Les Houches |Chamonix | Argentiere | Vallorcine

General Recommendations

Booking Accommodation
Most hotels are found on the most popular online booking sites. You could also try and book directly with the hotel. This would not necessarily get you a better deal, but you might be able to negotiate some flexibility. You should be able to communicate in English for all booking requests made directly to hotels.

Many apartment and house rentals are available on the most popular platforms, such as Airbnb. This is a good choice if you prefer having the place for the duration of your stay. The same goes for staying at a campsite where booking an entire week isn’t too expensive.

We normally only include valley accommodation on request. When included in a course price, this will be specified on the course page.

Particularly, New Year’s, winter school holidays and UTMB trail week (The last week of August) in the summer are very busy times in Chamonix, and you must book well before your stay.

Guest card
When staying in tourist accommodation, your host should provide a guest card upon arrival. This card provides free access to the valleys public transport system.
If you stay at a family or friend’s place, you can buy this card in the tourist office for approximately 10 euros per week.

View from Mont Lachat. The Chamonix Valley stretches from Les Houches to the village of Le Tour at the end of the valley.

Les Houches

The Les Houches village is situated at the start of the Chamonix Valley.
The Les Houches ski area is known for some of the best piste skiing in the valley, with beautiful views towards the massif. The area has more potential for a family than many other valley ski areas.
The Bellevue cable car connects with the Tramway du Mont Blanc, the starting point for the ascent of the traditional way of the Mont Blanc, the Tour du Mont Blanc, and plenty of other nice walking tours. The Bellevue and the Prarion cablecars can be used with mountain bikes to access downhill pistes.
At the Lac des Chavants, you will find rock climbing, tennis, and a kid’s playground.

There are several hotels spread along the main street of Les Houches, but none of them has the location you will find in Chamonix, and while the village has a nice town square area, the vibe of bars/restaurants and events does not equate to what you find in Chamonix.

Bus and train service will take you to Chamonix and the rest of the upper valley and run frequently. A night bus will bring you back from Chamonix at 23h.

***Rocky Pop – A relatively new hotel proposing an upbeat atmosphere and attracting families & younger groups. It has free parking and a bus stop nearby. Reasonably priced.
***Le Saint Antoine – On the main road through Les Houches. Reasonably priced. Free parking and good bus links to the rest of the valley.
***Hôtel Chalet du Bois – On the main road through Les Houches. Reasonably priced. Free parking and good bus links to the rest of the valley.


Chamonix is a traditional alpine town with a long mountain history. It is busy both summer and winter, with visitors from around the world admiring the landscape and doing active mountain sports. It’s often called the “mecca for alpinism and skiing.” The town is vibrant, and many events are held throughout the year. There is an excellent choice of restaurants and hotels. You can still find cheaper accommodations such as hostels and campgrounds—something for all budgets.
If you want to buy gear for mountain sports or rent items, that is also possible in the many shops and brand stores.


**Hotel Richemond – A historical building in the centre of Chamonix town. It has the charm of another era, far from the modern luxurious feel of the more fancy Chamonix hotels. It has many rooms and is a popular choice for many who like to be in the town centre, not having to pay a high premium for it.
***Hotel Faucigny – In the middle of Chamonix town, price/quality good, parking close-by in underground parking.
***Pointe Isabelle – Great location, not far from the main train station, good atmosphere, bar/restaurant area, often Scandinavian staff.
***Hotel de l’Arve – Good rooms & apartments, well located at the start of the pedestrian area. Reasonably priced and free parking for the guests.
***La Prieuré – Easily accessed and just behind the main part of town & pedestrian area, lots of rooms, recently renovated. Good for larger groups & seminars.
****Park Hotel Suisse – Great location next to the tourist office and main pedestrian street. Spa and fitness area.
****Le Morgane – Good modern hotel with great parking for the clients. Not far from the Aig. du Midi lift.
*****Grand Hotel des Alpes – Elegant hotel on the main pedestrian street right across from Snell Sport. Cozy and friendly.
*****Hameau Albert – Luxurious hotel in Chamonix w. Michelin restaurant.
******Hotel du Mont Blanc – Top hotel in the middle of the town. Nice pool and garden area.


Ski Station – Classic ski-bum place. Simple and cheap.
Chamoniard Volant – Shared rooms. Simple and cheap.


***Camping Ile des Barrats
**Camping Les Arolles
Camping de la Mer de Glace


Argentiere is a small mountain town situated further up the Chamonix Valley. The nature around Argentiere is beautiful, and you will find many opportunities for trekking, climbing, bouldering, mountain biking, etc. In the winter you are close to the famous Grand Montets ski area.

With only a few hotels available, make sure to reserve in time. Despite being much smaller than Chamonix, you will find a good choice of sports shops and restaurants.

Argentiere is a logical choice for trips starting the first day at the Grand Montets, such as the Haute Route ski tour, or simply for those wishing to be away from the busy Chamonix centre.

Bus and trains will take you to Chamonix easily during the day-time. You must get a taxi back from Chamonix in the evening if you stay out after 11 pm.

Chalet Alpin du Tour – The French alpine club (FFCAM) operates this chalet refuge at the end of the valley in the village of Le Tour – While it is not a hotel, it has a good reputation and is among the very cheapest places to stay. Rooms are shared or if you can occupied by your group.
***Hotel le Dahu – Traditional hotel in the centre of Argentiere. Has a restaurant.
***Hôtel de la Couronne – Central location in the middle of Argentiere. It’s the first choice for many. It is being renovated and plans to re-open in June 2024 (most likely as a 4* or 5* hotel. New times coming…
****Hôtel les Grands Montets – Beautiful hotel next to the Grand Montets lift-station. Good choice for Haute Route departures.


Vallorcine is reached by entering directly from Switzerland or driving over the Col du Montets pass. The Eau Noire River, which starts just below the pass, joined by the Eau de Bérard River just below the Buet settlement, runs down through Vallorcine town and continues towards Switzerland just 3km further down.

Vallorcine is often overlooked by people who haven’t spent much time in the Chamonix valley as it’s tucked away in a separate valley, giving access to Switzerland. It is a shame as Vallorcine has some of the most pristine and interesting natural surroundings, much less busy than the easily accessible areas above Chamonix. Numerous trekking routes, climbing venues, and mountain bike runs are easily accessible. During winter, Vallorcine offers a lot of ski touring and off-piste skiing.

Hard to get to when the Col du Montets pass is obstructed by massive snowfalls in the winter, Vallorcine is a very beautiful place to spend your holiday.

The Buet train station is right in front of the hotel and gives access to the Chamonix Valley free of charge with a hotel guest card. There is no night bus service to Vallorcine; if you miss the last train, the only option is a costly taxi. With your own or a hire car, you have the best flexibility.

**Hotel du Buet – We regularly use the family-owned Hotel du Buet in Vallorcine for our Mont Blanc tours, but also regularly on our off-piste and ski-touring tours. This is a good place, 14km from the busy Chamonix, with reasonable prices and a cosy atmosphere.