Holidays to Chamonix are all about walks along the peaks to find hidden lakes and waterfalls, and it's home to the Mont Blanc too.

Up to the peaks

Chamonix is a well-known mountaineering destination, but you don't have to be a climber to see the views here. From the town, the Aiguille du Midi cable car takes you to the summit, 3842m up. This is the closest you can get to Mont Blanc by lift, and the views are exceptional. Look out over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps from the terrace – on a clear day you can see as far as the Matterhorn mountain. And for a real thrill, Step into the Void" – the glass-bottomed skywalk hangs over the mountain edge, and there's a' 1000m drop below. You can get to the Pointe Helbronner peak in Italy from here too, take the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car and pas over the Vallée Blanche, with mountaineers and their colourful tents down below, taking on the mighty Mont Blanc massif. To get back to Chamonix, take the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car to Courmayeur, where you can jump on the bus.

Down in the town

Spend your days wandering through the pedestrianised streets of the pretty, cosmopolitan town. Stop for mid-morning coffee and a croissant, browse the specialty sports shops and admire the art deco and art nouveau architecture dotted between the Savoyard-style buildings. Then hire bikes to explore the area on two wheels, hit the courts for a game of tennis or visit one of the local museums for stories of the town's history. And you're spoilt for choice when it comes to mealtimes as there are over 170 restaurants across the town and up on the mountain, serving up everything from Savoyard specialties to fresh, international fare.

Summer in Chamonix

There's a jam-packed summer schedule here, with festivals, sports events and celebrations each month. In June, watch runners tackle the Marathon du Mont Blanc, one of Chamonix's most popular summer events. There's not one but five races, and there's a really upbeat atmosphere in the town as everyone turns out to support the athletes. The Fête de la Musique is also in June, and live music and street parties all over town give this midsummer celebration some real feel-good vibes. The World Climbing Championships and Tour des Fiz, a trail-running event, take place in July, and the end of the climbing championships coincides with Bastille Day, when there's a big street party with beer tents, music and fireworks. And there are yoga, jazz and running festivals during the rest of the summer season, so there's plenty going on, whenever your holiday is.

At a Glance

  • Get an up-close look at France’s biggest glacier
  • Pap peaks from the Aiguille du Midi summit
  • Café hop and people watch