Located just an hour away from Geneva, Chamonix is an easy side-trip from the lakeside city into Switzerland’s famously picturesque mountains. With breath-taking vistas and a wealth of ski slopes to discover, follow our skier’s guide to Chamonix on your next winter stay at the elegant Hotel d’Angleterre.
Chamonix sits amidst Western Europe’s highest mountains, at an altitude of 1,035 metres. The resort town has long been at the heart of the Alpine snow scene, first becoming popular in Victorian times before hosting the Winter Olympics in 1924. To this day, the town continues to attract skiers from across the globe, with slopes, instructors and mountain guides enabling anyone, from seasoned skiers to beginners, to get the most out of the stunning surroundings.
Revered worldwide among the skiing community, Vallée Blanche is perhaps Chamonix’s most iconic run. This 20-kilometre, off-piste ski route encompasses an astounding vertical descent of 2,700 metres, with spectacular views owing to its high mountain setting. Vallée Blanche isn’t only for the experts, however. Intermediate skiers also have the opportunity to enjoy this run in the company of a local mountain guide.
Back on-piste, it’s the Grand Montets ski area that attracts particular attention. With the accolade of having the greatest height losses of any ski slopes worldwide – altitudes range from 1,235 metres to 3,300 metres – this ski area provides magnificent vistas to take in on the way down, with off-piste areas as well as pistes spread across three slopes: the Argentière Glacier, Lognan, and the Pendant. The Pierre á Ric piste even leads skiers all the way back to the resort.
Of course, not all of the pistes surrounding Chamonix are so challenging; slopes to suit every level can be found within the Brévent-Flégère ski area, which is a steady favourite for its south-facing slopes and views of Mont Blanc. The beginners’ area, the Savoy, is situated at the foot of Brévent, with skiers at the other end of the spectrum heading over to the Flégère speed piste, which has a huge height loss over a distance of 500 metres.
In addition to Chamonix’s Savoy ski area, beginners can make their way to the easily accessible Tourchet slope, which lies on the edge of town with night skiing hosted every Thursday. And the Planards ski area is also just moments away, too, providing an environment for intermediate skiers as well as beginners, with the addition of the Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster.
Back at Hotel d’Angleterre, guests can revive and refuel after a day on the slopes by settling into the elegant Windows Restaurant. With panoramic views over Lake Geneva, this is the ideal setting for an indulgent evening meal, before unwinding with live music and cocktails at The Leopard Bar.
Image credits: Cover photo © iStock / fotoVoyager. The sun shining over Chamonix © iStock / Kisa_Markiza. Mont Blanc © iStock / nicolamargaret. A skier on the slopes in Chamonix © iStock / mkallstrom. Skiing in Chamonix © iStock / visiblelight.