Week-end in Chamonix : Advice from a native of the region
Spending a spring weekend at the foot of the legendary Mont-Blanc is an enticing idea for those who dream of escape.
As for what is truly worth seeing and will make your stay in Chamonix an unforgettable experience, the best thing to do is to ask a local...
Pascal Lavigne, Manager of the 5 stars résidence Le Cristal de Jade, by MGM Hôtels & Résidences, is one who was born, grew up and has chosen to stay in the region. Every day, he draws his capacity for amazement from the valley’s thousand and one hidden recesses and the changing seasons. If you ask him what his recommended spring activities in Chamonix are, it’s a good bet that in first place he’ll reply, settle in!
Enjoy the comfort of the complex, drink in the authenticity of its décor and the beauty of the interiors. Get a taste of the calm of your apartment and the conviviality in the lounge. And wait … but not too long... just until the place works its magic and the call of the mountains can be heard.
Then, and only then, you may go out …
Set out to explore the landscape, with amongst the things not to be missed :
• The ascent to the Aiguille du Midi, at an altitude of 3842 metres; offering to the reflective a breath-taking view over the Alps and to the daring the opportunity to take a Step into the Void
• The legendary Montenvers rack railway, for a fabulous trip up to the Mer de Glace, one of the biggest glaciers in Europe
• The Parc Merlet, a paradise for chamois, mountain ibex, marmots… Watch but don’t disturb
• The Cascade du Dard, with a view over Mont-Blanc, the Glacier des Bossons and the Aiguilles Rouges
Go and meet the locals, with amongst those not to be missed :
• The guides, iconic figures in the valley, who will meet you in the Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine (Memorial and Heritage Centre), to tell you about their 200-year history through a highly colourful exhibition.
• Delphine, who awaits you at the ferme des Montagnards to talk about the pastoral tradition, the climb up to the Alpine meadows and making reblochon, with a tasting as a reward
• And because it’s Easter, Thomas, a craftsman in the art and heir to a secular know-how, will introduce you to the casting of bells and handbells
Set out in search of new experiences
• Follow the heritage guides along the town’s secret paths and the trails known only to them for a different approach to exploring the valley. Among the highlights, we count the villages and hamlets of Vaudagne, les Bouchards and Charousse, as rare pearls dotted about the landscape.
• Travel free on the train between Chamonix and Vallorcines, courtesy of your MGM guest card. Along the way, unsuspected views; on arrival, typical restaurants and unusual walks.
And to help you get over all that excitement, there’s nothing like a visit to the Wellness Centre, in the complex, unless you prefer to get reacquainted with the traditional evenings in the lounge or the M’Bar. What begins with a conversation amongst friends, continues over a drink and carries on for hours.