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Family holidays in Chamonix

Discover insights about Chamonix family holidays


Whether you come to Chamonix in the winter or summer, you and the kids are sure to leave with a big smile on your face. From world-class skiing to rafting, biking, hiking and climbing, there are loads of things to do as a family here.

Why Chamonix is good for families

  • Chamonix is only an hour’s drive from Geneva airport - which means fewer shouts of “are we there yet?”
  • The resort is split into distinct areas, some of which are quieter and well suited to families
  • There’s lots of childcare available
  • The summer climate is great for kids - warm but not scorching in the day and cool at night
  • From nursery slopes to some of the best off-piste in the world, Chamonix has terrain to suit skiers of all abilities

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Best place for families to stay in Chamonix

If you’re coming for a ski holiday with a young family, look for accommodation near any of the lifts. The fewer steps your little people have to take in ski boots, the better (for all concerned!).

Les Houches is always popular with families. It has: 

  • a good mix of terrain for people of all abilities
  • some ski in-ski out chalets
  • lots of family-sized accommodation
  • a good selection of bars and restaurants

It’s also a little closer to Geneva, if you’re keen to keep journey time to a minimum.

Compagnie du Mont Blanc Details New Lifts

Lift passes for families

Lift passes make up a significant portion of the cost of a family holiday to the mountains, so it pays to check you’re buying the right ticket for your group. 

Here in Chamonix there are various concessions to help you keep your costs down, such as:

  • kids under 5 use the lifts for free
  • kids between 5 and 14 pay a reduced ('youth') rate
  • there are reduced-price ski passes if you only want to use the beginner areas
  • you can buy a pedestrian pass - if maybe you or your partner don’t ski, but you still want to go up and watch the kids

You can buy half day lift tickets if a full day on the mountain seems too long for the little ones. It’s not a lot cheaper than an all day ticket, but it’ll save you a little bit. 

Lift passes in Chamonix for families of four or more

If you're a family of four or more, you'll be able to save money on the regular ticket price by buying a 'family lift pass'. With one of these:  

  • two adults pay full price - can be parents or grandparents 
  • the first child aged 5 and over pays full price
  • up to four other children (aged 5 to 14) go free

A family pass for two adults and two children costs around €950 for six days.

What's On in Chamonix February 2019

Ski schools for families

If you have designs on raising the next Shaun White or Chemmy Alcot, then getting your children into ski school will be a priority!

The two main ski schools that cater for young children are ESF and Evolution2. Both: 

  • offer full and half-day sessions
  • have English speaking guides
  • will take your kids to a dedicated area where they can learn how to snow plough, stop, turn and glide safely

Ski schools usually take weekly bookings, so if you’re only here for a few days it’s good to check if there’s any space for your children.

What age can children start ski lessons

Ski schools will take them from 3 years old. At this age, the focus is on having fun in the snow, so there are normally inflatables and games to play. 

Most beginner areas also have a ‘magic carpet’ travelator (a bit like the ones you get at airports) to get kids and beginner adults to the top of the slopes without having to contend with lifts.

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, half-day lessons are normally more than enough if you’re a novice.

What’s included in the price of a lesson

The price you pay for a ski lesson is for tuition only. Ski passes are not included.

So for kids aged 5 and over, you’ll need to make sure they have: 

  • a valid ski pass (you can get discounted passes if you're only using the nursery slopes)
  • skis, helmets, goggles - you can hire these from one of the many ski hire shops in the resort
  • appropriate clothing, like salopettes and a jacket, warm layers and gloves  
  • sunscreen

A ski pass isn’t necessary for those under five, but you'll still need to buy a hands-free card for them to use on the turnstiles. You can get one of these from any lift station, take ID to prove their age.

What's on in Chamonix Christmas & New Year 2018

Ski areas for families

A decent mix of terrain should keep all the family happy.  

Again, Les Houches is popular with families. There’s also a good range of terrain to suit all abilities at Le Tour. 

Le Tour has a large beginner area at La Vormaine (near the car park) and lots of cruisy blue runs higher up (Domaine de Balme ski area, which links with Vallorcine).

Le Tour itself is much quieter than Les Houches, so if you base yourself up this end of the valley, you’ll probably need to head into Argentiere to eat out as a family.

Brévent and Flégère - which are linked - also have a good mix of terrain.

If you have beginners in your family, you might want to check out the: 

  • Planards and Savoy nursery slopes - these are on either side of Chamonix town
  • Trappe green run at Flégère
  • La Poya nursery area at Le Buet (Vallorcine) 

Family skiing at Grands Montets

There’s a nursery area at Grands Montets called Les Chosalets, but most of the Grands Montets ski area is suited to more advanced skiers and snowboarders. The terrain is quite steep.

We'd always recommend families go to one of the other ski areas above.

What's on in Chamonix December 2017

Activities for families

Chamonix is a year-round resort, and it’s a great place to come whether it’s winter or summer. It all depends on what you love doing.

If you’ve got children, here are a few things you might want to try.

Things to do in Chamonix with children
Activity Where Time of year What it is Cost
Ski Camp fun park Top of the Prarion lift in Les Houches Winter Snow tubing, sledging, zip wire, curling, igloos and teepees Free, but you'll need a pedestrian lift pass to get there
Mont Blanc Legend Flégère, next to the Trappe green run Winter Snow slides, treasure hunts, BBQ Free, but you'll need a pedestrian lift pass to get there
Snow tubing Moon Tine café, Le Buet (Vallorcine) Winter Sliding down the slope on an inflatable tube Free
Sledging Savoy and Bois de Buchet, Le Tourchet, Les Chosalets, behind the tourist office in Vallorcine Winter Sledging Free
Luge Planards in Chamonix All year 1,300m mini roller coaster - suitable for children from 3+ From €8.50
Cog railway Montenvers railway station All year A bright red train that winds up the side of the mountain to the foot of the Mer de Glace glacier More
Ice skating (indoor) Chamonix All year Indoor rink with skate hire and cafe From €6.80 for an adult
Ice skating (outdoor) Les Houches Winter Outdoor rink with skate hire and cafe Free to skate
Skate hire is €3.50 per person 
Husky dog sledding Rue des Moulins, Chamonix Winter Dog sledding More
Vox cinema Centre of Chamonix All year Shows films in English (look for VOST) More
Swimming for under 3s Richard Bozon sport centre, Chamonix All year Sessions on Saturday mornings From €11
a ski instructor giving a group lesson

Childcare services

There are several options for childcare in Chamonix. You might also be able to find nannies in Chamonix on the Chamonix Facebook page.

If you're here during summer

The sports centre of each town sometimes hosts a kids club during the summer holidays, with activities like swimming, climbing, tennis, basketball and ice-skating.

Check availability at the local tourist offices.