We’re crossing our fingers for some more fabulous weather this summer but, come rain or shine, our Resort Team can recommend a range of top Chamonix activities for 2016 to suit everyone in your group. This year we’ve got all the old favourites as well as the exciting visit of the Tour de France to look forward to, so read on to start getting ready for your Chamonix summer holiday!
New for 2016
This summer, the final stages of the Tour de France will be centred around Chamonix. The Tour will be in the Haute-Savoie region for 4 days, comprising 1 individual time trial and 3 mountain stages. All the stages 17-20 will take place within an hour of Chamonix, which makes it the perfect base if you’re keen to catch some of the action, and means that Mont Blanc will provide the stunning backdrop to the race.
- Stage 17: Wednesday 20th July – 184km – starting from Berne after a rest day and finishing at the edge of the Emosson dam, at the top of Chamonix valley and just over the border in Switzerland
- Stage 18: Thursday 21st July – 17km individual time trial – uphill from Sallanches to Megève, only 30 minutes from Chamonix
- Stage 19: Friday 22nd July – 146km – starting from Albertville and finishing at Saint Gervais, at the bottom of the Chamonix valley
- Stage 20: Saturday 23rd July – 146km – the last day in the mountain starts from Megève (30 minutes from Chamonix) and finishes in Morzine, before the final showdown on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on Sunday 24th July.
We are pleased to be offering a Tour de France day trip – book our minibus and you and 7 friends can go to any of these stages of the Tour to get a roadside view of the battle for the yellow jersey. Private day trip costs 450€, get in touch to book.
Tour de France & more
Several of the stage locations also offer other distractions for when the race has passed.
Emosson is home to the Emosson dam and railway attractions. As well as a funicular train, there are also a panoramic railway and a minifunicular to ride from the Swiss border to the dam. At the top, enjoy some refreshments at the café/restaurant or head out for a long hike to see some fossilised dinosaur footprints.
Saint Gervais is the starting point for the Tramway du Mont Blanc, built over 100 years ago, which takes you up to Les Houches and the Glacier Bionnassay. This cog train is included in your summer lift pass and offers great views. It takes you up to one of the starting points for ascents of Mont Blanc too, so you’re very likely to share your carriage with some mountaineers.
More top Chamonix activities & events
Chamonix bustles with people and buzzes with great energy in the summer. The calendar is jam-packed with awesome events, so as well as the Tour de France making a reappearance this year, there are a few old favourite sporting top Chamonix activities which come back year after year.
24th-26th June – Marathon du Mont Blanc
The marathon is the first big sporting event of the summer season, and Chamonix town centre will be full of runners who come to try their nerves against one of the 6 races – marathon, half-marathon, vertical KM and more!
11th-12th July – Climbing World Cup
A specially built climbing wall is set up each July in Place du Mont Blanc to play host to the world’s top climber. The speed climb races will dazzle you and the technical climbs will have you on tenter hooks to see who will reach the top first.
22nd-28th August – UTMB
The UTMB is one of the world’s most famous trail-running events. There are 5 races over the course of the week from the “short and easy” OCC – only 53km long – to the famous UTMB race across 168km and 9600m positive height gain. You won’t be able to move for Lycra-clad bodies in Chamonix, as the town fills up for one of the last big events of the summer.
Tried and tested Chamonix activities
Our Resort Team loves trying out the top Chamonix activities each summer and we’ve sometimes asked them to write about the activities too. Out of those, there were some clear favourites…
- Step Into The Void: experience altitude like never before! Step into this glass box at 3842m, suspended over 1000m of nothingness and try to keep your calm. Located at the top of the Aiguille Du Midi cable car, this is one Chamonix activity not to be missed. Included on your summer lift pass.
- Hydrospeed: “It was great to be in the water on a hot summer day, and straight away we were riding the waves and having great fun!”
- Canyoning: “I would recommend this to anyone. Anyone with a sense of adventure. Anyone with a sense of excitement just screaming to be tickled. And most importantly. Anyone with a sense of fun.”
Most popular Chamonix activities
Year after year, we love seeing our guests enjoying our most popular Chamonix activities. Book early to avoid disappointment if you’re interested in one of these!
- Chamonix rafting: this activity doesn’t break the bank, nor does it take all day, but it does provide thrills and spills on the River Arve through Chamonix town centre. From 29€ per person.
- Parapente from Brévent (Planpraz): there are different parapente take-off points available but Brévent is far and away the most popular, thanks to its proximity to the town centre and position opposite Mont Blanc for maximum impact views. 100€ per person.
- Adventure tree park: located down next to the picturesque Lac des Gaillands and smaller Lac de l’Anglais, the tree park courses are graded so everyone can choose the right level for them. From 9€ per person.
- Via Ferrata: adrenaline seekers with a head for heights love testing their nerve on the iron ladders and cable bridges, high above Passy on a sheer cliff face. 78€ per person.
Don’t miss activities & events in Chamonix
There are some activities that are special to Chamonix. You might be able to do similar activities elsewhere but with Mont Blanc in the background, they take on an extra dimension here in Chamonix.
- Glacier hike: beginners can learn the basics of glacier hiking on France’s largest glacier, the mythic Mer de Glace. If you already have some experience then get some altitude at the top of the Aiguille du Midi and hike across the famous Vallée Blanche. From 112€ per person.
- Helicopter flight: there is nothing like soaring close to the soaring peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif. The 30 minute Mont Blanc Range flight is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close and personal with Mont Blanc and more spectacular glacial scenery.
- Mountain biking: Chamonix has 2 dedicated mountain biking areas. Le Tour is located at the top of the valley and offers unrivalled views back down towards Chamonix and of Mont Blanc to make your day riding the mountains feel even more special.
- Rock climbing: whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, doing some rock climbing in Chamonix makes you part of a centuries-old fraternity of mountaineers who stretched the limits of human achievement. Get to grips with the basics by Les Gaillands lake or speak to us about booking a private guide to explore some of the valley’s most challenging and famous climbing routes.
Our dedicated Resort Team are based in Chamonix and can help you to book any top Chamonix activities that you’re hoping to experience on your summer holiday this year – just get in touch!