On the border between France, Switzerland and Italy, Mont-Blanc rises into the immaculate sky of the Alps at an altitude of more than 4,810 metres. At its feet nestles the ski resort of Chamonix. An essential stopover for winter sports enthusiasts, the Savoyard village has many other treasures in store for you, just down the valley from the quaint village Le Tour. Come with us to discover Chamonix: skiing, nature and gastronomy.
CHAMONIX: DOWNHILL SKIING AND EXTREME SPORTS
Here, the days are lived to the rhythm of the ski lifts, ski areas and trails maps. Facing the Mont Blanc chain, you go from one summit to another, from a black run to an unexplored path, from a torchlight descent on the Aiguille du Midi to a heliskiing session in the Italian Alps. More than just a sport, in Chamonix, skiing is a way of life.
Follow in the footsteps of a champion
The sun barely rises on the resort, but you already put on your skis. You have an appointment with an extreme ski champion for an unforgettable session, a real one-to-one with the mountain. As you move away from the slopes, sliding in the footsteps of our guide and champion, the Alpine massif reveals itself a little more.
In Chamonix, you can get away from the ski areas and official sites of the valley, off-piste skiing is a must. Venture to one of the most beautiful spots of the resort, the descent of the Aiguille du Midi towards the Vallée Blanche. A vertiginous slope on the glacier, reserved for beginners and regular skiers in Chamonix.
Fly to the top
Climb aboard a helicopter and head for the inaccessible couloirs of the Mont-Blanc massif for a sliding session far from the beaten track. Fly over the Italian border and take off in the company of a heliskiing specialist.
After a well-deserved break in an alpine refuge, end the day in style with a paragliding flight on skis. Admire the valley beneath your feet, before landing gently, just a stone's throw away from your luxury chalet rental in Chamonix.
CHAMONIX: CENTURY-OLD GLACIERS AND ETERNAL SNOWS
The Chamonix valley is known for skiing, but also for its setting and breathtaking scenery. Nestled at the foot of the highest peak in Europe, the resort is the ideal starting point to discover the glaciers of the Mont-Blanc massif.
Escape to the sea of ice
Set off on a mythical journey into the heart of the Alps. From the Chamonix valley, board an elegant red train worthy of a Christmas tale. Put your face through the window and enjoy the ride to admire the immaculate landscape: the snowy slopes, the coniferous forests and in the distance, your destination.
The train will take you to the Montenvers site, perched at an altitude of 1913 metres, from where there is a breathtaking view of the Mer de Glace. Follow the glacier as far as the Grotte de Glace, enter the territory of the early 19th century mountain dwellers and discover their way of life. More than just an enchanting interlude, it is a real journey back in time that awaits you.
Lose yourself in the forest
Go back down into the valley just before the sun disappears behind the peaks. The light gradually fades away. Venture to the edge of the fir forests to meet your dog-sled team.
Let your guides, Christophe and Elizabeth, make the introductions with the dogs that will form your team before you set off through the woods. We slalom through the coniferous trees, guided by four magnificent huskies, until night falls completely over Chamonix.
Chamonix: Savoyard specialities and culinary experiences
In Chamonix, each ski session is followed by a warm dinner by the fireplace. There are the purists, who would not exchange the traditional Savoyard fondue for anything in the world. And then there are the curious, the audacious, who are looking for the same dizzying sensations on the plate as on the ski slopes. Chamonix also abounds in treasures on the plate.
In Chamonix, skiing rhymes with conviviality. And nothing beats a typical Savoyard meal, shared at the table of Chalet Alta. In an exceptional setting, light a fire in the elegant fireplace and prepare a fondue with cheeses from the Val d'Arly Savoie Mont-Blanc Fruit Cooperative.
Here, the dishes are passed from hand to hand and you are happy to help yourself to local white wine. The grown-ups linger at the table while the younger ones prepare a snowball fight in front of the chalet or take a dip in the sumptuous swimming pool.
A skiing holiday in Chamonix would not be complete without a dinner at the Hameau Albert 1er. In this Michelin-starred restaurant, you can rediscover the traditional recipes emblematic of the Savoyard region. On the menu: snails from the Chamonix Mont-Blanc region, hare à la Royale and of course the unavoidable risotto with white truffle from Alba.
By combining the delicate scents of aromatic herbs - from lemon thyme to lemon balm and mountain goat's lettuce - which escape from the plates, you can travel through the whole Alpine country.
After a busy day in Chamonix, between skiing, dog sledding and gourmet meals, you will long for your cosy nest. Find all our luxury chalets for rent in Chamonix, and choose your refuge.
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