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Chamonix

The leading company of luxury ski vacation rental presents its exclusive portfolio of luxury chalets in Chamonix. At the feet of the Mont Blanc, the third most visited natural site in the world behind Mount Fuji (Japan) and the Niagra Falls (Canada) and the highest European mountain west of Russia Chamonix is on the bucket list of every skier of the world.

Map of chalets in Chamonix

Introducing Chamonix

A Legendary Ski Resort

If you’re someone who enjoys skiing steep slopes that appear to go on forever, Chamonix is the perfect place for you, located in the Rhône-Alpes region. The valley floor is extremely low and the lifts rise to over 3000m, which allows for a vast amount of runs with 2000m+ of vertical. Whether you’re a daredevil who craves high speed thrills and a challenge or a beginner wanting a laidback skiing platform, Chamonix has something to offer. Unlike any other ski resort, there is so much variety in the types of slopes that everyone is guaranteed to find the entertainment they’re looking for.

After Ski Restaurants

Traditionally savoured dishes of the past were based on local production and readily available ingredients : Potatoes, cheese and dried meats. Chamonix perpetuates these traditions and you may sample delicious fondues, raclettes, tartiflettes, reblochonnades and other grilled cheese dishes. Not to be omitted is the famous “farcon,” a speciality made with grated potatoes, bacon, prunes, raisins, eggs and cream…simply delicious!

Once again the advent of tourism has contributed to the diversity of culinary skills and menus and one can discover dishes from all over the world (Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican….), with creative restaurants marrying tradition and gastronomic skills for the pleasure of all.

After Ski Evenings

After an active day at high altitude, come back down to 1,000 meters in the valley: busy city life awaits you! From sunset to sunrise, you can choose your ambiance: whether trendy or traditional, quiet or festive, you will fall for the charm of the cosmopolitan atmosphere!

Climbing in Chamonix

Chamonix’s ‘ granite attracts climbers from all over the world. Superb mountain routes, prestigious north faces or more accessible rock faces and boulders for amateur climbers and beginners, once again the choice is vast.

Mont Blanc Get Away

Chamonix offers exceptional viewpoints, which can be reached either by use of the lifts or the hiking trails. The different panoramas are situated along the length and breadth of the valley, in the heart of the Mont-Blanc and Aiguilles Rouges mountain ranges. It is an extraordinary panoramic trip that’s accessible to all. In just a few minutes cable travel or a few hours on foot, you will find yourself immersed in the beauty of this majestic site.

The “roof of Europe”, the world’s third-ranking most visited natural area, continues to attract millions of visitors and thousands of mountaineers every year. Conquering Mont Blanc is a dream shared by many amateur mountaineers and enthusiasts. This dream is possible as long as one does not underestimate the apparently easy slopes of this legendary mountain.

History

Chamouny

The first two explorers of the “Chamouny Valley” were Englishmen, Windham & Pococke. Windham and Pococke explored the valley and visited the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice). The enthusiastic tales that they returned with following their climb up Montenvers initiated the flow of tourism into the valley.

In 1760, A Genevan aristocrat Horace-Bènèdict de Saussure offered a reward to the first person to reach the top of Mont Blanc after he observed the peak from the summit of Le Brèvent. By 1783, around 1500 visitors ventured to Chamonix each summer and two local men Paccard and Balmat, made the first ever ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786.

The Creation of the Ski Resort

The Hotel de l’Union was the first luxury hotel, built in 1816, it has been followed by ‘la Couronne’, ‘le Royal’ and many more.

Following an accident on Mont Blanc, La Compagnie des Guides was established. Until the end of the 19th century, mountain guides were the main economic power in Chamonix. In return for Napolean III’s support against Austrian occupation in Italy, an agreement was made to surrender Savoy & the Comte de Nice to France. In 1860, with an overwhelming majority, the people of Savoy voted to become French. The province then split into the two departments of Savoie & Haute-Savoie. The construction of an improved road between Geneva and Chamonix via Sallanches, in preparation for Napolean III and Empress Eugenie’s visit, began to open the valley up.

Tourism Development

In 1890, Joseph Vallot, a French astronomer and geologist opened an observatory for high-altitude studies 300m from the summit of Mont Blanc.

Despite initial opposition from Chamionards, the General Council of Savoy approved a proposal for the rack railway. It was inaugurated in 1901 and this opened the town to winter visitors. Between 1908 and 1910 Chamonix took on its present rhythm of winter and summer seasons.

By the beginning of the 20th century hoteliers overtook the mountain guides as the predominant economic power. The first big winter season was in 1906-07. Much of the initiative came from the ‘ French Alpine Club ‘ which organized a local winter sports competition and hosted the 2nd international ski competition a year later.

