Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

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Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Chamonix-mont-blanc PanoramaYou're snuggled in a nest of warm blankets by a roaring log fire, novel in hand, hot chocolate in the other. You're about to go for a walk in the charming European village of Chamonix, where you will enjoy some fine French cuisine. After all, who does French food better than the French themselves? Mont Blanc looms over your gorgeous little ski-in-ski-out chalet (think rustic – wood and stone) at the base of the best of the Alps, and you think back to the morning you spent making fresh tracks in the valley. For some of us, there is nothing more invigorating than a blood-pumping day of alpine adventure, followed by a hazy evening relaxing and spending time with our nearest and dearest. If skiing or snowboarding is not on your bucket list, however, Chamonix has so much more to offer than what meets the eye.

Two words: Après ski...

You don't have to be a skier or snowboarder to indulge in the wonders of après ski, so why not grab a pint and celebrate into the wee hours of the morning? What are we celebrating you might ask? For some, an amazing day shredding off-piste, for others, well, what isn't there to celebrate?

Chamonix town centreStart your night at Elevation 1904 (popular with locals, as well as tourists, so a great place to mingle) or Chambre Neuf – perhaps grab a bite at Moo Bar next door? Alternatively, head to a cocktail bar such as Mix Bar, or Les Caves wine bar, cause you're classy like that. If you're still game after that, Le Tof is the underground dance venue that will keep you dancing past 4am. Rue du Moulin is also deserving of a mention. For an unforgettable (or very forgettable) night, head to L'Amnesia!

If you're into something a little more laidback...

Check out VagaBAR where you can carb load for your next day's skiing or snowboarding. A fan of curry? Perfect. You'll have a great evening in front of the fire watching TV and participating in the regular trivia. Don't forget to visit the terrace and look out at the picture perfect panorama of Mont Blanc and its surrounding ranges! The Alps are truly a majestic sight.

You've saved on your chalet...

So you deserve a treat! Soaking in a warm steaming pool under the stars is the perfect way to end a physically challenging day of alpine sports. Whether you have bruises to nurse, or sore muscles to massage, jump in the pool or spa at your accommodation or at a spa! Allow yourself to be pampered at one of Chamonix's world class spa facilities, ranging from thermal baths to alpine massages.

If you have a day or two free, why not hire a car and visit the striking old granite city of Annecy. Built on a lake ringed by mountains – lose yourself amongst the network of canals running through it. Stay a few nights if you have the time to spare – there is nothing more beautiful and romantic than a tiny civilisation lost amongst the sheer vastness and wilderness of the natural world. Take a boat out onto the lake, or just go for a wander through the cobbled streets and take in the atmosphere and architecture of the small town. Fete du Lac, one of Europe's most impressive fireworks shows, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, occurs here on the first Saturday of August each year. If the view from the ground is not enough to satisfy, Annecy also happens to be one of the world's premier paragliding spots! Lucky you!

Spend Less, Do More

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