18 July 2010 - EuroStar Direct Train to the Alps
Eurostar - the Channel Tunnel super fast train service - has announced that this winter 2010/11 they'll run a direct train service from the UK to the French Alps
Trains will leave from London St Pancras and Ashford train stations calling at Moutiers, Aime-La-Plagne and Bourg Saint Maurice. The London - Alps train service will run weekly, commencing 19th December 2010. Prices start at £149 return.
Train journeys like this may be longer, but are way more eco-friendly, way less stressful and don't involve all the pricy extras of ski baggage and airport transfers.
Another great way to reach your dream ski holiday
! For the ultimate ski trip, book Chalet Mont Blanc
self-catered accommodation in Argentiere - right next to Les Grands Montets!
7 July 2010 - Planning Winter Travel to Argentiere
Chalet Mont Blanc is now soaking in the summer sun while the hiking trails literally on the doorstep lead from the balmy woodland to thick snow by Flegere's Lac Blanc. Incredible. But while our guests are enjoying big garden picnics and alpine barbecues
at Chalet Mont Blanc and Jacuzzi's under Mont Blanc sunsets, we've been busy looking at getting winter underway for 2010/11. Winter bookings are coming in for the luxury self-catered Chalet Mont Blanc and understandably so.
But have you booked your flights or transport? Here is a list, from Chamonet, the local Chamonix News
website, of the different flight companies traveling our way (mostly) that may suit you for you luxury ski trip. Book soon...!
Flights are on sale now for winter 2010/11 (with free 20kg baggage allowance for each passenger) for the following routes:
* London Stansted to Sion
* London Stansted to Chambery
* London Gatwick to Chambery
* Bristol to Chambery
Snowjet won't be flying from Birmingham or Manchester to Chambery this coming winter.
With a host of UK departure points, you can book the following destinations for winter 2010/11:
Ok, not the world's favourite airline, but a couple of handy flight paths left in Ryanair's portfolio... The only ski routes available to book online are:
* Dublin - Grenoble
* Stansted - Turin
You can book BA winter flights from a range of UK departure points to:
One flightpath from this Geneva-based Swiss Airline that's great for those traveling from the City:
* London City - Geneva
Flights from Birmingham, Cardiff, East Midlands and Manchester to:
So before this lovely summer's out, there's no excuse not to book a luxury chalet week or long weekend in Argentiere and the Chamonix Valley for reasonable costs!
Let's chat about it over Pimms and apres mountaineering?
20 June 2010 - Summer Luxury with Altitude
It's time to brush off the camping stoves, trail shoes and derust the walking poles. Get out to the epic alpine scenery of Chamonix Mont Blanc
and make the most of the Chamonix summer lifts
which are now open. For the mountain goats among us, it's only a week until the Marathon du Mont Blanc
(42km), Cross du Mont Blanc (23km) and Chamonix 10km - over the weekend of 26/27 June 2010.
The climbs are steep and the paths are rocky, rooty and rubbly... making for a brilliant race trail and well worth the watch if you don't actually run it, as the race finishes at the beautiful Flegere, from where you can hike to Lac Blanc. Places are still open for the Chamonix 10km
which takes place on Sat 26th June. Any race participants receive a 20min free extra massage
with ChamoFix Massage bookings at your luxury chalet.
There are more mountain bike trails than ever in Chamonix, so it's worth bringing your full suspension bikes on your trip over here. If you are planning to stay in Chalet Mont Blanc, there's a hose to wash your bikes and a garage to park them.
And if you end up mountain running the Chamonix trails, biking along the forest tracks near Argentiere, climbing, swimming or watching the world go by... remember to make good use of Chalet Mont Blanc's large barbeque and outdoor furniture for some glorious al fresco dining.
We look forward to seeing you here soon!
24 April 2010 - Springtime Already in Chamonix?
Where did this winter go? Do we ask this after every season? Well we're delighted to say that Chalet Mont Blanc has been packed with happy skiers and snowboarders taking Les Grands Montets and the Chamonix Valley by storm. This weekend is the last day the lifts are open on Flegere, Brevent and Le Tour, so we’re off to maximise on the Spring snow, aka “slush” by the late afternoon. Les Grands Montets stay open for another two weeks, including the legendary Freeride Days End of Season Party on 2 May 2010. This evening sees another epic party created by the ubiquitous DJ Jimbo. It’s called Massif – at the Podium
, Chamonix Centre. Only 5euros to see a whole array of your favourite Chamonix live rock bands, percussionists, and DJ’s, not to mention live art and ski films.
