Chamonix: Skiing or Walking, do we have to choose?
Dream a Little Dream – Les Yeux Ouverts
pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: reworked with tongues by the team from Hull
My guest blog this week is from Paula Chadderton of Pinnacle Walking Holidays.
Pinnacle Walking Holidays offer walking holidays, in the French Alps and the Dolomites, and walking breaks, in Northumberland and Peak District. Their holidays are perfect for those who enjoy the company of others and being part of a small group of like minded people. They set out to offer good value for money holidays in great locations. Their knowledge and service will always ensure your stay will be a truly memorable one.
Paula gives us her insight into Winter versus Summer in Chamonix Mont Blanc or, more commonly, simply known as Chamonix. The commune in the Haute Savoie region of France that was home to the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Situated above the town are the awesome peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and, most notably, the Aiguille du Midi. Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. It is known as the ‘extreme capital of the world’ and is home to the highest mountain in Western Europe; Mont Blanc.
Over to Paula…
Having lived in the town both in summer and winter it’s hard for me to decide which season I prefer. Both have so much to offer people who love the outdoors.
Winter Skiing in Chamonix.
Chamonix offers a multitude of ski slopes for all levels, each ski area having its own merit. Extremely long slopes, skiing through the trees off-piste, beginner’s slopes. An infinite number of possibilities for snow riders and mountain lovers alike.
Only one hour’s transfer from Geneva Airport makes it a fantastic place for a ski weekend.
Compared with many ski resorts it’s fairly disjointed and has three main areas, but none are linked.
It has one of the most famous ski runs in the world; ‘The Vallee Blanche’ off-piste ski glacier route starting from the Aiguille du Midi. This is a 17km long route with a vertical descent of 2800m. Stunning views; a Guide is recommended.
Mountain huts are quite poor and can be expensive, although the Panoramic restaurant which sits at the top of the Brevant cable car boasts the best views across to Mont Blanc ever. Despite paying top prices for a hot chocolate, this jaw-dropping view is worth every penny.
Après ski is always good, with many bars open throughout the day and night, but be warned beer is expensive, a large one being around 10 Euros. Eating out is fantastic as there are more than 90 restaurants throughout the town. Hot cheese dishes are the main thing on most menus, Raclette, Fondue, Pierre Chaud aux Trois Viandes (hot stone with 3 meats). There are also several great Italian, Chinese and Indian eateries.
Chamonix is a fantastic place for skiers and boarders and has stunning mountain views from everywhere.
Summer Activities in Chamonix.
Where do I start? There is nothing you cannot do in this valley; hike, rock climb, mountain bike, tennis, paraglide, golf, wild water rafting, swimming indoors and out, the list is endless.
It truly is a paradise for outdoor lovers and people who crave extreme sports. Every year hundreds of people climb Mont Blanc (4810m), whilst not technically challenging, it requires a high level of fitness and the expertise of a local mountain guide. There are dozens of these living in the valley.
For those who prefer hiking on an easier scale Chamonix has a huge network of trails which can be made easier by using the lift system which runs throughout the summer. It is also famous for the Tour of Mont Blanc which covers a distance of 170km, passing through Italy and Switzerland staying overnight in mountain refuges: A truly memorable walk.
Day trips from the valley are very popular, Geneva, Courmayer and Zermatt can be reached by train, coach or car, all very different but well worth seeing.