Are there any creches / childminding / baby sitting services in Chamonix?
There are a number of childcare options available in Chamonix. Please be aware that booking in advance is always recommended and that nurseries may want to see medical records and vaccination certificates. Please see our Childcare Services section for further information and contact details.
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Are there any English speaking doctors in Chamonix?
Yes, there are 2 medical practices in Argentière and 10 in Chamonix. The main hospital and emergency treatment centres is in Les Favrands, just beyond Chamonix Sud. Most practices have at least one English speaking doctor, ask at reception when you make your appointment. For a full list of resort doctors and dentists please see Medical Services.
Are there any family rates or child discounts on lift passes?
No, unfortunately not in the Chamonix valley. Everyone, even if it is your very first time on the slopes requires a lift pass. For adult beginners, Chamonix Le Pass is the ticket to buy. For children between the ages of 4 to15 years there is a Beginner Option for the Savoy ski area at the base of Brevent: Le Samaran & La Cote drag lifts : 6 half days (out of 7) - €43 6 full days (out of 7) - €48 Le Samaran & La Cote drag lifts PLUS Chamonix Planpraz cable car, Chairlift 2000, Altitude 2000 lift and Charlanon chairlift: 6 half days (out of 7) - €64 6 full days (out of 7) - €72 These tickets enable you to take a break part way through the week if your legs are hurting and do not require photographs. You will, however, need a hands free card (€3) which will be issued to you when you buy your pass. You can read more about the ski lifts in our Lift Section.
Are there any left luggage facilities in Chamonix?
To the best of our knowledge (and it's not for want of looking!) - no, there isn't. The best bet is to contact your accommodation provider before arrival and ask whether they have somewhere to store luggage before/after your stay. There are a number of ski lockers at the top of Les Grands Montets in Argentière.
Are there any nightclubs or late night bars in Chamonix?
Don't worry if the thought of going to bed early every night in order to be first up the mountain in the morning isn't your cup of tea! There is plenty in Chamonix to keep the night-owls happy, take a look at our Bars & Clubs guide to find out where to party in resort.
Are there any non-smoking bars and restaurants?
Since January 2008 smoking has been banned in all bars, cafés and restaurants in France. Patrons are generally free to smoke on the terrace and during the winter months smokers are often catered for with outdoor heaters. Have a look at our Dining Guide for suggestions and listings of restaurants.
Are There Any Ski Lockers Near to the Pistes/Lifts?
There are a number of ski lockers underneath the restaurant at top of the Lognan cable car at Les Grands Montets in Argentière and underneath the Prarion lift station in Les Houches. There are two piste-side ski hire shops that offer free overnight storage to clients - Sanglard Sports in Argentière and Thierry Sports at Les Planards.
Are there rules and restrictions on the lifts ?
The Chamonix lift system operates during both summer and winter seasons and has different restrictions regarding access according to the time of year. Please see Chamonix Lifts: Access and Restrictions for further details.
At what age should my child start skiing?
Most ski teachers wouldn’t recommend starting skiing before the age of three or four at the earliest. The right age will vary from child to child, and depends upon the child’s strength, co-ordination and attitude. For this age group skiing should remain a play activity, so don't expect a young child to ski all day - a couple of hours is ample. For more information on ski school and children please read our Children's Skiing section.
Can I Cross-Country Ski in Chamonix?
Cross-country skiing is a great alternative to regular alpine skiing if you fancy taking things a bit slower and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings. It is still a great form of exercise though, as it is more energetic than it looks! You can find out all about the cross-country trails in Chamonix on our Cross Country Skiing page.
Can I drink the water in Chamonix?
Yes! Chamonix is a proper town with decent water treatment. The water can sometimes taste a bit metallic due to the high mineral content and during the melting periods some people prefer to switch to bottled water just in case the treatment plants are over-capacity. Generally though the water in the Alps is, on the whole, wonderful mountain spring water and Chamonixis no exception. It is perfectly safe to drink and tastes even better than the water at home!
Can I get sunburnt in winter?
