Having been based in Chamonix for almost 20 years, we are obviously very fond of this town and all it has to offer. It’s always exciting to show our clients around this incredible destination! We work constantly to build local connections and discover new gems for our future events here.
That’s why we were quite curious when discovering an article recently published by The Guardian, where a local shares his tips for a stay in Chamonix. It puts together a guide to Chamonix that’s both very accurate and personal, and we definitely agree with its suggestions.
Here are some highlights from the article.
Cool Cats in the Rue de Moulins is best in the summer when you can sit outside. But as it does artisan hot dogs and street food such as nachos, it can also be good when you’re coming off the mountain in winter.
Le‑Cap‑Horn, in the same street, is a good option for sushi but a bit more expensive. Being able to get good sushi makes Chamonix a bit special for a mountain town.
The mountains here are unique but I think what makes Chamonix special is that they are so accessible from the valley. And because this is the birthplace of alpinism, when you’re in the mountains you’re either on a historic route or you can see one. I enjoy just being in the mountains with good friends and family, but in town, the Maison des Artistes, an artist’s residence dedicated to musical creativity, has a concert programme that changes all the time and can be quite unusual.
Chamonix is incredibly international: people from all over the world are brought together by the mountains. This part of the Arve valley is divided into three main towns: Argentière, Chamonix and Les Houches. I live in a hamlet called Les Bois, between Chamonix and Argentière. Closest to me is another hamlet called Les Praz, which has a nice bar, Le Petit Social, for coffee or après ski.
On the other side is Le Lavancher and a 30-minute walk from that hamlet is la Buvette du Chapeau. This is a mountain cafe with traditional food (cheese, charcuterie, chanterelle omelettes) and desserts such as fruit tarts and faisselle (local fromage blanc) with blueberry jam.
Chamonix is a busy mountain town with lots of tourists so the nightlife is good. But my preferred way of spending an evening is getting the cable car to Plan de l’Aiguille and watching the sunset from the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille, which is a 15-minute walk from the cable car.
You can have dinner and stay the night there, too, but in summer I like to take a picnic and camp up there. It is my favourite refuge in the whole Mont Blanc range and the mountains are pretty steep from there on, so if I stay the night, I know I can soon be up and doing something interesting the next morning!
Pointe Isabelle, in the centre of town, is a hotel, bar and bistro with 72 rooms. It sits on a corner, so it’s a good place for apéro and people watching.