For those who pursue and active lifestyle, the walking and trekking opportunities in Chamonix are abundant and highly recommended for those who want to get off the beaten track.
Nothing is healthier for the body than the crisp, clean air which abounds in the mountainous regions surrounding Chamonix; and the beauty of the area itself is deeply relaxing as well as truly uplifting.
The local terrain varies from rocky outcrops to deep pine forests, not forgetting those vanilla peaked glaciers
Depending on the weather, lightweight hiking boots and a pair of shorts can be sufficient, but the climate can change, so always keep an eye on the forecast. You should always carry some waterproof clothing with you and trekking poles can always be useful. Sunglasses can eradicate some of the glare from the glacial drifts, but you will need sun cream and drinking water while you are out and about.
Walking routes are signposted and accessible from the valley floor, or you can use the cable car to go further afield. Old patches of snow can be extremely hazardous early in the season, and you may want to consider taking an ice-axe or using crampons to move around.
For the nature-lover, a telescopic lens can provide a useful insight to the lives of chamois, marmottes or even a very occasional lynx can be seen. Birds are limited, but royal eagles and bearded vultures have been spotted, with wingspans up to 2 metres!
The local flora includes a wide variety of flowers during the spring and summer months. Keep an eye out for the blue gentian which is very popular with alpine gardeners home and abroad.
For those with a geological interest in the Alpine region, you may wish to attend the annual Mineral Fair every summer. There is also a museum in the Espace Tairraz Exhibition Centre in Chamonix for a more detailed look at the geology of the region.
Although some of the walks and tours in the area are more suited to those who enjoy a high level of physical fitness, there are some easy sightseeing hikes available. The easiest by far starts in the centre of Chamonix and follows the river up the valley and is covered with trees and relatively flat until you reach Les Tines and then begins to roll and flow in gentle curves. Continue onwards, and you can even catch the train back to Chamonix if you feel a little tired.
An essential experience for the whole family is a trip to the ice caves, accessible by the Montenvers train. For those seeking natural beauty at its very best, a visit to Gorges de la Diosaz is sure to dazzle, inspire and impress. Chamonix hiking is for all the family so come and experiance this amazing place for yourself.
Great service - fast, reliable and comfortable! I certainly will use Chamonix first next time too!