. Good Italian restaurants in Chamonix include l'Impossible and there are lots of places to enjoy traditional cuisine too, while the deserts at Patisserie Richard are perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

There are oodles of things to do on and off the snow for non-skiers. With Chamonix’s fantastic reputation for snowsports, you can try snow-kiting, speed-riding, ice-climbing, paragliding and snowshoeing. There are 17km of winter walking paths with great views of the Mont Blanc massif and with taxi skiing available even non-skiers can enjoy the pistes. Paintballing, ice skating, luging, tobogganing and husky rides are some other great outdoor activities on offer; inside there’s a casino, cinema, bowling alley and climbing wall. The leisure centre has a swimming pool, fun pool (with waterfall, rapids and a waterslide) and a wellness area with solarium, jacuzzi and sauna.

For a unique winter experience, take the famous Montenvers rack and pinion cog-railway from Chamonix to the bottom of the Mer de Glace (France’s largest glacier) and have a tour of the stunning Grotte de glace / Ice Cave - don’t forget your camera!

Best time to go

Best time to ski Chamonix

When is the best time to ski Chamonix?

Don’t be put off by the relatively low altitude of the resort itself because 90% of the pistes in the Chamonix valley have an altitude over 2,000m, providing skiable terrain from December through to May. Because of the varied terrain facing N, S, E & W, you can find good conditions whatever the weather or time of day. If it’s very windy or there’s lots of snow, Les Houches has some lovely sheltered tree-lined runs as well as over 120 snow cannons if a little extra coverage is needed. If its warm and wet, the Grands Montets is north-facing and high, so it holds the snow well into May most years.

When’s best to visit largely depends on what you want from your Chamonix ski holiday. We love it during Christmas, New Year and school holidays where the atmosphere is lively and infectious, but those prefering peace, quiet and less traffic on the piste might prefer quieter (and cheaper) dates in January or March.

Browse all Chamonix ski deals or read about holidays in December, January, February, March or April.

Peak Dates

You can enjoy a traditional white Christmas in Chamonix, where Father Christmas visits on ‘Le Train du Pere Noel’ as well as making a magical torch-lit appearance. Children will love the Christmas workshops and tasty treats while performances from the Chambelles choir, gospel choir and carol singers add to the festive atmosphere. Browse Chamonix Christmas ski holidays ‣

Chamonix appears in lots of ‘top ten’ lists as a New Years Eve destination - and it’s no surprise why. New Years Eve in Chamonix is amazing thanks to the fantastic range of après ski venues. The atmosphere is buzzing and it’s hard to think of a better way to see in the New Year than in the presence of the Mont Blanc massif! Browse Chamonix New Year ski holidays ‣

A child-friendly ski destination, February half term in Chamonix will keep all ages entertained. With fantastic childcare services for little ones, craft workshops and snow-fun for all the family, it’s a great way to spend your week off. Browse Chamonix Half Term ski holidays ‣

Because of its high altitude terrain, a ski holiday in Chamonix at Easter combines great skiing and fun activities for all ages and abilities. Browse Chamonix Easter ski holidays ‣

