Vivaldi wrote the Four Seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn but now Inghams Lakes and Mountains Holidays have taken over the baton!!! and are now ‘conducting’ The Seasons around Europe.
Let Inghams take you to the highs and lows like the music of Vivaldi to the beauty of many countries from Mont Blanc in France to Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the choice is yours and with such a professional, award winning travel company in 2016, 2017 and 2018 sit back and enjoy the journey.
The beauty of Chamonix can be described in one word; ‘stunning’. Around every corner this amazing valley has you transfixed, the beauty is overshadowed by the most wonderous sight of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps that stands proudly with its icy top which lures walkers from all over the world to try to climb it.
Chamonix is a charming small town nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc. The town is considered to be the birth place of mountaineering. With its ideal location on the borders of three countries Italy France and Switzerland it offers must see attractions like Mer de Glace, one of the most famous glaciers in the Alps. The Aiguille du Midi with the highest cable car in Europe and the Void, which is a glass box suspended in the rock face for you to step into if you dare!
The warm welcome of your Chamonix visit starts with the Inghams professional, experienced resort representatives that make the visit stress free from start to finish. They are there to meet you at the airport and transport you by luxury coach to your chosen area. Information and maps are given out on the coach and a welcome meeting is arranged. If you are staying at any of the hotels in the resort, Inghams representatives are available and they give you their telephone numbers in case of emergency and if any help is needed.
Our hotel in Chamonix was the 3-star Chalet Hotel Sapiniere. Many rooms face Mont Blanc, an amazing sight at any time of the day. The Chalet Hotel Sapiniere is a ‘Swiss chalet’ type building that is rustic, with no frills but warm and welcoming by the staff.
The accommodation is full board, a cold buffet breakfast with a hot option with a packed lunch, which you do yourself from the breakfast buffet table and water plus fruit and biscuits. There is afternoon tea with freshly baked cakes and a comprehensive 5-course evening meal, which includes free wine, with pre-dinner aperitif and canapes. The chef is an excellent cook and if you have any dietary wishes he will accommodate.
The atmosphere at the Chalet Hotel Sapiniere is excellent as guests are encouraged to meet other guests by changing tables each evening so that you sit and engage with other people but if that doesn’t suit you then tables can be arranged for you whether you come as a couple, single or a group, nothing is too much trouble for the excellent staff.
The evenings are spent either with other guests chatting about your day or the staff do a quiz evening. One evening there isn’t a meal as the staff have a night off which enables you to taste the delights of the plentiful Chamonix restaurants. We visited Le National Brasserie and had an excellent meal, but the choice is yours. Chamonix is a busy cosmopolitan town with lots of bars and restaurants to suit any palate.
Chamonix is one off the best mountain resorts to visit in the Summer. There really is something for everyone. If you want, clock up the miles on the footpaths or try some adventure sports such as water rafting, paragliding (this is very popular in Chamonix), mountain biking, rock climbing or just enjoying the breath-taking scenery. Whatever you want to do, an Inghams representative will guide you through the process of booking or getting equipment or bring your own.
Chamonix provides a free bus and rail pass for use around the valley. This gives you the opportunity to go by train down the valley to Servoz to visit the Gorges of Diosaz or up the valley to Vallorcine. This transport pass is an amazing bonus to your holiday as you do not have to worry about bus or train fares as it is all taken care of for you. One of the best purchases is the recommended Multipass which gives you unlimited use of all the mountain transport (mountain trains, cable cars and gondolas) for a set period eg: a one, three- or five-day pass.
Many people go to Chamonix for a walking holiday in the Spring, Summer and Autumn months and the cable cars and lifts are plentiful throughout the valley – 5 in total that take you up to well-worn paths that lead along and down the valley. Good walking shoes and equipment is essential if this is your choice of holiday.
With the Multi-Pass getting the cable cars and lifts is simple, show your pass and get on board one of the many lifts throughout the valley. The Montenvers and Mer de Glace is reach by the Cog train. This vintage rack-and-pinion railway dating from 1908 is a triumph of engineering that takes you up through woodland and wonderful scenery to the glacier. You can visit the Ice Grotto which has been carved into the glacier. To visit you have to walk down and up 250 steps!!!
At the terminus of The Cog train when you reach the top is the impressive Hotel Montenvers Mountain Refuge which Inghams can arrange for you to stay in overnight if you wish. The hotel is set on this stunning mountain where you can have dinner when all the crowds have gone back down the mountain and then see the sun rise over the glacier in the morning.
The Inghams resort representatives also offer a wide range of excursions, they even offer a guided walk around Chamonix for you become aware of your immediate surroundings. The coach excursions out for the day can be very welcome to relax and enjoy the wonderful scenery after a day of walking or paragliding! No, I didn’t try it but many people from the hotel did have a go – very brave.
We visited Annecy which is an old, quaint town set on this beautiful lake. Be sure to visit the market which sells lots of local produce and where locals go to pass the time of day, walk up to the Chateau and stroll down the narrow winding streets. A trip on Lake Annecy by boat organised by your Inghams representative is worth doing to experience the Lake and its beautiful surroundings.
One excursion not to be missed is the coach tour through the Mont Blanc tunnel to the amazing Skyway. This is a chair lift with a difference, the large circular lift goes around slowly as it ascends and descends. It is exhilarating and one of the highlights of this holiday. There are two levels, the one at the top leads you out on to balconies where you get a bird’s eye view of Mont Blanc and you are literally above the clouds (we had good weather for our visit, but it can be cloudy and of course this will spoil the view). The second level is interesting with a small lake with sunbeds for your relaxation also a small alpine botanical garden.
Chamonix is a year-round resort but check with Inghams if the cable cars are running in Autumn. (Inghams offers summer holidays until mid-September) as this is the time they stop and get maintained for the Winter season. This activity packed centre is well known for its Winter sports and ski hire shops and outdoor clothing shops are abundant throughout the town. Today cycling, walking, rock climbing, paragliding and mountain biking are very popular and you can take your favourite bicycle with you on the aeroplane or hire one at the resort.
The disabled traveller may find some of the attractions difficult to access but many of the chair lifts and hotels do have good disabled access. However, the Hotel Sapiniere doesn’t have wheelchair access. There is a lift for guests with walking difficulties but many of the Inghams hotels throughout the Chamonix area are disabled friendly.
Download a guide about getting around and accessibility in Chamonix.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons may not be for everyone but the beauty of Chamonix makes your ‘heart sing’ whatever your taste in music or holidays is, Chamonix with Inghams Lakes & Mountains are not to be missed.
Inghams offers a seven-night stay on a catered basis (including buffet breakfast, packed lunches, afternoon tea and cake and evening meals with complimentary wine for six days) at the three diamond Chalet Hotel Sapiniere in Chamonix, France from £495 per person based on two sharing in summer 2019. Price includes return flights and airport transfers. To book visit www.inghams.co.uk/lakes-mountains-holidays or call 01483 791 116.
For more information on the resort visit www.chamonix.com
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Inghams