Chamonix ski hotels and holiday packages
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Nestled at the foot of the Mont-Blanc, Europe's highest summit at 4810 m, in the northern French Alps, Chamonix is not only one of France’s top resorts but one of the World's best. Commonly referred to as the "World’s mountain sports capital" Chamonix is famous for extreme skiing and snowboarding terrain set amongst amazing scenery and an exciting, picturesque town.
Chamonix offers a multitude of slopes for all levels, each ski area having its own merit. Tremendously long slopes, skiing through the trees, freeride and off-piste, a well as beginners slopes. The ski terrain is divided into three areas: Brévent/Flégère, offering south-facing slopes and exceptional views of the Mont-Blanc chain, Grands Montets, high altitude north-facing slopes which dominate the village of Argentière and the Balme area, wide open slopes at the top of the Chamonix valley, bordering on Switzerland. The “Grands Montets ” with its vertical drops and famous pistes, is the most popular ski area for intermediates and advanced skiers.
Cosmopolitan Chamonix is a fascinating and traditional ski resort, providing unique scenery, skiing and life-style, ski areas for all standards, major attractions such as the Aiguille du Midi cablecar (3842) or the red cog-wheel train of Montenvers which climbs to the famous Mer de Glace, great variety of shops, bars and restaurants with a lively nightlife, have made Chamonix a best seller ski holiday destination.
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Le Tour, at the top end of the valley, is an ideal place for novice snow surfers with its long blue and green runs, it’s the easiest resort Chamonix has to offer, with only one chair lift. For the very first timers, the nursery slopes at La Vormaine, Les Chosalets, Les Planards and Le Savoy are perfect.
Chamonix is a paradise for intermediate skiers: quality, quantity, and variety, divided into five ski areas, with 500 kilometers (312½ miles) of pistes available on the full lift pass, all with an excellent range of high altitude blue and red runs.
Les Grands-Montets offers all types of skiing, like moguls with La Herse, a red-black run of five kilometers (3,125 miles) of moguls, or La Pendant, a big mix of rock cliffs and powder. The off-piste is wonderful: try the mythical Pas de Chevre that leads to the Mer de Glace. The black pistes Point de Vue and Pylones are long and delightful for people who need to be stimulated.
There's a funpark and half pipe sponsored by Salomon on the Grands-Montets.There’s a long and perfect terrain for free-riding: a natural half-pipe of one kilometer long (0.625 miles). There are quite a few drags at le Tour and the rest is cable cars, gondolas or chairs, which makes a great lift system for boarders.
The resort offers countless sports and adventure activities and a wide choice of cultural entertainments for all all chidren. A specialised guide « le Guide des enfants», as well as a list of babysitters is available from the Chamonix tourist office.
Chamonix offers an impressive choice of entertainment opportunities: 20 bars and clubs, 80 restaurants, more than 100 shops. The restaurants widely reflect the town's international community, from Michelin starred establishments to local Savoyard bistrots, the choice is vast! For instance, Chalet le Cerro, a quaint wooden chalet serving traditional regional food, L'Eden which serving classic French food, mixed with modern twist. Talking about bars, we could distinguish Le Stone Bar, an Italian-style one, serving up fine food and wines with live music, and the Cybar, an Internet café, becoming a fun après-ski meeting place.
Gourmet & nightlife
France is famous for its delicious food and there are plenty of restaurants in the valley that are open all year round, so you’ll surely find something that suits you. Enjoy your meal while admiring the wonderful landscapes of the valley and of Mont Blanc’s summit by dining at one of the seven altitude restaurants around Chamonix. The Panoramic, located at the top of the Brevent, is very popular among skiers and the view is breathtaking.
Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Italian you can find all kinds of food in Chamonix. Plus, prices are for all budgets. The Mexican restaurant La Cantina boasts some quality food and a fantastic atmosphere. Vegetarians will enjoy dining at Le Santa Fe, but so will their meat-eating friends. To savor the best sushi in town, head off to Munchie. If you want to eat in an upscale restaurant go to the Hotel Albert 1er or to the Auberge du Bois.
Chamonix is a thriving luxury winter destination where boutique shops such as Chanel on rue du Dr Paccard and Ogier add depth to the shopping experience. There are lots of fabulous ski and mountain wear shops such as Helly Hanson and North Face. If you are looking to buy specialist gear then Chamonix is the town to do it.
No alpine town would be complete without its local specialty outlets (Savoyard fayre) and in Chamonix town you will find some fabulous patisseries, bounlangeries, fromageries and some quite amazing chocolate shops.
In terms of winter activities, a great variety of choices is available for you: snowmobiling, ice climbing, ice hiking, snowshoeing, sleigh riding, and dog sledding, among others.
Chamonix also offers many sightseeing opportunities such are the Alpine Museum, the Mont Blanc Observatory, the cable car ride to the Aiguille du Midi (which rises to 3,482 meters) and the red cog-wheel train climbs from Montenvers to the scenic Mer de Glace glacier.