Chamonix is one of the most spectacular resorts in the Alps. Nestled at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, the dramatic scenery provides the perfect playground for active pursuits such as mountain biking, paragliding and white water rafting.
In fact, the abundance of activities makes Chamonix the ideal destination for adventurous families and energetic explorers. It sounds like a cliché but there are activities for everyone…
… so, what is available and for who?
Chamonix is the self-proclaimed capital of mountaineering and with Mont Blanc on its doorstep (attracting serious mountaineers from all across the world) this might just be true! Conquering the mountain and reaching the peak of Mont Blanc is on many bucket lists. Guided expeditions leading enthusiastic mountaineers to the summit are easy to join and the sense of achievement on reaching the top is incomparable.
Nobody ever said that exploring had to be hard work, and with 350km of hiking trails throughout the Chamonix valley, walkers are bound to find a route to suit! The variety of environments is stunning, from glaciers to flower-filled meadows. It’s a walker’s paradise.
During the summer months, mountain biking is a way of life in Chamonix. An extensive network of trails in the region provides a wide variety of routes to explore. There are gentle, mountain paths ideal for families as well as steep, demanding trails for more experienced riders. Mountain bike hire and bike schools ensure this popular pastime is readily accessible.
Get a unique perspective on the mountains by discovering the Chamonix valley on horseback. You can participate in half-day and full-day horse trekking excursions from Les Houches, at the end of the Chamonix valley. This genteel activity is ideal for animal lovers.
Children in particular will love cani-hiking – dog walking with a difference! Have you ever wondered what husky dogs do in the summer when they can’t pull sledges? In Chamonix, they are harnessed to walkers, who the dogs guide along mountain pathways, truly living up to their reputation as man’s best friend.
You can also get back to nature in one of Chamonix’s two Adventure Parks. Clamber through the trees like a monkey at either the Accro’ Park des Gaillands, or at the Mont Blanc Forest near Les Houches. Strapped into your harness you will overcome rickety bridges and zooming zip-lines, all while suspended above the forest. It’s the perfect family activity.
The landscape in Chamonix is ideal for climbers and the superb climbing attracts visitors from all over the world. The imposing Grandes Jorasses has a legendary status amongst the climbing community and the challenging ascent will certainly appeal to expert climbers. Climbing novices need not be deterred. Rock faces and boulders throughout the area remain accessible to amateurs and beginners too.
For those with boundless energy and a disturbing level of fitness (we’re just jealous), trail running is an exciting way to explore the mountainside. Specialist routes for runners have been marked out across the valley and there is even an app to help you navigate. Routes vary in duration from one to two hours, to eight hours.
If you prefer a less intensive cardio workout on your holiday then the Chamonix Golf Course might just be for you. This 18-hole course is the ideal place to spend a leisurely afternoon, and the spectacular views of the Mont Blanc range and the Aiguille Rouge massif provides a dramatic backdrop to your game.
The River Arve cuts through the Chamonix valley and provides the setting for many of the ‘daredevil’ leisure activities in the area. The rushing water and churning rapids are the ideal environment for white water rafting. For some a perilous flirtation with danger, for others an unmitigated thrill – there’s no doubting this is an action packed way to spend your day.
White water rafting not thrilling enough? Then perhaps hydrospeed is more your thing. This high-intensity extreme sport involves clinging onto a small board while you rush down the river rapids. Good luck trying to steer your board – this is one for strong swimmers only!
Canyoning, the art of clambering over rock faces and diving into pools of water, is another popular activity in Chamonix. Tours range from those suitable for children, abseiling and sliding into water, to full-on via ferrata, climbing high with rope ladders and rickety bridges!
If throwing yourself off the edge of a mountain and soaring on thermals over jagged peaks sounds appealing to you, then you will love paragliding (or ‘parapenting’ in French) in Chamonix. Not for the faint of heart, but a truly breath-taking experience nevertheless, paragliding schools in the region provide taster flights as well as longer training courses.
We can forgive you for feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of activities available. There is such an incredible amount to do in Chamonix that you’ll find your 7-night holiday far too short. But with so much on offer Chamonix is also a destination that is impossible to miss.
Make sure you don’t miss-out on the thrill of Chamonix and visit us in the French Alps this summer.
Experience more in Chamonix this summer with our thrilling pre-bookable Activity Packs. Our two exciting Activity Packs are available for all Wednesday arrivals and the excursions will run on Thursday-Saturday (exact time and date of individual activities will be confirmed locally).
Rafting – A 45-minute trip along the River L’Arve, starting and finishing in Chamonix.
Guided biking – Travel cross-country through forests and rivers on a half day guided tour. (Note: this tour does not feature chairlifts).
Guided Hike – Half day hike with a guide around the Chamonix valley. Gentle walking and stunning scenery, it’s an excellent way to learn about the area.
Price from £117pp
ICE, AIR & RAPIDS
Rafting in Italy – Explore Dora Baltea by raft on this thrilling half day adventure.
Parapenting – Your flight departs from Le Brévent, and you land in front of Inghams’ very own Chalet Hotel Sapinière!
Full day glacier hike on the Mer de Glace – great day out and an excellent taster for glacier/ice walking.
Price from £251pp
The price of the Activity Packs is correct at the time of publication. Prices are subject to change. Evolution 2 provides all activities. All activities are weather dependent and subject to minimum numbers. As part of your holiday with Inghams all guests are required to have travel insurance, please check your policy to ensure these activities are covered.