Where to find a peaceful place in Chamonix to practise yoga, meditate, or just be still for a while? It can be a very busy place, especially in August. Still, you don’t have to go too far off the path to find a restful spot, especially in the morning.
If you’d like to get out into the mountains here are some suggestions. I’ve tried to suggest places that are reasonably easy to access – no more than about an hour’s walk – but not too crowded.
Aiguillette des Posettes
A spectacular ridge that’s reasonably easy to access from the Autannes lift at Le Tour. Although it is a busy route (it’s part of the Tour de Mont Blanc), once you are off the top ridge, it spreads out and there are plenty of small flat areas where you can relax in peace. One of the most spectacular places to see the Mont Blanc Massif.
The whole of the top of Le Tour is a good place, in fact – just choose a spot in the flowers and enjoy.
A beautiful hamlet of around a dozen perfectly preserved old chalets in a meadow, fifteen minute’s walk through lovely beech forest from the Ecole de Physique above Les Houches. For some reason, the shape of the valley makes these completely shielded from any road noise and it is an astonishingly peaceful place. The wide meadow gives plenty of space. Perhaps at its prettiest in June/July when the lupins are in bloom, but beautiful at any time of year and easy to access in winter.
Midway between Flegere and Brevent (about an hour’s easy walk from either lift), the magnificent pathway of the Grand Balcon Sud widens briefly into a meadow. The Charlanon with its flat-topped rocks is equally enjoyable as a picnic stop or place for meditation and yoga. It’s another one that’s on the Tour de Mont Blanc route, but it isn’t too hard to get away from the path at this point and enjoy it in peace, though lunchtime is best avoided if you would like less disturbance.
Drive, cycle or walk up to up to Le Lavancher for a spectacular flower meadow overlooking the peaceful village and an amazing view of Mont Blanc
Generally busy around the shore, but to contemplate this stunning place in peace, just look for the paths that wind up behind it.
Take the Montenvers train and walk up from the station, behind the old hotel – Forbes Signal is clearly signposted, around 45 minutes uphill. The name is from a Scottish Dr. Forbes who discovered important principles of glacial movement here, by tracing the movements of markers placed on the Mer De Glace far below – the artist Ruskin helped him with this.
Another popular place but most people don’t leave the path, the top area is very open and there’s plenty of space past the cairns …it is a good place for rock balancing! A wild and high alpine environment at 2200m, it can have snow in late and early season (this picture was taken in May).
This lovely photo of Lauren Hill practising at Lac Blanc shows that even at one of the most crowded places in Chamonix, if you get up early, you can find it quiet. The lower lake, Lac Cheserys, is also very beautiful and much les frequented.
Closer to home and of course easiest of all, the garden and our forest area are beautiful in themselves – we have mats you can use and this summer we are adding some yoga plinths in the forest.
Even in the rain, it’s relaxing…
The woods behind us have beautiful mossy quiet areas and streams, especially if you walk or cycle up past the rescue helipad and bear right over the bridge, up towards ‘La Norvege’. Lots of tiny paths and untracked mossy patches beside small streams to enjoy here. NB do not walk down into the wide rocky bed of the Arveyron river. It can flash flood at any time and is not a place to linger.
And finally, if community is more your thing than peace and quiet, watch for the return of the Chamonix Yoga Festival!