Getting around Chamonix (France) is not quite as easy as you may think, most “Ski Resorts” don’t really need any public transport, you simply click into your skis and off you go. Not so in Chamonix, unfortunately there are not many “ski-in, ski-out” chalets or hotels in the valley so you will need to consider how you are going to get to the ski station of choice.
The options within the valley to get around are either, BUS, TRAIN or TAXI (if you don’t have your own vehicle).
The Chamonix Bus system is the main way for people to get around the valley and has been designed to relocate as many people as possible. During peak periods there is a higher turn over buses going all the way from Chamonix centre to Le tour at one end of the valley and Les Houches at the other end. The system is good in many respects but can get extremely over loaded at very busy times resulting in long bus lines and the need to stand up once you do make it onto a bus. Its not uncommon for buses to simply drive by busy buses stops because there isn’t any room left on the bus.
The Chamonix Train system is a good option for certain people depending where you are staying and where you want to go in the valley. If you are staying in “Chamonix centre” you need to be near to either Chamonix centre train station or the Aiguille du Midi train stop. You would really only take the train if you were going to ski in “Flegere” or “Grand Montets“. You might have to walk a little further than you would if you took the bus but its a lot more comfortable and generally a lot less busy.
By far the easiest way (but not the cheapest) to get around the Chamonix valley is in one of the Chamonix Taxis. Using a “Chamonix Taxi” or minibus allows you to get picked up directly from your accommodation and dropped off as close as possible to the ski lift. Even if you have a car in the valley its often better to leave your car where it is and avoid trying to find a parking space at the ski lift station, it also means you can have a drink before the return journey! Most taxis are equipped with some type of ski carrying equipment and you can normally get straight into the vehicle with your ski boots on.