The French Alpine town of Chamonix has long been popular as a winter destination for skiers and snowboarders. It also attracts some of the world’s hardiest winter climbers. But did you know that there are a huge variety of things to do in Chamonix in summer? A wealth of outdoor attractions make the welcoming and vibrant town a fantastic destination for all kinds of outdoors fans.
When the snow melts, the mountains around Chamonix reveal a stunningly green landscape. The region also boasts long sunny days and it’s close enough to the easy-access airports of Geneva and Grenoble to make it a place to go to even if you have only a weekend to spare. (I reckon Chamonix is worth a longer trip if you have the time, however!) Macs Adventure take a look at some of the best summer activities the area has to offer:
10 great things to do in Chamonix in the summer
1. Take the cable car from Chamonix to Aguille du Midi (at 3842m). From various terraces at the top station you can feast your eyes on the stunning summertime panorama of the snowy mountain peaks, including Europe’s highest summit of Mont Blanc (4810m).
2. Jump aboard the Petit Train Touristique de Chamonix for an alternative way to see the town.
3. The Montenvers Mer de Glace cogwheel train takes you from Chamonix to the foot of the Mer de Glace, the longest glacier in France. It extends an amazing 7km down the northern slopes of the Mont Blanc Massif.
4. Visit the ice cave in the Mer de Glace glacier and also the new Glacorium which tells of the history of the glacier.
5. Chamonix mountain biking - There are numerous trails in Chamonix, including the Balme area with two marked routes, the Marmottes and the Deer, and Les Houches area, where you’ll find a new blue-graded downhill track.
6. Take off for a tandem paragliding trip over the Chamonix valley. There are many paragliding schools in the area to choose from.
7. Walk the fabulous high-level Tour du Mont Blanc route. This classic walking holiday route travels between France, Switzerland and Italy over seven days and finishes in Chamonix. Other shorter walks include routes in the Aiguilles Rouge Park, especially Le Brévent.
8. The slopes of Megeve, near Chamonix, are home to an 18-hole golf course. The Mont d’Arbois Golf has an average altitude of 1320m and some of the best views you’ll ever encounter while playing golf.
9. Take a fabulous 30-minute flight close to the mountains around Chamonix, including Mont Blanc. Aerocime is based at Megeve near Chamonix and offers passengers a trip to remember in a four-man plane high above the ground. The views are breath-taking and the experience is exhilarating.
10. Lake Annecy - For watersports, boat trips, a wonderfully flat lake-side cycle way, as well as a beach and swimming area, Lake Annecy is just a short drive away and would easily amuse families and couples for several days.
Tell us about your favourite things to do in Chamonix in summer!
Aguille du Midi
Snow capped mountains in summer