The commune of Chamonix nestles in the French Alps at the foot of Mont Blanc. With around 10,000 residents this commune is one of the largest and highest in France. It is just 10km from the Swiss border and is linked to Courmayeur in Italy via the 11.6 km long Mont Blanc Tunnel.
It is very easy to get to Chamonix as the TGV trains run to nearby St Gervais-les-Bains with local trains running up the valley to Chamonix. The most convenient airport is Geneva Airport, 80km to the northwest.
Chamonix is famous for its winter sports and hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924. It has ski areas for all levels of skiers, from Le Tour which has slopes for beginners to The Grand Montets with the highest altitude and most extreme slopes for experts.
Nearby Mont Blanc is a big attraction for visitors. Standing at a height of 4,810 metres (15,782 feet) it is the tallest mountain in Western Europe. In winter it is popular for ice climbing and extreme skiing while in the summer it is a mecca for climbing, paragliding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking and rafting.
Popular attractions for visitors to Chamonix include the Alpine Museum, the Mer de Glace (one of the largest glaciers in Europe, accessed via the Montenvers Cog Railway) and the panoramic restaurant at the top of the Brevent cable car. As usual the French cuisine is excellent in Chamonix but for skiers a fondue or raclette is a traditional must-do.