Winter Tale Chamonix

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Nowhere on the planet do mountains explode from the Earth as do those in the Chamonix Valley of France.

This year couldn’t have started better…There is something so magical about winter and the snow turning the whole city white… isn’t it? Especially when you spend your ski holiday in a place like Chamonix.

Skiing it’s a big part of my life now and I felt so blessed to be in the beautiful winter tale of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. It’s breathtaking sceneries, the fresh mountain air, four main ski domains with pistes above 2000 metres, the beautiful chalets, dreamy spas, its legend filled with monuments, its incredibly good restaurants and chocolateries made me feel in a fairytale.

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France is filled with truly majestic places, but this one is by far one of my favorites. It’s the very highlight of what a holiday in the Alps should be like. Chamonix Mont-Blanc is clearly one of the most gorgeous and oldest ski resorts in France. More commonly known as Chamonix, is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region, south-eastern France. Because it’s based at the foot of the highest mountain in the Alps, Chamonix is renowned also as the most famous mountain resort in Europe. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

 The stunning scenery and legendary reputation of this historic resort makes it a destination every skier should try at least once in his life. With its 5 ski resorts (Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent) Chamonix Mont-Blanc offers the perfect ski holiday. You can choose from different ski environments from the friendly areas like Le Tour and Les Houches to the Expert Level at Le Grand Montets. There is really something for everyone, moreover as 90% of the pistes are above 2000 metres. Depending of your level of proficiency, consider skiing anywhere you want.

The main ski lift areas are:

  • In Les Houches = Les Houches,
  • In Chamonix = Le Brevent and the Aiguille du Midi (off piste only, the Vallee Blanche)
  • In Les Praz = La Flégère
  • In Argentiere = Les Grands Montets
  • In Le Tour/Vallorcine = Le Tour/Balme

Grand Montets is famous for having one of the longest vertical runs in the world with its nearly 10,000 ft descent. Chamonix is famous for the hard core and adventurous in particular, with world renowned off-piste skiing and riding. Some of the lines are so challenging that you might need to wear a diaper. One of the most famous off-piste lift access is the Aiguille du Midi, that goes to Vallee Blanche reputed to be one of the best ski runs in the entire world. It’s only accessible by the world’s most terrifying cable car ride – Aiguille du Midi – the popular starting point for the route. Vallee Blanche is a vast valley of off-piste skiing that straddles the basin between the French and the Italian Alps and is riddled with glaciers, crevasses, avalanches, and generally all the sorts of things that will kill you. It’s an unmarked, unmaintained and unpatrolled high mountain off-piste ski itinerary. If you’re planning to try out this route it’s highly recommended to hire a trained mountain guide and take anything needed to dig your way out of a cavernous crevasse or worse.

So how do you get to the Vallee Blanche if you’re a simple sightseer? By taking the Aguille du Midi cable car that runs from the Chamonix Valley floor to virtually the top of the Alps. Gaining nearly 10,000 ft in elevation in about 10 minutes, the Aiguille du Midi is absolutely NOT for anyone who has ever even entertained the thought of having a fear of heights. Once at the top, however, the views stretching across the top of Europe are worth a deal. But the main attraction on the Aiguille du Midi peak is the new glass-bottomed viewing box set at 3842 m. The five-sided box juts out above the Chamonix Valley a kilometer below, offering a rather unsettling place to stand and take in astonishing views of the Mont Blanc, at 4810m. On clear days it’s possible to see both Mt. Blanc (the highest point in Europe) and the Swiss Matterhorn. Chilly and serene in its position above the Vallee Blanche, it’s the perfect perch for watching the white abyss below.

So where do all of those crazy skiers end up after they tackle the Valle Blanche? Right next to the entrance of the cavernous ice tunnel that is simply known as the Mer de Glace. The attraction is heavily trafficked by tourists and accessible via an old fashioned train ride from the valley floor. But walking through the Mer de Glace tunnels is the real deal. It is literally like standing inside of a massive ice cube!

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The mountains always make me so relaxed. The feeling of skiing in some fresh powder snow it was pure happiness to me. I didn’t have time to try all the slopes, but I skied on Les Houches and Le Tour ski resorts.

