Chamonix is home to some of Europe’s most popular ski resorts. Thanks to its very high altitude, those seeking the thrill of winter sports can expect plenty of snow.
Chamonix weather averages and climate
Owing to its high altitude, those seeking the thrill of winter sports can expect plenty of snow. Chamonix is situated amongst the French Alps, along the border between Switzerland and Italy and experiences around 32 days of snowfall each year.
When is the best time to visit Chamonix?
Chamonix promises a whole spectrum of weather conditions thanks to its high altitude and humidity; from heavy snowfall and rain to warm sunshine around 23 - 25 °C. Those seeking the thrill of winter sports will not do better than hitting the slopes between February and March when fresh snowfall is guaranteed. Despite the likelihood of rainfall being very high in the summer months, Chamonix also boasts lots of sunshine too – and up to 8 hours of sunshine at the peak of summer.
If you are visiting Chamonix in the spring, you can still expect an average of around 4 days of snowfall in March. This, however, decreases to less than one day by the end of May, when the temperature in Chamonix increases to a warm 20 °C. Visitors to Chamonix at the end of spring can also expect an average of 83 mm of rainfall throughout the month and moderate humidity.
The average amount of sunshine in the summer months in Chamonix range between 7 and 8 hours. Whilst the temperature can reach 26 °C in July, despite its high altitude, because of this warmer weather visitors should also anticipate relatively high rainfall too – especially in June.
There tends to be no snowfall in September in Chamonix but by November, visitors can expect around 3 days on average. The daily hours of sunshine in Chamonix in the autumn will also drop from 6 hours in September down to 3 hours by the end of November. Whilst the early autumn in Chamonix can offer temperatures around 20 °C, this will drop to around 15 - 17 °C in October and down again to 9 °C by late autumn.
December in Chamonix promises the most snowfall; just short of 8 days-worth throughout the month. Equally, you can also expect the highest chance of rain too, with around 116mm expected throughout the month - thanks to the high humidity. December is also one of the coldest months, with temperatures only marginally increasing from 5 to 7 °C by February. If you are seeking winter sports without the rain, ten February offers the least rain without compromising on the amount of snow.
Chamonix tourist information
The dramatic peaks of Aiguilles Rouges and Aiguille du Midi are nearby, and the Aiguille du Midi Cable Cars have achieved world renown, transporting passengers more than 9,000 foot in less than 20 minutes. Further along this cable there is the Helbronner Viewing Platform - one can even carry on to Italy if desired.
The Chamonix Valley is a striking geographical feature often crammed with snowboarders and skiers - many will take on the off-piste Vallee Blanche run. Climbing, skiing, snowboarding, paragliding and all kinds of extreme sports take place in Chamonix. The E2 walking route is a famous European path which runs through a series of countries incorporating the famously challenging GR5 which runs right by Chamonix.
Skiers are likely to hit the Grands Montets which feature three main slopes: Argentière, Lognan and the Pendant. Brevant and Flegere are more scenic runs and at the foot of the mountain there are beginner's courses such as Les Planards which incorporate extensive Blue Runs.
The first ever Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix in 1924; this helped to consolidate Chamonix's position as one of the most respected ski resorts on the continent, boosting the economy for years to come. It also helped position the city as a tourist destination, with visitors of up to five million a year arriving to take advantage of the endless ski resorts.