Chamonix’s reputation often precedes it, especially if you’re a seasoned skier and snowboarder – and it’s often cited as a resort that doesn’t go easy on those who brave a trip down its challenging slopes. Beginners definitely won’t get as much out of Chamonix as those who are comfortable tackling a black run.
That’s not say Chamonix is totally unromantic, just that skiing is a higher priority than anything else here. The scope and challenge of both on- and off-piste runs is arguably the best in Europe, but this brings its own share of problems. You can often be stymied when queueing up for lifts, and travelling between the various areas by bus or car can often make it feel like you’re wasting valuable powder time. The skiing when you get up to the heights is well worth it though, even if you’ll have to get up pretty early in the morning to find fresh tracks.
And as one of the oldest ski resorts in the world, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied once the skiing is over at the end of the day. There are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from, ranging from five that boast a Michelin Star to the kind of places where you can just grab something cheap and tasty to line your stomach for the apres-ski – and rest assured there are dozens of great bars and clubs to choose from! The shopping is excellent too, so make sure you save a few euros to spend in some of Chamonix’s most exclusive boutiques.
- Loads of lift and ski pass information can be found here.
- There’s some great links to equipment hire here.
- Nearest airport: Geneva (60 miles) with coach transfers starting from around €20