Chamonix in October 2019 - What to see & do
Interseason offers plenty to keep you entertained
Summer is over and interseason well and truly underway in Chamonix. It's at this time of year that the number of tourists dwindles and the locals get their town back for a few weeks before the winter season hits.
But don't let the lift closures get you down, there's still plenty to do in the valley in October. From golf tournaments to first division hockey and traditional fetes, here is a quick rundown of some of the best events happening over the coming month, as well as what weather to expect and what to do.
October weather in Chamonix
The change of the seasons in Chamonix is very pronounced, which means that October is your typical autumn month. However, even if it rains more often than in the summer, there are still plenty of sunny days left to explore the natural landscapes. Temperatures during the day can reach the high teens, even into the lower twenties, but they drop noticeably once the sun disappears from the sky, even getting close to zero. Intermittent showers can sometimes develop into quite heavy downpours that usually don't last for long and which magically turn into fluffy snow at high altitude, decorating the summits with a beautiful dusting of white that contrasts with the russet red leaves in the valley.
Weather in Chamonix
October activities in Chamonix
October is the perfect time to go hiking. Temperatures are lower than in the summer but still reasonably warm and the sun shines often. However, due to the possibility of snow on the higher trails, it's better to stick to the lower or mid-mountain paths and always check the weather conditions, even asking local mountain guides which routes they advise trying. Some of the lifts stay open in October, such is the case of the Aiguille du Midi, the Montenvers vintage train which is currently shut but will reopen on October 19th or the Planpraz gondola in Brévent which will whir into action again from October 19th to November 3rd. With easy access to the mountains, this is the time to go out and explore the local forests.
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Running & cycling
There are also plenty of events to keep you entertained this month. Athletes can take part in one of the last races before the snow falls at the Chirv’Athlon. This is a triathlon with a difference, notably the lack of a lake making the swimming part a bit difficult – so they have two cycling stages instead. This Chirv’Athlon, consists of a 6.4km run, a 10.3km road cycle and a 10.5km cross-country mountain bike ride. All stages take place around the roads and trails of Servoz, which boasts some beautiful scenery and very pretty little villages. You can either register as a team of three or, for a bit of self-punishment, you can register individually and tackle the lot by yourself.
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The new hockey season is underway with the Chamonix Pionniers competing in the first-division Magnus League. Home games take place throughout the winter at the local ice rink, this October on the 4th, 15th, 20th and 29th. There is a bar so you can get a few beers in while you watch the game. Remember to take some warm clothes and shoes, hats and gloves – you are going to be sitting in a large freezer in a ski resort for a while. Tickets can be bought on the door or online.
Sports & Fitness Centres Chamonix
The Grand Prix Golf Tournament takes place in what's probably the most beautiful golf course in the world. Situated in Les Praz, at the bottom of the valley, the Chamonix Golf Club boasts views of the whole Mont-Blanc range, so we wouldn't be surprised if you missed a shot or two distracted by the views. The Maurice Herzog Cup this October is open to international players with a handicap lower than 2.4 and counts toward your World Amateur Golf Ranking.
The Sheep Fair or 'Foire aux Moutons' is one of the most popular autumn events in the valley. Born and bred Chamoniards and expats gather in Servoz every October for a fun-filled rural fete that revolves around a beauty contest as farmers from all around the region bring their best-looking sheep to be judged. Homemade cider, local Tomme cheese, a tractor exhibition, live music and an arts & crafts market are also part of the programme of this celebration that has been taking place for more than 30 years.
Towns & Villages in Chamonix
Activities for children
The 'Toussaint' (or All Saints' Day) school holidays take place in France from October 19th to November 3rd. The valley goes all out to keep the little ones entertained not only by reopening some of the lifts, but also with a full programme of events called 'Les Petits Asticots', shared with the nearby mountain towns of Megeve, Combloux and Sallanches among others. Theatre plays, concerts, puppet shows, street dance and circus acts for the whole family to enjoy.
Family Activities in Chamonix
We've recently heard that one of our most popular local bars, Le Vert (also a hotel), will be changing hands next season after 14 years under the same management. To say farewell to their faithful clientele, and to any visitors passing by, they're hosting a party like no other headlined by famous British rap duo Too Many T's. Local DJs will be playing throughout the afternoon and well into the night at the bar's terrace, while there'll be a BBQ and bouncy castles for kids.
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