The magnificent Mont Blanc is one of the highest peaks in the Alps, standing at a height of 4807 meters. The summit of the peak and the surrounding region has become the largest Alpine tourist centre which is often frequented by winter sports enthusiasts and tourists alike. This region is where winter sports and mountaineering shake hands. With many remarkable sights, the region has an exceptional natural heritage. Besides being known for being a ski paradise, the region is also known for its breath-taking landscapes, nature reserves, spa resorts and the delicious Savoie specialities. The region has some remarkable towns. The attractive town of Saint Gervais sits at a location that gives you panoramic views of Mont Blanc. The town boasts of Alpine style architecture and has several hiking trails. It is also famous for its thermal spas as it is one of the largest dermatological resorts in Europe. However, Chamonix is the most iconic out of all the towns in the region and has been a world-famous ski resort ever since the first ever Winter Olympics was held here in 1924.
Chamonix is a commune in the Alps region in south-eastern France. The summit of Mont Blanc is part of the town. Chamonix is a town that is on almost every skier, snowboarder and mountain climber’s bucket list as the slopes are competitive and the buzz of winter sports is quite prevalent. The slopes range from beginner’s slopes to expert ones with the most famous one being the 20km Vallée Blanche glacier run. The Brévent - Flégère Ski Resort is the largest ski area in town with 56 km of ski runs. It is well connected by roads and railway. One can also take a helicopter to Chamonix.
Chamonix will still not fall short on charm even if you exclude winter sports. Chamonix is as much a summer destination as it is a winter destination. The town is quite cosmopolitan because of the crowd it attracts and is a place where you can hear languages from all corners of the world. As cosmopolitan as it may be, the town still reminds you of the Victorian era through its old buildings, cafes, bookshops, galleries and souvenir shops. The town is a unique blend of the old and the new. The centre of the town is blocked off for traffic, so tourists can take a pleasant stroll there. The town centre is home to the statue of Jacques Balmat showing de Saussure the way up Mont Blanc. There is an alpine museum which is housed in a palace and highlights the history of the town and its cultural heritage. It often hosts several temporary exhibitions. There is also an open market hosted every Saturday morning.
Chamonix is filled with Baroque churches, historic Protestant chapels and quaint alpine chalets. The town is filled with fancy boutiques and a wide range of places to eat which range from casual cafes to fine-dining restaurants. Tourists should definitely try the regional food from an auberge or local farm. The regional dishes include Ravioli, Fondue, Pierrade which is a hot slate on which you cook your own meat on the table and more.
There are several activities that you can do at Chamonix. The Aiguille du Midi cable car is one of the highest cable cars in the world and links Chamonix to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m. It has the greatest vertical range in the world. This two-part cable car takes about 20 mins from the bottom to the top. There are stunning panoramic views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps from the top. There are also two other cable cars, namely the Brevent cable car and the Bellevue cable car.
From the town, you can get panoramic views of Mont Blanc which is the third most visited natural site in the world. There are several hiking routes to choose from if you want to explore Europe’s highest mountain, which ranges from easy to intermediate. There are many hiking routes at your disposal if you want to conquer Europe’s highest mountain. The routes range from easy to intermediate. The Au Tour Du Mont Blanc is the most famous trail as it includes routes for all ability levels. Every path that you take will reward you with breathtaking views of the mountains, and the neighbouring towns. There are several traditional alpine huts and chalets along the way where you can stop for refreshments at the shops. Another must see is the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) which is one of the largest glaciers in Europe and spans for seven kilometres. It is accessible by the old fashioned red Montenvers railway that departs from Chamonix. The glacier gives panoramic views of some of the peaks. The Grotte de Glace (Ice cave) is 15 minutes away from the glacier and gives tourists an inside view of the glacier. There is also the Glaciorium which is a small museum dedicated towards glaciers. Another glacier worth visiting is the Glacier des Bossons which is accessible via a chair lift car.
Another great way to discover the town and admire its scenery is through the Tramway du Mont Blanc that departs from Saint-Gervais Buffet de la Gare and ends at Bellevue while giving you picturesque views of the valleys and the peaks.
Chamonix is a great place to spend a vacation with either your family or friends throughout the year as there will always be something to do. It is also an ideal place to start your hike up to the beautiful Mont Blanc as there are several hiking trails to choose from which offer stunning views of the peaks and the surroundings. Overall, Chamonix is a must visit place for anyone who loves mountaineering and winter sports.