A European Ski Vacation of a Lifetime in Chamonix!
Thursday, February 27th:
Fly to Geneva arriving mid-day on 2/28/20.
Friday, February 28th:
After landing in Geneva, we’ll depart for our first night in Annency (~1 hour drive from Geneva). Arrive in Annecy and check into the Imperial Palace hotel (seen above) by 4pm. Time to rest and relax. Deluxe spa services available for an extra charge.
7pm: Champagne welcome 8pm: Dinner at our hotel in their gastronomic restaurant.
Afterwards, Try your hand at the craps table in the hotel casino for those who’d want to imbibe!
Saturday, February 29th:
10am tour of Annecy & have a hearty bistro lunch in the old town.
Arrive to Mont Blanc by 3pm to go up the Aiguille du Midi (Needle of the Mid-Day) cable car and the elevator within the rock up to the highest accessible visitor point to view Mont Blanc. Sunset at this time of year at 6:15pm.
5:30pm: Check into hotel, the Jeu de Paume in Lavancher. We will have both, singles with double beds and shared rooms with twin beds available to you. At the hotel we have a large indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, a hammam (Turkish steam bath), as well as, a separate Chalet just for us! Massages available upon request for an extra charge.
Sunday, March 1st – Friday, March 6th ~ GET READY TO SKI!
We will use the Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass during our stay which will give us access to all ski resorts. Following breakfast, we will depart for the slopes for a full day with our private Mountain Guides.
Each day, will have 2-3* Guides who will provide the ski and safety skills needed for big mountain skiing as we will explore both piste & off-piste (groomed & ungroomed) at several of the local resorts. Daily locales will be selected based on weather, snow conditions, and visibility, balanced with group preferences. On an easy sunny day, we might head over to the wide-open bowls of Balme or the south facing slopes of Brèvent-Flégère. If we are on the hunt an off-piste challenge, Les Grans Montets will welcome us! Snow and clouds in the forecast… let’s make our way up to Les Houches with their long, tree-lined forest runs. Quaint lunch spots will be found on mountain where we will sample the local Savoie specialties of the region.
After our day on the mountain, it’s time for après-ski!
Whether at the hotel or at the base of the mountain ~ ~ we’ll switch up the offerings and locations each day. Some days we’ll have a spread set up in the bar and lounge of the hotel and other nights we’ll be set up in our private petite chalet. You may also enjoy the pool and spa at our hotel during this down time.
Get ready for the Chamonix ski life! We’ll have amazing views and equally amazing snow ~ All within 30 minutes of our hotel!
Sunday, March 1st: Ski Day #1
Dinner will be at our ho-tel in their charming Rosebud Restaurant (photos above).
Monday, March 2nd: Ski Day #2
Dinner tonight will be at La Caleche see above. This charming old school place dates back to 1946 and is a “must” for the traditional Savoyard meal. We’ll savor raclette, fondue, quenelles and tartiflettes (a rich traditional potato dish made with lardon and reblechon cheese). YUMMY!
Tuesday, March 3rd: Ski Day #3
Dinner: La Remise, a well-regarded modern French restaurant specializing in aged beef in the nearby town of Argentiere. (photo at right is of our private ski chalet within the grounds of the hotel)
Wednesday, March 4th: WOW for Wednesday! Today you have an option to take the day off with us to explore –or- continue your daily ski routine with our Mountain Guides.
Day off Option: Your down day need not be “blah” ~ ~ we’ll include a dog-sledding ex-perience followed by a relaxing lunch, mas-sage*, and an afternoon soaking at one of the most beautiful spas in the region. There is nothing like soaking outside in winter. See photos at the end of the brochure.
* The spa experience is an additional 100 euros which includes lunch and a 50 minute massage.
Ski Day #4 Option:
There will be a group trekking off to another of the Chamonix Valley resorts with a Mountain Guide. There will also be a guided group heading up the Aiguille du Midi cable car to ski the Vallée Blanche.
NOTE: Advanced reservations will be required for the Vallée Blanche day. An additional cost of ~$200 will be paid for by the guest.
More on the VALLÉE BLANCHE…
Skiing the famous Vallée Blanche in Chamonix is a bucket list adventure! It is an off-piste ski route 20 km (12+miles) long with a vertical descent of 2700m (almost 9,000ft) along the largest glaciated domain in the Alps, the Mont Blanc massif. This run is accessed from the top of the Aiguille Du Midi cable car and winds down to the Mer De Glace (Sea of Ice.) The views are amazing and the routes vary based on the ability of the ski group. Our group will be led by a credentialed High Mountain Guide and will opt for the “Classic Route” for our descent.
Dinner: On Wednesday night we are going to relax at our hotel and have a pizza party!
Thursday, March 5th: Ski day #5
Dinner at La Cabane, a charming and chic French cabin in nearby Les Praz, with a very stylish interior, a roaring fire and exquisite French food offering everything from wild boar to scallops from Brittany.
Friday, March 6th: Ski day #6
After skiing and après refreshments, we’ll head into Chamonix on the early side for a little last minute souvenir shopping.
Friday, March 6th: (continued)
Tonight is our last so, we’ll do it up in style! We’ll first head to the Moö Bar with excellent après-ski offerings as well as the valley’s only serve yourself beer taps. (Flirting with the boys is encouraged!)
