Chamonix is often referred to as the ‘Capital Of World Mountaineering’, and rightly so! It is a remarkable base camp for mountain activities whether you are alpine mountaineering in summer, off piste skiing in winter, mountain walking or simply enjoying the superb high mountain scenery.
Chamonix is located in the Haute Savoie department of South East France, near both the Italian and Swiss alpine borders. The Chamonix Valley is a spectacular divide between the high altitude glaciers and summits of the Mont Blanc Massif to the South and the Aiguilles Rouges mountain range to the north.
Getting To Chamonix
Chamonix is about 100kms and a 1.5hr drive from Geneva Airport – less if there isn’t much traffic! There are many car hire options. Make sure your hire car has winter tyres if you are coming in winter!
Chamonix is very well served with regular transfer buses from a wide variety of companies offering both group and private taxis. Here are a recommended selection that we have found to be reliable and all offer slightly different formats and prices.
Milan Malpensa airport is nearly 300kms from Chamonix and around 4 hours drive. More if there is a lot of traffic waiting to use the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Thus Geneva airport is much closer, easier and cheaper but the access from Milan is via the beautiful Italian alpine Val d’Aosta, so this is a good route if you want to spend some time in the Italian Alps.
Chamonix is on the main train line between Le Fayet and Martigny across the Swiss border. Rail travel from Geneva airport is possible but slower and more expensive than using a private transfer company, see above, so these are much more popular.
Paris – Chamonix takes around 6-9 hours and it is possible to take an overnight sleeper train to Le Fayet / St. Gervais which then just provides a final short hop to Chamonix. Check with the French rail company SNCF.
Road Access to Chamonix from France and the North is via the ‘Autoroute Blanche’ E25-A40 which links to the main European motorway network. Access from Switzerland is via Martigny, Col de la Forclaz and Col des Montets (occasionally closed in winter). Rapid access from Italy is via the Mont Blanc Tunnel at the head of the Valle d’Aosta (allow c.€55 for a return journey).
Please note that our courses usually meet in Chamonix town centre, often at a Hotel / bar / café near the train station. Thus easily accessed on foot from any of the town centre hotels but also with nearby parking for those arriving by car. Flexibility to arrange your own accommodation during your stay in Chamonix is a feature of our group courses. We prefer to let you choose your own budget & style of hotel, bunkhouse, self catering accommodation or camping. All of these are widely available in Chamonix. For private guiding courses we offer door to door collection / drop off from anywhere in Chamonix.
Chamonix Hotels – In the Town
Refuge Des Aiglons – Smart & modern 4* Hotel with large reception & bar / restaurant / breakfast area, spa and outdoor swimming pool with Mont Blanc views.
Hotel Morgane – Another smart 4* Hotel with a town location near the Aiguille du Midi and some private parking and good restaurant.
Pointe Isabelle Hotel – Lively location in the heart of the bustling Chamonix apres-ski scene and close to the train station, mountain shops as well as the café-bakery, where many of our courses start.
Hotel Oustalet – Good location between the Aiguille du Midi and the train station and near mountain shops as well as the café-bakeries, where many of our courses start. Swimming pool, outdoor green space, nice breakfast, great gouter!
Hotel Albert Premier – A well know institution in Chamonix! A 5* Hotel with 2*Michelin Restaurante…and with a price tag to match!
Chamonix Hotels – Walk / Bus Or Train Ride From Town
Hotel Verte – Good location near the Les Gaillands lake and climbing cliff with lots of space and some parking. Informal atmosphere & good food. C. 15 min walk to town centre.
La Chaumiere Mountain Lodge – Mountain orientated & relaxed hotel between Chamonix and the Les Gailands lake & cliff. Spacious rooms with up to 4 beds as well as a bar, restaurant, garden, storage & drying room and plenty of parking make this a good Chamonix base camp. About 10 mins walk from central Chamonix & very handy for the local train & bus stop.
Ice & Orange– Chalet Tissiers ~ Catered chalet in the pleasant village of Les Bossons with large garden and great views of the mountains, a short bus / train ride from Chamonix. Flexible approach to nights away in huts etc.
Ski Breezy Chalet – Breezy & Al are great hosts in this lovely chalet. We highly recommend Chalet D’Ile is a beautiful 10 bedded Chamonix chalet situated in a quiet residential area. It is within easy walking distance of Chamonix town centre and the Chamski bus stop & caters for small groups, couples & individuals.
Cru Chalets Chamonix – Cru Chalets provide 2 luxury catered and self-catered accommodation in Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Chalet Marithé, which sleeps 12 in 6 en-suite bedrooms, is an exceptional property close to the centre of Chamonix providing a wealth of space and luxury. Chalet Grand Cru, which sleeps 10, enjoys a unique central location and is perfect for family’s or groups alike.
Chalet Les Pelerins – A variety of accomodation options including B & B, self catering and a fully catered Chalet option. Smart chalet with great views 10 mins walk from the centre of Chamonix.
Chamonix Gites – Bunkhouses – B & B – Self Catering
Chamonix Mountain Lodge – Chamonix Mountain Highs Chalets, offering a good value alpine Chalet experience for up to 20 people, 9 bedrooms, 5 of which are ensuite. The Chalet also has a large communal living room with wood burning stove, separate TV room, garden, sun deck, 8 person hot tub and large sauna.
Gite Chamoniard Volant – Large communal gite 10-15 mins walk to the east of the town en route towards Les Praz. Shared rooms of 4,6 or 8. Free parking, self catering kitchen.
Chamonix Alpenrose – Quirky but decent value Gite style accommodation. A 15 minute walk in to the centre of town.
Studio in Les Houches. Pleasant self catering studio, with parking, in a quiet part of Les Houches. Available for weekly or daily let.
Airbnb Chamonix. Many of our guests are increasingly using this online service to source good value self catering accommodation options. It seems to work well!
Chamois Blanc & Adventure Base – Good value self catering accomodation in Cham Sud & through out the Chamonix Valley summer & winter.
Collineige Chalets – Wide variety of both self catering and catered chalets sleeping from 2-12 all with great Savoyarde charm & atmosphere and Chamonix location. Summer and winter.
Camping île des Barrats – Good three star campsite situated in ‘greenery’ but close to Chamonix town centre and the Aiguille du Midi.
Chamonix Weather & Avalanche Forecasts
Avalanche Forecast For Surrounding Areas (Swiss Valais and Italian Valle d’Aosta)
Chamonix Mountain Information
Chamonix Office de Haute Montagne – With list of routes recently completed
Alpine Exposures – Jon Griffith’s Chamonix based blog