Chamonix Ski Resorts

Chamonix France, home the famous Vallee Blanche.
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Chamonix France
Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix France

Chamonix Ski Resorts

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Chamonix

Chamonix3.5/513
Chamonix3.5 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
  • Recommend
    85%
  • Would Revisit
    92%
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Wagner Custome Skis

Chamonix Ski Areas

Balme Tour Vallorcine
Brevent Flegere
Grands Montets
Les Houches

    Chamonix Ski Resort Map
  • Chamonix Ski Resorts Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,000m – 3,840m (2,840m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6 to 14 metres
  • Lifts (61)
    14 Gondolas / cable cars
    21 Chairlifts
  • Ski Hours
    Chamonix Ski Resorts
    Early December to late April
    8:30am - 5:00pm

    Aiguille du Midi ( for Vallee Blanche)
    All year except early Nov to mid Dec
    8:10am - 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 170km
    Longest run – 22 km (Vallee Blanche)
    Expert - innumerable
    Advanced - 15%
    Intermediate - 35%
    Beginner - 50%
  • Lift Pass Prices (Day - 18/19)
    Chamonix Le Pass
    Adult - €42.40 to 53
    Child - €36 to 45.10
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass
    Adult - €65
    Child - €55.30
    Child u/5yr – Free

    Les Houches Only
    Adult - €33.60 to 44
    Child - €28.60 to 33.60
    Child u/5yr – Free
    Balme Ski Trail Map
  • Balme Ski Trail Map
    Brevent Flegere Ski Trail Map
  • Brevent Flegere Ski Trail Map
    Grand Montets Trail Map
  • Grands Montets Ski Trail Map
     Les Houches Ski Trail Map
  • Les Houches Ski Trail Map
     Vallee Blanche Ski Map
  • Vallee Blanche Ski Map

Chamonix Ski Resorts France

Legendary Chamonix in France should be on any ski or snowboard bucket list. Chamonix has an allure for the hard core & adventurous, with world renowned off-piste skiing and freeriding. Some of the lines are so challenging that one may need to wear a diaper (or nappy, incontinence pad) to avoid embarrassment!

The area is dominated by the highest mountain in Western Europe, 4,810m Mont Blanc. It serves as a playground for extreme sports enthusiasts and the ooh aah brigade. Between ice climbing, paragliding and extreme skiing, it’s not surprising that Chamonix has been described as the "the death-sport capital of the world"! One only has to view the engineering for the amazing Aiguille du Midi cable cars in order to comprehend that parts of Chamonix are on the edge.

If you’re not an expert mountaineer, Chamonix also has a 'softer' side for those who just want a relaxed European ski holiday. The 11 Chamonix ski areas have more than 170km of piste on which to cruise. The 4 main ski resorts are Grands Montets, Balme-Tour-Vallorcine, Brevent-Flegere & Les Houches. There are plenty of restaurants & bars to enjoy the famous food & wine at each resort.

Summary of Pros & Cons for Chamonix Ski Resorts

Pros

  • Glorious location & surrounding mountains;
  • Good range of piste trails for all abilities on all aspects;
  • Excellent off piste & freeride terrain including glaciers & tree skiing;
  • Generally, quite good value (for a large French ski area!);
  • Excellent après ski & restaurants;
  • Easy access by bus or train from Geneva airport.

Cons

  • Ski areas not lift interconnected;
  • Limited ski in ski out accommodation;
  • Transport between the different ski areas can be busy at peak hours;
  • Lift infrastructure is getting quite dated;
  • Lift pass options are needlessly complex;

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective)

  • Chamonix and all the surrounding villages are lively real towns not just resorts;
  • World’s most extreme ski lift & terrain;
  • Valley elevation is quite low and often has no snow;
  • Ski areas spread across a huge area.

Chamonix Ski & Snowboard Terrain

The Chamonix area offers a sensational amount of skiing & snowboarding terrain, both on & off-piste. Chamonix has a network of more than 60 lifts, but they are not interconnected. Ninety percent of the skiing area is above 1900m and a long season is the norm with some lifts open into May.

Whatever sort of skiing you want & whatever your ability, you will find a suitable ski area in Chamonix. In the Chamonix Valley there are 4 main ski resorts, 4 small local ski hills, the Aiguille du Midi and other resorts nearby in Italy & Switzerland.

Of the 4 main resorts, world class skiing can be found at Grands Montets, 8km up the valley near the village of Argentière. The ski resort features a huge vertical & exceptional snow quality. It’s primarily an advanced mountain with an abundance of steep off-piste terrain. Note that a fire in Sep 2018 destroyed the top cable & will not run for the foreseeable future, limiting access to some of the best freeride terrain to those willing to skin up to ride down!

Sunshine abounds on the southeast facing slopes of the impressive Brevent-Flegere ski resort, the closest to Chamonix. With piste trails for all ability levels, a diverse off-piste, it’s an idyllic place to both ski/snowboard and gently acquire a tan while soaking in the stupendous views across the valley to Mont Blanc. Don’t be tempted to do the valley trails unless the valley has deep snow, or you are on crappy hire skis/board.

At Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort you will find the most mellow of the Chamonix resorts above the villages of Le Tour (3 km further up valley from Argentiere) & Vallorcine (on the opposite side near the Swiss border). With no real advanced trails, it is best suited to beginner & intermediate skiers on the piste, whilst it has some tasty freeride powder offerings on the shaded north side under the chairlift & either side of the excellent valley trail into Le Tour.

Tree lined slopes can be found at Les Houches ski resort, the lowest elevation of the main Chamonix ski areas. Located 8km down valley, it is a great spot for tree skiing or during a blizzard.

