Close your eyes, start to breath and relax. Think about a place that comes into your mind, a peaceful and safe one. In our case, once our eyes are closed, we are picturing one in the middle of the nature, feeling a gentle breeze, hearing a river stream around, admiring the mountains, the trees… You like this picture ? Well, let us take you there : Welcome to Chamonix.
We both fell in love with its raw beauty, its sophistication and its impressive nature.
We couldn’t exactly explain why, we just felt it. The vibes are incredible, soothing, thrilling… This is our happy place.
Chamonix is one of the most famous ski resorts in the North Alps. This place has been seducing mountain lovers since the 18th century. On one hand, you have a wild and majestic nature that calls for adventurers. And on the other hand, a fancy but authentic city, alive all year long, accessible for all ages and for all mindsets. This place is a MUST-DO when you come visiting France.
A little bit of History
This region of France enjoys an incomparable cultural heritage. Nestled at the foot of the “Mont-Blanc”, the valley of Chamonix invites you to run away into an unspoiled nature.
In 1741, the little village of “Chamouni” was found by two young British men : William Windham and Richard Pocock. They had no idea that their tales about this tiny place would be spread all around Europe.
The first hotel opened in 1770, marking the start of tourism in Chamonix. And in 1786, Jacques Belmat and Michel Gabriel Paccard, were the first ones to make it to the top of the Mont-Blanc, which became the new athletic challenge.
Chamonix started to get more and more famous. Its mountains were the favorite subject of the French greatest poets and writers of this time. They described them as the symbol of a preserved nature. The stories of the “Conquest of the summits” were told as mystic tales of men facing the wildness of this icy lands.
Chamonix, the trendy one
In the 19th century, Chamonix started to attract a richer population. In a society of industrial revolution, the quality of life over there was a perfect attraction. The pure fresh air of the mountains, the immaculate snow and the healing waters from the thermal centres created the perfect match.
Those ideal conditions leaded to the development of luxury tourism in the White Valley.
Nowadays, Chamonix ranks among the top 10 most luxurious ski resorts of the globe, thanks to the development of luxury stores and fancy hotels.
Chamonix, the intrepid one
Skiing, snowboarding, free-riding, hiking, climbing, paragliding, swimming.. Should we keep going ? The possibilities are endless.
Chamonix offers heaps of activities, that’s why the place is also renowned for its international and mythical competitions. We have for example the Ultra-Trail of the Mont Blanc, happening in August, the Mont Blanc‘s Marathon every May and also the several winter sports competitions. Therefore, if you are into sports and love outdoor, Chamonix is the place to be.
Chamonix, a city of cultures
The proximity to Geneva airport made the station accessible to thousands of foreign visitors. Since decades, every nationality brought to Chamonix a piece of their own culture. The food, the architecture… Chamonix is the perfect definition of a melting pot.
This international identity is contributing to Chamonix’s rich culture. The city is hosting countless events along the year, bringing artists and musicians from all around the world.
To conclude : Exceptional landscapes, cultural events, strong sensations, gastronomy and a pinch of luxury, Chamonix cultivates the art of entertaining.
Chamonix, our itinerary
But our goal today isn’t to traipse to the typical sights, pop into overpriced places and do the exact same things than thousands of tourists. Let’s take another pattern, shall we ?
As we will frequently visit Chamonix in the next weeks, we want to create a list of itineraries in Chamonix and its surroundings, but with some activities out of the box.
This, in order to make you discover this place beyond its most touristic spots, with a different eye.
So, for this first “episode” we will bring on a one day adventure with us, to a few interesting places, that are worth so much a look around.
Let’s get it started !
A little village, 10 minutes driving from Chamonix, all cozy and welcoming.
This place is full of hikes and trails’s departures, in the middle of the trees, for all levels.
The heart of the village offers you one of the greatest view of “le Glacier des Bossons”.
➵ Le Paradis des Praz
On the way down from Argentière to Chamonix, you will pass by the cute village of “Les Praz”.
Famous for its golf, it is also a really charming place. You can go for a nice walk in “Le Paradis des Praz ”, along a soothing river.
That’s an idyllic place to go with your family/kids..
➵ Les Cabanes du Mont Blanc • Plaine Joux
Looking for an atypic accommodation? Well, we‘ve got you covered with this one.
At the end of our day, we went to the station of Plaine Joux, 30 minutes away from Chamonix. We had the chance to live an amazing experience at a place called “Cabanes du Mont Blanc”.
It is a small family business, which we love to support. They are welcoming you inside their little tree-houses, into the wild, facing the Mont-Blanc.
On the next morning, they are bringing you a homemade breakfast in a basket, then you can enjoy it on your balcony, overlooking the Mont-Blanc. If this doesn’t make your day start good, what will ?
That’s another must-do for those who love nature and have an adventurous mindset.
It is a bit rustic ; dry-toilets, no electricity.. But this experience out of the comfort zone is so unique and exciting.
➵ Lac Vert
From our accommodation, we were only 15 minutes away by walk from the famous Lac Vert. Chamonix’s area is indeed known for having beautiful lakes and this one definitely earned its place into the top 5.
Want more ?
We will be back soon for a new adventure in Chamonix. Ready to hunt down some authentic experiences to share with you.
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See you in our next article. ??