Chamonix ski resort guideSki areas, apres-ski, things to see & do in Chamonix


Chamonix ski resort almost needs no introduction. This French alpine ski resort is world-famous and never fails to amaze the visitor, whether they come to Chamonix for ski holidays, to climb, to hike, or just to soak up at atmosphere.

It is vibrant, cosmopolitan and full of passion for the mountains that make for an impressive backdrop to this year round alpine resort. And, it's not just Mont Blanc and the mountains that make Chamonix so attractive, the resort is just an hour away from Geneva.

Chamonix ski area guide

People either love it or hate it!. Some just don't 'get' Chamonix. Afterall, the ski areas are spread out across the Chamonix Valley and aren't really linked, there aren't that many lifts and the lift pass is one of the most costly in the Alps.

But there is something undeniably magnetic about skiing in Chamonix. Skiing or boarding on the pistes is only half the story, as the true magic of Chamonix is in her off piste prowess. If you find yourself off piste in one of the endless bowls at Les Grands Montets on a bluebird powder day, it will probably be the best day's skiing of your life.

Key information (whole area)
Altitude 1035m
Top lift 3842m
Piste (km) 400
Longest run 24 km
Off piste
Cross country 30 km
Season Dec - early May
Snowboard parks 2
Heli Skiing
Summer skiing
Glacier skiing
Apres ski Lively & Fun

Chamonix Valley ski areas

There are 5 main ski areas in the Chamonix Valley plus the 24km Vallee Blanches at the top of the Aiguille du Midi

  • Le Brevent
  • Flegere
  • Grand Montets
  • Balme / Vallorcine
  • Les Houches

If this is your first time skiing in Chamonix and you've got a good level of technical skill, the chances are you'll want to do the Vallee Blanche, the famous off piste itinerary from the Aiguille du Midi lift right back down to Chamonix skiing on the Mer de Glace glacier.

Brevent is linked to Flegere and at first glance Flegere has few lifts and not many pistes either. Many think there is little to write home about at La Flegere, but get a guide for a couple of hours and you'll be whizzing around some truly amazing hidden off piste couloirs.

Le Grands Montets in Argentiere is the real deal. With north facing slopes, what the area lacks in sunshine during the first half of the ski season it makes up for in steepness and long-lasting snow.

At the far end of the valley, Balme can be accessed via Le Tour village (which is next to La Vormaine beginner area) or from Vallorcine, the last outpost of France just 4km from the Swiss border over the col des Montets.

Les Houches sits at the entrance to the Chamonix Valley and is great for family ski holidays with some gentle blues and tree lined reds. There is also the world cup down hill run - the Kandahar.

resort guide, skiing in chamonix, ski chalets & apartments to rent, accommodation


For a ski resort famed for it's off piste, what does all this mean for beginners? Well, Chamonix has more than enough beginner areas at all the various sectors but we heartily recommend La Vormaine next to the Domaine de Balme ski area at the end of the Chamonix Valley for beginners.


For intermediate skiers, Chamonix has many areas to choose from. Brevent is the closest ski area to the centre with pistes for all abilities, so all levels can have fun at the same ski area. From Brevent you can also take the cable car across to La Flegere.


If we're honest the pistes here are long and challenging, but they're not the centre of attention. It's all about the off piste. For a first taste of big mountain skiing, you can head in the top Grands Montets cable car where there are two black off-pisted runs on the glacier - absolutely amazing!

Things to see & do

  • Parapenting
  • Cinema, ten-pin bowling
  • Swimming pool
  • Ice skating
  • Winter hiking trails


Chamonix is famous for its après ski so if you like wild and lively then this is the place. Plenty of bars and clubs and a young crowd that keep the resort rocking until the early hours! There is also the more refined side to Chamonix that is chic and sophisticated - with a great choice of wine bars and restaurants to unwind and relax in.

Our view on Chamonix ski resort

You've got to hand it to Chamonix, it really is an exceptional ski resort. It may not be the most convenient or the cheapest, but it has that undeniable 'je ne sais quoi' that will have you hooked. A few suggestions...

If you like skiing in Chamonix, you may also want to take a look at St Anton and Verbier in Switzerland.