1924 Winter Olympics Games

In 1924, the cable car “Des glaciers”, which is no longer in operation, opened in time for the 1st ever Winter Olympic Games to be held in Chamonix. The Planpraz & Brevent cable cars both opened 3 and 6 years later. The Aiguille du Midi cable-car opened in 1955 and the Flégère in 1956.

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Things to do

Black Weekend

Black Weekend: March, Big weekend from the Black Crows. A weekend full of ski days and party nights with mind opening cultural experiences, focusing on winter sports and fresh new artists. The weekend is a blend full of international people mixing their different styles of winter sports, music, and visuals.

Adventure Festival

Chamonix Adventure Festival: End of August. A festival filled with adventure arts & film as well as photography courses. Chamonix Adventure Festival specializes in bringing together aspects of adventure sports, the environment and the Arts, through a series of public events and workshops.

Tour of Mont Blanc

Classic Car Tour of Mont Blanc: Classic and collectors cars meet in Chamonix to drive 400km through the most spectacular scenery in the Savoie, Aosta Valley and the Valais region of Switzerland. A sight to see.

Cosmo Jazz Festival

End of July, free jazz music festival. The Cosmo Jazz Festival is an imaginative mix of live music and an array of mountain locations. This entirely free festival is the fruit of the imagination of André Manoukian. Live concerts are performed in some of Chamonix’s most astonishing locations, such as Aiguille du Midi, Lac Blanc and Grand Montets.

“Fete des Guides”celebrations

Mid-August, celebration of the history of Chamonix’s mountain guides and their courageous achievements. The main event of the Festival of the Guides of Chamonix (Fete des Guides de Chamonix) is generally started at the climbing wall at Les Gaillands, Chamonix. This is a ‘tickets only’ event held in the evening and offers live music, traditional food, games for children, fireworks and best of all, a performance on the cliff face by the local mountain guides.

Places to see

The Glaciers of Chamonix

Covering a surface area of 125 km2, the glaciers are omnipresent in the Chamonix valley and contribute to the outstanding beauty of the site. Since time memorial, these ice giants have inspired fear, incredulity and admiration.

The Bossons Glacier

As one arrives in the Chamonix valley, one cannot help being overwhelmed by the Bossons and Mont-Blanc glacier. The glacier has a long history and it was on it’s flanks that man chose to excavate the first ice grotto in 1870. Due to its steep incline, it is the fastest moving glacier (300m/year) and it also reacts most rapidly to climate change. The passionate history of the glacier is related in an outdoor exhibition located close to the Chalet du Chalet du Glacier des Bossons. Nine illustrated information panels present different aspects of the glacier: its life, evolution of a glacier, the small ice age… The exhibition is translated into English and German and is free of charge. The Chalet du Glacier des Bossons is open from June to September.

The Mer de Glace

One of the worlds most visited natural sites. This enthusiasm began in the 18th century when wealthy and learned travellers, in quest of discovery and knowledge, began to show an interest in the glaciers and in particular this unique spot. Since 1908 the Montenvers-Mer de Glace cog railway enables enthusiastic visitors to follow in the footsteps of illustrious pioneers.

Aiguille du Midi

Take the Aiguille du Midi cable car from the valley floor to the summit. The views are stunning from the terraces at the station at the top. There is a restaurant at the top called the 3842, offering panoramic views of the Mont Blanc Massif and the Camonix Valley. 3842 is also the highest restaurant in Europe, offering gourmet food and seating for 26max.

Mont-Blanc Tramway

One of France’s last mountain rack-rail trains (including the Montenvers Train) and the highest railway in the Haute-Savoie area of France. The tram makes its way up Saint-Gervais, Le Fayet, through meadows, pastures, and small mountain lakes, via Les Houches to the Nid d’Aigle (The Eagle’s Nest) at 2372m. There are three old trains that complete the line, each a different color (red, blue, and green). The owner in 1957 named each of the trains after his daughters, Anne, Marie, and Jeanne. Throughout the train ride there are 6 stops, allowing for many opportunities for walkers at; Saint-Gervais (792m), Motivon (1400m), Voza Pass (1653m), Bellevue (1794m), Mont Lachat (2115m) and finally The Eagle’s Nest (2380m), before the glacier Bionassay.

Brevent Cable Car

The best views of the Mont Blanc massif can be seen from the top of the Brevent cable car, according to many. Take this lift directly from Chamonix Town.

Chamonix Parc

Many activities for kids and adults alike; Chamonix is a leisure, fun and adventure park. Some activities offered at the park are adventure parks, panoramic tours, toboggans, trampolines, chair lifts, slides, skydiving, gaming areas, giant swings, splash boats and picnic areas.