On a recent visit to Chamonix, it struck me that there are few towns that can boast genuine year-round attractions. But Chamonix is just such a town.
It doesn’t really have an out-of-season period as such. Once all the skiers and snowboarders have long gone, then the year-round residents quietly integrate the Spring and Summer walkers into their midst.
Chamonix is among the top 10 of the world’s most popular resorts with the most well-known summit: Mont Blanc, at 4810 metres, which is considered the rooftop of Europe and the 3rd most visited natural site worldwide. It offers not only spectacular panoramas from the summit of the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 metres high) and the Mer de Glace glacier, but also photo opportunities in ‘Step into the Void®’ a glass box suspended at the top of the mountain.
With 2.5 million visitors per year (approximately 50% French and the other 50% international visitors) it is considered the World capital for skiing and mountaineering. The Birthplace of Alpine tourism from the 18th century first Winter Olympics in 1924. It is more than a trendy, (but not flashy) resort, it is a true high-mountain town, between tradition and modernity.
With a vast range of activities from glacier-viewing, climbing, swimming, ice-skating, bowling, golfing, snow-tubing, tobogganing, curling, horse-riding, hot-air ballooning, shopping galore to scenic train rides, visits to the skate and luge-park, it has something to offer every member of the family. Even the range of restaurants from family eateries, après-ski partying, to gourmet food and wine for the sophisticated palate.
What makes it a bit different is that it is really a series of villages and towns, each with its own distinct personality and different type of slopes. It means that it is useful to have a car to drive from the laid-back, low-key skiing slopes of Les Houches, through to the busy and buzzy atmosphere of south-facing Brévant and Flégère, Chamonix’s pistes at 2525 m, to the spacious slopes of Argentière through to the different cultural experience in neighbouring Courmayeur in Italy, just a short 30 minute trek through the famed tunnel of Mont Blanc.
But worry not, there are a multitude of different forms of transport from mainline trains to access Chamonix from abroad and within France, as well as regular buses to take you from one village to another.
It is near Geneva for easy access –90 km from Geneva International Airport (1hr by car).
Louise Reynolds, Director of award-winning European property investment firm Property Venture® Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here
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