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February in Chamonix: What's on and weather

A busy time in resort coinciding with some great skiing conditions

featured in News & reviews Author Caro Blackwell, Destination Editor Updated

It's the school holidays and the resort is full of families, and the snow is already deep in resort.

With the school holidays in full force, on the slopes and throughout town it's buzzing with activity. Chamonix lays on plenty of entertainment, with regular events and parties going on in the bars, hotels and clubs around town.

Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout February.

Chamonix in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

What are the weather and snow conditions like?

There is still regular snowfall and very much like January the average daily temperatures generally fall between a high of 4ºC and a low of -5ºC, with around just over five hours of sunshine. Still very much a time for wearing a thermal under-layer.

Your Guide to the World Cup Ski Races in Chamonix 2016

What's on in Chamonix in February?

Kandahar Alpine Skiing World Cup, Chamonix
After a long absence, the Kandahar is back home in Les Houches for World Cup Ski Championships. This race has become one of the main sporting events in the Chamonix valley and showcases Chamonix's excellent skiing reputation. Created in 1928, the Kandahar was the first international alpine competition to combine downhill and slalom events, and plays host to the slalom and giant slalom. Both spectacular disciplines to watch.

Usually the Kandahar Alpine Ski World Cup is held on the classic course in Les Houches, except when the Olympic Winter Games is on and the fixture on the race calendar isn't scheduled.

Valentine's Day
Chamonix is a foodie's paradise. For this 14 February, take your pick of the best in town with a table at the only Michelin-starred eatery or if this is beyond the budget, worry not, Chamonix is full of great gourmet options. If you are after some entertainment while you eat, many places will put on live music, or you could head out after your dinner.

Chamonix in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

School holiday skiing

February is a popular month for families so the slopes are noticeably busier as soon as the four-week French holidays begin. Fortunately, the Chamonix valley ski area is so vast, that even in high season you can find quiet slopes and minimal lift queues. Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:

  1. It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  2. If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
  3. Ski over lunchtime. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break.
  4. Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a Click & Collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
  5. Seek out the peripheral areas. Try to avoid the busy main ski areas closer to Chamonix town, mainly Brévent and Flégère, and head to the edges of the valley as Le Balme / Vallorcine and Les Houches may be a bit quieter. If you have a Mont-Blanc Natural Unlimited pass, remember that you can also head across the border into Italy and ski in Courmayeur.
  6. Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Chamonix in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

Things to do

Family fun
February is synonymous with school holidays. As hundreds of children and their families descend on the pistes, the Chamonix valley puts on a show for them. There are lots of activities to keep the little ones entertained on and off the mountain. Les Houches, the most family-friendly of all the resorts in the valley, has various events for the children during the holidays.

Luge on rails
The Domaine des Planards main attraction is for the whole family, from three years. A big roller coaster in the heart of the mountains! A 1.3 km rail track with twists, 540 °spins, turns and thrills.

Night skiing
Want to maximise slope time? Then head over to Le Tourchet beginners ski area in Les Houches, for some night skiing – the two drag lifts are open one evening a week and the pistes will be floodlit. Over in Chamonix, Les Planards nursery slope will be open two nights a week. It’s a great chance for beginners to get some extra practice or for skiers and boarders to do a swap evening, which always results in some hilarious spills. There will also be hot drinks on offer and music blasting through giant speakers.

Cross-country skiing
If you like a bit of Nordic skiing, then the beautiful Bois du Bouchet slopes is floodlit once a week, so feel the burn and enjoy a slide along on very skinny skis.

Chamonix in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

Bars and clubs

If, like most people, you like to follow several hours of exercise with several hours of drinking, you can hit up any of a number of local après-ski sessions. Down at the bottom of the Brévent slopes, you'll find world-famous La Folie Douce, or head to Rue du Moulin for a range of eateries and bars, or to Cham Sud where you'll find bars offering great music, delicious food and happy hours.

For late-night entertainment, the clubs hold special nights on most days of the week.

More inspiration...

There are plenty of things to do in Chamonix on and off the slopes, from snowshoe walks to photography courses, cinema outings, relaxing at the spa or husky sledding. Take a look at what's on offer.