Best of Chamonix

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Chamonix
Ringed by chiseled peaks, the small village of Chamonix lies in the heart of the French Alps. During the summer, hikers, mountain bikers, and climbers pass through town en route to fabulous trails crisscrossing the mountain valleys, while winter brings skiers to the snow-covered slopes with views of Mont Blanc. Even if you’re not here for adventure, Chamonix has plenty to offer, and its elegant old-world hotels are perfect for unwinding amid the pure mountain air.  

You can go trekking with a guide, who will take you to some spectacular parts of the Alps — like France’s largest glacier, the so-called Mer de Glace (“sea of ice”) perched on the north side of Mont Blanc. You can also arrange a more thematic excursion led by a historian who’s also a mountain guide. You can learn all about the Alps on a walking tour that includes a visit to the cemetery of Chamonix, where illustrious climbers have been buried, including Edward Whymper, Maurice Herzog, and Lionel Terray. Chamonix can be visited in a one-day tour from Annecy, with a trek included. But if you want to immerse yourself in the soul of this Alpine village, it’s better to stay at least a night or two.
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Hiking in the French Alps
Best Things to Do in the French Alps

With towering snow-capped peaks, charming alpine villages, some of Europe's best skiing, and epic hikes to famous spots like Mt. Blanc, there's always something to enjoy in the French Alps. Ride a cable car to catch impressive views across the mountain range, boat or stroll around crystal-clear lakes, explore cultural towns, and taste the delicious food that keeps the locals warm and full all year long (we're talking cheese) all while breathing in that crisp alpine air.

Running in the Alps
Map of Tour du Mont Blanc: Self-Guided Trail Run  - 6 Days
Tour du Mont Blanc: Self-Guided Trail Run - 6 Days

Follow the classic Tour de Mont Blanc trail on this six-day itinerary, with a twist: you'll be running between villages and alpine passes, maximizing your time in the region. This adventurous trail running trip is perfect for active travelers who want to experience classic Alps views. You'll run between 19 and 28 miles per day as you wind your way around the Mont Blanc Massif, taking in the views of glaciers and spotted alpine cows before relaxing in mountain villages at night. 

Tour du Mont Blanc
Map of Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek - 8 days
Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek - 8 days

Circle the highest summit in Western Europe in just seven days of trekking with this summer itinerary. Start in the Chamonix Valley and hike through France, Italy, and Switzerland with iconic Alpine vistas throughout. Hike over high mountain passes and quiet meadows, see the Alps reflected in mirror-like Swiss lakes, visit the classic resort towns of Courmayeur and Chamonix, and spend each night sleeping comfortably in charming mountain huts and lodges.

Mont Blanc in Aosta Valley, Courmayeur
Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek - 9 Days

Traverse alpine passes, feast on local cheese, and breathe in the crisp mountain air on this 9-day trek around Mont Blanc. Start in Chamonix—the French capital of alpinism—before hitting the trail for a week of sweeping views, snowy peaks, and meadows full of wildflowers. Top things off with cozy nights spent in rustic alpine huts or guest houses. 

Annecy's Palais de l'Isle at dusk
Map of Lyon, Annecy & Chamonix - 10 Days
Lyon, Annecy & Chamonix - 10 Days

This 10-day adventure combines three of France's easternmost gems, starting with the nation's capital of gastronomy: Lyon. While here, indulge in its outstanding dining scene, visit nearby vineyards, and meet farmers and artisans. Then travel to Annecy, a storybook medieval town so gorgeous it's nicknamed the "Venice of France," before finishing in Chamonix and hiking the tallest peak in France—Mont Blanc.

Ville des Glaciers with Les Chapieux
Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek - 10 Days

Traverse over high mountain passes and through small alpine villages on this 10-day trek around Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest peak. Start and end in Chamonix, the self-proclaimed "French capital of Alpinism". See why this town got its nickname as you explore the Alps on foot, wandering through peaceful meadows and taking in the sweeping views. 

End your trip on the promenades of Nice
Map of Ultimate French Road Trip: Paris to the French Riviera - 21 Days
Ultimate French Road Trip: Paris to the French Riviera - 21 Days

Eat and drink your way from Paris to the Mediterranean coast on this three-week, self-drive adventure. Start in Paris with wine, cheese, and chocolate tasting, move on to Annecy for lakeside cycling and fondue, then continue to the Alps to summit glacial peaks and soak in hot tubs. After touring the gastronomic capital of Lyon, Provence's "easy life" beckons before winding down with sailing and beach time along the stunning coastlines of Marseille, Le Lavandou, and Nice.

Snow-capped mountains
Map of Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek - 12 Days
Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek - 12 Days

Follow this famous alpine route on a 12-day traverse past glacial peaks. Along with enjoying showstopping mountain scenery, you'll get to search for wildlife, sample alpine cheeses, and stroll through scenic towns while you put your trekking skills to the test.