Come on an exciting adventure to Chamonix, France with Austin Skiers on the Texas Ski Council Winter Expedition! Chamonix is located in the French Alps at the base of Europe's highest peak Mont Blanc. Check out this Video for a taste of skiing in the French Alps.
We leave Austin on January 31 and fly to Geneva, where we are transferred by bus to Chamonix, FR.
The 11 Chamonix ski areas have more than 170km of piste on which to cruise. The 4 main ski resorts are Grands Montets, Balme-Tour-Vallorcine, Brevent-Flegere & Les Houches. There are plenty of restaurants & bars to enjoy the famous food & wine at each resort.
The Chamonix area offers a sensational amount of skiing & snowboarding terrain, both on & off-piste. Chamonix has a network of more than 60 lifts, but they are not interconnected. Ninety percent of the skiing area is above 1900m and a long season is the norm with some lifts open into May.
Of the 4 main resorts, world class skiing can be found at Grands Montets, It’s primarily an advanced mountain with an abundance of steep off-piste terrain. There is an abundance of sunshine on the southeast facing slopes of the impressive Brevent-Flegere ski resort, the closest to Chamonix. With piste trails for all ability levels, a diverse off-piste, it’s an idyllic place to both ski/snowboard and gently acquire a tan while soaking in the stupendous views across the valley to Mont Blanc.
At Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort you will find the most “mellow” of the Chamonix resorts above the villages of Le Tour (3 km further up valley from Argentiere) & Vallorcine (on the opposite side near the Swiss border). With no real advanced trails, it is best suited to beginner & intermediate skiers on the piste, while it has some tasty freeride powder offerings on the shaded north side under the chairlift & either side of the excellent valley trail into Le Tour. Tree lined slopes can be found at Les Houches ski resort, the lowest elevation of the main Chamonix ski areas. Located 8km down valley, it is a great spot for tree skiing or during a blizzard.
The Vallée Blanche is the most famous (& crowded) 20km long off-piste run in the world. It is accessed by a spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m), which when constructed in 1955 was the highest cable car in the world. In addition to wonderful views & incredible feats of engineering at the Aiguille du Midi, it also provides access to a host of other ski routes, many of them serious enough that you’re best advised not to try. Getting your head around the different types of ski passes for the Chamonix can be a complex task. See the Chamonix resort map showing the different lift pass areas here.
La Folie Douce Hotel
According to the Financial Time of London the La Folie Douce Hotel is "the Alps' most exuberant hotel."
The famous après ski bar and restaurant chain, La Folie Douce, which is well known throughout the Alps announced in May 2018 they were opening its’ first hotel property in Chamonix. La Folie Douce took over the former Club Med Chamonix and totally renovated the hotel. Of the 18 million euros invested, 15 was spent on renovation of the building. The hotel aims to cater for groups, party goers and families.
They held their opening night on December 21, 2018 - as you can tell from the video it was well attended! The hotel is ski-in/ski-out via a green slope with a draglift nearby that provides access to the main Plan Praz and on to the Brévent and Flégère ski areas. There are plans for several restaurants which will offer anything from a small snack to a 3-course meal throughout the day.
They have a plethora of amenities: 640 square metre spa with 8 massage rooms, 2 saunas and a steam room. In addition, they have Free WiFi, an outdoor heated pool with mountain views, a fitness room and yoga classes in the valley. You will have access to use of the spa at the hotel. There are 3 restaurants to sample in the evenings and a chill out wine bar for a calmer post ski experience to the “After Mountain” party. Located in downtown Chamonix, they are the only ski-in/ski-out hotel in the center of town. Check out this video of 30+ things to do in for non-skiers in Chamonix.
Post trip Extension to Sicily, IT
Day 1: Chamonix/Milan/Palermo
Transfer by coach from Chamonix to Milan. Flight between Milan & Palermo, Sicily on Easy Jet. Arrival in Palermo airport and transfer by private coach to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 2: Palermo - Monreale - Palermo
Day 3: Palermo – Segesta – Erice – Selinunte – Agrigento
Day 4: Agrigento – Piazza Armerina – Palermo
Day 5: Palermo – Cefalù – Palermo
Day 6: Palermo
While you're in Italy, why not partake in one of Mainland Italy's best treats - Gelato.
However, you may not be familiar with the way Sicilians eat their gelato. You can find it in a cone or cup-like anywhere, but their preferred method of eating gelato is in a brioche. Make sure you choose your gelateria wisely. Look for natural (not crazy colors) as a sign of quality—a place with a sign that says “gelato artigianale” (artisan gelato) is usually a safe bet.
You must be a current Austin Skiers member to join a trip.
NOTE: Prices and air subject to change
Registration will open on August 23
Trip Chair: Elisabeth Poigin
Full Price: $2,380
(includes Air, lodging, Breakfast and dinner)
Land Package: Price for Base Trip: $1,600
(Without air or transfers unless your air coincides with group travel. All other amenities mentioned above are included.)
Sicily, IT Extension: $1,685
Single Occupancy: $2,345
*A passport is required for this trip. You will need your passport number and expiration date to register. It needs to be VALID 6 months beyond the return date of the tour.
$400 DEPOSIT REQUIRED PER PERSON. MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO AUSTIN SKIERS AND MAIL IT TO THE TRIP CHAIR. YOUR SPOT IS NOT SECURE UNTIL WE RECEIVE YOUR DEPOSIT CHECK. FULL PAYMENT IS DUE on 11/08/19
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* DO NOT PAY WITH A CREDIT CARD VIA OUR WEBSITE!
* Many credit cards provide free trip insurance with payment
of a trip. This could save you 6-8% on your trip. Check with your credit
card provider regarding the scope of coverage.