Insiders view on Chamonix

The Wanderers in conversation with Chloe Ancrenaz

Everything the guide books or tourism websites won’t tell you about the place.

In one sentence, Chamonix is a Quintessentially French destination with a truly European character.

Chamonix Mont Blanc is a charming alpine town and the third most visited natural site in the world. Located at the foothills of the majestic Mont Blanc range and the crossroads of three countries – France, Switzerland and Italy, this alpine town is a true piece of paradise. It is an ideal destination for holiday makers, business visitors, sports adventurers or peaceful lovers during all the four seasons. You are bound to be engulfed by the scenic and pristine beauty that surrounds you and a heaven-on-Earth feeling takes you over; in two words – Simply magical!

Little known facts that everyone should know about when travelling to Chamonix.

Chamonix is the 3rd most visited natural site in the world and the Mondial capital of Alpinism or first winter Olympic games. Also of note is that the first ascent of Mont Blanc summit occurred in 1786!

What is a must buy?

1)      Resin snow ball in form of pyramide

2)     Pen holder

3)     A cristal de Quartz or Améthyste

4)     A sonnette (cow Bell) or a handmade in local wood knife – a grolle

One take-away

A wooden tray – Charlie Adam A very nice Photo from the Mario Colonel Photographer and artist
Some cheese (Raclette or rebloch on) or goat cheese with “piment d espelette” (Espelette Chili)

One thing to definitely pack

Do not forget good closed shoes and warm / windproof clothes as well as the camera when you are packing for your trip to Chamonix.

What is your advice to first time travellers?

A good camera to take back memories!

Activities anyone travelling to Chamonix should not miss.

 1] Tandem Paragliding

2] A walk on the Mer de Glace with a mountain guide(for sport enthusiasts)

3] A skiing experience

4] A walk at night with light & snowshoes and ending with a drink by the fire

5] A helicopter ride over the Mont Blanc Range with Pascal – CMBH

Where should one get their picture clicked..

In front of the Mont Blanc summit on Aiguille du midi terrasse

Which is the best place to get a panoramic photo of Chamonix?

The best places to get a panoramic photo of Chamonix are Merlet animals park and Balme summit up to ‘le Tour’ village.

Best place to enjoy sunset/sunrise

Les Gaillands Lake with the reflection of the Mont Blanc in the lake – a very peaceful place!

Best romantic place to take you special someone to..

La Floria (45 min walk from centre) or a night at The Lake Blanc Hut, in the mountains, Flegere side.

Best place to have street food?

Some of the best places to savour street food in Chamonix are Linguini pasta bar, chez Francesca or Cabolée at foot of brevent lift.

Your favourite local dish and drink that you would recommend..

1] Crozets au beaufort with a glass of Savoyard wine such as Mondeuse
2] Croute au fromage with a green salad and a glass of Savoyard wine
3] A raclette with potatoes as and a glass of Genepi to finish.

The best pub in Chamonix

‘Rue des Moulins’ on pedestrian street

A local festival you feel more travellers should come and see

Cosmo Jazz at the end of July and Guide Festival between 13 and 15 August are two festivals travellers should not miss.

Things guide books won’t tell anyone about Chamonix?

There are more than 45 outdoor activities like rock climbing, paragliding, mountain biking, river sports, water sports, golf, ski, scenic flights, snowboarding, rafting, tennis etc. For a traveller, Chamonix offers a plethora of activities for all ages and all levels and can be mentored under the expert guidance of alpine professionals.

Is there any particular month you wouldn’t recommend travel to Chamonix and what would that reason be?

November, because it is the only time when the weather is not very clear and locals are away on holiday.

Chloe Ancrenaz lives the charmed life in Chamonix with her husband who is a mountain guide, and their children. She works in the Promotion and Marketing Dept of the OFFICE de TOURISME de CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC in France. We met her this summer in Chamonix as she proudly showed us the famous sights in and around Chamonix. She shares her thoughts as a resident of one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and on what makes Chamonix tick.