Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley

The birthplace of the Winter Olympic Games in 1924, this year Chamonix is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the iconic event which greatly contributed to the resort’s international reputation.

A host of commemorative events are planned (see Events below) in this skiing paradise, which offers a little over 110km of marked downhill trails, 90% of which are located at an altitude of 2000m and above. There are also 50km of marked trails for cross-country skiing.

Chamonix attracts some of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders, and the reputation of the Grands Montets and the Vallée Blanche is far reaching. But the valley also offers several areas for intermediate and beginner skiers.

Of course, as well as skiing, there’s snow touring, cross-country skiing and the chance to have a nocturnal adventure by skiing down the Vallée Blanche by the light of the full moon and experiencing a magical atmosphere in the heart of the mountains.

Eat, Sleep, Relax

When it comes to places to stay, you will be spoilt for choice. How about somewhere with a bit of history? Art lovers will have the chance to spend a night in the former studio of the painter Marcel Wibault (1904-1998), the Alpenrose Chalet, which is now a B&B oozing history and authenticity.

Worked up an appetite? Three restaurants have had a makeover, including the Bergerie de Planpraz, with its cosy atmosphere centred around its iconic fireplace, and its panoramic terrace, offering an exceptional view of the Mont-Blanc range. Also, on the Brévent ski area, Le Comptoir de la Bergerie has plenty more room for guests both indoors and outdoors. And on the Flégère ski area, Tendance Foehn becomes Foehn Sandwicherie, embracing a distinctly Savoyard style with an entirely new decor. And if you’re looking to grab something delicious on the go, check out Pin Pin, an organic micro-bakery selling natural sourdough and 100% organic products.

Tired from all that skiing? Indulge in a pampering at the 4-star Heliopic Hotel & Spa, which features a 500m² wellness area, including a Nuxe Spa, with a 15m long swimming pool. It’s also offering various special deals as part of its tenth anniversary celebrations. Or enjoy a sensory experience at the Cinq Mondes spa at the 4-star Chalet Hotel Le Prieuré.

Environment

The Chamonix Valley is home to chamois and ibex, has three nature reserves, one Natura 2000 site and two classified sites – as you might guess, biodiversity and the preservation of ecosystems are taken very seriously. Hence the Flocon Vert two-snowflake rating. Measures are in place to make transport, energy use, waste disposal and the like more eco-friendly as well as initiatives to increase awareness of the habitat and how to treat it with respect.

Also in this centenary year, the resort’s visitors will be able to take part in activities that raise awareness about wildlife protection and the surrounding biodiversity, creating an unforgettable and educational experience for nature enthusiasts.

Events in 2024

Jan 25: D-Day! – celebrating 100 years since the opening ceremony of Chamonix 1924.

Feb 2-4: Kandahar Alpine Ski World Cup – the world’s finest skiers will compete on the famous Verte des Houches in a slalom and two downhill events.

Mar 16: Official ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix 1924.

April 2024: Chamonix Unlimited Festival – skiing and music come together on the mountain tops, with a lineup of artists from the electro scene in small-scale open-air venues.

Until June 29: ‘Chamonix: From Champions to the Olympic Games’ at the Maison de Village in Argentière.

Until June 29: Exhibition of Winter Olympic Games posters since 1924 at Triangle de l’Amitié Square.

Until March 15, 2025: ‘Chamonix 1924: The Invention of the Winter Olympic Games’ exhibition at the Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine.

At a glance

Ski until May 5

150 km of pistes and 15,000 acres of off-piste skiing, and with a skiing altitude of 1035 – 3842 metres

en.chamonix.com

Image credits: Shutterstock

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