Interseason (May) is a lovely time in Argentiere, if a little quiet with fewer restaurants open until summer kicks in. But the footpaths up into the high mountains are tranquil and awash with spring flowers, animated further by the whistles of marmottes and sightings of wildlife. The trails are perfect for running and biking, as not too many people using them... And the flights and accommodation in the Chamonix valley are great value during this month.
are already active for the luxury self-catered Chalet Mont Blanc, with August nearly booked right out... But there is still availability for June, July and September – so get in there while you’re thinking about it. The summers are glorious in Chamonix Mont Blanc, in case we haven’t mentioned that before. The garden at Chalet Mont Blanc is set up for long balmy evenings with barbeques, big bowls of salad and picnics on the massive outdoor table and comfy basket furniture.
Did we mention the jacuzzi?
See you in the sunshine!
7 January 2010 - Les Grandes Montets & Grand Banquet
While the season of snow has properly kicked in, we wish you a Happy New Year with plenty of skiing and snowboarding on the white fluffy stuff. Les Grands Montets' top telecabine is finally opening up this weekend, after alot of effort to fill in some gaping crevasses in the glacial part of Chamonix's most famous black piste.
On the apres ski note (again), we'd like to recommend this fundraiser dinner/ art auction organised by friends of the Chamonix Valley, the Choclo Project. It's in aid of their partner orphanage in Peru: all money raised goes to Nuevo Futuro, who create, maintain and supervise family-style homes for abandoned and disabled children and youths, providing them with a fun, creative and safe environment.
The formal Peruvian dinner and art auction night will include live music and and gifts from the Eden hotel. Don your party outfit, put a smile on your face, come and enjoy. This will be a night to remember.
When : Sat 23 Jan 2010
Time : 6pm
What : 3 course Peruvian dinner + wine
Cost : 45euros
For more information about the event, click through to the Choclo Project Chamonix Dinner official web page. Tickets can be purchased directly through the website and if you book early there is the possibility of filling a table with your family and friends.
17 December 2009: Christmas Dinners in Chamonix
While Chalet Mont Blanc's kitchen is well equipped to make you a perfect roast dinner, whether for Christmas, New Year or any occasion, there are plenty of wonerful places to dine out in Argentiere and beyond. Argentiere boasts a brand new, improved version of an old favourite local bar - Le Rusticana, 0450-55-88-28, with a brilliant "fusion" menu, from Thai to the popular British Fish and Chips. The Stone Bar at the top of Argentiere serves a vast range of pizzas. Down in Chamonix, our favourites for deliciousness and great value are Munchies ,+33 (0)4 50 53 45 41, a very plush Swedish restaurant on Rue du Moulin, and Alan Peru, just up the road from the Aiguille du Midi. The Hotel Eden, +33 (0)450 53 18 43, in Les Praz offers a great apres-ski food deal every Tuesday night between 17:00 and 21:00 - Thai curry at just 10€! Another night in the same area, especially if you are skiing Flegere, why not try Le Cabane just by the golf course - top quality service, fondues and Haute Savoie dishes make it an absolute luxury. Le Sarpe, +33(0)450532931,(which is a local word for "mountain idiot!") is another little French restaurant that is well worth the effort of finding it.. nestled in the very pretty village of Les Bois. Great value menus, considering the quality of the cuisine, with lovely wines. Our best advice - once you've decided which restaurant you'd like to sample, book early to avoid disappointment! Especially around Christmas and New Year in Argentiere and Chamonix.
9 December 2009: Heli skiing from Argentiere
What to do on your ski trip to Chamonix Mont Blanc...? Well, while the chairlifts and telecabines of Les Grands Montets, Flegere, Brevant and Domaine du Balme are whirring away to take you to some world class ski terrain in the Chamonix Valley, just to get you day-dreaming, we thought we’d talk about Heli Skiing... Available usually from early February.
Although Heli Skiing is not allowed in France, your accommodation at Chalet Mont Blanc, Argentiere is so close to Switzerland and Italy that it's feasible for you to invest in a few trips in a helicopter, ski down and be back in your chalet in time for tea. It's an addictive exhilaration - off-piste skiing or snowboarding from locations only accessible by chopper, being personally dropped off and left to make your way down through the snowy steeps and wilderness.
