Those who only ski in Chamonix are missing some of the planet’s most breath-taking scenery, so be sure to schedule time for other activities. Chamonix is a fantastic place click here for Chamonix holidays at Inghams so you can see what deals you can get and alongside the skiing make sure you try out some extra activities.
Aiguille du Midi Cable Car
Believe it or not, not everyone comes to Chamonix to ski. Some come solely for the Aiguille du Midi cable car experience. Rising nearly 2 miles in under 20 minutes, with a transfer midway, the Aiguille du Midi cable car is not a ride for those bothered by heights, and the swift ascent does bring on temporary altitude sickness for those who go all the way to the top. For those who make the entire circuit and brave the challenging stairways at the upper end will find observation decks with views that are nothing short of stunning, especially of Mont Blanc, Europe’s tallest peak. For something less physically taxing,try the Le Brevent cable car, which rises half the height but still offers spectacular views of Mont Blanc, Aiguille du Midi and the valley below.
What better way to enjoy the view than to see it from the air? Tandem paragliding with a licensed professional is a memorable way to take in the Alpine scenery, then touch down at a chalet for a well-earned snack. Mountain sports operators are numerous throughout the area, offering guided tours as well as lessons in skiing, climbing, paragliding and other local sports.
One of Europe’s best mountain rides, this little train ascends to the edge of La Mer de Glace glacier, where those wishing to explore the glacier at close range and visit its well-known ice cave can board a cable car and make the descent to the cave on foot. The ice cave is often closed due to bad weather, so check conditions ahead of time. However, most visitors agree that the train in itself is a worthwhile excursion.
Picnic on the beach.
Less than half an hour’s drive down the valley is Lac de Passy. A summertime swim in a pristine mountain lake is a refreshing treat and if the weather isn’t warm enough for a swim, a picnic on the beach offers memorable views of blue waters at the foot of massive mountains. Activities near the lake include go-karting, mini golf, and quad biking, making this an especially good outing for families.
Chamonix is more than a base camp. The pedestrian-friendly center of town is loaded with cafes and restaurants, stylish boutiques, shops selling handcrafted items, gourmet food shops and, of course, retailers specializing in gear for skiing, snow boarding, mountaineering, and other local sports. The Place du Mont Blanc is the site of a lively market every Saturday morning and those visiting during advent will find a lively Christmas market.