A whole host of winter activities to keep you entertained in Chamonix
Whatever you choose to do on your winter holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Chamonix area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in Chamonix. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
The Chamonix Guest Card (carte'dhote) is valid in summer and winter (for the duration of your stay) and entitles you to free travel on the buses and trains between these resorts (with the exception of the Chamo’nuit night bus). If you wish to take the train all the way through to Martigny in Switzerland or down to Le Fayet and St Gervais, you just need to pay the difference from Vallorcine or Servoz. The Guest Card also entitles you to various discounts throughout the valley, such as discounted entry to the swimming pool, Alpine Museum, cross country skiing and more. So, ask for one at the Tourist Offices of Chamonix, Les Houches, Servoz and Vallorcine if you do not receive one when you check into your accommodation.
Biathlon in Chamonix
Modern Winter Biathlon is the combination of cross country skiing and rifle shooting and tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Chamonix you can try your hand at this Olympic Sport. If you like cross country skiing but want to add another challenge then Biathlon is the perfect way to escape in to the natural, quiet surrounding mountains sand then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one but it's fun all the same.
Bowling in Chamonix
You can bowl in Chamonix in winter or summer at the bowling lanes in Cham Sud. A great places to go if you're in a family, a group or to while away rainy days.
Cinema in Chamonix
Catch the latest films and releases in Chamonix on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Cross Country Skiing in Chamonix
Get back to nature and explore the lovely tranquil cross-country ski trails. There are two different techniques – classic and skating. Classic is the easiest for beginners; you simply place your skis in two parallel groves, push off and glide around the trails. Skating is more energetic and a slightly harder skill to grasp; you push your feet out to either side as though you are ice skating and use your poles simultaneously to gain momentum.
You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons.
For those used to downhill skis, at first you feel precariously balanced and downhill sections are definitely more exciting on narrow skis with no edges! The skis are lighter and slimmer than downhill skis and the boots are much softer and more comfortable. The tranquility of cross country (also known as Nordic) skiing is perfect for anyone who enjoys peace and quiet, or finds the downhill pistes too crowded or too steep. It is a great form of aerobic exercise and one can be as energetic or slow as you like, while the relaxed pace makes it a more tranquil way to enjoy the surroundings!
Frisbee in Chamonix
Join in with locals and holidaymakers alike with the local Ultimate frisbee club who organise ultimate frisbee every Wednesday or Thursday depending on the season. Check out our events calender for more information or their facebook page.
Geocaching in Chamonix
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Chamonix!. It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
Gym / Fitness Centres in Chamonix
A public gym & fitness classes can be found at the main sports centre in Chamonix.
Handiski / Sit-ski in Chamonix
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski.. whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Chamonix that offers this service.
Heli-Ski in Chamonix
Unfortunately, heli-skiing is not permitted in France, however some of the ski schools, adventure companies, local flight companies and mountain guide companies will offer a pick-up/drop-off heli skiing service for you where you will be taken over the border into Italy or Switzerland. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
Helicopter Tours in Chamonix
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up! Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snow-capped mountain tops, glaciers and alpine forests of the Alps.
Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides in Chamonix
A horse drawn carriage ride around the streets of Chamonix with Dr Zhivago is a popular thing to do in Chamonix in both winter & summer. Head to the small square near Irish Coffee in the centre of Chamonix to jump on board.
Hot-air Ballooning in Chamonix
Hot air ballooning is a truly unique and fun experience. You can experience views and scenery like never before. The views are stunning, and as you glide over the forests you may see deer and other animals normally hidden from view. The pilot controls the height but the wind determines which direction you take, so the flight can take anything from one to two hours, depending on when a suitable landing site comes into view. Hot air ballooning looks serene, but there are moments of excitement; once the creaking wicker basket rises and you are suspended in the air metres above the ground, with nothing but the wind and the pilot taking you through the blue sky, it can be quite thrilling.
Husky Dog Rides in Chamonix
Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, and strict instructions not to let go of the sled if it turns over, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work!