For beginners & children there are 6 small learn-to-ski areas in the Chamonix valley that offer exclusive slopes for novices. One of the best is La Vormaine at the base of Balme near the village of Le Tour.

The Vallée Blanche is the most famous (& crowded) 20km long off-piste run in the world. It is accessed by a spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m), which when constructed in 1955 was the highest cable car in the world. In addition to wonderful views & incredible feats of engineering at the Aiguille du Midi, it also provides access to a host of other ski routes, many of them serious enough that a fall will result in death.

Getting your head around the different types of ski passes for the Chamonix can be a complex task. See the Chamonix resort map showing the different lift pass areas here.

See our Skiing Chamonix page for more information.

Where is Chamonix, France?

The town of Chamonix and the Chamonix Valley are in south-eastern France in the French Alps. Lying at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is very close to the borders of Italy and Switzerland. Gateway airports are Geneva (GVA) & Lyon (LYS).

Geneva airport is about an 1hr 15min away (105km). There are various options for airport transfers from Geneva airport to Chamonix including the train, bus or private transfer. Buses provide the cheapest and most efficient means of transport between Geneva GVA & Chamonix.

Search & book train or bus tickets to Chamonix here.

From Paris there’s a Snow Special TGV that operates on Friday nights and the weekend. The train trip from Paris takes 5.5hr. The Powderhounds usually recommend taking the train & bus from the airports to any ski resort, but for those that just cannot abide public transport or are travelling in larger groups, a private transfer from Geneva or Lyon may be the most efficient mode of travel if one doesn’t have a car. Search & book all airport transfers here.

The ski areas in Chamonix Valley are not lift-linked (Brevent & Flégère are the exception), so it’s necessary to use the free buses to get to the various ski resorts. We recommend leaving your car parked!

See our Travel to Chamonix page for more information.

Chamonix Accommodation

Accommodation for the Chamonix ski area is either in the historic town of Chamonix or one of the many nearby villages. There is no ski-in ski-out accommodation and no single area is the perfect accommodation location for skiing. As the ski areas are not interconnected you’ll need to catch a bus to get to most ski resorts anyhow. If you want to stay near the nightlife downtown, choose a hotel in Chamonix itself. If you prefer a peaceful and quiet place, the villages of Argentière or Le Tour are a great option.

Accommodation styles vary somewhat with a wide variety of hotels, guest houses, holiday centres or furnished apartments of all categories & both modern or traditional. Chamonix chalets abound, many of which provide plush accommodations. At the other end of the spectrum there are various budget options including cheap hostels.

Search & book all Chamonix ski accommodation here.

Chamonix Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski rentals are available in all the Chamonix valley villages. Search & book ski or snowboard rentals with our partners in Chamonix here.

A confusing array of ski instructors, ski schools & in-resort guides ply their trade in the Chamonix valley ski resorts. To narrow down the field, search & book private lessons & guiding within the resort boundaries with the best providers here.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Chamonix?

The town of Chamonix has a classic lively European ski resort feel, offering the oldest and most famous ski resort culture. Chamonix has a long rich ski history & its vibrancy is palpable, particularly in the hours immediately after skiing. The Chamonix locals do a great “fondue savoyarde” (but face it, it is just expensive melted cheese with bread!) and they certainly know how to do seriously good après-ski. Hell, they probably invented it!

Chamonix has it all and more – sensational skiing & snowboarding terrain across multiple mountains & countries, awesome scenery, great non-ski activities, friendly locals, easy access & full resort facilities.

Nearby Ski Resorts

A range of superb ski resorts are very close to Chamonix. Just to the west of the Chamonix valley is the collection of ski resorts with 445km of combined piste called Evasion Mont Blanc. The ski resorts include Megeve, Les Portes du Mont Blanc & Les Contamines.

In Italy on the southern side of Mont Blanc in the Aosta valley is wonderful Courmayeur & La Thuile. Nearby across in Switzerland is the mega resort of 4 Vallees which includes the challenging Verbier plus a smattering of lesser known 'local' resorts that we are in the process of discovering for ourselves!

Tours in or near Chamonix

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Chamonix Mont Blanc Powder Skiing Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski off-piste for 6 days around Mont Blanc, discovering the largest glacial ski area in Europe. Ski descents of between 1500 & 2800m in virgin snow via the most beautiful summits & passes in Chamonix France & Courmayeur Italy. Custom tours only, get a group of 4 together for 7 nights of adventure.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
Based on group of 7 for min 7 nights.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,269
View Details
 
Freeride Monterosa & Aosta Valley
FREERIDE MONTEROSA & AOSTA VALLEY
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Skiing Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Explore the wonders of the Aosta valley & Monte Rosa, Matterhorn & Mont Blanc with your own guide & host. Ski the best of Italy in Monterosa, Cervinia/Zermatt, Pila, La Thuile/La Rosiere, Courmayeur & Monte Bianco. Fully customise your own tour for 1 to 7 people with dates, locations & duration that suit you.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
From price also based on a group of 4 on a 7-day ski safari.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,750
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Chamonix here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Chamonix Alps Ultimate Women's Ski Tour
GUIDED SKI TOUR | WOMEN ONLY
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski 3 countries in one week with an all female group based in the legendary Chamonix. Experience the Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, the Valley Blanche, Verbier & Courmayeur in amongst the highest peaks of the Alps.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,995
View Details
 
Chamonix Ultimate Experience Ski Tour
GUIDED SKI TOUR | MIXED GROUP
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski 3 countries in one week based in the legendary Chamonix. Experience the Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, the Valley Blanche, Verbier & Courmayeur in amongst the highest peaks of the Alps.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,995
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Chamonix here
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