This hostel is in a great location just a two minute walk from the centre of town. Special buses run from right outside to hotel for UCPA residents only to the local ski areas.
Within this refurbished Victorian building is the sports bar, nightclub, kit room, large drying rooms, large dining room and plenty of social areas. From the dining room you have a fantastic view across to Mont Blanc..
This centre is one of the best in UCPA, and is excellent for those who want to enjoy some of the best skiing in Europe, whilst staying in the centre of a vibrant and lively town. All rooms have shower and sink ensuite with toilets a few steps away in the corridor.
The UCPA staff lay on an entertainment program each week. It's certainly not Butlins and there is no pressure to take part - all quite low key. Typical programme would include stretching in the early evening, crepe making, quiz, sketch evening, karaoke and some evenings a live band. Equally in the town there is a great selection of bars & nightclubs to suit all tastes.
UCPA is more than 40 years old, and was originally set-up by the French government to encourage young people to enjoy the outdoors. It is now a "not for profit" organisation with all profits being put back into refurbishing the centres. The ethos of sport is still first on the agenda, but the instructors and centre staff don't forget that it is still your holiday.
There is a special bus chartered every morning to take you directly to the slopes without any queuing. There's limited parking on site, but you can park for free within a few minutes walk.
Action Outdoors' prices at UCPA include:
- Lift Pass
- Ski / Board Hire
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Do the sums - a lift pass alone costs more than €200, ski hire €100 and instruction more than €250!
For further details, visit the website or contact them directly using the 'make an enquiry' box.
The food is served buffet style each day. Breakfast is yogurts, cereals, fruit juice, coffee and bread - don't be surprised to see that the coffee, tea or hot chocolate is taken French style - a soup bowl !
Typically lunch is a DIY picnic made up at breakfast time (great choice of breads, meats, cheeses, pasta, salad, fruit, sweets etc). The picnic lunch means maximum time on the mountains without spending a fortune on expensive mountain side restaurants. Note that beginners will often return to the centre for a hot lunch.
Dinner is a 4 course buffet - typically a salad bar style starter, choice of 3 or 4 main courses - most often including fish, cheese selection, fruit, dessert and ice-cream freezer. Any special dietry requirements should be made known to reception staff at check-in. Generally vegetarians will find a wide enough choice within the buffet.
Situated right at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is one of the most legendary ski resorts in Europe attracting skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers, climbers and alpinists from all over the world. Within walking distance from the town centre you can access world-class ski areas including the famous Vallée Blanche. As busy in summer as in winter, Chamonix is unbeatable for its hiking trails, rock climbing routes and biking terrain. A lively town centre is at the heart of the resort, with plenty of attractions and activities all year round.
Chamonix is a bustling little hub in the centre of the valley that has everything you need within walking distance; you'll find shops, bars, restaurants and cafés dotted all around the pedestrianised heart of the resort. Lakes, forests and hiking trails surround the area making it easy to find tranquillity just a few minutes from the lively town centre. One of France's oldest ski resorts, Chamonix has plenty of character and traditional charm.
Chamonix's restaurants offer something for everyone, from Michelin starred gourmet cuisine to takeaway burgers. The central square is lined with fondue restaurants and pizzerias serving a good range of local and international dishes, as well as a couple of fast food shops. The bars and hotels on Avenue Michel Croz offer a good choice of tasty and well-priced food, whereas the Rue de Moulins is an excellent choice for a special night out. Venture in the opposite direction and you'll find more choices around the Aiguille du Midi/Chamonix Sud area, ranging from hearty pub grub to high class dining.
No visit to Chamonix is complete without a trip up the famous Aiguille du Midi on the world's highest vertical ascent cable car. From its summit at 3842m you can enjoy spectacular 360 views of France, Italy and Switzerland whilst watching roped-up mountaineers embark on expeditions. Another must-do is a visit to the Mer de Glace glacier on the Montenvers train along a rack-and-pinion track that winds up the side of the mountain. Once there you can visit crystal caves and enter the glacier to see sculptures carved into the ice. Both attractions are open year-round, check our opening/closing page for details.
Chamonix is all about outdoor activities and there is plenty to keep you busy on your holiday. Throughout the year you can visit the ice caves and the 'Mer de Glace' from the Montenvers train station. Take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to 3842 metres for spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the start of the famous off-piste run the Vallee Blanche. It is quite common to see paragliders exploring the valley from above and this is something you can do in tandem. During the winter there are 4 main ski areas (Brevent & Flegere, Les Planards, La Tour & Vallorcine and Grands Montets). If you have a Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass you'll also have access to the Les Houches ski area. In the summer some of the ski lifts open for downhill mountain biking and there are numerous climbing routes, hiking routes and refuges to discover. If you prefer to be indoors, Chamonix also has a cinema with films in English, a bowling alley and a sports centre.
Local Golf Clubs
The nearest golf course to Chamonix centre is the Golf Club de Chamonix, an 18 hole course in Chamonix Les Praz, near to the Flegere lift station. It has a driving range, club house and pro-shop where you can stock up on all the essentials. They hold regular competitions throughout the summer, the course is closed in winter.
Local Ski-Lift or Piste
Chamonix has two lift stations that are directly accessible from the town centre - Brevent and Aiguille du Midi. The Brevent lift station is located behind the tourist office just a few minutes walk up a short hill, or you can catch a bus. The high-speed gondola takes you up to the main ski area at Plan Praz (2000m), where you can connect to a large cable car that goes all the way to the top at 2525m - the only route down from here is a black run but it's worth going up for the stunning views, you can get the cable car back down again if you're not confident enough to tackle the piste. Brevent is linked by another cable car to the nearby Flegere ski area, both are included on the same lift pass making it a great option for a full day on the slopes. Aiguille du Midi is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France and if you venture up, you'll see why. The cable is split into two sections and you change cars halfway at Plan de l'Aiguille, a popular hiking destination in the summer. The top of the second section sits at 3842m and is engulfed in snow all year round. Numerous viewing platforms look out on to breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, you can see France, Switzerland and Italy in one turn of the head. The Aiguille du Midi is also the start of the Vallée Blanche, one of the world's most famous off-piste runs. The ever-changing nature of glacial terrain makes it dangerous to attempt without local knowledge though, so be sure to book a qualified mountain guide before setting off.
Avenue Michel Croz is at the heart of the winter apres-ski scene, with live music and DJs playing at a variety of bars. If you prefer a more civilised drink that doesn't involve dancing on the tables, then head to the Rue des Moulins for chic wine bars and excellent restaurants. Chamonix Sud also has a cluster of bars that attract the younger crowd and seasonal workers. Chamonix has three nightclubs, one on the Rue des Moulins and another two in Chamonix Sud.
Location: Chamonix Main Town
Star Rating: 2 Star
Property Type: Hostel
Bookings For: Lift Passes | Ski / Snowboard Hire | Ski / Snowboard Lessons | Transfers
Catering: Catered | Full-board | Restaurant
Transport: Ski shuttle (complimentary)
Room: Ski / Boot Room
Entertainment: Drinks bar / Lounge
Outdoor: Terrace / Garden
Spa & Fitness: Sauna
View: Mountain view
Open Times: Winter
Address: 131 Rue du Lyret, 74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc, France