The Perfect Ski Resort for All Travelers: Chamonix, France
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Located at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, you will find one of France’s best ski areas! The best part of planning vacations at Chamonix is how perfect it is for any type of vacation. Family trip? This town has the best kids’ ski hill you will find! Girl’s or guy’s trip? You have everything you could want here - awesome nightlife, amazing skiing, and unique outdoor experiences. Couples trip? It is perfect for a romantic yet adventurous getaway. I may be biased from living here, but you truly cannot go wrong with a vacation to Chamonix.
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Where to stay Chamonix
Hotel Hameau Albert 1er
This Relais & Chateau offers a luxurious and charming getaway of tranquillity in the very heart of Chamonix.
Hotel Mont Blanc
Located in the center of town, this refined hotel in the Chamonix valley provides a private shuttle that takes you to the foot of the slopes.
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Things to do Chamonix
Ski and snowboard, of course!
Chamonix truly has something for everyone, even on the mountain. Chamonix has a separate ski hill called Les Planards, just for kids and beginner skiers. It honestly is the best ski area for kids that I have ever seen (and I have skied at a lot of resorts). It is also a separate and much more reasonably priced lift ticket for this portion of the hill.
For more moderate to advanced skiers, Brévent and Flégère are my favorite areas to ski in Chamonix. The views are incredible and you can access the cable car that connects from one peak to another - you get panoramic views of Chamonix, Mont Blanc and the French Alps. There is also a bar at the top with an incredible patio - you can’t miss it.
Even if you aren’t skiing or stopping at the bar, you should still take the cable car up! The views from the cable car and the lookout are incredible!
Aiguille du Midi
This is my most recommended activity in Chamonix for anyone that visits. People of all ages will love it. The views are breathtaking from the “Needle in the Sky." You can see the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps! There are so many platforms and tunnels once you are at the top, it is easy to spend at least 2-3 hours admiring the views and exploring all of the terraces.
There is a glass box at the peak with the most incredible views - there will be a line to access it but it is worth it. It is an incredible experience.
There is a restaurant at the peak and a bar located halfway up the mountain. You will find it when you change cable cars on the way up Aiguille du Midi. I recommend stopping here on the way down!
Mer de Glace
Take the Montenvers train to the Mer de Glace! With tons of amazing views, photo spots, and places to explore, Mer de Glace is definitely worth visiting!
To make it even better, from the top of Mer de Glace, you can take a cable car down to the glacier and explore the ice caves and glacier museum!
QC Terme Chamonix
A spa experience you cannot miss. From the gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the mountains to the unique thermal experiences and saunas, this spa is one of my favorites!
Explore Chamonix Village
With great shopping, incredible mountain views, and delicious food, you can spend hours wandering through this town. Make sure to stop at a few patios and try to local wines!
Take a day trip to Saint Gervais-les-Bains
Explore the cutest small town and consider taking the Tramway du Mont Blanc for incredible views of Mont Blanc and amazing trails/scenic walks (this is a better summer activity, but still amazing in the winter).
Go for a ride on the Luge in Les Planards
Even though this Alpine Slide is located in the beginners ski resort and kids area… it is fun for everyone, I promise!
For my girls’ and guys’ trip, you cannot miss the Apres Ski clubs. Stop at La Folie Douce Bar in Chamonix OR for the full outdoor Apres Ski experience, go to La Folie Douce Megeve from 2:00-4:00 PM. You will need to ski there… but 100% worth it. It will be an experience you never forget!
Places to eat & drink Chamonix
Albert 1er: While this restaurant is on the pricier side for Chamonix, I promise the food is well worth it!
Le Bistrot: I highly recommend the daily specials menu. You may see a dish of the day at a lot of restaurants around here, and you just cannot go wrong with them. They are always delicious!
Le Bergerie de Plan-Praz: For those of you skiing that want to stay on the ski hill, go here. Booking a reservation here is necessary though! From the food to the views of this restaurant... it is always busy!
Josephine Restaurant: You need to stop for a drink and small plate here. They have one of the best patios in town!
Chambre Neuf: This bar has one of the best mountain atmospheres here… just friendly and fun!
Elevation 1904: For those of you looking for American food, this is your place and it is in a perfect spot for just getting off the ski hill!
Le Monchu: For those of you looking for traditional French Alpine cuisine, this is your place. Fondue and Raclette are a must when you are in this region of France!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Gloria Elwood's guide, Pet-Friendly Winter Wonderland in Chamonix, France.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to France.