Chamonix, France



Boy, if you're into the great outdoors then Chamonix (population 10,000) is the place for you. It's late June and the place is bustling. Hang-gliders are hang-gliding and ski lifts are whisking mountain bikers, mountain climbers and day hikers up the mountains. With the backdrop of the magnificent snow-clad Mont Blanc it's no wonder Chamonix hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics. Chamonix isn't a high-end resort with fancy shops lining the streets but, I've never seen so many sporting goods stores. There must be at least 25 stores selling mountaineering, hiking, and skiing gear--easily the most seen at any ski resort visited. The downtown shopping area is compact and pedestrian-only.

Is this place hopping or is it dead in the summer?
Definitely a happening place.

Is there a lake and/or golf course in town?
A golf course on the edge of town.

Arriving by car the only option?
Train service from France or Switzerland will bring you to city center as well as bus service from Geneva.

Does the place feel claustrophobic?
It's in a valley but it's wide enough.

Lots of choices for acccomodations (hotels/ chalets) and do I have recommendations?
Didn't seem to be that many hotels (especially high-end).

Could I spend a whole summer here or would I get bored?
A month would be possible.