Chamonix, French Alps - Stein Travel
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The holiday resort of Chamonix sits in the shadow of Mont Blanc and offers some of the most challenging skiing in Europe. The town is in the centre of a string of villages spread out along a valley cutting deep through the Alps; the village of Argentiere is six miles (10km) up the valley, beneath the renowned Grands-Montets slopes, and Les Houches is a small holiday resort a few miles below. The huge variety of on- and off-piste skiing in Chamonix attracts ski bums and serious weekend skiers (the town is only 50 minutes drive from Geneva) and this is reflected in the sportive atmosphere in the bars and restaurants.

Information & Facts


Chamonix has a swimming centre with pools, a sauna and Turkish baths, and an indoor ice rink and bowling for holidaymakers to enjoy. Paragliding can be arranged when the weather's good.


French is the official language.


The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.


The ski areas in Chamonix do not inter-connect and the base lift stations are far apart, so a car is essential in Chamonix unless you are happy to wait for the erratic shuttle buses. The beginner slopes are separated from the main skiing areas making lunch meetings hard to organise. Chamonix has its own microclimate and the weather can be bad when neighbouring resorts are fine. If it is clouded over, it's worth checking out the weather in Courmayeur in Italy, a short trip away through the Mont Blanc tunnel.

Night Life

Chamonix is known for its ski-hard-party-hard atmosphere and the nightlife won't disappoint. The Bumble Bee and the Mill Street bar in Chamonix and the Office Bar in Argentiere are popular choices for après-ski drinks, and Wild Wallabies is an essential stop for hard-drinking Brits and Scandinavians. There is a casino for those wishing to try their luck on the tables.


Chamonix is alive with restaurants, ranging from first-class French restaurants to Indian, Chinese, Italian and Japanese and holidaymakers will not be disappointed. For Michelin-standard food, book Albert Ist et Milan in the town centre. Argentiere has some good local restaurants but much less choice than Chamonix. There are some fine restaurants on the slopes too, including Le 3842, the highest restaurant in Europe.


Chamonix is a year-round town and is packed with a selection of shops - though most are aimed at skiers and climbers on holiday here. There are plenty of supermarkets and delicatessens for self-caterers.


Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

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