The Chamonix Valley cuts deeply through Europe's highest mountains and glaciers and has long been a place of pilgrimage for those searching out tough off piste terrain and stunning scenery.
Chamonix town is steeped in mountain traditions being home to Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc, and the magnificent Aiguille du Midi range. At 3,840m altitude Chamonix has the highest ski lift in the world and this accesses the famous Vallee Blanche run - a 22km off-piste high-mountain route to the base of the Mer de Glace glacier.
The main ski slopes of Chamonix are spread across distinct areas - Brevent, La Flegere, Les Grands Montets, Les Houches and finally, Le Tour. Getting to and from these separate ski areas requires using the local bus service or a car, the latter giving you the most freedom to explore.
Chamonix offers fantastic restaurants, a lively Saturday market and some great apres bars. Over the last 10 years more and more luxury chalets in Chamonix have been built and these wonderful properties now rival anything that can be found in the other European mega resorts of Verbier, Zermatt, Courchevel and Val d’Isere.
Chamonix has a car-free old centre which is full of atmosphere - cobbled streets and charming squares, beautiful old buildings and the fast flowing mountain River d’Arve which cuts through the centre of town. During the day Chamonix's pavement cafes are bustling with shoppers and tourists, sipping drinks and absorbing the breathtaking scenery. At night the apres ski venues come alive as holiday makers let their hair down.
Chamonix has changed dramatically over the years from being considered a hard-core skier's resort with reasonable prices to a much more upmarket resort town with smart shops and fantastic restaurants.