Chamonix Ratings & Customer Feedback
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Average Rating 4.1 out of 5
We’ve managed to ski all of Chamonix apart from the Vallee Blanche – we did sign up for it last time we were here but it wasn’t safe because of avalanche risk. We’ve skied here two January’s running and 2013 was much colder at around -13 degrees. Whichever resort you pick to ski in, there are bars or res... + more
Ms Tumova, Reading
5 out of 5
The ski pass isn’t just for the ski lifts and we made full use of the other activities available – going up to the glacier on the train, doing the Step into the Void (quite touristy and a lot of queuing but good fun). We went to the Christmas market which was on that week. We also did ice skating which is inc... + more
Armstrong party, Berkshire
5 out of 5
Chamonix suffered with a snow draught on the week we were there but we enjoyed skiing here and would go back, it would be much better with better conditions! If you’re a confident skier, definitely go off piste. We hadn’t realised that you need to use the bus to access the different ski areas, it wasn’t a gr... + more
Dave, Kemnay
4 out of 5
Skied here with my boyfriend and would definitely recommend Chamonix to couples, it’s really romantic with a lovely village. It would probably be good for families too, great runs for beginners with easy access and loads more advanced stuff if you need it. Not many parks either so really good for traditional... + more
Henrietta, Aberdeen
5 out of 5
A snowy week in Chamonix with only two clear days, but conditions were generally good and we had a good time. Hadn’t been before this visit, but it’s great. The town centre is dead good. You have to get buses to every mountain but we didn’t mind that as we wanted to explore. The area has everything you wante... + more
Andrew Turnock,
4 out of 5
Chamonix is a nice resort, it’s not ski in, ski out like a lot of French resorts, but it has a good buzz about it. The weather wasn’t ideal, with the lifts all closed at some points in the week. Chamonix is ideal for a combination of skiing and holidaying though, and we went to a little museum and tried a few... + more
Jen Russell, Merseyside
4 out of 5
My first time skiing in Chamonix, I’ve been previously in the summer. I think it’s a challenging resort, for people who are committed and keen rather than those just wanting a jolly holiday. There was a fair bit going on in the town, they were hosting some sort of event when we got there which seemed to have ... + more
Richard, Somerset
4 out of 5
Chamonix is certainly good for intermediates, if you’re really good you might get bored as there are not many challenging black runs. As intermediate skiers, we were able to ski a different area every day so there was lots of variety and we weren’t stuck on the same few slopes day in day out. If you have your... + more
Mr Harris,
4 out of 5
Really liked Chamonix, all the restaurants were very friendly and we had a fantastic meal at a beautiful one half way down the town. Being April it got a bit slushy by lunchtime, but as the two children had never been skiing before, it worked well for us to finish at lunch anyway. I wouldn’t say it was a grea... + more
Hayley, Wiltshire
4 out of 5
Chamonix is a lovely place – the only downside is that you can’t ski to the door there. The skiing was really good, the area has something for everyone. The weather was a little bit iffy and they closed the lifts on a couple of days, but the good thing about Chamonix is that there are a lot of other things to... + more
Chris Phillips, West Midlands
4 out of 5
I liked the resort on the whole. It’s an age old problem but the fact that the ski areas aren’t connected is a bit annoying. You have to get buses here there and everywhere – people who love Chamonix would say it was a minor inconvenience because the skiing is so good, but I don’t think it’s a great deal b... + more
Alex, London
3 out of 5
It was my first time skiing in Chamonix. It had the best après of anywhere I’ve ever been! It’s a very good resort for big groups. There’s a really nice range of bars, there’s plenty of variety, and it’s lively. We met lots of other young groups including stag parties. We were mainly intermediates and the... + more
Sophie Painter, West Yorkshire
5 out of 5
The skiing in Chamonix is really good. Were intermediates and it suited us. We had really good snow while we were there (end Feb). There’s good après ski in Chamonix, we went to a place called ‘Monte’ I think which had nice views. There were a few other nice bars in the centre of town. + more
Lucinda Small, Stockport
5 out of 5
The only thing that would make Chamonix better is if you could ski from the accommodation– it took half an hour to forty five minutes on the bus from my hotel door to the pistes. Otherwise it’s great, there was a lot of snow and the area is massive with hundreds of runs and a lot of variety (although you’d e... + more
Sam, Manchester
4 out of 5
I hadn’t skied Chamonix before but really liked it. I’m not a big skier so was doing more learning but it was very nice for the time we were here. My partner is a good skier and has a friend who lived there who was our own personal guide for the week – they did lots of off piste which he really enjoyed. I ... + more
Ms Macdonald, Tain
3 out of 5
I hadn’t been to Chamonix before. There wasn’t a lot of snow at the time of year we went (late March). It was OK for what we wanted. There are 4-5 main ski areas around Chamonix and you can easily end up skiing the same slopes at each one. So really you need to take the bus to a different one each day. The ar... + more
T.M., South Lanarkshire
3 out of 5
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Families in Chamonix

Location is a big factor when it comes to family ski holidays, which makes La Riviere Apartments such a good option. These self-catering apartments are less than one minute’s walk to the ski school meeting place and a similar distance to the shops and restaurants, so you can access everything you need for an easy ski holiday. Self-catering is a popular option for families – you can cook easy family favourites in a home-from-home environment and save money while you’re at it or explore the town’s family friendly restaurants and cafes as you please.

Our ski hotels have excellent locations for families too. Hotel Les Aiglons is only one minute from the cable car and the ski bus stops opposite, so you can enjoy quick and easy access to the slopes. Ask us about hotels with childcare if you’re travelling with children who will need day or evening care.

As well as child-friendly nursery areas and runs the whole family can enjoy together, Chamonix has a good selection of non-ski activities. Book a husky ride for some magical memories or enjoy indoor activities in the cinema, bowling alley and leisure centre (kids will love the fun pool here while grown-ups can enjoy the wellness facilities). Enjoy activities in your accommodation by booking somewhere with a games room or swimming pool.

The airport transfer to Cham from Geneva takes about an hour, making it ideal for families who don’t want to spend precious time on the road. Book one of our flights and transfers packages for easy booking and a swift journey to the resort. Self drive packages and accommodation-only deals are also available.

GroupsGroup Holidays Chamonix

Chalets are a brilliant option for group ski holidays – they offer a cosy, intimate environment which you can enjoy to yourselves if you have a group size to match the chalet’s number of beds. Located right in the centre of Chamonix, Penthouse Chalet Marie-Paradis sleeps 6 which can be perfect if you’re looking for somewhere as a small group, especially if you want the convenience of having the restaurants, shops and après on your doorstep.

Groups looking to ski and save money should consider our self-catering holidays – the Residence Balcons Du Savoy is nearby all the shops, bars and restaurants and is the resorts only ski in / ski out property, making the apartments here the best place to stay if you want to get straight out onto the slopes. If you’re looking for a large hotel that suits all ages, Club Med is perfect. Hotels with lots of rooms are a great option if you think there’s a chance that people might want to join your group later down the line. Conveniently located, this popular hotel is only a 5 minute walk to the town centre, where you can find shops, restaurants and nightlife.

Chamonix is a fantastic place for group holidays, thanks to its varied ski area for mixed abilities, activities both indoors and out and brilliant après ski. Book a private lesson as a group if you all want to learn and improve together or hire a mountain guide if you’re a more experienced group wanting to find the best powder.

Choose between flights and transfers packages and self drive packages as well as accommodation-only deals – you can refine our holidays in the search below to find the ones that suit everyone best. Our group deals and discounts are the best around – give our ski specialists a call to find the best holiday for your party.

Which are the best ski holidays in Chamonix?

Accommodation Number of nights Price (per person) from
La Folie Douce Hotel 7 £ 491
Hotel Heliopic 7 £ 729
Refuge des Aiglons 7 £ 829
Hotel Le Morgane 7 £ 849

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