If there could be only one resort, it would be Chamonix for its majestic Mont Blanc. Located in the heart of the French Alps, on the border of Switzerland and Italy, culminating at 4,809 meters, this magnificent white mass makes dreams come true.
A reputation at the top
For the first-timers, we’re not meeting in “Chamonix” but in "Cham.” And if you want to make a show of your brand new outfit, this is not the place to go. Here is a resort for real skiers, for mountain enthusiasts in summer, and in the winter for the toughest of the tough (a bit like us).
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is the third most visited natural site in the world. In this elevated capital, Japanese, Koreans, Scandinavians, Americans, and even Nepalese work in the high-mountains refuges. The Chamoniards have become aware of their reputation that's attracting an international clientele. As a result, the chalets and apartments of the resort take more and more value and prices can climb quite quickly due to the confidential sales market. A number of family chalets find new buyers by word of mouth. Some properties are passed down from generation to generation. And just so you know, the agents at BARNES have really big ears.
Cham is your base camp if …
- It could have been an igloo, but you prefer a chalet
- You can only visualize a sea of ice
- Midday is always reserved for the Aiguille du Midi
Chamonix is not like all the other resorts in the valley, it's a city that's dynamic all year round - another reason why we love it. André Manoukian chose this location to create La Maison des Artistes, an inescapable concert venue, worthy of the world's major cities. The atmosphere is relaxed, the restaurants are welcoming, some are even gastronomic - just because we like to work out, doesn't mean we don't like tasty things. Storytime takes place during the late afternoon at the pubs for patrons to savor sweet anecdotes.
You love skiing, sledding, and ice skating (in a pair, it’s nicer), your little one wants to join the national bobsleigh team, and your grandmother has paragliding on her bucket list. You’ll need a program and, for these reasons, you’ll need a wooden hut in the Cham valley. Whether your hideout is the size of a peanut or a 650-m2 chalet, you’ll have to know how to choose it.
The first criterium is exposure: does it have direct access to the sun? You can make exceptions to other things, but not on your source of Vitamin D. Then you'll want to be close to the city center for shopping and strolling along the Arve. Chamonix and its pedestrian streets are full of great athletic and decor shops, as well as photography and art galleries.
Your ice ax will be planted in Chamonix if …
- Your flag will be floating atop your chimney
- Sun and snow, the best of both worlds
- All the best things in life are up in the mountains
If you prefer nature over the city atmosphere, to feel the total presence of the mountains, then head to a more isolated noo a few minutes from the center. The most sought-after neighborhoods are Le Praz, Bois, Tines, Nantes and the Pecles. Behind the bushy trees and small streams are family chalets and luxury chalets with hammams and home cinemas. You can try a “ski au pied,” at the foot of the slopes for ski in-and ski-out access, or settle in a little further afield in Les Houches or Argentière.
But at the top of the top is a view from the highest peak in Western Europe. A tad more expensive, but worth every bit of sun.
Your snow report will be of Cham if …
- A big ski chalet at the bottom of the slopes or nothing
- The trail will be your new adventure
- Every Christmas (and holiday) should be white
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