| by A McGreevey
The snow has only just started to leave us here in Chamonix, but we’re already looking forward to next winter.
Today we thought we’d break down three of our most popular winter activities, with some of our best clips from a pre-covid winter (ahh – much simpler times) to show off what they’re all about. If you’re new to winter adventures or just desperate to get back to altitude, read on for some help planning your next adventure.
Did you know you don’t have to spend every day of your winter break on the slopes? There are lots other exciting winter sports to try here in the Chamonix Valley (discover more here), and we think one of the best is e-fatbiking. Join us in riding amazing trails covered in snow and ice. Sounds tricky right? Wrong!
Fat-bikes are designed specifically for less cycle friendly terrain – think snow, sand, mud – with large tyres for extra stability. The e-fatbike's battery power propels you up the tougher bits.
We’ll get you set up and will guide you along the wide trails around the Argentiere forest below the famous Grand Montet ski area. This route makes a great starting point, with wide open forest trails running alongside a cross-country ski route. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be in Chamonix town and probably ready for a drink or two. Don’t worry, you will have earned it!
Local tip: try the delicious range of beers from Brewhouse74 – made just down the road.
A firm favourite for many winter holiday makers, alpine (or downhill) skiing is a winter holiday experience that is a mix of sporting activity, breathtaking scenery, local culture and hearty food and drink.
Our main destination for our winter activity holidays is the world renowned Chamonix Mont Blanc in the French Alps. With five ski areas to choose from, you can spend days here never having to the do the same run twice – although we have a feeling you’ll probably want to! So if this is your first time skiing where do you start?
Well, fear not; all ski resorts have runs suitable for beginners and Chamonix is no exception. We take care of everything from getting you out of the chalet in the morning, getting you kitted up with skiis and boots at Namaste ski hire shop in Argentiere and taking you to your ski lessons with the friendly ski instructors from Evo2.
Chamonix's ski areas Le Tour and Flegere have excellent beginner's slopes that will help to gain confidence on gentle terrain. Le Tour’s beginner slope is especially great to find your feet with, as you can get started before you’ve even waddled your way into a cable car.
Local tip: if you’re at Le Tour for the day make a reservation for something to eat at Le Passon – Tartiflette being the region’s dish of choice.
For those looking to get their ski legs back, you’ll find a great mix of runs in all of the ski areas – with places like Les Houches at the bottom of the valley ideal to blow those first-day cobwebs away. As your stay goes on and you’re feeling back to your best, resorts like Grand Montets are famous for being equal part amazing and equal part challenging. The most popular resort for regulars and visitors alike, here you’ll also find access to the Argentiere Glacier for those looking to really push themselves.
Skiing’s younger and more “gnarly” brother, prepare to get down the mountain in style next winter with some snowboarding.
Strap your feet into a board and glide and carve your way down the slopes, linking your turns for a smooth “falling leaf” effect down the piste. As a beginner, prepare to be on your bottom a lot but, in no time, you’ll be hitting your turns with plenty of personality. Snowboarding has an easier learning curve than skiing so might be a better choice for some.
Chamonix offers challenging pistes with endless options. For all the same reasons as on skis, Le Tour is a fantastic place to get the basics down. You’ll need a couple of attempts to master getting on and off the lifts, but after that the runs are wide and not too steep, great for going at your own pace.
For those intermediate boarders and above, Flegere has a fantastic mix of red and blue runs to get the adrenaline going. There are also some great introductory places to give off-piste a go (just make sure you know what you’re doing first!). In deep snow conditions avalanche kit is a must. And if you like we can arrange for you to go on an avalanche awareness course.
Grand Montets is of course a must-see; an earlier start is recommended to beat the crowds. When you’re done, make sure to grab a drink (or three) at Brasserie les Marmottons.
We can’t wait for some new adventures next winter – click here to view our winter multi activity packages.