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getting around in summer

Boston, Ma
5 posts
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getting around in summer

I'm planning to rent a place for a month in the Chamonix valley from mid-August to mid-September to use as a base for day hikes and a week-long hut hike. We are trying to decide whether to stay in Chamonix proper or in Argentiere. Is the summer bus service truly reliable and frequent enough (and departing early enough) to stay in Argentiere without a car? Or if we plan to go carless should we stay in Chamonix? Bus schedules I've found are for winter not summer.

Likewise, if we stay in Argentiere but rent a car, will it be difficult to find free parking near the lifts in Chamonix? (We don't mind parking and walking a bit if necessary).

Finally, when people say it's crowded on the hiking trails in the area. Just how crowded is crowded?

Thanks for your help!

Destination Expert
for Chamonix
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1. Re: getting around in summer

Bus services will not be as frequent as in winter. Your best bet for a timetable would be to contact the tourist office. (www.chamonix.com)

There is also the train service but this is not frequent.

If you decide to rent a car then the choice between Chamonix and Argentiere is a little academic. parking at the Aguile du Midi is free and if you get there early then there should not be too much of an issue parking close by, especially once the last weekend in August is finished.

Bear in mind that the summer season finishes about the 2nd Sept.

the difference between Chaminix and Argentiere is mainly size and facilities. Chamonix has all you could need , restaurants, shops etc. Argentiere has 8 restaurants , a small supermarket and a couple of shops. Saying that it is far more picturesque. I prefer it but I would as I own a small place there.

Argentiere is better for walking as you are right on the paths etc.

Chamonix better for entertainment.

As to crowded paths etc; I walk in Chamonix every summer and yes you do see a few people but I would never have said crowded but I suppose on the easier/more popular walks there will be more people.

Most visitors head for the centre of Chamonix and the Aguille du Midi.

But these are mostly brought in by coach so they are not going into the mountains.