Argentiere ski resort is a village which is nestled at the foot of the mighty Grand Montets Mountain range within the Chamonix Valley. This small traditional mountain village remains very 'French' in flavour and offers much in the way of alpine atmosphere and charm. The small high street is flanked on either side by small family run hotels, shops, bars and restaurants. However, the general standard of accommodation has improved in recent years as new luxury chalets in Argentiere are being built, many of which are in close proximity to either the resort centre or main lift station.
The restaurants and bars tend to have an informal atmosphere and are less expensive than Chamonix itself - perfect for keen skiers who are less fussed with their surroundings and more focused on the mountain and the ski terrain.
The old village of Argentiere has stunning views of the Glacier d'Argentiere and also commands great vistas down the valley towards the Aiguille du Midi and the majestic Mont Blanc Mountain. The ski area on Les Grand Montets is justifiably renowned for its extensive steep terrain, and this particular area is best suited to intermediates and expert skiers and snowboarders.
Much of the Grand Montets can only be fully explored and appreciated with the help of a local mountain guide – something we would always recommend. The cable car takes you up to 3,300m altitude giving access to numerous black, red and off piste runs. Beginners and early intermediates can hop on the local bus which takes them to the ski area of Le Tour which is a mere 5 minute bus ride further up the valley. Here there is an excellent nursery area for complete beginners, and intermediates have plenty of ski terrain to explore.
As the Chamonix Valley is made up of fragmented ski areas, serious skiers would do well to consider staying in Argentiere for their ski holiday rather than any of the other residential areas which make up the Chamonix Valley.
Argentiere especially comes into its own later in the season as the North facing slopes above the village hold their snow really well, even into the month of May. We love Argentiere for its sleepy, traditional charm – it feels like a proper mountain village rather than a touristy ski resort.