Summer

Le Moulin des Artistes

La Forêt September 13th, 2009

This gallery is in a lovely old building in Les Praz – once a mill, as the name suggests. They always have something interesting inside from the collective based there, including Andy Parkin and Philippe Vouillamoz. We dropped in on the way back from Chalet Floria – it’s just beside the path back to the chalet – as they were having a big one-day exhibition of local artists. There’s another one planned for October 4th 2009 – hopefully they’ll continue on a regular basis,  as it seemed to be a big success with some lovely work on display. http://lemoulindesartistes.blogspot.com/

The lake at Les Praz de Chamonix

La Forêt July 1st, 2008

Les Praz lake

Near the centre of the village, you’ll find this tranquil lake – a beautiful place to admire the reflection of Mont Blanc. It’s surrounded by quiet back roads, which are good places for a relaxing stroll, and perfect with pushchairs.

Climbing

La Forêt February 21st, 2008



The Dru from the Buvette des Mottets, on the way up to Montenvers from Les Praz

If looking at the soaring peaks surrounding Les Praz gives you a thirst to climb, there is no better place in the world than Chamonix. For those aspiring to routes like The Dru or the Aiguille Verte – “the Alpine summit that turns you from a climber into a true mountaineer”, Icicle Climbing can arrange flexible itineraries and guiding. For those who aren’t quite yet ready for those heights, they also offer climbing courses at all levels. In winter, there’s the exhilaration of ice climbing to try, too.

Pierre d’Orthaz

La Forêt October 1st, 2007



Pierre d’Orthaz, Chamonix, originally uploaded by chaletlaforet.

The massive rock known as la Pierre d’Orthaz was left behind by retreating glaciers. It’s a historical bouldering rock, and opposite it was the infamous Snell’s field campsite where the world’s greatest climbers used to camp out. Now very polished but still a beautiful and atmospheric sight…
Some tales :

Down memory lane to Snell’s field (UK Climbing)
…and another on Supertopo

Hike to Buvette des Mottets from Les Praz de Chamonix

La Forêt September 2nd, 2007



Buvette des Mottets, Chamonix, originally uploaded by chaletlaforet.

This little buvette is in a gorgeous spot on the way up to Montenvers – in front of the buvette itself, there are tables shaded with parasols and behind is a little glade of silver birches around a pond where dragonflies zip to and fro over the profusion of flowers.

On a clear still day, it’s a super place to watch the paragliders fly over the Dru, whilst the Mer de Glace creaks and crackles below. The food’s very nice too. We shared a lovely croute – bread soaked in a creamy white wine sauce, with mushrooms (or ham), and then baked with cheese. The owners are very friendly and helpful too.

You can get there a variety of ways, it’s signed from the Petit Balcon Nord. The walk up from Les Praz is really worth doing, taking you through an astonishing variety of Alpine enviroments, from bare glacier-riven red iron rocks, where tiny flowers bloom in the cracks, to lush ferny, mossy forest. You can also get there via the train up to Montenvers and walk down.

Usually open mid-June -September. Tel +33(0)6 14 19 36 77

Chalet Floria

La Forêt June 14th, 2007

Chalet Floria

The Terrace at Chalet Floria, Chamonix

You can see the beautiful flowered terrace of Chalet Floria high above Les Praz. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike up there from the village – it’s well signposted and will take about an hour, winding up through the fragrant pine forests and wonderful scenery.

Otherwise, you can let the Flégère lift whisk you up to the top, and have a more relaxing walk down to it.

Once there you can take in the astounding views whilst having a drink or lunch in the riot of flowers – over 4000 plants cover the chalet and terrace, and butterflies flutter around as you eat. The menu isn’t extensive (not surprising, given the location!) but the food is very nice and reasonably priced. The friendly owners both speak English (Madame speaks it perfectly) and have a fascinating book of photos to flip through, showing the chalet over the years.
Opens from the end of April until the end of October.
Take a look at this lovely photo of the Chalet Floria’s terrace and view on Chamonix.com

Golf de Chamonix

La Forêt April 14th, 2007

Chamonix Golf Course

A beautifully scenic and well maintained 18 hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior, with a charming log clubhouse and excellent restaurant – see separate review.

Non-members are, of course, welcome, and details of fees and hire of equipment are on the Golf de Chamonix website

Chamonix Golf Course restaurant

The Dru

La Forêt April 14th, 2007



Les Drus, originally uploaded by Your new friend Pete.

The spectacular spike of the Aiguille du Dru , or Aiguilles des Drus, dominates the sky above Les Praz. Its 38 pitches are legendary amongst climbers and many routes are etched deep into mountaineering history.
Mountaineering information and some lovely photos of the Dru
Many of the hikes around the area give wonderful views of the mountain, and one of the loveliest is from the Montenvers railway, making it accessible to anyone.

Flégère Lift

La Forêt April 14th, 2007



Les Praz-Flegere Cable Car, originally uploaded by berliner_jake.

The Téléphérique La Flégère takes you from the 1030 m altitude of the village to the 1900 m midstation. In winter it accesses the Flégère ski area, with sunny, south-facing slopes and a wide variety of pistes for all levels, with wonderful views of the Mer De Glace glacier.
Flegere also has excellent off-piste skiing and snowboarding, and it’s well worth getting a guide for the day to experience it at its best.
Real Time lift opening information from chamonix.com

In summer, the lift takes you to the start of beautiful mountain walks like the Lac Blanc and challenging mountain bike trails.

Hiking

La Forêt April 14th, 2007



Hiking at Montenvers

Hiking in the cool air and astounding scenery of Chamonix is wonderful, and some of the finest walks of the Alps are accessed from Les Praz. You can walk up through the cool pine and larch forests, as the scenery shifts and changes through the trees, or the Flegere lift can take you up to the beginning of the paths.

The weather can change very quickly in the mountains, and you should always make sure you are properly equipped with water, good boots, waterproofs and sun protection. Always check the weather forecast before setting off.

I’ve posted some of the hikes that we’ve enjoyed here, but these aren’t intended as any substitute for a proper guidebook – just for inspiration! Most of the walks in the area are very well signposted, but you should always carry a map.

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