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Catered Chalets Chamonix - France
Welcome to the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley
Chamonix provides one of the most stunning settings for luxury winter holidays in the Alps and it is just one hour from Geneva airport and two hours from Milan. It nestles at the foot of the Mont Blanc and of several stunning peaks and glaciers in a valley that stretches for 20 kilometres from Les Houches to Le Tour. There is history in the air as this was where the first company of mountain guides was established, where many records of mountaineering were both set and broken, where the first Winter Olympics were held. If you like nature and sport and luxury catered ski chalets, Chamonix is the resort for you. If you are looking for the jet-set you will probably give it a miss.
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Situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and most notably the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and is known as the "gateway to the European Cascades." The north side of the summit of Mont Blanc, and therefore the summit itself are part of the village of Chamonix. To the south side, the situation is different depending on the country. Italy considers that the border passes through the top. France considers that the boundary runs along the rocky Tournette under the summit cap, placing it entirely in French territory. The south side was in France, assigned to the commune of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains sharing the summit with its neighbour Chamonix. It is this situation "for France," which is found on the French IGN maps. The Chamonix commune is well known and loved by skiers and mountain enthusiasts of all types and via the cable car lift to the Aiguille du Midi it is possible to access the world famous off-piste skirun of the Vallée Blanche. With an area of 245 km² (95 sq. mi) you can stay in Les Houches, Les Bossons, Argentieres, les Bois or in Chamonix town centre. What is interesting by staying in Chamonix is that all the locations are wonderful and so different from each other.
Don't miss: A nice work in Chamonix centre. The Montenvers rack railway starts from Chamonix and, in 20 minutes and in total safety, reaches the bottom of the Mer de Glace (1,913 m), France's largest glacier (7km long, 200 m thick). This historic site marked the start of Alpine tourism in the 19th century and offers a panoramic view of famous peaks such as Les Drus and Les Grandes Jorasses. The tour of the "Grotte de glace" (Ice Cave) takes visitors into the very heart of the glacier. Re-sculpted every year, it describes the life of mountain people in the early 19th century. It can be entered either by a walk of around 20 minutes on a footpath, or by gondola lift. NB: There are more than 300 steps from the arrival of the gondola lift to the entrance to the cave.
The most famous off-piste descent is doubtless the Valley Blanche, accessed via the Aiguille du Midi cable car and offering several variants: the normal Valley, the Petit Envers du Plan or the Grand Envers du Plan. This glacial route is very popular in early spring, but is nevertheless a high-mountain itinerary and the presence of a mountain guide is strongly recommended. Be sure to pay attention to snow conditions and to the weather forecast. Avalanche search device, probe and shovel are indispensable. In the mountains, one must be aware.