Whether you are looking for some relaxation after a day of hiking, or just a spot to enjoy some family time, the parks in Chamonix are the ideal locations. Away from the noise of the high street and the bars, the Chamonix valley has plenty of little parks where you can while away an afternoon.
Here are some of our favourite parks in the Chamonix valley, which are perfect for relaxing with friends or family.
The best parks in Chamonix
This park is located in the town centre and is a great spot close to the shops and bakeries of Chamonix. It’s a popular place for locals to meet up for a picnic or a little lie-down in the sunshine after a busy day. (Many thanks to Mont Blanc Family Fun for the use of their photo below.)
Since the Maison Couttet was renovated into the jazz club known as the Maison des Artistes, you can even enjoy a drink on their terrace and listen to some live music while the kids play in the neighbouring park.
Les Gaillands on the outskirts of Chamonix town, is best known for its outside climbing wall, or crag. It is another very popular spot for spending an afternoon. Relax on the edge of the lake watching the fish – you might even try your hand at fishing – or lay down your picnic rug opposite the climbing wall for a barbecue. Next to the crag there is a small barbecue which is free to use, with a picnic table. Just rememebr to bring your own grills and – of course – your sausages!
If cooking isn’t your thing, then there’s also a small café which serves cold drinks and other snacks, perfect for a summer’s day.
More parks in Chamonix and the valley
Paradis des Praz (Les Praz)
The Paradis des Praz is not-to-be-missed if you’re with your family on holiday in Chamonix! Hidden away in the woods of Les Praz, close to the golf course, there’s a tranquil path leading you along to this little piece of paradise. It’s one of the best parks in Chamonix for parents with kids.
Your little ones can try out a raft on the stream, or just paddle their feet, while parents will enjoy the drinks and snacks from the café on -site.
There are plenty of natural wood toys too, which make for the perfect setting for kids to get in touch with their surroundings. And don’t forget to try out a pony ride too!
Parc de Merlet (Les Houches)
The Parc de Merlet is located at an altitude of 1500m above Les Houches, and welcomes families of all ages to enjoy a small walk around the park while discovering the flora and fauna of the valley.
The park is open from 1st May to 30th September, every day from 10am to 6pm, except Mondays. Entry is approx. 8€ for adults and 5€ for children between 4 and 15 years old. As well as the chance to see animals such as marmottes and chamois, there are also free activities themed around the mountains, as well as an exhibition room, which anyone who loves the mountains will enjoy.
See their website for more information on the best times to see the animals as well as useful information about parking, what to wear etc.
Les Chavants (Les Houches)
Les Chavants is very similar to Les Gaillands: there is a climbing crag next to a lake, as well as a newly renovated café. If you’re in Les Houches, this is a lovely place to spend an afternoon in the sun, while enjoying the beautiful mountain views. (See the featured photo at the top of the page.)
La Moraine (Argentière)
This park, hidden in the Argentière forest, is ideal for families. It’s far from the road and right in the heart of the woods, with a play area as well! Old-fashioned wooden games sit alongside a small water torrent and lake, making it a great spot for kids.
To find the park, turn right off the main road in Argentière towards the church, then follow the road towards the forest. Once in the forest, the path is simple: follow the signs which will take you to the parc.
Chamonix Sports Centre (Chamonix)
Admittedly, this is not a true park in comparison with some of the other parks in Chamonix valley; nonetheless, this small slope opposite the sports centre is a great place to relax for a few hours. Some large trees provide shade from the sun, so you can even have a snooze, and the trees are perfectly spaced for slacklining too, making this a perfect opportunity to try out the latest “in vogue” mountain sport.
L’aire de Parapente – Désert Blanc (Chamonix – Les Praz)
Set off from the cross-country ski club (Maison Nordique) in Chamonix, for a lovely gentle walk past the parapente landing zone, via the Bois du Bouchet woods to the Désert Blanc (white desert) – the area which surrounds the Arveyron tributary.
While not a park in the true sense, there are plenty of benches along the way where you can stop for a rest in the sunshine and watch the parapente pilots landing. Following the path, you’ll come upon another landing area, before crossing a couple of bridges to reach the Désert Blanc. There are more places here to rest and admire the landscapes, while braver visitors can also walk down the bank of the Arveyron to wet their feet in the water – but watch out – it can be cold!
Before dipping your feet in the river, check the current to make sure it isn’t too high or low.
Other amusement parks in Chamonix
The Chamonix valley also benefits from some amusement parcs which are great for a family outing. Don’t miss the luge on rails, which is 1300m long with tight turns and corkscrews of 540°. The luge is set within the Chamonix Parc de Loisirs, which also offers attractions for kids of all ages, including slides, trampolines, water slides and more.
For all your monkey-children, there is also an adventure tree park at Les Gaillands (see above). The route winds its way through the trees, getting higher and higher as you go. With 5 courses of varying difficulty, there is something for all the family to enjoy.
We’re sure that you’ll have great fun in the many parks in Chamonix!