About Summer Activities in Chamonix
Whatever you choose to do on your summer holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Chamonix area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in Chamonix. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
The main draw for people coming to Chamonix in winter is, of course, wintersports. If you're here at other times of the year, or fancy a break from the freezing cold, read on...
Activities Guest Card
The Chamonix Guest Card ('carte d'hote') is valid throughout the year (for the duration of your stay) and entitles you to various discounts throughout the valley, such as reductions at all the sports and cultural facilities including the swimming pool, ice rink, museums and covered parking. If you do not receive one when you check into your accommodation, you can buy one from any of the tourist offices in the valley at a cost of €10 per person per week.
It also entitles you to free travel on the buses and trains between the valley's resorts from Vallorcine to Servoz (with the exception of the Chamo’nuit night bus). If you wish to take the train all the way through to Martigny in Switzerland or down to Le Fayet and St Gervais, you just need to pay the difference from Vallorcine or Servoz.
Practice your Robin of Sherwood skills in a tranquil alpine setting. Beginners can learn from scratch and those with more experience can put their skills to the test with a variety of courses. The Coupeau area of Les Houches has a trail running through it equipped with archery courses of varying difficulty. Access is free to anyone registered with the FFTA.
Every Tuesday evening from 18:00 in winter, a group lead by artist Sylwia Pwydych gets together for a life drawing session. All abilities are welcome and the group is very international, so don’t worry if your French isn’t up to scratch! Living Chamonix also run art classes for children and adults in Argentiere in winter.
In the centre of Chamonix, right by the Richard Bozon Sports Centre and the ice skating rink, there are multifunctional sports courts where you can play basketball outdoors. Les Houches also offers a couple of basketball courts near the beginner ski area of Le Tourchet, by the outdoor ice rink.
Beach volleyball in the heart of the French Alps may sound strange but in Chamonix you can hop on the sand and play a game of volleyball with your friends or family. Located in the Tennis Club, the beach volleyball court is open in the summer.
You can bowl in Chamonix in winter or summer at the bowling lanes in Cham Sud. A great place to go if you're in a family, a group or to while away rainy days, it also offers pool tables, table tennis, table football, arcade games and even a small indoor mini-golf course.
Just down the road from Chamonix, in nearby St Gervais, there is a very large bridge which you can bungee off. No experience is necessary, just a good head for heights and a lot of bravery!
Canoeing / Kayaking
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allows you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of whitewater river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants. Local Chamonix activity companies will take you down to Passy from where you will enjoy amazing views of the Mont Blanc while you go down the Arve river on a 2-people canoe raft or an individual airboat.
Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides. You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the riverbed as a natural obstacle course. Canyoning takes place a little way outside Chamonix in two locations - either Barberine near the Swiss border or in the opposite direction at Belle au Bois in Megeve. The activity companies will take you there via minibus or coach, with the activity available usually between May and September, weather permitting.
Catch the latest films and releases on your holiday at the Cinema Vox in Chamonix, located right in the heart of town. They sometimes open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise, you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOSTF for English speaking films.
The whole of the Alps are known worldwide for hosting some of the most gruelling stages of the Tour de France so, to gain the most from your riding in the area, you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. There are some renowned climbs near Chamonix, including the Col de Colombière, Col du Grand Saint Bernard, Col de Joux Plaine or Col des Aravis, as well as lesser-known but fun rides like the Col des Montets, the Emosson dam, the Col de la Forclaz or the tour around Lake Annecy.
Also see: Cycling in Chamonix
If you fancy a spot of fishing whilst in Chamonix then there are a few local and nearby lakes where you can catch some fish and enjoy the Alpine scenery.
Within a 20 minute drive from Chamonix, you can reach 2 groups of lakes, both of which you can fish in certain areas. Lac Passy is a popular picnic and sunbathing spot with a children’s play area, so you may not find the tranquillity you are looking for by the main lake. If you carry on though there are smaller, less frequented lakes where fishing is also permitted. Enquire at the main lake for details on where best to go for a quiet spot of fishing. Lac des Ilettes is a quieter group of 3 lakes where fishing is permitted.
