Chamonix is proof that you can have it all: sublime skiing, beautiful scenery and a vibrant nightlife all in one characterful alpine resort. Limiting yourself to just one weekend seems a challenge, but there is plenty you can fit in on a trip to Chamonix. Make the most of your 48 hours by arranging a luxury helicopter transfer from Geneva airport or other alpine resorts to cut down on travel time.
Friday Afternoon – Arrive in Style
The scenery around Chamonix is jaw dropping. It is home to some of the biggest mountains in the Alps, not least the mighty Mont Blanc (4,810m), and it is close to the borders with Italy and Switzerland. The roads leading to Chamonix from the airports are well-maintained, but traffic can cause delays at peak times and you miss much of the scenery in tunnels. Arriving by helicopter is not only quicker and more convenient but it’s an unmissable experience to fly through the snow-covered Alps. A luxury helicopter transfer to Chamonix starts your weekend break off in VIP style and sets the tone.
The Grand Hotel des Alpes is a wonderful choice to enjoy the history of the Chamonix area. It was built in 1840 right in the heart of town, just a few steps from the Aiguille du Midi lift and has been renovated to be warm and inviting with lovely views of the mountains. The welcoming interior includes a fireplace in the bar, which is where you should head once you have settled into your well-maintained and spotless room. It has a spa and pool to make your stay utterly relaxing. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and can give you advice on activities in the area. Alternatively, the Hameau Albert Premier offers a personalised experience since it has been managed by the same family for over a century. It boasts unique rooms, cosy chalets and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Chamonix is a delight to ski with its multitude of slopes for all levels. Each ski area has its own merit, but advanced skiers will be especially pleased with its huge selection of freeride and off-piste skiing. The steeper tree-lined slopes are near the border with Switzerland. The lifts reach over 3,000 metres in altitude, but there are also gentle slopes for beginners located along the valley at various villages like La Savo and Les Planards. You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the famous 20km Vallée Blanche glacier run, but a guide is highly recommended.
In Chamonix, you will never be far from a good meal. There is a good selection of restaurants and we (along with the majority of Chamonix’s visitors) like Munchie. Situated on Rue des Moulins in the town centre, Munchie serves some wonderful Asian and European cuisine, which includes sushi. Le Bistrot is an outstanding choice for fine dining paired with perfect wines courtesy of its creative chef Daniel Raimondi and an expert sommelier. Afterwards enjoy some drinks in the fabulous apres-ski bars such as Chambre Neuf, Mix Bar or Les Caves, then dance away until the early hours L’Amnesia nightclub.
Why not explore the vast array of activities that Chamonix has to offer. You only have one day left so choose carefully, do you want to go husky sledding, ride snowmobiles, go bowling, relax in a spa or explore the town? Chamonix has a great range of designer and sports shops, but while you’re in the area you’ll probably want to take the 100-year-old Montenvers train ride up to the Mer de Glace. It’s the largest glacier in France and one of the biggest attractions in Chamonix. You can venture into the ice cave and walk through the very heart of the glacier.
The combination of fresh air, exhilarating skiing and good food makes Chamonix a wonderful weekend escape to the mountains. Bon voyage!