Posted on 21 November 2018
The vast amount of tourist attractions in Chamonix, France makes it an all-rounder destination; in winter and summer. Its main claim to fame is skiing but exciting and varied off slope activities also attract people of all ages.
Sitting at the foot of the Alp’s highest point, the area hosts about 5 million visitors a year, giving worthy testimony to its uniqueness. This is not newfound fame either. For over 100 years, mountaineers and skiers have flocked to enjoy the stunning views and ski conditions.
In recent years, it transformed into a year-round destination by opening alternative themed attractions and places. Try your hand at skiing because Chamonix belongs to the larger Mont Blanc range with 950 kilometres of pistes accommodating all levels of skiers.
But when you are off the slopes, what tourist attractions can you visit and enjoy?
8 Tourist attractions in Chamonix
1: Step into the Void: Aiguille Du Midi Skywalk
Vertigo sufferers shouldn’t visit this attraction that involves stepping into a glass box hanging off a cliff face of the 3777 metre Aiguille Du Midi mountain. The drop is 1000 meters, but the reinforced 12mm thick glass is a safety net and front-row seat to stunning Bossons Glacier views. Entrance is free with a lift pass.
2: Mer De Glace
Without a doubt, Mer De Glace is the most popular attraction. The name translates into a sea of ice, an apt reflection of France’s largest glacier. At 200-meter-deep and 7 kilometres long, the first place to see is a man-made grotto, and ice sculptures cut into the walls.
The second attraction, the Glaciarium exhibition dedicates itself to glaciers over history, how they form and their environment and climate contributions. Get there by hopping on the Montenvers train from Chamonix.
3: Mont Blanc Tramway or Cable Car
One of Chamonix’s attributes is amazing landscape views, and an effortless way to capture them is by riding the Mont Blanc tramway. Starting in Saint Gervais and heading to Bellevue Plateau at 1900 metres, the tram runs from December to March every year. Another way to get to Bellevue Plateau in other months is Les Houches’s cable car that also offers fantastic bird’s-eye alpine views.
4: Alpine Lakes
Beautiful landscape and view attracts hikers to Chamonix, but to add an extra twist to routes, take in gorgeous mountainous lakes. Places like Lac Bleu, Lac Cornu and Cascade De Berard offer a variety of terrains from rugged and hard to smooth walking.
A beautiful lake and a must-see during summer is Lac Blanc in the Aiguilles Rouges National Park. Get your camera ready for a stunning front-row seat to the Mont Blanc Massif view. Stunning Lac De Gaillands is also close to Chamonix and an ideal way to break up the day.
5: Helicopter and para-gliding Flights
High altitude alpine views are big business in Chamonix. Hiking and skiing are two ways to see them, but two easy methods are helicopter and para-gliding rides. The first runs year-round, and prices range from 75 to 200 euros for 10 to 30 minutes flights.
Taking off from Argentières before flying over the Mont Blanc massif, this once in a lifetime experience is a great group activity. Para-gliding companies also offer tandem rides with experienced instructors. They take the reins leaving you free to relax and admire the views.
6: Golf in Chamonix
Did you know Chamonix’s extraordinary 18-hole golf course attracts players from around the world? First opening in 1934 as a three-hole course, it expanded over the years to accommodate both experienced and beginner players.
The 6076, par 72 course takes in a variety of terrains including bunkers, streams, waterholes and woodlands and apart from two teeing grounds, most is on flat ground. Open for eight months, the professionally designed course attracts many golfers.
7: The Alpine Coaster
As another easy-going attraction, families, both young and old enjoy the alpine coaster. Sitting in the centre, its open year-round, and even lights up at night time. The 1300 metre course with many turns, has one and two-seater sleighs.
8: Everyday Attractions
While the above tourist attractions in Chamonix are ideal for onetime experiences, other facilities can be enjoyed every day.
A 60 x 30-metre indoor Olympic rink not only hosts games but also opens to the public. An indoor, outdoor and amusement pool, has extra facilities like a sauna and jacuzzi. A local gym offers bodybuilding and fitness lessons, while adventure enthusiasts can tap into a range of fishing, canyoning and white-water rafting activities.
Youngsters love the theme and adventure parks, while a spa centre is for those who to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Chamonix also does indulgence in style, so kick back and enjoy Après-ski in a wide range of bars, and restaurants.
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