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A Beginner’s Guide: Chamonix, France

By April 28, 2014 city guides, europe, france, go, travel, travel diary

I was sad to leave Chamonix.

Although I’m excited for our adventures to come, Chamonix will always hold a special place in my heart.

After spending the weekend in Amsterdam I am now half way through a 2 week Scenic River cruise down the Rhine, Main & Danube Rivers with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to be.

Yes Scenic is one of those retiree cruises – I think we may be the youngest guests they’ve ever had.

It’s an all-you-can-eat-AND-drink type arrangement.

I’m afraid that between the three of us youngsters – we may eat/drink them out in a few days! Stay tuned 🙂

In tribute to my lovely time in Chamonix, I thought I’d do a quick re-cap of the best things Chamonix has to offer. I’ve linked to any post where i’ve gone into more detail for you.

Grab a coffee & a cookie – this post is a big one!

 

Restaurants

Chamonix has fantastic restaurant offerings. From casual pubs to fancy fine dining, there’s something here to suit all tastes. Some of my favourites include:

Poco Loco

Best burgers in the valley.

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Dining type: Burgers/sandwiches

Budget: cheap

Read more about this restaurant in this post and this post.

Moo

Where Gore Tex meets short skirts.

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Dining type: Pub/bar

Budget: mid range

Read more about this restaurant in this post.

Moustache et ses Filles

Traditional French fare in a quirky environment.

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Dining type: French

Budget: mid range

Read more about this restaurant in this post.

Caleche

You can’t get French-er than this.

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Dining type: French

Budget: mid range

Read more about this restaurant in this post and this post.

Casa Valerio

The best Italian outside of Italy.

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Dining type: Italian

Budget: mid range

Read more about this restaurant in this post, this post, this post and this post. Can you see I liked it?

Munchie

Dining type: Asian fusion

Budget: fine dining

Although this was actually my favourite restaurant here – I didn’t write a post about it because it’s very dimly lit and the photos always came out too grainy. Here are a few snaps anyway.

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My absolute favourite – the sticky asian ribs.  Best of Chamonix | The Macadames - 20

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Atmosphere

Dining type: French

Budget: fine dining

We went here once and the food was superb. It’s on the exxy side – so save it for a special occasion.

Here area  few snaps of the food – sorry for the quality, this is also a very dimly lit restaurant.

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Best of Chamonix | The Macadames - 05 Atmosphere dinnerAtmosphereBest of Chamonix | The Macadames - 09

Caphorn

Dining type: Asian/seafood

Budget: fine dining

Although we did go here, I decided to give the mister the night off from blogging. It was quite a treat for him to dig into his food the minute it arrived.

The menu has seafood, sushi & French options. We opted for seafood and it was delicious and fresh. You’ll just have to pop on over to check it out for yourself.

There is also a nice bar at the bottom of the restaurant which we popped into a few times. It’s perfect for a quite drink and dessert.

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Le Panier des 4 Saisons

Dining type: French

Budget: fine dining

This is the only restaurant I really wanted to try but didn’t get around to it – it’s meant to be very good, so i’ve included it here.

 

Patisseries

You honestly can’t walk more than 15 steps without going past a patisserie. It’s very hard if you’re trying to be healthy let me tell you.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Aux Petits Gourmands: serves a selection of sweet and savoury baked goods, as well as speciality teas, coffee, hot chocolates and soft drinks to eat in or takeaway.

Chalet 4810: one of the latest editions to the Chamonix cafe scene is this newly renovated building at the top of the high street near the Mummery building.

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Patisserie Richard: has a wide selection of sweet and savoury baked goods and ice cream for take-away.

Pie: serves up a sublime selection of cakes and desserts as well as a daily ‘pie’ (quiche) special for lunch breaks. The chef pâtissier is apparently as experienced in the kitchen as he is up on the slopes of Chamonix.

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Bars

Being a ski-town there are loads of bars in Chamonix. Here are a few of my favourites:

Monkey Bar

The seasonaires apres-ski bar of choice; live music, happy hours, pool table, great food and a fun atmosphere.

