Our Guide to Summer Vacations in Chamonix
At the very epicenter of the French Alps lies the town of Chamonix, a world famous mecca for mountaineers and home to Europe's highest summit, Mont Blanc. Chamonix is a hive of activity during the summer, with a bustling atmosphere as the town hosts an eclectic mix of outdoorsy types, all wanting to enjoy its smorgasbord of activities. The town itself is affectionately know as 'Cham' and its pedestrianised center is filled with more than 80 shops, and 130 restaurants offering an extensive variety of menus, from Michelin-starred venues to authentic local cuisine. An interesting range of galleries and museums celebrating the town's fascinating history add to the rich cultural feel.
How to get there
If you choose to arrive by plane, Geneva is the closest major airport, with driving time to Chamonix around one hour. The Cote d'Azur is easily accessible with around five hours driving time for anyone looking to tag on a beach vacation, either before or after spending time in Chamonix.
Chamonix for families
When you're looking for an action-packed vacation with the kids Chamonix ticks the boxes on every level. Older kids and teenagers will have a ball at Cham' Adventure—a variety of multi-activity programs run by the Chamonix mountain guides. The programs can be booked by the day or week and activities range from canyoning, rock climbing and paragliding to treasure hunts and mountain biking. Children will never be bored! While the kids are getting their thrills, parents can either enjoy some chill time, by the pool or set off on their own adventures and explore the stunning surroundings. Equally, part of the appeal is the chance to try new things and 'play' in the mountains together as a family and just enjoy being in the great outdoors.
When it comes to thinking about what to do in Chamonix, it's really a case of deciding whether you would like to be in the mountains, on the water, on two wheels or in the air, or, if you like, a combination of all four. That's the beauty of Chamonix, there really is something for everyone. From abseiling to zip-lining, there's an inordinate range of activities on offer. The hardest part will be trying to fit it all in.
Other things to do
Delve a littler deeper into Chamonix's mountaineering history by visiting some of the museums in town, unearth the rich culture on a guided heritage tours or lap up the atmosphere at one of the many festivals that are often being held in Chamonix. Alternatively, kick back and relax in one of the many spas, or enjoy a leisurely swim in your hotel pool.