Closer to Chamonix is Lac des Chavants in Les Houches; apparently a good spot for catching some tasty trout, which you pay for by the kilo. You can also hire rods and purchase bait. Permits are available from the Saint Antoine Tabac or from the Les Houches Tourist Office. Closer still is Lac Gaillands, by the large climbing wall on the road out of Chamonix just before you reach Les Bossons. Fly fishing only is permitted and permits can be bought from the small chalet serving snacks and drinks.
Remember that, before fishing any area, you must ensure that you have the correct permits and are aware of the local regulations.
In front of the Richard Bozon Sports Centre in Chamonix, there is a large multisports court where you can play football. The indoor court can also be used for indoor football.
Join in with locals and holidaymakers alike with the local Ultimate Frisbee club who organise ultimate frisbee every Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the season, by the Bois du Bouchet (or at the Sports Centre if it's raining).
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Chamonix!. It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
For a truly unique experience, clamp on your crampons and go hiking up the stunning Mer de Glace, Argentière or Le Tour glaciers. The Mer de Glace is one of the longest and deepest glaciers in the Alps, moving at a speed of 120 metres a year. To get onto the glacier, you'll have to clamber down long steel ladders which are scary enough in themselves but you'll quickly forget about that once you start admiring the breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses below (if you're quiet you can even hear the ice shifting). The breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses make this an incredible adventure. There are a number of glacial hikes, of varying difficulty, in this region of the Alps. Most mountain guiding companies and adventure companies will run organised excursions to the most accessible. To read more about glaciers and the environment please read our Glacier Meltdown article.
At the excellent golf course of Chamonix you can play golf in the summer surrounded by the fantastic views of the Mont Blanc and the massif of the Aiguilles Rouges. The 18-hole golf course in Les Praz was first created in 1934, although the last 9 holes were not built until 1982.
Gym / Fitness centres
At the Richard Bozon Sports Centre, there's a gym with weights and cardio machines. They even offer fitness classes such as aerobic or step. Many hotels in the valley also offer fitness facilities.
Sit back and admire the Mont Blanc massif from even higher up. Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snow-capped mountain tops, glaciers and alpine forests of the highest mountains in western Europe.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides
A horse-drawn carriage ride around the streets of Chamonix with Dr Zhivago is a popular thing to do in Chamonix in both winter & summer. Head to the small square near Irish Coffee in the centre of Chamonix to jump on board.
The Chamonix Valley has a multitude of trails that can be explored on horseback; you can cover more ground than on foot, get an elevated view of the scenery and hopefully get a closer peek at the wildlife! There are a number of adventure companies who can take you out for your horse riding experience. Alternatively, the Paradis des Praz play area has a 'mini-ranch' where children can go on short accompanied treks through the woods on small ponies. There is also a riding school in Les Houches where you can take lessons in their arena or do multiple day treks up the mountain.
Hot air ballooning is a truly unique and fun experience. You can experience views and scenery like never before. The views are stunning and, as you glide over the forests, you may see deer and other animals normally hidden from view. Hot air balloons depart from Praz sur Arly, just outside the Chamonix Valley, and fly over the most famous summits in the Alps including the Mont Blanc massif and mountain ranges like the Aravis, Beaufortains, Fizs, Bauges and the Swiss and Italian Alps.
Hydrospeeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river! Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids! This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down whitewater rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves. In Chamonix, anyone who's 12 years old and over can swim down the Arve river on a board.
Ice-skating / Hockey
Chamonix's main ice rink is open in summer as well as winter. Come along and enjoy a skate or support Chamonix's local team, the Pionniers, when they play home matches.
The Chamonix valley is home to one of the largest indoor climbing walls in France. Mont Blanc Escalade is located in Les Houches and is open all year, with more than 100 routes to the roof ranging from 16 to 21 metres in height. All necessary equipment is available for hire. In Chamonix town, there is a good sized bouldering wall in the Sports Centre (Centre Sportif Richard Bozon). There is another climbing wall at the ENSA but you need to be a member of the local Club des Sports to gain access.
There are various traditional weekly markets around the Chamonix Valley. Every Saturday morning you can head off to Chamonix's Place de Mont Blanc while at Les Houches, a farmers market takes place every Wednesday afternoon at a farm on Route du Pont.
For a bit of indoor entertainment, you can't beat a competitive game of mini-golf. The bowling centre in Chamonix Sud can provide you not only with your bowling thrills but upstairs you will find a mini-golf course.
Chamonix offers some of the best terrain for mountain biking in Europe. There are hundreds of kilometres of fast, smooth and rocky trails available all under the backdrop of Mont Blanc. If you’re not a fan of the uphill, then you can always take the stress out of it all by taking any of the main lifts up and enjoying the descent. Mountain biking in Chamonix has something for all riders, from beginners right up to the more technically advanced. Note that, in French, mountain biking is called VTT (Vélo Tout-Terrain!).
Also see: Mountain Biking in Chamonix
Chamonix is quite simply the Mecca of mountaineering. Whether you are a rock climber, ice climber, ski tourer, or just enjoy being in the mountains, Chamonix really is the place to be. The glaciers and icy slopes of the Mont Blanc Massif offer a massive number of climbing routes for alpinists, while the world famous Chamonix granite is extremely popular with rock climbers. Chamonix is also home to what is perhaps the most popular high-mountain route in Europe, the climb to Mont Blanc. However, this is no mean feat, in order to tackle it, you must be very fit and should book a guide to accompany you.
Also see: Mountaineering in Chamonix
Museums & Galleries
The Chamonix Valley offers quite a wide range of museums and galleries to suit all tastes. Most of them open during high season and school holidays.
Those interested in the traditions and customs of the Alps can head to the Maison de la Memoire et du Patrimoine in Chamonix centre, dedicated to the town's history, or the Maison de Barberine Museum in Vallorcine, a 18th-century house showing pastoral life. The Montagnard Museum in Les Houches is the place to learn about old mountain lifestyles while the Maison de l'Alpage in Servoz is dedicated to agriculture and landscapes.
Being the birthplace of alpinism, the valley also has exhibitions on this sport and on the mountains in general, mainly at the Alpine Museum, while the Espace Tairraz has a nice collection of crystals. At the site of Montenvers, you can also visit a range of museums and exhibitions, from taster of the types of gems that have been found in the area at the Crystal Gallery to the Glaciorum, a very interesting small exhibition on the creation and evolution of the glaciers over the centuries, while the Temple of Nature takes visitors on a trip to the past thanks to an innovative optical theatre system where you can meet Forbes, Chateaubriand or Louis Pasteur. Finally, there are 2 galleries in Chamonix: Gallerie A2 & the Mario Colonel Gallery.
Nature Reserves & Parks
Chamonix is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, being at the foot of western Europe's highest mountain, the Mont Blanc with its 4810m. There are also protected areas around the valley which are perfect for hikes and to see the local flora and fauna in its natural habitat. The most famous one is the Aiguille Rouge Nature Reserve, a bio-diverse area of around 16,000 hectares with spectacular views of the Col des Montets. Onsite there is an information centre where you can find out about the animals and plants of the area and buy a drink or snack.
The Parc de Merlet in Les Houches is a great place to spot some local animals in their natural environment. A nature reserve, rather than a zoo, the park is perched on a large plateau high above Les Houches.
Also see: Nature Parks in Chamonix
Head to the woods at Bois du Bouchet with a team of friends and try your hand at paintball. All equipment is supplied and all you need to do is be a good shot, and know how to duck for cover!
Paragliding / Parapenting
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Chamonix is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the Brevent and other mountain tops in the valley, you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. There are two main landing places in Chamonix in the summer: behind the sports centre by the Bois de Bouchet and at the Savoy beginner area near the Planpraz lift. You'll find some companies offering paragliding there. Top tip: Wait until the spring and then go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.
Also see: Paragliding in Chamonix
Petanque / Boules
Petanque or boules is one of France's favourite pastimes. There are outdoor petanque areas in Les Houches by the ice rink and the Chavants lake, in Chamonix by the Bois de Bouchet and in the centre of Vallorcine. You can also play petanque indoors at the Espace OLCA in the centre of Les Houches.
Discover the unusual and secret itineraries behind the scenes. Taste and photograph the unique neighbourhoods and hamlets of the Chamonix valley with a professional photographer. Meet with chefs, artists, craftsmen and guides while you admire and taste their creations. An activity for people with a passion for photography. Walks take place in Chamonix, Servoz, Les Houches, Le Coupeau, Vallorcine, Montroc... and many other places that you may have yet to discover!
Chamonix has numerous spots along the valley for cragging. In Franc, it is common to find bolted routes or single pitch or top rope, which makes climbing relatively accessible as less gear is required.
The most popular spot is at Les Gaillands which is within walking distance from the town centre and has an open park which is ideal for barbecues. It is a great location for a day out as it is set next to a lake and has many walking trails nearby, as well as a buvette (snack bar). Les Gaillands is one of the oldest climbing sites in France with the first of its 130 bolted routes being put up in the 1930's by Alfred Couttet. The routes are now maintained by the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix and offers a variety of slabs, cracks, and overhangs at all levels of difficulty.
Rock Climbing in Vallorcine
At the high end of the Chamonix Valley and twenty minutes by car sits the pretty village of Vallorcine. Vallorcine is the perfect place to head if you want to escape the busy world of Chamonix and enjoy some great rock climbing. The options available range from children’s routes to highly technical routes with official climbing grades up to 8a+
La Dalle de Vallorcine is a wide and large climbing wall great to discover the sport, usually used by schools and groups for lessons. The face is very easy to get to. Driving from Chamonix turn right just as you enter ‘Le Buet’ and take the signs to the ‘Montets’ campsite. Before the campsite, park and then take the tunnel under the railway and it’s then just a short walk. There are over thirty mid-range climbs available here, ranging from grade 4 to grade 7a. They are typically north-west facing.
Les Perrons de Vallorcine is a more challenging crag with routes up to 370m high. There are over 20 climbs here on south-east faces that will demand the best from climbers. The way to access these is via the Emosson Dam, just across the Swiss border at Chatelard. This includes the Bada Boom route, the hardest and longest (at 400m) on Les Perrons.
Bouldering in Grands Montets
Just up from Vallorcine, there are two bouldering areas located on either side of the Col des Montets, with more than 50 problems from 3a to 7c grades. The first is located about 200m from the Col on the Vallorcine side, while the other is on the Col itself, looking back towards the Grands Montets. Parking is roadside or just opposite the Col.
With the growing popularity of trail running in the Valley, Chamonix has recently declared itself THE Trail Valley. The terrain lends itself perfectly to trail running with the stunning scenery, hundreds of MTB free routes, some fairly significant height gains and a near year-round lift network to get you to new stomping grounds. The Maison Du Trail is a dedicated information site based at the Bois du Bouchet, where two local trail runners will be available to give advice on running in Chamonix. Open every day during the summer season from 09:00 to 19:00.
Also see: Running in Chamonix
Many people would not automatically think of Chamonix as a place to shop, however, the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports resort, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores, and plenty of shops selling traditional mountain goods.
Also see: Shopping in Chamonix
Sky-diving & parachuting
If you want to experience the beauty of the mountains and the thrill of falling through the mountain sky then you can do just that in Chamonix. Various activity companies will teach you all the basics you need to know about skydiving in a quick session and take you up in a helicopter and take the leap with you. Admire the Aiguille du Midi, the Drus and the Mont Blanc from the sky and then jump 500m above the Chamonix valley.