Tonight, we’ll dine at the superb Munchie where Swedish sensibility intersects with Asian and French cuisine. It’s considered the best in town however, the atmosphere remains casual.
After, we’ll head out to a pirate-themed bar, which sounds hokey but isn’t and we’ll end the night dancing at Amnesia; the preferred club in town. Can’t handle such a late night? For those burnt out ladies, we’ll have one van leaving early. Get ready to PARTY!
Saturday, March 7th:
Check-out at 10am after breakfast.
Today we’ll head to see a plus beaux village de France (one of the most beautiful villages in France) Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval in the Haute-Savoie and we’ll eat a home cooked lunch at the Auberge de la Feuille D’Erable. After our respite, we’ll check out the waterfall in town, labeled, “the Queen of the Alps” or Cascade de Rouget.
We arrive in Geneva in the afternoon where we’ll stay our last night at the Hotel des Alpes in central Geneva. After loading our bags in, those who want to, may head out to see the Palais des Nations and then to the old town for shopping and tea with Doni. Picking up some Swiss chocolate wouldn’t be a bad idea!
Tonight we’ll dine at Les Armures, an old historic cafe in Geneva in the picturesque old town where you’ll be able to sample some classic, traditional Swiss fare
Sunday, March 8th:
After our breakfast, we’ll head to Geneva Airport and say our sad goodbyes. But, our French memories and new friends made will certainly last a lifetime.
Everything you see in the itinerary above. All transportation in country, premium lodging, all meals and a glass of wine or champagne with dinner, après-ski nosh each day, all lift tickets and ski instruction/guides. Also included is spa entry in Annecy. dog sledding is included for those who choose this activity instead of skiing on Wednesday. Plus some wonderful professional group photos on the mountain for your take home souvenirs as well as our bespoke arrival gifts from Ski-Away and Girls’ Guide to Paris.
What’s not included:
Your international airfare from the US to Geneva. Equipment rentals & tuning/waxing services (please inquire with Lezlie for pricing and reservations). Additional spa services like massages on the first night and at our Chamonix hotel will be extra. On Wednesday, the spa experience is an additional 100 euros which includes lunch and a 50-minute massage. Advanced reservations required for the Vallée Blanche day on Wednesday are at an additional cost of ~$200.
(please inquire with Lezlie for final pricing and reservations, possible cost savings can be realized, we’ve given you the worst case scenario prices)
On our last night out, the first cocktails are on us and then afterwards everyone may buy a round!
WHERE IN THE WORLD
The Chamonix valley is situated in the NW part of the Alps, just a few miles from both the Swiss and Italian borders. Very few places match the beauty of this valley which is situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and the famous Aiguille du Midi. The Alps have a deep ski history and the Chamonix Valley was the host of the first-ever Winter Olympics in 1924. Noted for its rugged environment, many big mountain skiers and free-riders call Chamonix home. Don’t be surprised if you cross paths with the “Blizzard of Aahhh’s” star, Glen Plake!
CHAMONIX, FRANCE BY THE NUMBERS:
13 ski resorts and 9 villages
Average annual snowfall = 429 inches
Longest Run = 13-miles long Valle Blanche
Chamonix has 14 bars, 80 restaurants, and 7 nightclubs!
Skiing/ Mountain Resort Stats: Ski Lifts (Lifts run from 9:00am – 5:15pm
Top Elevation/Lift: 3,842m/ 12,678′ Total Lifts: 49 (with Cham Ski Pass)
Base Elevation: 1035m/ 3,415′ Gondolas/cable cars: 13
Vertical Drop: 2807m/ 9,263′ Chair lifts: 13
Longest Run: 21km/ 13 miles Surface lifts: 19
Total Runs: 170km/ 106 miles
Total Trails: 145
Beginner: 23% Early-March Temperatures: 25°F
The Daily Telegraph out of the UK Says: “Chamonix has been at the sharp end of Alpine adventure since 1760….Mont Blanc at 4,807m, the highest in Europe. The resort had its first growth spurt in the Victorian era, hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924 and has re-emerged on the free-ride wave as the capital of all-mountain skiing. Ski instructors and mountain guides come here to qualify, and every dedicated skier and snowboarder has its challenges on their bucket list. The stunningly scenic 20km Vallée Blanche off-piste run is doable by confident intermediates as well as experts.”
Cancellation Policy ~ VERY IMPORTANT!:
Our minimum to run this trip will be 12 guests max. will be 20 guests. Once the trip is confirmed, the deposit and final payment become NON-REFUNDABLE.
The purchase of additional Travel insurance is imperative!
Insurance: VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Our credit cards typically cover only air-related events (baggage delay/loss, trip delay). The other critical insurance components to consider while skiing in a foreign country are high altitude medical emergency & evacuation services and the coverage for the Chamonix trip in the case of your own cancelation.
For more information: Allianz (1-800-284-8300) or E-Gloo Protect (www.e-gloo.eu)
Please contact Doni at [email protected] for everything related to travel. Contact Lezlie at [email protected] for all queries relating to skiing, instruction, and gear rental.
* Number of guides will be determined by the size of the group and skill level diversity.