Mountains rule in Chamonix. Some of the world's best expert skiing can be found on Chamonix’s jagged peaks and glaciers that rise 12,500 feet above the valley. A proving ground for alpinists, mountaineers and skiers from all over the world, Chamonix, or “Cham” as the locals and core skiers call it, has more of an authentic alpine flair than resort glitz and glamour. Chamonix is renowned as an avid mountaineer destination, so you can expect to see a lot of advanced skiers and boarders schlepping climbing equipment around. Tucked beneath the shadow of 15,767-foot Mont Blanc—France’s treasure—the power and beauty of this area are unmatched.
This “bucket list” destination is the oldest ski resort in France, and is popular as both a destination and weekend trip. Chamonix’s village is brimming with tons of stores, from jewelry stores and designer boutiques to high performance outdoor gear shops. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy an extensive Nordic trail, ski touring and winter paragliding. The casino and a variety of nightlife hot spots will fill your evenings. The Mont Blanc ski pass also includes Courmayeur, Italy, and Megeve and Les Contamines, France.
Chamonix offers five main ski areas, accessed via the area’s mini base villages; 50 lifts transport skiers of all abilities to the resort's famed slopes. Le Brevent cable car begins just above the town and climbs to over 8,000 feet. Les Houches, Le Tour and sunny La Flegere are where beginners and intermediates will find many trails to ski. Les Grands Montets is the most popular area for the intermediate and the more advanced skiers. Strong intermediate and above skiers will want to challenge themselves in the area off of the Aiguille du Midi, reached by a two-stage cable car. This 7,000-foot descent on and along the glacier of Vallee Blanche includes spectacular mountain scenery dominated by Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain.