The Chamonix Valley is a hiking mecca. High level, low level, easy, difficult, an afternoon stroll or a full on tour round the mont blanc; its all here. The valley is fantastic hiking country with a network of well mapped and signposted trails accessible either from the valley floor or by cable car. The scenery is as magnificent as it is varied and there’s enough walking to keep you busy for several summer holidays.
Fancy swinging through the trees? Have you a head for heights? Find out at this tree top adventure. Navigate a course from tree to tree through the forest, across rope bridges, tarzan swings, tyroleans (harnessed rope slides), gangways, ladders, climb cargo nets. Includes adult and kiddie courses. Suitable from 5 yrs. Less than 5 mins drive from the chalets.
Aiguille du Midi
The Aiguille du Midi cable car leaves from the centre of Chamonix (5mins from the chalets), rises up the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi to the summit at an altitude of 3842m. From there the views of the Alps are simply incredible. There are several terraces with spectacular views of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps. On a clear day it is even possible to see the Matterhorn. Unmissable views from what feels like the top of the world. An experience to remember.
Merlet Animal Park
About a 10 minute drive from the chalet this offers fabulous views across the valley. It is home to many examples of “mountain wildlife” and particularly the 7 resident species; chamois, mountain goats, stags and fallow deer, marmots and lamas. Since the animals roam freely through the grounds, picnics are not allowed in the park but here is a café where light refreshments are available.
Tramway du Mont-Blanc
Starting from Le Fayet, the funicular train winds up through the forests, through numerous tunnels, passes several villages, crossing mountain meadows. It stops in Bellevue (which is connects by cable car to Les Houches village) before taking passenger as far as the Nid d’Aigle at 2380m, at the foot of the Bionassay glacier. The Tramway du Mont-Blanc is perfect for those who love the scenery, but are not really into the walking. But if you do fancy something more active, it takes you to a great starting point for numerous hiking, mountain-biking and mountaineering routes.
Mer de Glace / Montenvers Railway
A funicular railway that departs from Chamonix (5mins from the chalets) and makes its way up to the Mer de Glace glacier. The top station at Montenvers has a cafe and restaurant and is built on a rocky ridge overlooking the glacier. There’s also a cable car which takes you down to the glacier where you can visit the Ice Grotto, an amazing ice cave that’s dug inside the glacier and features a collection of ice sculptures.
Luge d’Eté (summer bob-sleigh)
Two parallel summer bob-sleigh runs, the longest in France. Each one almost 1km long, with access by chair lift. The Luge d’Eté is in the Parc des Loisirs (10mins drive from the chalets) which also includes an adventure park, playground & bungee trampoline. more…click on any picture to see a full size version.
St Bernard’s training centre
The famous rescue dogs of the Alps. Originally used as a guard dog, in the 18th century the monks from Grand St Bernard used the dogs to search for travellers lost in snowdrifts. The breeding kennels in Les Houches are the principle source of St Bernard’s in the Alps and is open for visitors (5mins drive from the chalets).
Compagnie des Anes (the Donkey Company)
Ever thought of renting a donkey to take you on your mountain walk? Probably not. But its not as silly an idea as it sounds! and kids’ll love it! The Compagnie des Anes is set in the charming hamlet of Vaudagne (5 mins drive from the Chalet) and boast a wonderful collection of donkeys. A comical chance for the children to explore nature.
Gorges de la Diosaz
An impressive gorge near the village of Servoz (10min drive from the chalets) which boasts a footpath constructed amongst the steep cliffs faces that form the gorge. Follow the path, which is carved out of the rock and crosses bridges and walkways fixed to the rock face, whilst below the clear waters of the turbulent mountain stream cascade down the spectacular waterfalls at the base of the gorge.
Lac de Passy
This man made lake is ideal for families. With a sandy beach, shallow water and a life guard patrol its perfectly safe for younger kiddies. There’s also ample space, part shaded by trees, for sunbathing. And all with a great view of the mont blanc in the background. But swimming is not all that’s on offer, there are miniature tug boats, pedlos, volleyball courts and bungee trampolines. For older kids (and adults that should know better) there are also Go-Karts, Quad Bikes and Paint ball.
Chamonix Leisure Centre is just a 10 mins drive away from the Chalets and has a superb indoor and outdoor pools, with a giant fun slide and a relaxation/sunbathing area.
Scenic Helicopter Flights
Only one thing makes the spectacular mountain views even more impressive, and that’s seeing them from a helicopter. For a truly memorable experience, a helicopter tour can provide the icing on the cake for the perfect holiday.
30-40mins drive by the scenic route takes you to Plaine Joux. At an altitude of 1350m and a panoramic view of the chaîne du Mont-Blanc, there are plenty amusements such as karting, tampolene’s, horse rides to amuse your kids when you arrive.