The Domaine de Balme area is situated at the top end of the Chamonix Valley; accessed by either of two gondolas, one based in the village of Le Tour and another from Vallorcine on the French/Swiss border.
The Charamillon Ski Area on the Le Tour side of the mountain consists of rich alpine meadows in the summer and wide and varied ski slopes in the winter, great for beginner/intermediates with some steeper slopes and wonderful off-piste in the tree-lined Tete de Balme area on the Vallorcine side. Le Tour has a higher proportion of drag lifts than the other areas in the valley, but these can mostly be avoided by taking the Autannes or the Tete de Balme chairlifts.
As well as the two gondolas, the Autannes chairlift also runs in the summer, taking hikers and mountain bikers up above 2,000m, just a short distance from the border with Switzerland. In winter it can sometimes be quicker to access this area by driving or taking the train to Vallorcine, as the majority of skiers head to Le Tour.
When to come
How to get passes
Location: Chamonix - Le Tour