Christmas in Chamonix is a magical time of year – officially declared when the lights are turned on at the beginning of December. The opening night is a traditional one, complete with vin chaud, hot chocolate and live music, and marks the beginning of a season filled with festivity and fun.
One of Chamonixs greatest assets is its close vicinity the infamous Mont Blanc. Standing as the highest mountain in Europe, this majestic giant boasts some of the best ski slopes in the world as well as enough activities to please each and every visitor.
There are five main ski areas within the Chamonix Mont Blanc region that cater for skiers and boarders of all abilities, as well as a choice of terrain and scenic backdrops for those who want to try something new. From crevasses and glaciers on the 20km Vallée Blanche run, to the nursery slopes and ski schools that give beginners a wonderful chance to learn in a beautiful and professional setting.
Children are also catered for here. There are numerous ski schools on the mountain as well as lots of places to go sledding. For something truly memorable, there is the opportunity to try husky dog sledding.
Of course Chamonix is not all about skiing. Blessed with some of the most stunning scenery and landscapes in the Alps, this is a region well worth exploring on foot, especially in winter when everything is blanketed in pure white snow. For the adventurous types there are plenty of mountaineering experiences on Mont Blanc, where you can reach its peak of 4, 810m after an exhilarating climb. There is also the opportunity to paraglide, both tandem and solo depending on levels of experience.
If you need to take some time out from the physical exertion of the slopes, Chamonix has ample sightseeing opportunities both in and around the resort. It is also a great way to learn about the history of the area as well as exploring it at your own pace. A notable highlight is the Tramway du Mont Blanc one of Frances last rail trails. You can also get to the summit of the great mountain by the Aguille du Midi cable car, where every minute of this ride gives breathtaking views.
To really take time out and relax, you can visit one of the many world-class spas in the resort and treat yourself to some luxurious pampering. What better way to accompany it than with a shopping spree in the towns high-end boutiques and designer stores. You can also browse the Christmas markets, sampling local crafts and produce whilst sipping on some hot mulled wine.
Food and drink in Chamonix is also of the highest acclaim, with many restaurants putting on special Christmas menus so you can really dine out in festive style. From traditional, local dishes to gourmet cuisine Chamonix has it all.