Chamonix is a very popular ski resort among the French and those abroad all throughout the year. They go there for tourism, but sometimes for professional obligations as well. Due to that, the resort is lively throughout the year. To be able to admire Mont Blanc, the culminating point of Europe, with 4,810.45 meters, you’ll have the choice of many means of transportation.
Going by car to leave for vacation is common since we normally don’t travel alone and this turns out to be cheaper. Chamonix is directly serviced by the White Highway (A40). On the other hand, you can get to the city by Route Nationale 205. Also known as the “white road”, it is a road that has become rather pleasant thanks to its surroundings. Route Nationale R506 connects Chamonix to Switzerland that is just 15km away. If you are coming from Italy, you must pass through the Mont-Blanc tunnel, which is often really full, because the number of vehicles that can go through at once is limited. Take your time because the wait is definitely worth it. It lets you into the Aosta Valley and Courmayeur
Don’t forget your chains and snow tires if you are going in winter.
Chamonix has 4000 parking spots available thanks to 3 covered parking garages and 5 enclosed lots. Parking is free for one hour. .
Taxi, Renting a Car
You can rent a car at Chamonix for getting around daily. If you choose a taxi, here are a few useful numbers:
Abac Taxi Gopee : 06.07.02.22.13
Taxi Garny : 06.12.35.30.72.
Cham Van : 06.32.24.03.94.
Well-serviced by low-cost companies like Easy Jet as well as by larger ones, the Geneva airport is the closest to Chamonix (88 km away). It has daily connections to France, but also the Middle East, Asia, and United States.
Once at the airport, take a car from the Sat Company to your destination at Chamonix. You’ll find more information here. You can also rent a car at the airport. Pay attention to what you can take to France (it’s better not to pay any supplemental fees).
Like most touristic towns, Chamonix has its own train station available. It is serviced by Rhône-Alpes TER trains. So you can’t take a direct train (and therefore no direct TGV train) to Chamonix, but you’ll have to take a connecting train, for example, at the St-Gervais train station, that is 20 km away. The Chamonix train station is located right in the heart of the city, so you won’t have any trouble getting to your hotel.
To reserve your train ticket, go here.
Besides “ordinary” trains from the SNCF, there are other trains in the Massif from the Mont Blanc Express company. You can take a train to St-Gervais-les-Bains, Argentière or Martigny, for example. By request, the train can also stop at the train stations in Vaudagne, Taconnaz, Moussoux, Joux, Châtelard-Valais, Trétien, Médettaz, Fumeaux, or Viaduc Sainte-Marie. You can buy your ticket at the ticket counter or the train station’s TER terminal
During your trip, you can enjoy an original service: Bamgi, a touristic GPS guide that you can rent from the SNCF agency. Also, all throughout your train ride or while walking through the cities that are serviced by Mont Blanc Express, you’ll have interesting touristic information about the places with visual documents or audio commentaries.
The city of Chamonix has a network of public transportation that helps everyone get around. A free shuttle with 19 seats, Le Mulet, services different places downtown. 3 urban bus lines also give access to the surrounding cities and to other neighborhoods. You’ll find times and different lines here from the Chamonix Bus company. For more information, the company also offers trips to other Alpine, Swiss, or Italian cities during the summer.
To use the public transportation network, you’ll need to get a ViaCham card. This is a card with a smart microchip inside that allows you to also go to museums, ski slopes, and a few communal sports sites. To recuperate, you have the choice between the Chamonix city hall or the resort’s public buildings like the museums and libraries.
(City Hall, 101 rue du village d’Armentière)
On the other hand, you can, depending on your chosen housing, turn to them to request a guest card. This will give you free access to the valley’s buses and SNCF trains. To see if a shuttle will take you directly from your lodging to a ski slope, check with the place you are staying
High altitudes = cable cars, we all know that! You can take one of the highest in the world, the one on the Aiguille du Midi. There you’ll have an exceptional view from the cabin. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, whether you come in summer or winter, you will be able to admire the valley.
Many mechanical lifts service the different slopes. They are mostly managed by the Mont Blanc Company. They offer varying rates according to your needs.
- Obviously , during the winter so you can enjoy the 47 mechanical lifts that work at moving 57,000 people per hour and give you access to the 182 km of snowy slopes. At this time of the year, you’ll also enjoy the resort’s liveliness. We remind you that it is dangerous to venture on the black slopes if you are less experienced. The La Chamoniarde group will inform you about the risks you might run into and solutions to keep yourself safe. If you are afraid of crowds, we don’t recommend to go out during French schools’ seasonal breaks.
- In spring, with a less important crowd, you’ll probably have the chance to ski without risking a collision with someone. If the weather is mild, you can do similar activities to those that you would do in summer.
- During the summer season, the mountain attracts sporty people looking for some fresh air. Here’s what’s available: mountaineering,simple or difficult hiking (like the Tour du Mont Blanc or the Vallée blanche), mountain biking, paragliding, alpine slides, etc. You can find brochures in the tourism office that show different organizations that can supervise you so that you can work out in complete safety. Avoid “going off on an adventure” without being accompanied by a professional. Accidents can happen due to avalanches or not knowing the terrain.
Tourism Office: http://www.chamonix.com/
Emergency number: 112
Fire: dial number 18
Ambulance (medical emergency): dial number 15
Police: dial number 17
Missing children: dial number 116
The following prices are indicative, they refer to a one night stay in a standard double bedroom and may be subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
- Between 50€ and 100€, you’ll sleep in an apartment, cabin, bed & breakfast, or a hotel with 2, 3, or 4 stars.
- Between 100€ and 200€, vyou can choose between a charming bed & breakfast, a nice apartment, or a luxury hotel with 4 or 5 stars.
Indicative of how busy Chamonix is, the prices for double rooms rise according to the time of year you choose and the number of people. Since it is a popular ski resort, the highest prices are during the winter, not in the summer. It is also important to note that certain establishments offer free shuttles from the ski resorts. So this is worth taking into account when choosing your lodging if you come ski.
The following prices are indicative, they refer to the price of one course or a menu for one.- Under 5€
For a drink :
You can take part in a guided tour of the city’s heritage, which is organized by the tourism office. But if you wish to do so independently, here is what we have kept for your visit:
What to see?
Going for a walk and enjoying the sunshine ?
*This travel guide was published in November 2014, prices may then vary.