Once the go-to ski destination of the rich and famous, Chamonix is a surprisingly popular choice for families with young children. This delightful French alpine village nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc transforms into the original chocolate box winter wonderland when the snow starts to fall.
If you're yearning for a true white Christmas with the traditional feel of yesteryear, then Chamonix is your ideal destination. Away from the commercial trappings of Christmas in the UK, there is no better place to spend some quality family time than up in the French Alps. Don't be fooled into thinking you need to be a skiing supremo to have fun in Chamonix – there is a huge variety of family activities which children and adults are sure to enjoy. No skis required!
For thirteen days, Chamonix village centre provides the backdrop for the 'Village de Noël' a fun-packed programme of non-stop Christmas fun and activities, most of which are free of charge. Highlights include:
Meeting Father Christmas
No Christmas is complete without a visit to Santa. Take your little ones down to the bustling Christmas market where they would no doubt be delighted to see him in his house.
For a more authentic experience, hop on the Christmas train to Montenvers where you will be taken to a specially decorated winter wonderland up in the snowy mountains. There, you will be able to write a letter to Father Christmas and even meet him before receiving a present and a photo of this memorable moment.
This fairytale-like spectacle is not to be missed. Watch a gaggle of live geese parade through the Christmas market followed by performers and musicians playing tambourines and blowing whistles. This extraordinary display of man, music and animals is sure to enthral the young and old.
Outdoor Ice Skating
Get your skates on! When the kids get a bit restless take them for some free outdoor ice skating in Les Houches between 8pm and 10pm. You can rent your skates for €3 at 25, Ave des Alpages.
Head to the ski slopes at dusk and take your place to watch the stunning spectacle of the Chamonix ski instructors whooshing down the slopes bearing flaming torches to light their way.
For enchanting night time entertainment, head down to the Christmas market and let the PercuAstral captivate you with an amazing display of creatures of light, jugglers on stilts and percussionists playing otherworldly music.
The Christmas Market
Mums will love to browse this artisan market which sells everything from local produce such as honey and chocolates to handmade jewellery, paintings and even knives – not to mention the typical Alsacien staple of Pretzels. Pick up some last minute Christmas gifts or a souvenir to remind you of your holiday.
Once you're all shopped out, put your feet up in one of the many cafés along the Quai de l´Árve and enjoy a vin chaud (mulled wine) or chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) as you soak up the buzzy Christmas vibe.
How to Get There
Getting to Chamonix from Geneva airport couldn't be easier with a Shuttle Direct airport transfer. No need to faff around with public transport and a mountain of luggage. Let our experienced, family-friendly drivers get your holiday off to a smooth start by whisking you away to Chamonix from Geneva airport in style and comfort. They will meet you at the airport and take care of all your luggage while you sit back and take in the sights on a pleasant 1 hour and 15 minute ride through the mountains to your accommodation in Chamonix.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you need an airport transfer to Chamonix from Geneva, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.