Situated at the foot of the Mont Blanc and at the crossroads of France, Italy and Switzerland, Chamonix is much sought after for both its sporting and scenic qualities. With only 10,109 inhabitants, called the Chamoniards, and 245 sq km, Chamonix is the fourth vastest city in France. No wonder, when you know that the renowned Mont-Blanc is part of the commune.
The commune of Chamonix gathers 16 villages from North to South: Le Tour, Montroc, Le Planet, Argentière, Les Chosalets, Le Lavancher, Les Tines, Les Bois, Les-Praz-de-Chamonix, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Les Pècles, Les Mouilles, Les Barrats, Les Pélerins, Les Gaillands, Les Bossons. They all participate to the city’s active life and they all have a special role.
Chamonix’ key position, at the crossroads of three countries, made it change nationality several times. When it was created, in 1091, it belonged to the County of Geneva. Then it was attached to the House of Savoy (a European Dynasty during the Middle Ages) until the French Revolution when it became French, as the whole Savoy. With the Paris treaty (1814), the Savoy was given to the Sardinian’s Kingdom. Finally, with the Turin treaty in 1860, the Savoy became definitely French.
Every year Chamonix welcomes 2.5 million of visitors, 48% of them being foreigner. Thus, even though prices are very high, the city offers great rental opportunities with good return on investment. Chamonix is definitely the place to be if you are an expert skier!
Chamonix is renowned for being a luxurious ski resort, the perfect place if you want to mix winter sports with luxurious chalets. No wonder Chamonix is the fourth most expensive city in France, with €6,500 /sq m, while the national average is €3,197 /sq m. You will mainly find apartments on offer (64% of total accommodation), but also the typical Alpine wood chalets at the foot of Mont-Blanc.
In winter, 60,000 visitors enter the Chamonix valley, while in summer they are 100,000. Thus, Chamonix has an excellent rental potential, both in winter and summer. The average rental price per week ranges from €470 out of season to €3,037 in peak season for a two-bedroom property.
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There are many reasons that can explain the popularity of Chamonix. However, the Mont-Blanc is from far the main one. It includes ski resorts, but also breathtaking sceneries.
Mont-Blanc view: the Mont-Blanc is the third natural site most visited in the world. No wonder so many activities have taken place around this breathtaking natural treasure. In summer or in winter, you can take one of the various ski lifts that will enable you to have a unique view of the Mont-Blanc and the valley. You can also take the train of Montenvers which will offer you an exclusive sight over the Ice Sea Glacier. In total you will find 6 ski lifts, and 2 trains that will take you to a sight view tour. You may want to buy the Multipass Mont-Blanc that gives unlimited access to all of them. Apart from the Mont-Blanc, there are also other natural monuments and places of interests that are beautiful. Among them, the Aiguille du Midi, the Ice Sea Glacier, the White Lake and the White Valley.
Activities: as said above, Chamonix is the ideal place if you enjoy skiing. Ideal for kids and beginners, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc ski areas spread over 3 main mountainsides: Brévent/Flégère, which has a south orientation, in front of the Mont-Blanc snow chain; Grands Montets, north mountainside, towers above Argentière village; and the last but not the least, at the top of the valley, the Balme ski area, at the Switzerland border. And if skiing does not fulfill your need of sport, or if you want to relax after a tough ski day, you may want to go to the wellness club with its indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and hammam, jacuzzis and massage rooms that can be in the same building of your apartment, or next door.
Location – transport links: at the crossroads of Italy, France and Switzerland, it is easy from Chamonix to go to Italy by using the Mont Blanc tunnel. From England, if you go by plane, you can arrive at the Geneva airport with EasyJet, which is only at 88km from Chamonix. From Geneva airport you can take the bus (SAT company) that serves Chamonix. From England you can also go to Chamonix by car. In this case you will have to take the motorway E25-A40, called the Autoroute Blanche (the white motorway) which is linked to the European road network. With your ski pass, or your host card (given at your accommodation), you have free access to shuttles that bring you right at the foot of the slopes.
Gastronomy: Chamonix has the same assets as the whole of the Rhone-Alpes region. The Alps cuisine is specially renowned for its cheese and potatoes dishes, such as the Raclette, the Tartiflette and the Fondue Savoyarde. Chamonix houses various restaurants, amongst which two have stars in the Michelin guide: the Restaurant Albert I with two stars, and Le Bistrot with one star. You will also find 18 pubs within the commune of Chamonix. If you are a wine expert you may want to taste the famous full-bodied reds, such as Côtes de Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Excellent rental opportunities: as previously said, Chamonix has many assets that make it attractive as much in winter as in summer. The town is an excellent location for people looking for a buy-to-let. The winter season lasts from December to April, while the summer one lasts from May to September.
Chalets: traditional chalets are usually built either entirely of wood (Chalet en bois) or of wood, slates and stone. In a wood chalet the floor is made of stone slabs and the walls are built of logs. Most of chalets are two or three storeys high. They also usually have covered balconies that were used for drying hemp, corn and firewood.
Apartments: they are luxury properties whether located in Chamonix town centre, or in one of the 16 villages of the commune. Some of them are at the foot of the slopes. Most of them are fully furnished, have their private parking, a balcony or a terrace, and the last but not the least, an amazing view over the snowy mountain range.
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