September, 26 2019 ( Updated August, 20 2021)
Chamonix: a year-round holiday resort
Before the ski seasons hits, why not savour the captivating beauty of the Chamonix valley this autumn? With the majestic Mont Blanc mountain peaks and forests ablaze with colour, the resort beckons to all – be it walkers, climbers, mountain bikers, nature fans, explorers, families and adventure sport enthusiasts.
Discover the best autumn Chamonix activities here!
For those new to Chamonix, there are some top tourist sites to kick start those wow-factor holiday moments. Admiring the summit views from the breath taking Mont Blanc Massif peak Aiguille du Midi (3,842m) is an experience not to be missed, whilst the Step into the Void attraction invites those brave enough to stand on a glass floor 1,000 metres above a mountainous void (please note both are weather dependent, with the cable car and summit elevators operational throughout September and October). The Mer de Glace and Montenvers train ride experience offers a spectacular ‘peak’ at nature, in all its glacial glory, whilst further away towards the Swiss border, the Chatelard funicular (Verticalp) experience involves a 3-stage journey comprising of 2 funicular rides and 1 train journey to the top of the spectacular Emosson Dam (open until the end of October).
From skiing, snowboarding and winter sports to high-altitude climbing and downhill cycling; Chamonix is the home of extreme adventure tours, trips and experiences. The original playground for air, water and ground-based extreme sports, the resort offers something for everyone, especially in autumn!
Daredevil holidaymakers will enjoy soaring like a bird-of-prey high above the Chamonix alps, with an unforgettable paragliding tandem flight. Taking off from Plan Praz with a certified instructor, this is the perfect introduction into air-borne extreme sports. For those with nothing to lose or those hungry for a James Bond opportunity, free falling 200kmph from a helicopter 5,000m above the Chamonix valley may also float your boat. Have no fear, you will be attached to a parachute!
Nearby Chamonix, a spot of all-weather bungee jumping awaits thrill-seekers’ in St-Gervais (May-December). Leaping off a 65-metre high bridge may not be everyone’s idea of fun but it’s a must for those with a head for heights.
Those looking to savour some adventure on ‘terra firma’ have a tempting array of activities to choose from in Chamonix. These activities are made particularly unforgettable against an autumn backdrop.
The resort’s high-altitude paths and breath-taking ridges make it one
of the best destinations for scenic trail running. The steep terrain in the Chamonix
valley also offers a superb destination for downhill mountain biking. With the purpose-made
bike parks of Les Houches and Le Tour accompanied
by plenty of natural trails for enduro riders, dedicated mountain bike guided tours
and a vast range of mountain bike hire and equipment shops, the best move
forward whilst in Chamonix is often on 2 wheels!
Climbers can also make the most of the endless rock-climbing opportunities. From scaling the Blanc Massif granite walls of Pointe Lachenal, Eperon des Cosmiques and Aiguille de la Blaitière with an experienced mountain guide, to conquering the mixed terrain ice and snow terrain of the high-altitude glacial climbs above Chamonix, there is a route to suit every intrepid explorer! The most fearless can 'harness' the dizzying amusement of a ‘Via Ferrate’ rope and cable walking experience in Flegere, Evettes and Passy.
Those looking to soak up some action amongst the rapids will enjoy canyoning in the waterways of Barberine and Vallorcine, to the northern end of the Chamonix valley. With the experience involving fast flowing rivers, waterfalls and high ledge jumps into deep plunge pools, this is a refreshing activity like no other!
Walks and hikes to take your breath away
With no less than 196 hiking routes to explore, Chamonix is a world-class hiking destination. Whilst most of the cable cars to the high-altitude walking and mountain bike trails remain open until the end of September, the Flégère lift is open over the October half term holiday and also from late October – late November. So there’s every opportunity to head out into the wilderness this autumn and admire those views!
Visitors in search of a gorgeous glacial trek can pick the 15.03km route to Le Signal; a beautiful view-point above the popular Montenvers train station (1,200m altitude), or the slightly shorter 10.6km route to the Glacier des Bossons and Glacier de Taconnaz. Both 5-hr hikes are dog-friendly and no previous climbing experience is necessary.
For a Chamonix valley walk with a difference this September-November, why not relish the unique 3-hour photography walks with local photographer Teresa Kaufman. The unique guided tour promises a chance to uncover (and capture) the hidden gems of the Chamonix valley.
Family fun & action
For families and adrenaline junkies, the Gaillands Accro Adventure Park promises plenty of fun amongst the trees. With colour-coded tree-top climbing routes and an enthralling zip wire ride to launch yourself into this September-November, all you need do is bring along your little monkeys!
Those looking to whoosh into their Chamonix stay, will love a ride on the alpine luge at the Chamonix Amusement Park, Planards Parc de Loisirs. Open year-round, the Rails Alpine Coaster promises pure excitement! Water amusements, trampolines and plenty of fun family activities also await your enjoyment within the main amusement park (which is open until November).
Animal lovers can also take a moment out to enjoy a couple of hours in the pram-friendly surroundings of nature, spotting the local wildlife of Chamonix including Chamois, marmots, deer and Ibex, at the Merlet animal park in Les Houches (open until the end of September).
With so many other activities to discover whilst you’re here, it’s easy to ‘fall’ for Chamonix this autumn!