The ski resort of Chamonix France is a collection of villages nestled along a valley in the shadow of Mont Blanc. This valley runs from Switzerland into France.
You'll probably find it helpful to know where the villages and ski lifts are located before you make your bookings for accommodation in Cham.
Chamonix Ski Resort Villages
Chamonix France: Resort Orientation
At the northern end of the valley, is the village of Vallorcine. This is the town where the trains from Switzerland stop and passengers then change trains to get onto the trains that ply the Chamonix Valley between Vallorcine and Servoz at the southern end.
For skiers, this ski train is free. The trains are hugely popular with skiers commuting between ski regions.
Travelling from one ski village to the next is easy and efficient. The ski buses and the train ply the route along this valley. We favoured the ski buses as they take you directly to the lifts.
The ski buses most commonly serve the village of Le Tour at one end of the Valley to Les Houches at the other.
The main villages along the valley from North to South are:
- Le Tour
- Les Praz
- Les Houches
These French villages are rustic, charming and authentic. As the villages and hamlets are small, everything is close-by, including the ski-lifts and the train. However, the main action does happen at the main town, Chamonix Mont Blanc.
Chamonix France Village
If you choose to book your accommodation at one of the villages, it's probably a good idea to read about the ski area serviced by that village. Chamonix is regarded as an elite ski resort, especially for advanced skiers. Whilst there are green runs for beginners, these are spread around the valley. The most convenient would be La Savoy and Les Planards accessed from Chamonix Mont Blanc. The page, Ski Chamonix has a summary of the ski regions and the ones best for beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers.
The mountains are STEEP, which means if you're travelling with a family and concerned about easy access to beginners slopes, I do recommend you read the review on the page, Family Skiing Holidays in Chamonix.
When our children were little and just starting out in this sport, we needed information like this so that the accommodation was close to a ski area of an appropriate level. Otherwise we'd spend ages transporting the kids and their gear to the green slopes and ski school before heading off ourselves to get some decent skiing.
For example, families in Chamonix skiing the Domaine de Balme ski area will just love the large, sheltered ski bowl. There are easy green runs and long blue traverses. This ski area is accessed from the village of La Tour.
Whereas, the village of Argentiere is the access village for the fabulously exciting black runs at Les Grands Montets. There is a small green area for beginners at the bottom of the mountain but Argentiere and Les Grands Montets is better suited to experienced skiers.
The resort of Chamonix is very large and commuting from one end of the valley to the other takes a little more than an hour. I don't tolerate commuting at the best of times, let alone while on vacation. So, it’s best to have your accommodation close to where you’d be mostly skiing.
If you or your party are mostly skiing in the green graded pistes, despite these areas being spread around the valley, getting to them is easy with the efficient ski buses and trains…but it does take time. Else, the most efficient is to base yourself in town and access the very gentle slope at La Savoy and the quite large beginners area at La Planards behind the railway station.
Check out the page, Ski Chamonix - this is our lowdown on what each ski area is really like.
Orientation Chamonix Mont Blanc
The town of Chamonix Mont-Blanc, sits in the middle of this valley and is the major commercial centre servicing the villages along the valley.
Chamonix Mont Blanc In The Valley
Chamonix Mont Blanc, is a classy, elegant town. The centre of town has retained its olde-world charm, with cobbled streets, and buildings in the style of French chateaus. The best part of town is around Rue du Docteur Paccard and the main town square, Place Balmat.
Chamonix Mont Blanc Main Square
There are 3 ski regions within easy access of town.
• Best for intermediates isChamonix skiing at the large ski area of Brevent which is easily accessed from the northern area of town
• There’s a poma on a wide, well groomed slope with a very gentle gradient at La Savoy near Rue Mummery and just behind Club Med
• There is a large beginners area at Les Planards. This ski area is located behind the main train station
• The cross country trails start at Domaines du Nordique, close to the ice-skating rink.
There’s a full report on the areas in the town of Chamonix Mont Blanc, which will share with you which are the best locations in town.
Chamonix France Orientation Town Centre
Getting around the Chamonix Ski Resort is efficient but just take care to note times of the night buses.
Location - Good For Day Trips
The resort is located in a region that's close to interesting towns in Switzerland and France. The terrific thing about Chamonix is that its location makes it perfect for the whole travel and ski Europe experience, while based in Cham. There’s so much to do in this region of France, that even if you’re not skiing, you’ll also have a great time at Chamonix. We've made day trips whilst based in Cham, to
For A Quality Ski Vacation
Ski Chamonix France for the challenging ski experience and for the indulgence in vacationing at a quality winter resort. Cham has the variety for skiers and non-skiers on their Chamonix holidays.
Return to the TOP of this page, Chamonix France
Return to Ski Chamonix for more on what the slopes are actually like in Chamonix France.
Return to Family Skiing Holidays in Chamonix France.
Return to Chamonix Holidays : Fun for Non-Skiers
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