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The best winter activities in Chamonix - off the ski slopes!

February, 07 2019 ( Updated March, 21 2019)

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If you’re looking to diversify your ski break with some fun off the slopes, we can recommend these top activities for you to try:

Paragliding

Whether you’re an expert, amateur or complete beginner, Chamonix boasts a fantastic range of Paragliding and Speed-riding packages to suit all levels and abilities.

With a lift system already in place, the resort is perfectly equipped to host the perfect take-off points for tandem and solo flights. Enjoy the best flight of your life, in Chamonix!

Paragliding_above_Chamonix

Ice skating

Open year-round, the indoor Olympic rink in Chamonix measures 60 x 30 metres, enabling up to 1,700 skaters to take to the ice at once. The rink is also home to the 100-year old Chamonix Ice Hockey Club. With friendly and competitive matches running throughout the season, why not enjoy watching an energizing game?

For those looking for a smaller, ambient outdoor skating rink, than the ice rink in Vallorcine is the place, with skate hire to boot! The artificial outdoor ice rink in Les Houches offers an idyllic setting in the heart of the village, with views of the Mont Blanc Massif to take in from the ice.

Sledging

With dedicated safe sledging areas to suit all ages, Chamonix valley is the place to come with your disc sledge, toboggan or traditional ‘paret’ sledge!

The sledging area of Bois du Bouchet is conveniently close to Chamonix centre and the cross-country slopes, whilst the secure, well-kept sledging area of Les Chavants in Les Houches offers a track for 2-6-year olds’ and a secondary track for older sledders’ aged 6+.

In Servoz, the well-maintained natural slopes of ‘La Tour’ offer a timeless atmosphere, whilst the safe and well-kept sledging slopes behind the tourist office in Vallorcine are a popular place to roll. The Prarion sledging area at the top of the cable car in Les Houches is also perfect for adults and kids alike, with a secure track to keep everyone safe.

Husky Sleigh

For something equally timeless, why not enjoy an enthralling husky sleigh ride through the snowy wilderness of Chamonix? Ideal for either 1 adult or 2 children, the husky sleigh rides from March - April offer a liberating way to take in the magical scenery.

Taking_in_the_magical_winter_scenery_with_a_husky_sleigh_ride

Looking for something a little different?

A traditional way to enjoy the winter season is to book a Ski joëring experience. The timeless sport sees a person standing on a pair of skis, whilst being drawn by a well-trained horse. Skis are also provided, so all you need do is bring your ski boots! The centre also offers the ideal opportunity for pony treks in the snow.

Ice climbing

As well as going down a mountain, some prefer to go up it! With a host of ice/ski climbing tours on offer, you can enjoy the feel of a thrilling expedition to the summit.

There is a climb to suit every intrepid explorer in Chamonix. Discover them here!

Snow shoe tours also provide the perfect opportunity for adventure on two feet.

A ride on the Luge Alpine Coaster of Chamonix

Feel like a human rocket, with an adrenaline-fuelled ride on the Luge Alpine Coaster! Open year-round, this all-weather roller coaster in central Chamonix offers a 1300m rail track with twists, jumps and 540° spins.

Lit for night time rides too, each sled luge can accommodate 2 adults/children, with seat belts of course!

High-altitude sightseeing

As well as high-altitude climbing and skiing, Chamonix also offers high-altitude sightseeing. With a super number of scenic attractions to take advantage of, here are our top must-see high-altitude attractions!

Views_from_the_Step_into_the_Void_attraction

The most famous high-altitude sightseeing spot in Chamonix has to be the Step into the Void attraction. Reached by the Aiguille du Midi cable car from Chamonix centre, visitors will arrive at the gateway to the 3,842m summit. Spectacular panoramic terraces offer 360° views across the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. From here, a lift takes visitors to the ultimate summit terrace, for pristine views of the Mont Blanc. For a memorable photo opportunity, the ‘Step into the Void’ attraction lets daredevil visitors stand on the glass floor of a specially engineered glass cage, suspended over a 1,000m cliff drop. Also, ‘The Pipe’ is a long 32m steep gallery runs a full circuit around the central peak and offers 360° views to remember. The panoramic ‘Mont Blanc Gondala’ ride (open from June-September) lets visitors glide over the Glacier du Géant, to the Pointe Helbronner in Italy. With a year-round café and gift shop and a summertime restaurant serving typical Savoie cuisine, this high-altitude visitor attraction offers a priceless way to spend the day.

The_dramatic_summit_peak_of_Aiguille_du_Midi

For those looking to enjoy a day of high-altitude hiking, the Plan de l’Aiguille cable station at 2,310m (which forms the half way point between Chamonix and Aiguille du Midi) serves as the departure point for the Balcon Nord hike to Montenvers. Refreshments and food are available at the ‘Refuge du Plan’, 5 minutes’ walk away.

Another fun outing is to the Mer de Glace. From Chamonix, hop on the famous rack and pinion railway to Montenevers (1,913m). The day trip promises a dramatic view of the Mer de Glace glacier, the Drus and the Grands Jorasses. Popular sightseeing points are the ‘Ice Cave’ (Grotte de Glace), which is reached on foot in 20 minutes or by gondala lift and once there, enables visitors to walk to the centre of a glacier. Another popular attraction is ‘The Glaciorium’ exhibition centre at the Mer de Glace. Visitors can learn about the life cycle of the glaciers over the centuries. ‘The Temple of Nature’ also offers an engaging educational experience, with a high-tech optical theatre enabling visitors to ‘meet’ the eminent Scottish geologist Forbes, as well as Chateaubriand, Louis Pasteur and the artist Agutte.
Hikers here are also able to enjoy a hill walk from Montenvers to Plan de l’Aiguille, as well as the return descent to Chamonix, via Les Planards or the village of Le Bois.
The attraction also offers a range of eateries, from snacks at the ‘Glacier Bar’ and authentic Savoyard cuisine at the ‘Restaurant du Refuge du Montenvers’ to a fantastic scenic bistro lunch at the ‘Panoramique Mer de Glace’.

An_atmopsheric_walkway_within_the_Mer_de_Glace-glacier

A trip to The Bossons Glacier includes a scenic chair lift ride from the top of Bossons village to an altitude of 1,425m, passing typical alpine chalets as you go.

Having alighted the lift, the viewing point at The Glacier des Bossons chalet is 5 minutes’ walk away. Food and refreshments are also available, and visitors can learn more about the glacier as well as hike up to the Les Pyramides chalet, for more refreshments and for closer views of the glacier’s ice cascade, ice pinnacles and ice pyramids. This scenic location is also the starting point for the high-altitude hike to the 2,589m rocky arm of La Jonction (the route for the first ever ascent to Mont Blanc in 1786).

Après Ski time…

Synonymous the world over for its Après Ski bars, Chamonix is also home to fantastic resort restaurants, a wide array of outdoor sport shops, authentic cafes, an iconic casino, a cinema with the latest French and English screenings and a fascinating array of heritage sites.

The buzzing resort is also perfect for keeping fit whilst away; with leisure centres, spas and indoor swimming all on offer. One of the newest highlights is the new exclusive Spa and Wellness centre QC Terme Spas and Resorts. Visitors can unwind in a steaming outdoor bath overlooking the best views in town; the majestic Mont Blanc.

After enjoying all of these off the slope activities, you’ll certainly be ready to relax and recount the special memories of the day.

Enjoy!

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