Must-read guide to Chamonix

Winter in Chamonix- Photo credits: Salome Abrial. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix

Must-read guide to Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Why visit the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley? Well, it should be in every mountain lover’s bucket list! There are plenty of reasons why to go and visit Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley. That is why I put together a Must-Read Guide to Chamonix Mont-Blanc.

 

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You can summarise why Chamonix is so amazing in seven facts:
1) Chamonix lays at the foot of The MONT BLANC (4810m), the highest mountain in Europe, making of it, a unique spot! (You must have read already my Must-Read Guide to Courmayeur. Courmayeur is on the other side – the Italian side, of the Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco).
2) Chamonix in winter is famous for its freeriding and lots of activities for non-skiers. Plus Chamonix is not only for the daredevil! It offers activities and variety of slopes for all levels.
Ski de Randonnée in Chamonix. Photo: Christophe Raylat. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Ski de Randonnée in Chamonix. Photo: Christophe Raylat. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
3) Chamonix in summer is amazing, and you can tell that a favourite spot for visitors. There are lots of incredible sightseeing tours to take. And wide range of outdoor activities for all.
4) Chamonix is a year-round destination and a lively Alpine city. This is not a purposed-built resort, people live here all year. That makes the vibe of the place!
Architecture in Chamonix. Photo: Salome Abrial. OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Architecture in Chamonix. Photo: Salome Abrial. OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
5) Chamonix’s heritage. You can find it through its art, culture, architecture and cuisine.
6) Very close to the highway. Chamonix is one of the easiest towns to reach .
7) Chamonix offers a wide variety of accommodation for all budgets. So, it is not only for the rich and famous!

History of Chamonix. Must-Read Guide to Chamonix

Chamonix has a long and fascinating history. Starting from the first explorers to the golden age of winter sports.
The town has an amazing cultural and architectural heritage.
Architecture in Chamonix, painting at the Office of the Mountain Guides. Photo: Salome Abrial- OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Architecture in Chamonix, painting at the Office of the Mountain Guides. Photo: Salome Abrial- OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
You can book one of the weekly guided heritage tours. In these you can discover the architectural diversity of Chamonix. Baroque churches to Protestan chapels. Hotels and palaces from the “Golden Era” to “Art Deco” facades. From traditional farmhouses, to colossal villas passing through chalets contrasting with modern buildings.
1741: Two English men Windham and Pococke discovered “Chamouny” valley and its glaciers. The population at the time was living on farms. These two men lead the first touristic exploration climbing the Mer de Glace glacier.

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The MUST-READ Guide to Lech

Lech Zürs Tourism - Arlberg. Photo by Sepp Mallaun. Must-Read Guide to Lech.

Your MUST-READ guide to Lech am Arlberg

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Lech is one of these famous resorts in the world that should be in your bucket list. A typical Austrian Alpine village, in the end of the road (at least in winter), at first you arrive, and you think there is a road through it, but you need to see what is on each side of the road. The town is small, as the local law does not allow it to expand- which is great as you feel in a quaint town. Lots of dotted houses and hotels are around the main road and into the sides, pretty much all are near the lifts. The furthest in the valley are around 600 meters from the lifts, but there are free buses to go back and forth.

The Omeshorn towering the picture perfect town of Lech - Lech Zürs am Arlberg by night by Felder- Lech Zürs Tourismus. Must-Read Guide to Lech.
The Omeshorn towering the picture perfect town of Lech – Lech Zürs am Arlberg by night by Felder- Lech Zürs Tourismus. Must-Read Guide to Lech.

Buses also connect you hourly with St Christoph and St Anton. But you can also access them via the Flexenbahn gondola since the season before last. The Flexenbahn links Zürs and Stuben/Rauz. Skiers and boarders can go anywhere in the Arlberg on skis and snowboards. The ride takes 6 minutes with panoramic vistas from the gondolas, to the Klostertal valley and St Christoph. The addition of the Flexenbhan made the Arlberg the largest ski carousel in Austria and one of the 5 largest ski areas in the world. On top of the Flexenbahn, three other cableways have started operations on the winter of 2016/17 – the Trittkopf cableways I, II and the Aldonabhan cableway II have cemented the Arlberg as a bucket list destination.

Getting there:

You can easily get to Lech from the main airports in central Europe, such as Zürich (196 km) in Switzerland, Munich (248 km) and Friedrichshafen (128 km) in Germany, Innsbruck (120 km) and Salzburg (294 km) in Austria.

You can take the train from these airports and go to Langen am Arlberg train station, which is 15 km from Lech (if coming from Zürich or Friedrichshafen) and take a taxi from there or the local bus – check the times, the buses runs once an hour or every two hours, depending the time of the year.

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Crans-Montana Must–Read Guide

Denis Emery - photo-genic.ch- Courtesy Crans Montana Tourism Office.

Crans-Montana Must-Read Guide

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Check no more! Here is your must-read guide to Crans-Montana:  Crans-Montana is a world-renown ski and summer resort in the Valais area of Switzerland, celebrating its 125th year this year. Easily accessible by train and a funicular, the resort has two big towns, Crans and Montana that are almost now linked into one bigger town.

Crans-Montana is a lively town, with lots of people that live there year-round. This is not the classic resort that opens only for the season and then nothing happens anymore; it is pretty big and busy.

Crans-Montana unique selling point is its vista and the sunny terrace where the valley is sitting.
Crans-Montana unique selling point is its vista and the sunny terrace where the valley is sitting. Your must-read guide to Crans-Montana.

Crans and Montana are located in a wide sunny valley, perched at 1500m, with magnificent south views of the mountains of the Rhône Valley in Valais, from the Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn- 19 peaks over 4,000 meters are facing Crans-Montana.  Hotels and condominiums are dotted in town amongst hotels, from 3 stars to deluxe 5 stars with all the services.

Crans-Montana has been a magnet for stars, from Roger Moore who had a house there, Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, who used to stay at the Grand Hotel du Golf & Palace. The Kennedy’s family and Mr Bourvil used to holiday in Crans Montana. Also David Guetta comes for a discreet winter holiday to Crans-Montana.

People go to Crans-Montana for the vistas, they are magnificent; for it’s skiing, with nice sunny pistes to all type of skiers, and in the rest of the year for its golf. With an 18-hole golf course by Severino Ballesteros and a 9-hole by Jack Nicklaus, and many hotels offering direct access to the golf course (or the cross country trails in winter), it is the best you could get in Switzerland! Plus the biking is pretty big now, lots of hiking and water sports around, to make it a year-round resort.

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