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Best Wintersports in Chamonix

Discover the top Chamonix wintersports

Updated

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 main draw for people coming to Chamonix in winter is, of course, the skiing and snowboarding. With 5 different parts of the valley to ski in, as well as a wealth of off-piste areas, the valley has something for every level of experience. There are around 150km of pistes accessed by a total of 65 ski lifts split between the main ski areas and the low mountain beginner zones. There are 6 green pistes, 30 blue pistes, 31 red pistes, 10 black pistes and two snowparks. The pisted ski terrain ranges in altitude from 950m to 3300m. The backcountry skiing offers much more in terms of altitude, vertical descent and of course, difficulty, including the world-famous Vallée Blanche descent, a 20km long route that takes you from the Aiguille du Midi down 2700m to the bottom of the valley.

Activities Guest Card
The Chamonix Guest Card ('carte d'hote') is valid throughout the year (for the duration of your stay) and entitles you to various discounts throughout the valley, such as reductions at all the sports and cultural facilities including the swimming pool, ice rink, museums and covered parking. If you do not receive one when you check into your accommodation, you can buy one from any of the tourist offices in the valley at a cost of €10 per person per week.

It also entitles you to free travel on the buses and trains between the valley's resorts from Vallorcine to Servoz (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.

Biathlon

Biathlon

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 into the natural, quiet surrounding mountains and then shoot stuff, mainly with laser guns. Most of the biathlon lessons take place at Chamonix's cross-country skiing area by the Bois de Bouchet

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Fitness & swimming in Chamonix

A public gym and fitness classes can be found at the main sports centre in Chamonix. Pop-up instructors and classes also take place in Les Houches (look out for Studio 128) and most places around the valley.

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Heli-ski

Unfortunately, heli-skiing is not permitted in France. However, thanks to Chamonix's location just on the border with Switzerland and Italy, some of the ski schools, adventure companies, local flight companies and mountain guide companies offer a pick-up/drop-off heli-skiing service for you where you will be taken over the border and ski down (even back across into France again). It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!

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Paragliding / Parapenting

If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Chamonix is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the Brevent and other mountain tops in the valley, you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. The main landing place in Chamonix in the winter is behind the sports centre, by the Bois de Bouchet, so you'll find some companies offering paragliding there. Top tip: Wait until the spring and then go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.

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Paragliding in Chamonix

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