Very Easily! Always take precautions against the strength of the sun on a skiing holiday. At altitude, and with the reflection off the snow, the sun’s rays can cause damage very quickly. Always, always wear sunglasses, even when the sun is not shining. Apply sunscreen, apply it thickly and keep applying it (you can still burn though cloud cover). Putting on factor 40 once in the morning will not protect you from burning. Reapply every hour.
Can I get to Chamonix by train from the UK?
Yes, you can..... but it is not likely to be the best or cheapest option, as in every case you will need to change at least once. Your best bet is Eurostar from London (Waterloo) to Paris (Gare du Nord) and then changing to an SNCF TGV train from the other side of Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Geneva or Annecy. Read more in...How to Get Here more »
Can I get to Chamonix by train from the UK?
Yes, you can..... but it is not likely to be the best or cheapest option, as in every case you will need to change at least once. Your best bet is Eurostar from London (Waterloo) to Paris (Gare du Nord) and then changing to an SNCF TGV train from the other side of Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Geneva or Annecy. Read more in...How to Get Here
Can I go swimming in Chamonix?
The indoor pool at the Richard Bozon Sports Centre is 25m long and also features a seperate children's pool with bubble jets and a water slide. The outdoor pool is 50m long and surrounded by sunbathing terraces and a children's splash pool. Take a look at our Summer Activities guide to find out more about the sports centre and other swimming venues in the valley.
Can I Picnic at Any of the Mountain Restaurants?
Picnicking is forbidden, or ‘interdit’, in most mountain restaurants. You may get away with eating your own sandwich if you buy some chips and a drink to go with it – but don’t be surprised if it is frowned upon. However, there are plenty of great places to eat al fresco in the mountains - as long as you don't mind nestling down into the snow or perching on a slab of rock! For our recommendations, please read our page on Lunch Spots on the Mountain.
Can I take my baby to a ski resort?
Yes, you can take your baby to a ski resort but be aware that sudden changes in temperature and altitude are not recommended. For help on in-resort childcare, equipment rental and helpful tips go to our Tips for Families in Chamonix & the Valley.
Can you suggest some activities in Chamonix for children?
Chamonix is very much a family-friendly resort and welcomes children of all ages. From things that you can do as a family to activities that the children can go off and do with their new 'holiday friends' you will find plenty to keep everyone happy. Please see our Chamonix Activities section for a few suggestions.
Can you suggest some hiking routes to try?
If you come to Chamonix in the summer (and between you and I, you really should) chances are you'll want to get your walking boots on and go on a ramble or two. Chamonix offers some beautiful walks for all standards, from gentle rambles to challenging hikes, you can enjoy the mountains just as much in summer as in winter. Please have a look at our page on Hiking in Chamonix for further information.
Do I need a car in the resort?
Chamonix does have a good network of public transport, but the nature of the geography of the ski areas means that it can be useful to have a car. Parking in the centre of town can be notoriously difficult, particularly Chamonix Sud, and remember when the weather is bad, the going can be treacherous and you will need snow-tyres and/or chains. It is worth checking if you are travelling with a tour/chalet operator, whether or not they offer a free minibus service to their clients thereby saving on the need for your own vehicle. For more information about driving and parking in Chamonix, have a look at our page of Local Transport & Parking page.
Do I need a photograph for my lift pass?
Photographs are now ony required for passes of 10 days duration or longer. All passes (except cross country) require a hands free card to operate the turnstiles. You will be issued with this when you purchase your pass and will have to pay a deposit of €3 which is refundable, or you can keep it as a souvenir! Don't forget you can now order your passes in advance and online, and have them sent to your home address or hotel / rental agency in the resort.
Do I Need a Work Permit in Chamonix?
If you are from Europe, the chances are you will not require a work permit or "autorisation de travail" to work in France - Switzerland is a different matter. Please see our Working a Ski Season to find out more about Visas and passports.
Do I need to carry chains in the car (often a paying optional extra in car-hire)?
Yes! During snowy weather, resorts restrict access to vehicles with snow-tyres or chains, and sometimes traffic police will not allow any vehicle on to the resort access road without chains being fitted. Chains can be bought at any of the garages in the area or can be requested as part of a car hire package (if you are taking a car locally). The colour-coded 'quick-fit' variety are usually the best option and make sure you buy the right dimensions for you tyres - one size does NOT fit all. Read more about Driving in the Alps.