©Office du Tourisme Vallée de Chamonix/Celia Margerard
An exceptional site at the foot of Mont-Blanc
Chamonix is associated with Mont-Blanc, intrinsically, viscerally, so much so that the City took the name of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc on November 21, 1921. Its territory extends from 995 m to 4809 m high, the height of the roof of Western Europe! From the discovery of the “Mer de Glace” Glacier in 1741 and the first ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786, Alpine tourism continued to grow. The development of railways and cable cars progressively allowed the greatest number to come to discover this exceptional site, which is the 3rd most visited natural site in the world.
In 1924, Chamonix was commissioned by the IOC to organize the International Winter Sport Week which, following the success met, was re-qualified in the Winter Olympic Games, thus opening a new era, both for Olympism and winter sports.
“World capital of skiing and mountaineering”, Chamonix hosts an Alpine Museum and four national schools, both civil and military, teaching high-level training in skiing and mountain.
Chamonix has adapted to the evolution of mountain sports and offers a wide range of activities, in winter (downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, ski jumping, ice hockey, figure skating, curling) as in summer (mountaineering hiking, climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, rafting).
A unique but fragile territory
For centuries, Chamonix has been weaving very strong links with its natural environment. It is a unique territory where everything can quickly get extreme: landscapes, drops, temperature variation, exposure to natural risks, peaks in tourist traffic, sensitivity to climate change as to different forms of pollution, pressure on land and real estate. Answers to these challenges are provided at the Valley level. From Climate Plan, Air Quality Plan, Travel Plan to Energy Transition Fund, a proactive policy is being implemented to reduce pollution factors. Important programs are also being undertaken for the enhancement of natural areas and the protection of biodiversity, particularly in the context of the Natura 2000 site and the Nature Reserves. More than 90% of the territory is covered with protective measures.
Olympic events: First Winter Olympic Games 1924