Spas & massages
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. Most luxury hotels in the Chamonix Valley have a spa and many of them are open to the public. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. Unwind, relax and indulge.
Play a game of squash at the Richard Bozon Sports Centre in Chamonix. The tennis club is open daily from 09:30 to 17:30. Apart from the squash courts at Chamonix's tennis centre, Argentière has a number of indoor courts situated on the left-hand side of the road just after the avalanche bridge as you are driving in from Chamonix. These are both open all day every day, but if you are playing indoors you need a 'light-token' which can be purchased during office hours (09:00 -12:15 and 14:00-19:30 in Chamonix; 15:00-21:30 in Argentière).
There is a mini luge-rollercoaster in Chamonix at the Parc de Loisirs near Montenvers train crossing. As well as the coaster, there are lots of other fun activities for the kids to enjoy and a snack bar and restaurant.
There are a number of swimming facilities in the Chamonix Valley, from hotel pools to the sports centre and the outdoor lakes. The indoor pool at the Richard Bozon Sports Centre is 25m long and also features a separate children's pool with bubble jets and a water slide. The sports centre has a 50m outdoor pool surrounded by sunbathing terraces and a children's splash pool. There is a large grassy area by the lake within the sport centre grounds, which has a snack bar and is perfect for sun-bathing or letting the children run around (swimming not allowed in the lake). Bear in mind that chaps of all ages have to wear Speedo-style trunks which can be bought at the ticket desk.
Another great swimming spot is Lac du Passy, just 15-20 minutes drive from Chamonix. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the natural lake has a children's play area, snack bar and toilet/changing facilities.
There are also a few hotels in town that allow non-residents to use their swimming pools for a small fee. The Hotel Excelsior, in Les Tines, has a nice outdoor pool with sunbathing area and grassy play area. All you have to do to use the pool all day is book a table on the terrace for lunch (the lunches are very nice too!). You can use the swimming pool and the whole spa area the Le Refuge des Aigleons Hotel by booking the lunch and spa package.
The tennis and squash club in Chamonix is situated just beyond the sports centre and has both indoor and outdoor courts. You can reach it by walking along the path that runs from beside the Hotel Alpina alongside the river. You can book group or private lessons and hire rackets if necessary, or just pay for an hour on a court. There are also tennis courts in Les Houches, by the Chavants Lake, as well as in Servoz.
Tours & excursions
The Aiguille du Midi is Chamonix's number one attraction as it's the highest you'll be able to get without being a mountaineer and offers spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the glaciers surrounding it.
The Mer de Glace is undoubtedly one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Chamonix Valley, and rightly so. It is one of the largest glaciers in the valley. You can access it via the Montenvers train and visit the ice cave once you're there. Other points of interest at Montenvers are the Crystal Gallery, the Museum of Alpine Fauna and the famous Hotel du Montenvers. Built in 1880, the hotel is an integral part of Chamonix’ history. Leading on from there are a number of beautiful walks and hikes: the Forbes Signal is great for truly spectacular views of the Mer de Glace (approx: 1hr up and 30 mins back down with 300m total ascent), the Grand Balcon Nord leads from Montenvers across to the Plan d’Aiguille (approx: 2h30 – 3hrs) or the descent back to Chamonix through larch and pine forests via the original Mule Trail (approx. 1h45).
One way to find your way around town in the summer is to hop aboard the miniature tourist train that trundles daily through Chamonix from early May to mid-October. From 10:00 to 19:00, it makes its way past the sights of Chamonix with a multi-lingual commentary telling you about the history and culture of the area. It leaves every 30 minutes from outside the Post Office, the Montenvers Train Station and the Aiguille du Midi lift station.
In Servoz, the Gorges de la Diosaz are a series of natural waterfalls that gush down through a deep gorge. By following a man-made footpath you can walk along the side of the gorge, learning about the geology and the remarkable history of the site as you go. To walk all the way along and back takes around an hour and a half at a gentle pace. This walk is suitable for children of all ages, but the path is not suitable for pushchairs and although there are safety barriers you are advised to keep hold of small children by the hand. The gorges are open from June until September, the most impressive time to visit is after heavy rainfall when they are in full flow. Servoz can be accessed by train from Chamonix, the Gorges are just a 5-minute walk from Servoz train station.
