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mexico city zocoloUnder the shadow of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is one the major alpine centers of the world. The vertical relief is staggering. From the town center at around 3,400 feet you look almost straight up to the summit of Mont Blanc at 15,800 ft, a rise of over 12,000 feet!

Located in the Haute Savoie region of France, it is a major resort town for the British, English is spoken amost everywhere. In fact, English is heard more often on the streets than French! Switzerland is just down the road.

The Aiguille du Midi cable car whisks you up right from town to the glaciers 9,000 ft in a manner of minutes. Large glaciers seem to pour almost into town (in the 1700's they did!). A hub for world-class mountain athletes. This is quite an amazing place. It's a good place to feel small.

Airline service to Chamonix:
The closest major airport to Chamonix is Geneva, Switzerland, about an hours drive away. Zurich, Switzerland also works if your trip is ending in Grindelwald or Zermatt, but it is about 4 hours by train from Chamonix.

Airport transfers:
The easiest way to get from the Geneva airport to Chamonix is via shuttle bus. There are many companies out there offering this service. The best I've found so far is Cham Express.

Hotels in Chamonix:
Here are a few hotel recommendations we have after many years of research. Hotels in Europe are rated on a star system, 1 through 5. Most of us are looking for a good 2 star or 3 star. If you want to splurge, a reasonable 4 star is nice:

Hotel Vallee Blanche
A great three star hotel with reasonable prices and cozy rooms located right on the banks of the L'Arve River. There's a hopping Irish-style pub downstairs. Situated right in the middle of town. A great breakfast buffet with eggs and bacon. Free Wifi.

Hotel De L'Arve
A nice two star hotel just off the center of town. A nice quiet location on the L'Arve River near everything. Free Wifi, pool table and a small bar.

Hotel Le Chamonix
Right in the middle of everything, this two-star hotel is housed in a charming old building and overlooks a main square. No Wifi. A popular bar and outdoor terrace is right downstairs.

Les Aiglons Resort and Spa (Best Western)
A three star hotel that seems more like a four star. Very modern, comfortable rooms and a large lobby. The highlight is the downstairs spa with a hot tub and pool that has great views of Mont Blanc. Located a block away from the Aiguille du Midi cable car. Wifi

There's no shortages of places to eat in Chamonix. Here's a few of the best places I've found.

Alan Peru
Fusion food for those looking for a fine meal at reasonable (for Chamonix) prices and are getting a bit tired of the standard Haute Savoie cuisine.

One of the most popluar fine food restaurants among the locals. A Swedish-run establishment serving asian fusion food among other things. A hard place to define. Excellent. Reservations recommended for the seatings at 1900 and 2200.

La Caleche
Serving traditional Savoryarde (local) cuisine and one of the best I've come across. Go here for the raclette, fondue or the tartiflette. An amazing dining room full of antiques and local knick knacks including one the best collection of copper pots I've ever seen.

Micro Brasserie de Chamonix (MBC)
A micro-brewery in France? Yup. This Canadian-run brew pub serves up some of the best (and priciest) burgers and criss-cut fries in the world. A lively watering hole later at night. And the beer's not bad either.

Paradiso Pizza
A Amazing wood-fired pizza to go or eat-in. Located in Chamonix Sud, there's a small dining are as well as plenty of outdoor seating. You're bound to find pizza's here you've never seen before!

Poco Loco
If you're looking for cheap-eats, this is a great spot for burgers and hot sandwiches made with local toased bread and served in a brown paper bag. You can get food to go or there's a small eating area upstairs.

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