You’ve never heard of Les Contamines-Montjoie ? Come discover a little secret, nicely well kept, at the foot of ski slopes and in the heart of nature !
Welcome to this village resort located at the foot of the Mont Blanc massif. All the ingredients are present – summer, like winter – to make your stay a unforgettable moment in this ideal mountainous destination.
Nested in an exceptional environment, the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie retains the authenticity of a typical haut-savoyard village, with its small center, surrounded by its many little hamlets disseminated in a nature’s jewel box, along the small valley of the Val Montjoie.
Dominated to the East by the summits of the Aiguille du Bionnassay (4.052 m) and the Dômes du Miage (3.673 m) and to the West by the flanks of the Mont Joly all the way to the top of the Aiguille Croche, the resort provides a breathtaking ski domain (from 1.113 m up to 3.250 m), with exceptional panoramic views on the Mont Blanc massif, the chain of Aravis et the valley of Beaufortain.
In winter, the slopes are easily accessed via two cable cars, the Télécabine de la Gorge et the Télécabine du Signal. They both lead to an immense playground, with an alpine ski domain of 120 km for all levels (forest, large slopes and steep grade), five zones for beginners, a nordic ski park with 25 km of cross-country ski slopes, and a certified stadium for biathlon practice.
Furthermore, the ski domain of Les Contamines Hauteluce is part of the Evasion Mont Blanc ski domain, which includes the ski resorts of Les Contamines-Montjoie, Saint-Gervais and Megève. Therefore, a total of 445 km ski slopes, 230 slopes, and 109 ski lifts and cable cars become readily available with just a… single ski pass !
In spring and summer, when the ski season is closed, it is time to enjoy the great alpine outdoor. The small village of 1,200 inhabitants has preserved its old-time charm and its remarkable cultural and architectural heritage, with its vintage churches, traditional chalets et old farmhouses.
A vast and protected Nature Reserve
All around, the setting is simply exceptional. Two-thirds of the village area (43,5 km2) have been classified as Nature Reserve (5.500 hectares), between the altitudes of 1.100 m and 3.892 m. It’s actually the highest natural reserve in France.
In this geographical jewel, of which 20% is covered by glaciers, 608 animal species and 706 plant species have been inventoried. The 135 km of hiking trails in the reserve provide countless possibilities of nice encounters and opportunities to admire chamois, ibexes, groundhogs, badgers, foxes and nocturnal species such as the Boreal owl, not to forget the 8 km-long Tré-la-Tête glacier. Third-largest of its kind in France, it is the subject of a very close scientific monitoring, like the other reference 165 glaciers of the World Glacier Monitoring Service program.
Numerous entertainments and leisure activities (mountaineering, rock-climbing, golf, tennis, biking, hiking, curling, roller ski and roller blade tracks, sled dogs on wheels, summer biathlons, etc.) are waiting for sports fans, families and kids. For nature lovers, it is high time to rush out and discover unique landscapes of glaciers, forests, mountain pastures, wetlands, as well as the rich ecological biodiversity boasted by nature here.
The village is actively promoting a sustainable development approach to preserve this unique ecosystem, through the label Green Flake.
The resort is easily accessed via the D902 departmental road starting from Saint-Gervais and via the A40 autoroute (20 minutes by car), from Chamonix and Megève (30 minutes) and from the Genève airport (1h) or the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport (2h10). No wonder that Les Contamines-Montjoie remains a favorite destination for skiing, hiking and outdoor adventure enthusiasts, as well for those simply seeking a privileged place for resourcing and return to nature.
Pictures : Trace, Jean-Pol Grandmont, Adobe Stock, Wikipedia