Winter Holiday at the Foot of Mont Blanc
20 December, 2016
Chamonix, the rakish star of the French Alps, is the perfect spot for a winter getaway where you can get the most out of the snow in every possible way and with splendid views of the highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc. Situated just 16 kilometres from Switzerland and 11 kilometres from Italy, this destination draws snow sport devotees from everywhere, as well as those eager to go on outings in the superb natural surroundings, relax in a spa and even do a spot of shopping in the town of Chamonix.
The Best Black Pistes in France
Snow sport enthusiasts will find a veritable paradise in Chamonix as they ski against the spectacular backdrops, either of Mont Blanc or the valley where Chamonix is located. The 115 kilometres of ski runs – 12 for beginners, 26 blue, 20 red and 12 black – are a delight for any skiing or snowboarding devotee. While it is acclaimed for its large number of pistes with a high difficulty rating, suitable only for the most intrepid skiers, it also has areas where young children or learners can enjoy snow sports.
The Aiguille du Midi, at an altitude of 3,842 metres, is the objective of choice for those less fearful of heights, as well as others seeking out the most precipitous down slopes which only specialists can handle safely. It is well worth going up in the cable car and overcoming one’s fear of heights, if only for the superb panoramic views of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps to be had from here. The Brévent-Flégère pistes are more accessible and also afford magnificent views of Mont Blanc.
Those less inclined to do sport can rest assured that you don’t need to ski in order to enjoy the views, which can be reached by going up the comfortable cable cars. Mont Blanc, at a stunning altitude of 4,810 metres and famed for being the cradle of mountaineering, is the main focus of attention for visitors to the area. As mentioned earlier, both Aiguille du Midi and the peak of Le Brévent are perfect vantage points for viewing the scenery. Other panoramas worth considering here are provided by the glaciers. A standout example is Mer de Glace, located on the north face of Mont Blanc, which is 7 kilometres long by 200 metres deep, making it the longest glacier in France.
De Luxe Après Ski
Unlike other Alpine ski resorts, which feature only a few villages with limited aprés ski facilities, after a long, hard day of skiing or scoping the area in search of sensations, Chamonix boasts a whole town full of amenities for rounding off your day. You can go shopping, have a drink while listening to live music, or replenish your strength by trying some culinary classics of the region of Savoy, like raclette or fondue. What more could you want?
Book your Vueling to Geneva, which lies just 88 kilometres from Chamonix, and indulge in a surfeit of snow at the foot of the highest peak in Europe.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Images by Christian Bertram
20 December, 2016