One well reputed adventure-provider and ski guiding company is Chamonix Experience, just up the road from Chalet Mont Blanc, in Argentiere village.
Chamonix Experience provides trips to Courmayeur and La Thuile, just through the Mont Blanc tunnel in Italy or to the Trient Plateau in Switzerland. The exact routes and heli drops are determined on the day according to the weather and snow conditions (and obviously your own experience - though never suitable for beginners or newbies to off-piste riding). Your itinerary is discussed with the guide and the helicopter operators just before you go.
In Courmayeur and La Thuile it's possible to do two drops in a morning, finishing your heli-skiing by lunchtime, but with the afternoon free for further guiding around either of these areas or returning to Chamonix on skis via the Italian Vallée Blanche.
From the Trient Plateau in Switzerland, you have time for one beautiful guided descent all the way to the Swiss village of Trient. This heli ski is not too technically difficult and thoroughly enjoyable. You can catch a bus from Trient back to the Vallorcine/ La Balme telecabine, where you can continue guided off-piste adventures for the afternoon.
You will no doubt arrive back in Chalet Mont Blanc happy and tired. Why not book a "Pixie Visit" for a small extra fee... the Chalet's fire will be lit, some cake will be waiting on the table with the mugs ready to be filled with steaming hot chocolate and marshmallows (already provided in Chalet Mont Blanc). Just ask us at Chez Vous Chamonix if you want to book this service on any day of the week/s you are staying at Chalet Mont Blanc.
25 November 2009: Loving the Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski Pass!
Now that it's snowing in Argentiere and you are thinking about your ski or snowboard trip to Chamonix Mont Blanc this season, let us whet your appetite with what's in store for a dream holiday, whatever your skiing or snowboarding ability. The Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass covers all the areas that you get with Chamonix Le Pass (Brevant/Flegere, Le Tour and Vallorcine, Les Grands Montets) and then adds in mountains of other brilliant experiences and day trip options. Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass gives you unlimited lift access across Chamonix Valley, including the world famous Aiguille du Midi (great for views and skiing the Vallee Blanche), the Montenvers railway (worth the train trip into the belly of a glacier or simply let the train take you down to Chamonix from Vallee Blanche) and the top Cable Car up Les Grands Montets (with glacier skiing, brilliant views and the gorgeous little restaurant serving delicious croutes and vin chaud). And that's just for starters... with a 6 day Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass, you have free rein to ski the mountain ranges of Les Houches, Verbier (all four valleys) in Switzerland and www.courmayeur.com/ in Italy. There is a free shuttle service between Chamonix and Courmayeur every day for Mont Blanc Unlimited pass holders. Or you can buy a discounted car pass through the Mont Blanc tunnel. While you are Italian side, you have the perfect excuse to soothe aching ski legs and become all Zen for a few hours at the luscious Pre Saint Didier thermal spa.
18 November 2009: Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows
While the evenings are getting darker and the nights are getting colder, it's time to think about the lusher side to winter. We're getting excited about the forthcoming days when raindrops turn to snowflakes and the weather becomes an excuse to play all day long, sliding down white snowy slopes of the Chamonix Mont Blanc alpine mountain range. Whether you ski or snowboard the steeps of Les Grands Montets or mellow tree runs of Le Tour, whether for eight hours solid and lunchtime on the chairlifts or for sedate sessions with long vin chaud filled timeouts... it's good to know that a nice warm chalet is waiting for you in Argentiere just around the corner. The warm fuzzy feeling you get at Chalet Mont Blanc, Argentiere comes with furry cushions, massive sofas, starlit hot tub, warm showers and now a big jar of luxury hot chocolate and another one full of marshmallows! We pride ourselves on the yummy cosiness of Chalet Mont Blanc but realised that the atmosphere would be made complete with a couple of extra special touches.
So for this season at Chalet Mont Blanc rest assured that your kitchen will be ready with Nespresso coffee, assorted teas and giant mugs just waiting for to be filled with said hot chocolate and marshmallows. Mmmm.
To top this off, we're keen to offer a luxury extra for your arrival. For a small extra price, we can arrange for a "chalet pixie" to pop in and light the fire in the big living room fireplace at Chalet Mont Blanc. We can also arrange for a cake and / or baguette and daily croissants to be dropped off... not to mention a massage therapistJust ask us
7 November 2009: Chamonix Le Pass & Mont Blanc Unlimited... Early Bird Ski Pass Offers
Have you thought about purchasing your ski pass yet? If you are coming for longer than a week, it's worth checking the Compagnie du Mont Blanc website for details on lift pass prices and pre-season offers... with up to 40% off the season passes and discounts on some of the non-consecutive multi day passes.