Tree-top / Forest adventures
Tree-top adventure parks are a safe but challenging suspended course through the trees, where you wear a harness and are clipped to a safety rope. A network of ropes, bridges, zip lines, balance beams and scramble nets will test your head for heights as you traverse the forest high above the valley floor.
Just across from the Montenvers train station you will find the Chamonix Leisure Park at Les Planards, an action-packed fun area that is a magnet for children and families in the summer and winter months. The lower part of the area is packed with activities for kids of all ages. Little ones can bounce on the safely enclosed trampolines, clamber on the adventure climbing frame or ride around the mini go-cart track. The Adventure Park is a safe but challenging adventure course through the trees. A network of ropes, bridges, zip lines, balance beams and scramble nets will test your head for heights as you traverse the forest high above the valley floor.
At the Kid's Arbre Aventure in Les Houches, you can let your kids (from 4-8 years old) enjoy climbing through the trees in a completely safe and enjoyable adventure. Your child’s harness and ropes are secured by an instructor at the outset to a permanently secured safety-line from start to finish. The circuit takes around 1 hour 30 minutes to complete although there is no time limit.
There are further adventure parks at Les Tines and Lac de Gaillands where you'll find a number of different courses of varying difficulty, including a course specifically for small children. One of the courses ends with a zip-wire over the lake. All necessary equipment is provided at all of the sites.
Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb. Following marked routes through the mountains, you are helped along by metal steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 8; guides can be arranged on request.
At Flegere there is a via ferrata course called the Via Ferrata des Evettes which can be found at the top of the Index chairlift. There are two different routes which can be done separately or joined together for a full day out. There is also a via ferrata route at the Mer de Glace which is easily accessible from Chamonix town centre. Take the Montenvers train and, from the station, descend the ladders down onto the Mer de Glace following the signs marked ‘Le Refuge’. Cross the glacier heading for the white square painted on the opposite rock face, from here you will find a well-marked Via Ferrata route that consists of around 30 ladders and, if climbed to the end, finishes at the Refuge de Couvercle. One way should take around 4-5 hours, there is a shorter return route through Les Egralets that takes a further 3 hours.
Further afield, there is also a Via Ferrata route above Passy. The route sits under the Aiguille de Varan on a cliff face and climbs up 180 metres over a length of 400 metres. Access to the spot from car park takes 20 minutes and then the average time to complete the Via Ferrata takes 1 hour 30.
Walking & Hiking
As the snow disappears after winter, the valley gradually reveals its 600kms (400 miles) of well-maintained, signposted hiking trails. Whether you prefer gentle walking along the valley floor or making a day of it, scaling some of the high altitude routes, Chamonix has something for you to enjoy. There's so much to choose from that the only difficulty comes in picking a route to do! Walking here can be as easy or as technical as you want it to be. Below are some of our tried and tested suggestions for walks and hikes in the area. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more information.
Also see: Walking Routes in Chamonix
There are a couple of companies in Chamonix that offer white water rafting and canoe-rafting (a hybrid of a canoe and inflatable raft). You can choose to raft on the low-grade river through the centre of Chamonix or try something a little more advanced and with higher rapids across the border in Italy. There, you raft on the Dora Baltea river where the rapids and the white water is pretty intense.
However, you don't have to be experienced to enjoy rafting on smaller rivers such as the one in Chamonix centre; anyone that can swim and is over the age of 7 or 8 years old can take part. Check with the individual rafting companies for more information, trip duration and prices.
The beautiful mountain scenery lends itself to relaxing yoga classes under the sun, while more energetic sessions can prepare your legs for trail running or hiking. There are various companies and spas offering a wide range of yoga lessons in the valley during the summer.