A Chamonix Vacation is packed full of activities. It's not just the amazing ski slopes and enormous variety of terrain in the Chamonix Ski Resort and also in the co-partnered resorts in Italy and Switzerland...it's also the fun and very beautiful nearby cities to explore.
Top Vacation Fun – Day Excursions
Annecy, the little "Venice of France" is only an hour and a half by train from Cham. It’s very well worth a visit on market day. It’s a well restored medieval city built on canal ways and on Lake Annecy.
CERN, close to Geneva is the location of the leading experimental physics research facility in Europe. This is the mecca for physicists from all over the world. They come here to perform experiments in The Large Hadron Collider, some of which include studying the Big Bang, the creation of the cosmos. Noble prize winning physicists conducted their revolutionary research here at CERN.
The guided tours are free and conducted by PhD students or retired physicists. It was fascinating even for the non-scientific types in our family. The tours book out quickly, so you need to book several weeks in advance.
We hired a car from Europcar, located opposite the train station and it was only an hour's drive to CERN. We thoroughly recommend this little excursion on your vacation.
Montreux on Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Leman) is the summer playground of the rich and famous. It is absolutely beautiful. The town and its setting on the water with the back drop of the mountain peaks is breathtaking. Freddy Mercury and the band, Queen, had a recording studio at Montreux. The Chillon Castle, a stronghold of the Savoie is authentically restored and has a good selection of medieval furniture.
Montreux Switzerland - Chillon Castle
During your short vacation, I’d not recommend taking the train from Chamonix to Montreux as it takes too long. You have to change trains at Vallorcine to get onto the Swiss train system and then change again at Martigny to get on the line that goes to Montreux. The drive through the valleys and the Swiss countryside, through the Rhone Valley is delightful.
In your vacation in Chamonix, you get to have the whole travel and ski Europe experience as the resort is so well located that you can not just ski but also visit beautiful and interesting towns in 3 European countries.
We found a Chamonix vacation is for skiers and non-skiers alike. There's so much to do, see and explore!