Skiing in Chamonix

Country: France

In a nutshell: An iconic ski resort with a vibrant town, epic advanced skiing and wild mountain scenery

We like:

  • Staying in an iconic mountain town with loads to do on and off the slopes
  • Lots of high altitude skiing plus abundant snowfall thanks to Mont Blanc make it a snow-sure choice
  • The high alpine mountains and stunning glaciers make for some mind-blowing scenery. It’s really beautiful
  • Short transfer from Geneva and lots of short break availability make it a great choice for ski weekends
  • Probably the world’s best off-piste skiing

We don't like:

  • The several ski areas aren’t connected and the town is large, so there’s lots of traipsing around in ski boots and waiting for busses 

  • The traffic through valley going to the Mont Blanc tunnel can spoil the mountain ambience


  • Resort altitude: 1,040m
  • Highest lift: 3,850m
  • Lowest piste: 1,040m
  • Transfer time from most convenient airport: Geneva – 1h 40m
  • Number of lifts: 49
  • Number of runs
    • Easy: 16
    • Intermediate: 52
    • Difficult: 12 (plus seemingly endless off-piste opportunities)


  • Apres ski
  • High altitude
  • Big ski area
  • Traditional charm
  • Great for intermediates
  • Great for advanced
  • Great for snowboarders
  • Great for foodies
  • Great for non-skiers


Everyone should visit Chamonix at some point in their lives. Although having said that, a Chamonix ski holiday won’t be right for everyone. Chamonix is a reasonably large mountain town sat at the foot of Mont Blanc and is steeped in alpine heritage. Mountaineering and skiing is woven into the fabric of the town and you can feel it wherever you go, from having a coffee in one of the town squares to queueing with the extreme skiers for the ski lift.

The town is attractive and built in a belle-epoque style. There are numerous squares to have a drink or a coffee, a big choice of chic shops, fantastic restaurants and great nightlife. What really gives Chamonix its edge though, is the staggeringly beautiful scenery with wonderful views of the Mont Blanc Massif and the walls of glaciers tumbling down to the valley.

But what about the skiing? The Chamonix valley is made up of five different ski areas, each with their own unique character and connected by bus. For the most part the skiing is on challenging high alpine terrain and will appeal to advanced and improving intermediate skiers. The off-piste skiing in Chamonix is probably the best in the world, but of you do venture off-piste please take a guide. There is pleasant tree-lined, family and beginner-friendly skiing in Les Houches.

For the most part though, beginners and families will find a chamonix ski holiday unnecessarily challenging as there is fairly large hassle-factor that comes with skiing in Chamonix. Depending on the hotel, most days start and finish with a bit of a walk and a bus ride.

For those who are happy to sacrifice some convenience on their ski holiday, Chamonix offers world class skiing in an amazing setting and a vibrant town all within an hour from Geneva airport.