Les Houches is a resort just inside the valley on the right when arriving from Geneva, with good restaurants and good off-piste runs. It’s composed of six hamlets and offers some exceptional skiing. Like Le Tour this is a good place for beginners and intermediates, pistes run from 950m to 1900m and lots of tree line skiing. More sheltered than the other ski areas, it’s the place to go when the weather is bad. Le Tour is a traditional Savoyarde village situated 4km north-east of Argentiere, right at the end of the valley. It is overlooked by the spectacular Le Tour Glacier and offers a marvelous opportunity for walkers to sample a little high-altitude terrain without undue technical difficulty. Le Tour also offers some of the best views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley.

Of course, it was very important to me to feel feminine and chic on the slopes as it is in my everyday life. I hope you guys loved my colorful ski equipment that perfectly matched with my Anon goggles. Here I am with some amazing images from Chamonix holiday, right in the winter theme.

If you ski or snowboard, Chamonix France should definitely be on your Travel Bucket List! IMG_8479IMG_8462IMG_8471IMG_8474IMG_8495 IMG_8494IMG_8551IMG_8561IMG_8570 IMG_8576IMG_8583IMG_8587IMG_8593IMG_8599IMG_8601IMG_8600IMG_8603IMG_8623IMG_8628IMG_8619IMG_8608IMG_8371IMG_8651IMG_8656IMG_8670IMG_8674IMG_8678IMG_8688IMG_8672IMG_8703IMG_8648-001IMG_8639IMG_8681IMG_8659IMG_8660IMG_8527IMG_8394

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Chamonix town is set amongst the dramatic peaks of the 4,810 meter Mont Blanc with some of the most incredible scenery in the Alps. It’s so rich in history with statues and monuments erected in honor of the founders of the town or famous alpinists who have used the town as a base over the past 100 years. There are plenty of quintessential french cafes, fantastic shopping and spas for non-skiers.

When you’re out shopping in the town center, wherever you are look up and you’ll see ‘it’ there… 4,810 meters (15,781 ft) of rock, snow, ice, and dreams of things to come. On the streets of this high-mountain town, you’ll hear languages from every corner of the globe. But all the people who are coming here share the same way of thinking and the same love for mountaineering and its legends.

When you are not skiing you must know that Chamonix is very lively with a large choice of bars, restaurants and night clubs. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets.

Something that you just can’t miss while in Chamonix if you love cheese is taking dinner at La Caleche! This place enjoys a fabulous location right in the heart of Chamonix city center. Also known as La Maison des Specialites, it offers a wonderful array of meaty and cheesy treats for a truly authentic Savoyarde experience (melted cheese with bread). Spread over 3 floors, La Caleche is worth a visit for the interior décor and ambiance. It’s full of many beautiful and original artifacts that reflect the region’s farming and skiing origins. You can take it all whilst enjoy some of the best local cuisine in Chamonix.

Another favorite place to eat in Chamonix is The Micro Brasserie de Chamonix (aka the ‘MBC’). It’s a very cool place to have a burger-and-beers kinda night with your friends. The food is great and the massive portions will satisfy any appetite! The popularity of the MBC means you are strongly advised to book a table in advance for dinner.

If you love chocolate and macarons, you just can’t miss Chalet 4810! One of the latest edition to the Chamonix cafe scene is a newly renovated building at the top of the high street near the Mummery building. He is widely famous in Chamonix for his chocolate, caramel, and macarons! I love the modern, minimalist interior design of the store, it feels so fresh and elegant. I sat down and felt all excited when I ordered a praline millefeuille. It was excellent, one of the best mille-feuilles I have ever had and the praline stuffing was out of this world delicious. I also bought some crystal shaped chocolate for my mom!

It’s the best souvenir you can take from Chamonix!

I wanted to try all the different chocolate bars and macarons there, but I didn’t really have the time or the stomach space to do so. But next time I will try everything!

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Why Ski or Snowboard at Chamonix?

Because it has a classic lively European ski resort feel, offering one of the oldest and most famous ski resort culture. Because it has a long rich history including the hosting of the 1924 Winter Olympics. Because the locals do a great “Fondue Savoyarde” (melted cheese with bread). And they certainly invented the great après-ski.

Because it has a classic lively European ski resort feel, offering one of the oldest and most famous ski resort culture. Because it has a long rich history including the hosting of the 1924 Winter Olympics. Because the locals do a great “Fondue Savoyarde” (melted cheese with bread). And they certainly invented the great après-ski.

Chamonix has it all – sensational skiing and snowboarding terrain across multiple mountains and countries, awesome scenery, really friendly locals, easy access and full resort facilities. Just come and see for yourself!

I have to say, I was so happy to spend some days in Chamonix winter tale.

Snow just makes everything so magical, doesn’t it?