One of the oldest ski resorts in France, Chamonix is up there with skiing’s most cherished destinations. After all, there are few testing grounds more iconic than the slopes of Mont Blanc, high above anywhere in Western Europe. Chamonix has fantastic ski schools which offer classes for adults looking to tighten up rusty technique or learn new skills for more challenging slopes. These classes can be taken as part of a group or privately, focused on skiing, snowboarding or specific areas such as off-piste tuition. Whichever aspect of your skiing you are looking to improve, Chamonix has a class for you.
Luckily for culture vultures, Chamonix also holds a reputation as one of the best destinations for engaging cultural classes. Expect to get your creative energies racing with some of the most unique and rewarding classes you will find on any ski holiday. Here are a few of the most popular:
Photography Walk with Teresa Kaufman
An iconic location of great natural beauty, Chamonix attracts writers, photographers and artists from across the globe, all looking to capture some of its magic. Teresa Kaufman, a professional photographer, leads guided walks through the valley and small villages which occupy it. With her expert eye and long experience of the area, Kaufman offers great insights into the hidden gems of the valley. Originally from New York, Kaufman’s classes are given in perfect English so don’t worry about missing out on important tips.
Cooking Class with Philippe Convers
No holiday is complete without great food. Chamonix has plenty of great restaurants, but for a more intimate feasting experience, expert local chef Philippe Convers offers a unique service. Philippe understands what makes a tasty alpine dish and will visit your accommodation for an afternoon, evening or entire weekend if you desire and cook you the finest French cuisine with locally sourced fresh ingredients. The best part is that Philippe wants you to join in and has a depth of experience in teaching less experienced chefs the ins and the outs of alpine cooking.
French Language Courses
Established in 1999, Insted Language School has been offering language classes for the best part of two decades. Visitors take a variety of French language classes, with the most popular among tourists being the seasonal classes and the evening courses. Combine outdoor activities such as skiing, mountain climbing and hiking, with some exercise for your brain on your next trip to Chamonix.
Every June, the incredibly popular writing workshops begin in Chamonix. A great opportunity for fledgling writers to hone their skills, or for casual writers to gain insight into the skill, the workshops are well worth checking out. Groups no larger than 12 people work with a professional and often award-winning authors such as David Daley and Ann Hood to develop their own work and critique other group members. Classes are usually in the morning for around three hours per day over a two-week period.
How to Get There
Chamonix is easy to get to from a number of nearby airports. Geneva, the closest airport, is only 85km away and is the largest of the bunch with regular flights from major airlines such as easyJet and British Airways. The transfer from the airport takes around an hour so you can be on the slopes in no time. A bit further afield, Chambery Airport is roughly two hours away and Lyon is three.
With varying transfer times depending on the chosen airport, for the quickest and easiest transfer service get in touch with the team at Shuttle Direct. Pre-book with Shuttle Direct and relax as they sort everything out for a fixed-low cost price. The roads can by slippery in the mountains all year round so its saves everybody stress to let the professionals handle the driving.
Where to Stay
Hôtel L’Heliopic Sweet and Spa – The amazing spa is the main attraction of this luxurious hotel. Covering half a square kilometre, the spa contains an indoor swimming pool, ice cave, sauna and tepidarium. Perfect for all your pampering needs, the spa is a welcome retreat after a hard day on the slopes. The rooms are also very comfortable, all with an ensuite bathroom with bath, free wifi and great views. Breakfast can be enjoyed in the comfort of your room, at the bar or on the terrace.
BestWestern Plus Excelsior Chamonix Hôtel & Spa – The Pure Altitude Spa at the Excelsior offers a range of body treatments with Pure Altitude products. Located in Les Tines, 6 miles outside Chamonix, this hotel is perfect for walkers and nature lovers, with opportunities hiking and mountain walking right on the hotel’s doorstep.
Mercure Chamonix Les Bossons – Mercure is located at the bottom of the Bossons Glacier, surrounded by a wonderful alpine forest. A little outside the hustle and bustle of the town, the hotel and spa is easily connected by a shuttle service or by car. Each room is modern and spacious with an ensuite bathroom. Mercure’s restaurant, Cote Glacier, is well known in the region for serving delicious local cuisine.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is a leading provider of airport transfers around Europe and North Africa. They provide a reliable, punctual service that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Book your transfer today with Shuttle Direct and agree a fixed affordable fee, the first step for a stress-free holiday.