Not just a pretty a ski resort...
We openly admit the Nomadic team may be a little biased, after all we live here and love it! But this bustling town steeped in history and home to 15, 000 year-round inhabitants really does have a proper ‘soul’ 12 months of the year.
It is brimming with enough shops, cafes, pubs and nightclubs to make a much larger town proud. You can buy everything from a Chanel snakeskin handbag to a plastic Mont Blanc keyring. And you’ll find the best burger on the continent and the best BBQ chicken in the world, not to mention icecream that makes even our Italian neighbours a tad jealous. We have selflessly tried a fair few establishments so please visit our restaurant page for our recommendations.
There is a bowling alley, with pool and snooker tables in the same arena, ice rink, indoor climbing wall, galleries and pool complex - all of which are great fun no matter your age or ability.
There are wonderfully-indulging day spas, museums, English-language films at the cinema in the heart of town and, not to be missed on a Saturday, come snow, rain or shine, the large outdoor market selling local foods, clothing, furniture, you name it!
The après-ski and nightlife are legendary. From the mandatory Aussie theme pub to the "what was I doing there?" nightclub, Chamonix has them all. Or if you prefer a more genteel evening there are plenty of sophisticated wine bars or places for a late-night hot chocolate.
Dominated by the jaw-dropping beauty of the Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix is the mountain climbing Mecca of the world and is the third most visited natural sight in the world. Take a peek at our sightseeing page to read about the not-to-be-missed Aiguille Du Midi, Montenvers and much more.
History of Chamonix
Chamonix Mont Blanc has been a popular tourist destination since two British explorers Richard Pococke and William Windham told the world of their visit in 1741. They described the Mer De Glace glacier as an “agitated frozen river”.
Its popularity grew further after the successful summit of Mont Blanc in 1786 by two locals, Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.
Although the first luxury hotel was built in 1816 it was not until 1860 that a road was built between Geneva and Chamonix. The railway was opened in 1901 and the first winter Olympics was hosted in Chamonix in 1924.