Chamonix – Mont Blanc is a very popular place for winter and also for summer holidays. In winter people come here for skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, dog sledding, ice skating , snow shoeing or other winter activities. Instead in summer they usually come for trekking and hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, paragliding or even sightseeing. There is plenty of activities for everyone!
We visited Chamonix in winter because we wanted to see how it feels to ski under the highest peak of the Alps. It felt pretty good 🙂 . It was the best place we went to ski until now. The entire complex is so huge that you can ski in 3 different countries in one day (France, Italy and Switzerland).
We purchased the Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass for 5 days. The first day we used it to explore. We went to the highest point, where you can get with the cable car – Aiguille du Midi (3,842-metre-tall mountain in the Mont Blanc massif). Its viewing platforms offer a panoramic view across the French, Swiss and Italian Alps and obviously the one and only Mont Blanc. Even though Mont Blanc is 967m taller than this viewing platform, you are so close to it that you kind of feel like you are on the same level. It was really an incredible feeling.
Inside the station there is a full glass box where you can step in and look down at the 1,000 m of emptiness below your feet. Definitely not something for people who are afraid of hights :).
The other 4 days we went skiing and snowboarding. We loved the fact that they offer so many attractions on the slopes. For example you could train ski/snowboard jumping where you land on the inflatable landing platform so you don’t risk breaking anything. Or you could try speed skiing where you ski on a special track with cameras which measure your time and take pictures. If you are a slalom fan, there are plenty of slalom tracks too or if you are coming with kids, there are special tracks for children where they can train some simple tricks, ride across the tunnel or jump on some small bumps. It is really a great place for everybody. Even though this resort is very popular, it is so big that you always have a lot of space to ski and the slopes are not overcrowded.
As I already mentioned, we purchased an Unlimited Mont Blanc Pass which was the best option for us. It cost 67EUR/day in high season but if you buy it for more days you can save up to 105EUR. Our 5 day pass cost 300EUR (which makes it 60EUR/day). With this pass you also get a lot of benefits.
Benefits of using Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass (copied from the official website www.chamonix.net)
- Unlimited access: pool, ice rink and museums with a 3 to 21 day passes.
- Free and unlimited access to the Skyway (valid pass, in winter only)
- Free and unlimited access to the Courmayeur ski area (access with 2 to 21 days pass valid pass, in winter only).
- Chamonix Cinéma Vox: € 5 session with a 3 to 21 day passes.
- Tunnel du Mont-Blanc – access (2 to 21 day passes). (Offer valid for light vehicles, in winter only).
- Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area (St Gervais or Megève) : (2 to 21 days passes)
- Beginners Skiing Areas: La Vormaine, les Chosalets, Le Savoy, Plateau 2000 (Planpraz), Plateau de Lognan and les Planards.
We flew to Geneve airport in Switzerland and then took a bus from there to Chamonix. There are around 4-5 buses per day (OUIBUS or Blabla BUS) and they cost around 20EUR/person/one way. Initially we wanted to rent a car at the airport and drive to Chamonix but the prices were insane!
There are a few rentals around the valley and the prices are pretty much the same. Just keep in mind that the rentals next to the lifts are always more expensive! Down in the town it was around 28EUR/day. If you rent it for more days they give you a discount.
There are a lot of beautiful hotels and chalets around the valley. When we go for winter holidays, we always prefer to stay in some nice and cosy wooden cottage or chalet. The prices are pretty high so we recommend to book in advance to get something cheaper. We booked a beautiful wooden apartment in the centre of Chamonix. We had our own kitchen where we could cook dinner every night which for us was perfect.
Another very useful thing for us while we are on ski holidays is the washing machine. Usually when we go to ski for 5-10 days we wash our ski clothes every night so we can have it clean and dry every day.
Our apartment was in the centre which was good because we had a supermarket just around the corner and all the shops, bars and restaurants were on our street. The only problem was that as we didn’t have a car, we had to walk to the lifts every day. Even though it was not far away it was quite challenging to walk 15min uphill with our ski/snowboard boots and carrying our ski and snowboard. For this reason, if you don’t have a car, we would probably suggest to take an accommodation rather closer to the lifts than the centre of Chamonix.
Our apartment was around 110EUR/night but unfortunately I cannot find it on booking anymore.
To be honest we are not big fans of French food. We had an accommodation with a kitchen so we were having breakfast and dinner at home every day. It also saved us a lot of money. The only meal we were eating out was lunch on the slopes while skiing.
One of our favourite Wellness & SPA resorts we visited is QC Terme in Chamonix. Take a dip in the outdoor thermal pool with an amazing view over the lake and the Alps while is snowing on your head. It is an unforgettable experience!
QC Terme is an Italian Wellness & SPA brand that owns 9 Wellness & SPA centres across Italy and the 10th one is here in Chamonix – Mont Blanc.
NOTE: When we visited in 2019, a 1 day entrance ticket was included in the price of the Unlimited Pass, however it looks like they removed this benefit from the pass which is a pity. The entrance itself is around 50EUR which is quite pricey but it is totally worth it.
Our ski experience was unforgettable and we would definitely love to come back one day. We would also like to visit this place during summer and see the “other face” of it. We truly believe it’s a great place for nature lovers like us.
If you are looking for a budget ski resort, check out our Borovets, Bulgaria travel guide: http://borntotraveldiaries.com/the-cheapest-ski-holiday-borovets-bulgaria-ski-on-the-budget/
We hope this blog post was helpful to you and you are gonna have a great time while visiting Chamonix – Mont Blanc. For more pictures and videos check our story highlight (Chamonix). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment bellow or contact us via email or even better via Instagram @borntotraveldiaries Thank you for your time and stay tuned for our next diary page 🙂.