CHAMONIX CITY GUIDE
At the foot of the behemoth that is Mont Blanc, the aptly named Chamonix-Mont-Blanc sits just inside the junction that joins France with Switzerland and Italy in the French Alps. While the cluster of resorts is easily one of the most popular skiing locations in France, that's not all this area’s known for. Counting breathtaking scenery, historical sights and exciting year-round activities as popular draws, there's plenty of things to do in Chamonix for all the family to enjoy. Make your escape to this picturesque part of France, and discover Chamonix with P&O Ferries.
History on the slopes
The story goes that the Chamonix settlement first came to fruition in 1760, when a scientist set the masses a challenge to scale its dizzying heights - a feat that has been on every seasoned skier's bucket list since. Acclaim grew even further during the Victorian era, and soon it was hosting all manner of winter sports events, with a 10,000 strong population living around it. To learn more about the inception of this beautiful location, head to Le Musée Alpin- a museum set in the old Chamonix Palace which charts the story of the resort's early development through to today.
Breathtaking scenery - Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi
With towering glaciers, ice-capped mountains and powdery snow underfoot, there's beauty at every turn in this tranquil alpine setting. For unrivalled panoramic views, head to the Aiguille du Midi - a massif of Mount Blanc which is accessed by cable car. Once at the summit, reward your efforts with a steaming mug of hot chocolate from the mountain top café, and be sure to visit Step into the Void. An observation deck in the form of a clear box over the mountain edge, it offers an unmissable photo opportunities, and (if you're brave enough to look down) it'll feel just as if you're suspended in mid-air over the Alps. Another must see is Les Grotte de Glace. A natural ice cave, this glacier has ice sculptures and a colourful light show within its walls.
Skiing and snowboarding in France
Thanks to its rocky terrain, steep sides and weather proofed routes, the area is popular with off-piste fanatics. But with nursery slopes and tamer routes available, there's something to suit all abilities. Although crowded at the ski lifts, such is the expanse of this mountain range that you'll find slopes to be relatively empty once you've been dispatched at the top. If you want to brush up on your technique, there are many ski schools to choose from, as well as snowboarding and snowshoeing routes on offer.
Year round activities in Chamonix
With paragliding, helicopter rides, sledding and endless hiking opportunities, there's plenty of things to in Chamonix all year round. The offseason can be the most affordable time to visit, and you'll find there are still plenty of activities running throughout summer. Beginning in Chamonix, the Haute Route is an alpine track that takes you 180km into Zermatt, Switzerland, and can be carried out both on skis and foot. Photo walks run by locals are available year-round. These help you to get to know the location just as a dweller would, and can include igloo hosting, snowshoeing and plenty of gastronomic distractions in the form of hot fondue and warming stews.
Discover the beautiful sights of Chamonix and France by catching our Dover to Calais crossing.
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