Activities in the Chamonix Valley in winter range from the ride up the amazing Aiguille du Midi to the simple pleasures of forest walks. Best of all, Chamonix is located so very close to nearby interesting cities. Base yourselves here, and do day trips to Annecy and the amazing Large Hadron Collider at Cern.
The Aiguille du Midi is an absolute must do! The views at the
top at over 3400m are truly spectacular. As you ride up the two cable
cars, you'll see the extent of the Chamonix Valley - it really is
Visit the Mer de Glace on the same day on a package ticket for both the Aiguille and the Montenvers Train. If you start your day sufficiently early, you can fit in the ride on the historic rack and pinion Montenvers Train in the afternoon to visit the ice caves at the Mer de Glace. This is the ancient glacier where skiers courageous enough to ski the Vallee Blanche, will dodge crevasses and ice towers on this off-piste route.
We love the forest walks in the Chamonix Valley. I thoroughly recommend this walk where you'll walk with locals exercising their dogs and children out just having fun in the snow. Get the little le Mullet to the ski du fond building and start your walk there.
Keep a watch for the Ice Hockey Games. These are held at the ice skating rink opposite the swimming pool in Chamonix. Get off the little eco bus at the ski du fond building.
For What's On in the Valley, take a look at our calendar of winter events:
January | February | March | April
You won't be disappointed with the high end shopping in the premium parts of Chamonix Mont Blanc. These are the stores closest to Chanel along Rue du Docteur Paccard. You'll find here lovely cafes and bistros where, naturally, the idea is to be seen.
If you love animals, there is the opportunity for dog sledding and ski- joering. Find out more at the Tourist office located in the block behind Place Balmat.
For the more adventurous, tandem paragliding is incredibly popular.
Go further afield to Les Houches and catch the sightseers Mont-Blanc train.
Spend a day checking out the charming mountain hamlets and villages along the Valley. The Chamonix Ski Bus and train service are free for those with a Carte d' hote.
But my favorite activity is to have lunch on the slopes and take in the marvelous mountain views. Purchase one day tickets for the ride up the cable cars to the mountain restaurants, followed by an afternoon snow-shoeing in the Valley.
Annecy is an hour's drive from Chamonix Mont Blanc or by
train, just over an hour and a half. Be sure to visit on Market Day,
where you'll wander around artisans and produce stalls right in the
heart of the medieval part of town. Go to the tourist office to obtain
the map for a self guided walking tour which will take you to the Baron's stronghold and the amazing prison set in the middle of the water way.
The amazing LHC, the large Hadron Collider at CERN Switzerland, is where frontiers of mankind's knowledge of the universe and the beginnings of time are being explored - and this is happening right here, just an hour away from Chamonix Valley at LHC Cern, very close to Geneva, on the border of France and Switzerland.
We consider ourselves very seasoned travelers, so it takes quite a bit to impress ( you know, after a while, it all starts to look the same...) We all thought the free guided tour around the facility at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to be the highlight of our trip. But, be sure to book weeks in advance - the places fill quickly.
Catch the bus to Courmayeur with your skiing buddies and while they explore the slopes and compare it to Chamonix, you can enjoy the high end shopping in this medieval town. The stores open onto piazzas and meandering charming cobbled laneways - it's very beautiful.
Montreux on Lake Geneva is the Riviera of Switzerland - this lake side resort reeks of luxury and elegance. It takes an awful long time on the train what with two train changes, but if you have a car, the journey takes less than an hour and a half. The drive from the base of the Chamonix Valley over the Alps is memorably stunning.
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