The linked areas of Flégère and Brévent stretch across the south facing side of the Chamonix valley, descending to Chamonix town centre and one end, and the village of Les Praz at the other.
Flégère ski area
A pleasant five to ten minute walk from the chalet, the sunny bowls and slopes of Flegere are deservedly popular. It has very few flat spots or narrow runs, making it excellent for snowboarders.One of the nicest ways to start a week in Chamonix is to go up Flegere and work your way over to Brevent on a series of lifts for lunch at the Panoramique. You get a fantastic series of views over the entire south side of the valley.
Flégère has a massive variety of pistes, so it’s ideal for mixed ability groups. Beginners can find their feet in beautiful high mountain scenery on the easy greens of La Trappe, the more experienced can explore the vast natural playground of powder fields, natural lips and kickers, and everyone can meet for Vin Chaud at the mid-station.
There’s very good off-piste to be had around the area (we recommend you take a guide for off-piste, or join a guided group). It’s a particularly great place after a big powder dump as it’s relatively uncrowded.
The entire area has spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains – especially the Mer de Glace glacier from the top of the Index chair.
Particular favourites of ours are the huge, rolling, exhilarating red Crochues with its awe-inspiring views, and the relaxing tree-lined curves of the newly re-modelled Evettes blue that takes you to the Liaison cable car.On a powder day, the huge, sweeping lines of the Lachenal bowl are a fantastic place to be.
Brévent ski area
Brévent’s wide and varied pistes include some superb terrain. It’s another ideal place for a mixed group as there’s a well connected network of blues, with big sweeping reds above them. There’s also an airbag here.
The spectacular “Charles Bozon” black run is another favourite – the scenery that unfolds as you wind around the crags of the top is truly amazing. Those who’d rather not risk the descent can still take the top cable car up and have a coffee or lunch on the terrace of the restaurant. It’s also the local spot for wing suit flying, so you may be lucky and see some.
Access to Flegere: Just a short walk from the chalet to the lift.NB – this is a lift that it’s worth getting up early for on a powder day!
Access to Brevent: Best accessed via the cable car link to Flegere. Also accessible from the base in Chamonix. It’s ten minutes drive and parking is one or two euros, or catch the free regular bus service.
Where to lunch at Flegere:
Unfortunately none of the on-slope restaurants are up to much, and the decor at the mid-station is truly insane. Much the best lunch option is a sunny picnic in a nice spot. There is also a picnic room at the midstation if the weather is bad. For a proper sit down lunch, Brevent’s Panoramique (see below) is way better and worth making the trip across for, if the sky is clear.
You can get generously sized if rather unexciting sandwiches at the Flegere midstation if you skipped making your own in the rush to the lift. I put chips, tomato sauce and mustard in them to pep them up a bit, and that’s about as good as it gets.There’s a more upmarket restaurant down some steps but it’s pretty substandard.
The Chavannes hut has a lovely spot and a good atmosphere but painfully slow service. It’s a good place for a drink on cheery hot day, though, as they often have DJs.
Where to lunch at Brevent:
At Brevent, the lower, self service part of the Bergerie restaurant is (reasonably) cheap and cheerful. The upper section is apparently quite good food but it’s quite expensive.
However, the Panoramique restaurant at the very top of Brevent (though not exactly cheap either) is well worth splashing out on if it’s a clear day. Especially as a treat for any non-skiing friends, as the view is really spectacular. The vin chaud is good here too, if you just want a drink.
NB Avoid the diabolical and overpriced Altitude 2000 (Tripadvisor link for your amusement) like the plague, I have no idea how it stays in business.
One of the nicest ways to start a week in Chamonix is to go up Flegere and work your way over to Brevent on a series of lifts for lunch at the Panoramique. You get a fantastic series of views over the entire south side of the valley. This can be done entirely on blues, as an easy warm-up day, or you can switch to the higher red runs as the afternoon progresses.
It’s best avoided on hot spring afternoons as it can get very slushy, but a great choice on a powder day because it doesn’t get as crowded as Grands Montets. Worth getting up early for! If there’s fresh snow and good visibility, ideally you want to be at the base around half an hour before it opens.
If you’re here in December or January, the shorter days mean incredible sunset views if you stay for last call at the lift.