Open 4pm – 2am. Happy hour (2 for 1 beer & wine) 4-6pm. Cocktail happy hour 9-10pm.

They have fun theme nights all the time, this was me at their 90’s party. All I was missing was Drazic.

Monkey Chamonix The Macadames

Cha Cha Cha

A wine and spirits shop that also welcomes you to join one of their regular wine tastings, or just to enjoy a casual drink with friends. Read more about this bar in this post.

Open 10:30am – 1pm, 4-9pm.

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Munster

Expect a warm welcome from the (mostly) Irish bar staff as well as live music, sports matches, and draught Guinness.

Open 4pm – 2am. Happy hour (2 for 1 beer & wine) 4-7pm. Cocktail happy hour 9-10pm.

Les Caves

A great wine and cocktail bar, perfect for partying with friends or relaxing with a pre-dinner drink. Read more about this bar in this postthis post and this post.

Open 6pm – 2am.

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Chambre Neuf

restaurant during the day, but definitely the place to be for apres ski.

In winter, Chambre Neuf is the liveliest and loudest apres-ski bar in Chamonix with live music from 5-7pm Sunday to Friday, then a DJ from 8pm to 1am every night of the week. Be ready to party and dance on the tables!

Open all day. Happy hour (2 for 1 cocktails) 8-10pm.

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Elevation 1904

Elevation is the bar that has it all; good food, sunny terrace, great ambience, apres-ski, live music, DJs, and most importantly… a fantastic mix of people. Read more about this bar in this post.

Open for breakfast till 2am.

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Clubs

Amnesia

Actually the only club I went to – Amnesia is Chamonix’s largest club and made up of 2 rooms. The front room plays commercial house and club music. The back room plays anything from dark techno to current London house.

For seasoned clubbers – don’t expect to be blown away. It’s a basic small-town club, but fun all the same.

Open 1am till dawn daily.

Le Tof

Le Tof is a lively underground bar with the smallest but busiest dancefloor in town.

Open till 4am.

White Hub

White Hub is a swanky-er club with white decor and a capacity for 500 pepole. According to them “they play an eclectic mix of beats and rhymes to keep you going” – till the wee hours of the morning I guess?

Open 11pm till dawn Thursday – Saturday.

Things to do

Aiguille du Midi

We took all our guests here. It’s a beautiful vantage point to see the French, Swiss and Italian alps. Read more about it in this postthis post and this post.

Top of the world PS group after | The Macadame

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Bowling

Always a bit of fun. Read more about it in this post.

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Hiking

For all you need to know about hiking in and around Chamonix – read here.

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 Mountain biking

For all you need to know about mountain biking in and around Chamonix – read here.

Winter Activities

For more info on winter activities – read here.

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 Summer Activities

For more info on summer activities – read here.

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Paragliding

Honestly something for the bucket list. Read more about it in this post.

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Les Gaillands Lake & Park

Beautiful scenery, the perfect spot for a picnic and you can even practice your slack-lining. Read more about it in this post and this post.

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Ski pass

Read here for all the information you need about ski passes in the valley.

Where to ski

Read here for all the information you need about where to ski in the valley.

Don’t forget if you get the Mont-Blanc Unlimited pass – you can also ski at Courmayeur and Verbier. There are more resorts included but I only managed to get to those two.

Read about Courmayeur in this post and this post.

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Read about Verbier in this post.

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Transport

During winter there are free buses that run up & down the valley. For more information, read here.

 

That about sums up my time in Chamonix, I will miss it here but am looking forward to the adventures to come.

 

Au revoir et a bientôt Chamonix (good-bye and see you again)!

Chamonix

Anisa – The Macadames. xx

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2 Comments

  • Reply Olga April 29, 2014 at 5:20 am

    I loved this post!! So useful and interesting! I would like to read more of this on the blogsphere! Congrats!! Hope you will visit my blog! 🙂 and follow me if you like it!

    • Reply Anisa May 1, 2014 at 3:33 am

      Thanks Olga – you’re very sweet! I will pop past your blog 🙂 xx

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