La Vallée de Chamonix
The capital of the Chamonix valley
An authentic Savoyard village
Vallorcine is the last village in the Chamonix Valley, just before you get to the Swiss border. It is composed of traditional stone houses and large old farms but also has some modern apartments. There is a primary school, a library, a tourist office, a church, a small grocery store and some great places to eat and drink (Le Café Comptoir is one of the best restaurants in the whole Valley). The peaceful village has direct access to the Balme/Le Tour ski area, there is a cross country ski area and in the summer there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore. Property prices here are generally lower than anywhere else in the valley, which makes great potential for capital growth.
What is also unique about this exciting area is it’s proximity to the piste and telecabine. A new chair-lift from Vallorcine to Le Tour has truly introduced Vallorcine to the rest of the Valley. It has also helped by adding an extra 4 or 5 runs, not to mention the off piste opportunities. There is an idyllic off piste run through the trees right down to the train station at Vallorcine. Vallorcine has a few nice bars and restaurants near the station, which are perfect for an aprés-ski drink or dinner.
A family resort
Ski in the shadow of Mont Blanc, all year round
Argentière is situated at 1,250 metres and is 8km north of Chamonix. The village is the home of the infamous Grands Montets ski area and is nestled below the peaks of the Drus and Aiguille Verte and between the Mer de Glace and Glacier d'Argentière. Argentière has retained its French charm and offers a slower pace of life as it has been less affected by wealthy tourists and ex-patriots from various countries who have chosen to move to the valley.
The village features a lovely baroque church and 19th century chapel which completes the attractive high street panorama. For those who love a good pâtisserie and boulangerie, you’ll find a good selection here.
Argentière is well placed for both winter activities including cross-country skiing and paret and for summer activities such as hiking and mountain biking. The village is well connected to Chamonix via train and bus for other attractions and facilities such as the Aiguille du Midi, Mer de Glace, sport center and a cinema which shows films in English.
About Grands Montets
Grands Montets is renowned in the Chamonix Valley for its off-piste terrain but don’t let that put you off - this ski area is accessible for all level of skier and snowboarder. Situated in the village of Argentière, which has direct bus and train, links, with Chamonix town, the resort has a total of 28km of piste and 17 lifts.
Ski-tourers will be pleased to know there is a dedicated skin track at Grand Montets that leads through the forest from the base of the lifts to the top of the Logan cable car.
Non-skiers who want to explore the mountain can try snowshoeing along the path from the top of the Lognan lift station to the bottom of the Retour Pendant lift.
Generally Grands Montets is open for skiing and snowboarding from early December through to the end of April / beginning of May. Please check the opening dates for the latest information.