In the heart of the French Alps lies village of Les Houches. Nestled at one end of the Chamonix valley in the Mont Blanc region Les Houches had long been the considered a mere satellite village of its much more illustrious neighbour Chamonix – the world capital of skiing and mountaineering. Of course the locals knew better and many high mountain guides, ski instructors and pisteurs had long since migrated to this quite and peaceful corner of the Chamonix valley – drawn as much, perhaps, by it’s magnificent setting at the foot of Mont Blanc, it?s peace, tranquility and traditional ambiance as its more affordable property. However, it wasn’t long before the resort became recognized as a little gem in the center of the Mont Blanc Massif and tourism bloomed due in a large part to Les Houches? incredibly easy access to and from Geneva airport.
It wasn’t always so. It was only with the construction of the new road between Le Fayet and Chamonix during 1860-70, and then with the arrival of the train in 1901, that Les Houches began to open up to summer tourism. It was then that Les Houches became a small holiday retreat and the first hotels and holiday homes began to appear. Les Houches first started as a winter destination with the construction of the Bellevue cable car in 1936-7. From the 1960s the growing tourism development led to the construction of new lift systems. But, it was with the digging of the Mont Blanc tunnel (1959-65) and the completion of the Route Blanche motorway in 1990 which opened up the village of Les Houches to the rest of Europe.
Situated at a height of 1000 meters Les Houches is a pleasant family resort with an exceptional panorama of the Chamonix Aiguilles which encircle the Chamonix valley. The village is made up of a number of small hamlets, with numerous old farms and chapels and enjoys fantastic 360° views, some great tree lined skiing along trails winding through the woods (perfect for bad weather days) and two of the best on mountain restaurants in the valley. Les Houches also has the widest variety and greatest number of runs in the Chamonix valley, offering everything from gentle greens and blues for practizing your newly acquired turns on, to the world famous Kandahar – a regular feature on the FIS Men’s World Cup downhill circuit.