Chamonix is just perfectly located for the whole “Travel and Ski Europe” experience.
Chamonix - Travel nearby to places like this
... and ski at Chamonix's World Class pistes.
From a traveler’s perspective, Chamonix France is perfect as a base from which to do day trips for both skiing and sightseeing. Staying put when you're travelling, means there's no need for packing and unpacking, which is a total chore and none of this continual changing of hotels…now that’s a bore.
The Ski Europe Experience:
We consider the best aspect of skiing in France, at Chamonix is the access to resorts in Italy and Switzerland, on the one ski pass.
• Ski Les Houches with it’s World Cup Piste, Kandahar
• Brevent, the most conveniently located Chamonix skiing region, accessed from the middle of town
• Flagere, another easily accessed skiing region with a lateral lift from Brevent
• Domaine de Balme, just the best ski bowl. It’s sheltered, wide and sun-blessed and ideal for family skiing holidays
• Les Grands Montets for really exhausting, steep, long, black runs
• The off-piste Vallee Blanche Chamonix is the most iconic run in the world at 17 km – it is a MUST!
You’ll not get bored skiing in Cham.
Ski Europe: Courmayeur
Additionally, you get to ski at Courmayeur Italy. The ski resort is excellent and we regarded this as the very best skiing. When the conditions are poor at Cham, just hop on the ski bus and go to Courmayeur.
The partnered Italian ski resort is just on the other side of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe. Traveling through the Mont-Blanc Tunnel, it takes all of 20 minutes by bus from Cham to Courmayeur. Not only is it incredibly convenient to get there, but transport is free on the Ski Bus for those skiers on the Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski Pass. The co-ticketing system means you only have to validate your pass once, on your first visit to this Italian Resort.
The town of Courmayeur is just lovely. It’s retained its olde-world charm with lovely medieval shop buildings, cobbled streets, charming churches and the shopping here is high quality.
Ski Europe: Verbier
As for Verbier Switzerland…you’ll know this as the swanky elite ski resort favoured by the British Royals. Fergie, Prince Andrew and the girls are often photographed at Verbier. These poor guys, they can’t even have a decent private holiday, without the paparazzi following them around.
Verbier is about an hour and a half’s drive away, but allow 2 hours so as to find parking. There’s a free village bus in Verbier to take you to the cable car station. Verbier town is built on the side of a mountain, so it’s uphill walking for a lot of the time – make good use of the buses. Skiers predominantly patronize the buses to access the ski areas located in various parts of the town.
The Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski Pass entitles you to a free ski pass that covers the entire resort. Truly, this is the best value of skiing in France. It’s best to check on ski and snow conditions before you visit Verbier, as it’s a long drive to get here and you don’t want to waste your day.
The drive through the little Swiss villages and farmlands in this Haute Savoie region is delightful.
Verbier's an easy drive and the ski facilities in this Swiss Ski Resort are modern and efficient.
Montreux - Chillon Castle
Ski Europe and Travel too: Switzerland
The following towns are nearby and easily visited as a day trip.
Even if you’re not a skier or choosing to take a break from skiing, there’s just so much to do on your Chamonix holidays. The following towns are located within an hour and half of Cham.
Cham is located just an hour and a half’s drive to Montreux Switzerland.
Montreux is the Riviera of Switzerland. It’s a luxury, elite holiday destination for the wealthy. Montreux , situated on the eastern end of Lac Geneva is just beautiful. The backdrop of the chain of the Alps overlooking the clear still lake makes for a stunning location.
CERN Switzerland, the leading scientific research facility in Europe is located an hour’s drive from the resort. It’s very close to Geneva. It was fascinating to visit the Large Hadron Collider where physicists conduct experiments to discover new sub-atomic particles and re-recreate the Big Bang. The start of the plot in Dan Brown’s Book, “Angels and Demons“ was based in CERN.
Free tours conducted by PhD students and retired physicists are booked out quickly, so be sure to book early to secure a visit.
Geneva, the financial center of Europe needs no introduction. It takes an hour on the train to get to this financial capital and former home to the United Nations. The city is located on the lake and of course, you ‘ll see the famous spout (fountain) on the lake.
Ski Europe and Travel too: France
This lovely medieval town, Annecy France, is known as “The Little Venice of France”. The town is built along canals next to Lake Annecy. It’s best to visit on market day when produce stalls are set up along the cobbled winding medieval streets of the old city.
Annecy is impossibly charming. The produce is fresh and artisans sell hand-crafted delicacies such as nougat, chocolate, cheeses and sausages.
It only takes about an hour and a half on the train, so it makes for an easy day’s excursion to explore yet another beautiful part of Europe.
I found this terrific travel guide to Fance and Europe There's lots of information about France and French life, from About-France.com
Annecy France Market Day
Travel and Ski Europe:
We enjoyed all these activities during our Chamonix holidays. We all thought this resort perfect as we got to have the whole travel and ski Europe experience, in three countries while based in the one place.
There's nothing quite like this comprehensive experience of Europe whilst based in the one location.
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