Chamonix Tourism Guide, Things to do in Chamonix
Chamonix is a well established mecca for skiing and climbing as is reflected by the many different languages you will hear spoken when wandering through town. The buzz is palpable in the cafes and bars packed with down jackets, jangling harnesses and the excited chatter of adventures being planned or reminisced.
Winter Sports in Chamonix
It is the fast access to high mountain terrain that makes extreme adventure so accessible in Chamonix. The Aguille du Midi cable car sweeps visitors from the valley floor to a dizzying 3,800 metres in less than 30 minutes, providing a launch pad for epic adventure.
A Step Into The Void
For those not going off skiing or climbing from the summit of the Aguille du Midi there is a new attraction called "a step into the void". This is a 2.50 m glass cage that moves out from the main station over a 1000 metre precipice, putting you in the position of the early pioneers that ascended the route up to the famous pinnacle.
Chamonix’s lift system may have been installed to support the ski industry but its visitor numbers in summer (130,000) can often be significantly more than in winter (100,000) and so running almost continuously is a reality for the Chamonix Valley.
The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc (CMB), responsible for this lift system announced in November 2013 a 20 year plan to upgrade the lift system and ski area. They have pledged 477€ million to make this happen and in the immediate future this means changes to the Grands Montets, Brevent and Le Tour areas to provide new lifts and beginner areas. The accommodation facilities are also being upgraded with the stunning five star Hotel Mont Blanc and the ultra-modern Heliopic situated next to the Aguille du Midi opening their doors in 2014.
Entertainment in Chamonix
Chamonix town is a hotbed of entertainment, boasting firstclass restaurants to suit nearly every taste imaginable, along with a variety of bars and clubs, and a casino and cinema. While the primary draw to the region is skiing, after a long day, when your feet are ready to give up the ghost, the town’s facilities really come into their own, with a range of pools and spas to help you relax and unwind, and a number of more forgiving pastimes, such as bowling.
Some new additions, away from the rigors of the slopes, include the 5 Star Hotel Mont-Blanc Chamonix which is due to open in 2013, and, for the retail focused,there are several new shops including a Volcom store and a Mammut shop.