Nestled in the Chamonix Valley, Les Houches is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Chamonix. Yet, for those in the know, this charming village-resort offers a quintessential alpine experience, complete with captivating vistas of Mont Blanc. As winter casts its enchanting spell, Les Houches dons a snowy mantle, beckoning visitors to explore its myriad offerings. Dive into the top 10 winter activities that make Les Houches a must-visit alpine destination.
1. Skiing on the Legendary Kandahar Slope
Les Houches’ ski domain stretches over 55 km, catering to all proficiency levels. Its crowning glory is the Kandahar slope, a regular fixture in the World Cup Ski Circuit. But worry not! There are numerous slopes for beginners and intermediates, ensuring that every skier finds their perfect run.
2. Awe-Inspiring Views from the Prarion Cable Car
Soar to 1,900m aboard the Prarion cable car, and be treated to panoramic views of the Chamonix Valley and the Mont Blanc massif. It’s a vantage point that promises to leave you speechless, regardless of how many mountain vistas you’ve seen before.
3. Nordic Skiing in the Chavants Area
The Chavants area in Les Houches offers dedicated trails for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Glide through serene snow-laden landscapes, with the Mont Blanc massif as your ever-present backdrop. It’s Nordic skiing at its scenic best.
4. Enchanting Snowshoeing Expeditions
Trek through pristine forests and alpine meadows with a pair of snowshoes. Whether you opt for a guided tour or venture solo, this activity offers a peaceful way to connect with the natural beauty of Les Houches.
5. Thrilling Ice Climbing Adventures
For the more adventurous souls, ice climbing on frozen waterfalls presents an exhilarating challenge. Under expert guidance, climb vertical walls of ice and experience the thrill that few winter sports can offer.
6. Indulge in Savoyard Gastronomy
Les Houches is home to several traditional restaurants where the flavors of Savoy come alive. Relish dishes like fondue, raclette, and crozets, all while being ensconced in the cozy ambiance of a mountain chalet.
7. Evening Skiing Under the Stars
Certain slopes in Les Houches are illuminated in the evenings, offering a unique skiing experience. Imagine descending the slopes with stars overhead and the lights of the village twinkling below — it’s surreal and magical.
8. Discover the Rich Heritage at St. Bernard’s Church
Situated in the heart of the village, St. Bernard’s Church, with its Baroque architecture and rich history, offers a serene spot for contemplation. Its frescoes and woodwork speak of a bygone era, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
9. Sledge Down Bellevue’s Toboggan Run
Bellevue’s dedicated toboggan run promises fun for all ages. Grab a sled and zoom down, feeling the rush of wind and the exhilaration of speed — all while being surrounded by the majestic alps.
10. Experience Mont Blanc Tramway
One of the oldest mountain tramways in France, the Mont Blanc Tramway offers a delightful journey from Les Houches to the Nid d’Aigle station. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to a changing landscape, from verdant forests to snow-covered peaks.
In conclusion, Les Houches, with its delightful mix of adventure and tranquility, promises an unmatched winter retreat. It’s a place where the grandeur of the Alps is palpable at every corner, and every activity, whether adrenaline-packed or serene, is infused with alpine magic. So, as you plan your winter getaway, consider Les Houches — where every snowflake tells a tale of enchantment.