Delightfully this year's Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass includes Verbier (the WHOLE 4 valleys of Verbier), Courmayeur, discounts on Mont Blanc tunnel and three day passes to St Gervais/Contamines/Porte du Soleil, not to mention the usual access to the top of Les Grands Montets (black runs and glacier terrain), Aiguille du Midi (for the Vallee Blanche) and the Montenvers train that takes you down the mountain from the end of the Vallee Blanche tour (or up and down without skis just to visit the glacier).
24 August 2009: Lovely Argentiere Weather - Get High in the Mountains
It’s hard to remember what a cold, snowy winter’s day felt like as the Chamonix Valley enjoys day after day of sunshine and warm weather. Chalet Mont Blanc's guests have been loving the luxury of the hot tub on balmy summer evenings, especially after hikes and bike rides from sunny Argentiere.
However, just in case you’re thinking there’s always tomorrow to do that high mountain photography, to hike up to Lac Blanc, take a glacier tour on the Mer de Glace or try the Vallorcine VTT/ mountain bike descent, remember that the summer time lifts close on the following dates:
Les Grands Montets: open until 30th of August
Vallorcine: open until 30th of August
Flegere: open until 6th of September
Le Tour: open until 13th of September
Brevant: open until 20th of September
Tramway du Mont Blanc: open until 20th of September
Montenvers: open until 11th of October
Aiguille Du Midi: open until 1st of November
The lifts occasionally open at weekends during inter-season, but after that it's all about skiing, snowboarding, telemarking and waiting excitedly to use that wonderful winter ski pass.
Meanwhile for autumn time it's all about cross country biking, low level climbs and hiking through the woods and trails. Mmmm!
15 August 2009: Autumn Vacation in Chamonix... and Learn a Language
If you'd like an excuse to come and explore the glorious Chamonix Valley in the Autumn/Fall, why not try and learn French, while staying at Chalet Mont Blanc.
Whether you'd like to brush up on the basics or improve your business French vocabulary, INSTED language school’s autumn programme of courses might be just what you’re after.
So, from 21st September – 6th November 2009, they will be running the following courses:
* Intensive Study - 5 days a week (Monday – Friday) with classes from 9-12 each day. €240 per week, 4-6 weeks €220 per week or €1400 for the full 7 weeks
* Evening Courses - 2 hour sessions from 6-8pm, 2 evenings per week (Tue & Thu or Mon & Wed depending on your level). €560 for a 7 week course.
INSTED is a great language school with a cool atmosphere for learning!
Anna Noren, MD and all round action sports lady, explains: "Our students come from all different backgrounds and nationalities, but have have a common interest in developing their French while enjoying their passion for outdoor sports or activities. INSTED, Chamonix is the only language school in Europe where students have only five minutes walk to cable cars with direct access to high altitude mountain activities.”
For further information about foreign language courses in the French Alps and on the Spanish coast, check out INSTED’s website at www.INSTED.com, email study@INSTED.com or call 00 33 (0) 450 53 03 66.
Forthcoming Events in Chamonix
Question: When is a good time to come to Chamonix Mont Blanc?
Answer: When is NOT a good time to come to Chamonix!? With unbeatable skiing and snowsports through the winter, spring, summer and autumn all come thriving with mountain life - whether the alpine fauna and flora that's so colourful and accessible or the mountaineering, hiking, mountain biking, climbing or golf that you love. There's never a bad season to visit our high mountain paradise of the Mont Blanc Massif... But here's the latest events on the calendar:
Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - 25th - 30th August
Even if you are not participating in this legendary ultra-marathon, it's worth just being in the Chamonix valley to experience the electric atmosphere and the support of such brilliant human endeavour - those running the trail du Mont Blanc intensively in an event supported by French, Italian and Swiss Communes in the Mont-Blanc area.
Well that's just a few of our favourites and more great reasons to come and stay with us in the charming luxury self-catered accommodation of Chalet Mont Blanc - Argentiere. But watch this space for more updates of events and happenings in Argentiere and Chamonix Mont Blanc, not to mention our wonderful Chalet Mont Blanc itself...