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Issue 3 • 2014 Edition • Your personal copy to keep

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PAGES BEST OF HOW TO YOUR ENJOY STAY

Essential Gear

We let you know the best gear for this year, on and off the slopes. pages 26 and 27

Essential Film

L A I T N E S S E T IC O CH

RETR THE LORE

XP WE E

AR

st, ed arti celebrat

he Of t

Charlie

P37 Adam -

We look at the works of film maker Sebastien MontazRosset : going where others wouldn’t dare pages 8 and 9


Black Jack English RoulEttE FREnch RoulEttE 68 slot MachinEs 10 slot PokER Bar and restaurant

chamonix city centre open everyday dayfrom from 11am to 2am Open every 11am to 2am from 11amtoto3am 3pm Friday, saturday from 11am on on Friday, Saturday

CHAMONIX mont-blanc

entry to the Casino and restaurant is Free. French law require to be over 18 years old and Id identification, ideally passport You play at your own risk: debt,addiction... Call 0033 (0)9 74 75 13 13 (international charges)

happy hour at the Bar Every day from 5.30pm to 7pm. Buy one get one free on all beers, cocktails and soft drinks


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message from andrew Hello and a warm welcome to the Express Airport Transfer Group We are constantly investing and innovating to make your travel experience enjoyable as well as affordable.

During the last 12 months our new Operations Centre opened in the Chamonix Valley and we launched our Panoramic Sightseeing tour and day trips from Geneva by Open-top Bus. Our continued investment programme of 700,000 euros saw us begin to roll out new comfortable Renault Master mini-coaches across our existing routes and this will be continued throughout 2014 until the whole fleet is renewed. We are proud to be the largest company providing airport transfers to the French Alps and we also serve the Riviera between Nice and Cannes as well as two capital cities. We are always listening and will continue to launch new routes where you tell us you want to go. Our guaranteed scheduled departures are one of the reasons behind our success. Our passengers tell us time and time again that they love the convenience of choosing their transfer timings at the point of booking, and then knowing that we will be there for them. Making the start and finish of holidays stress-free. 2014 sees the continued sponsorship of the ‘Chamexpress Rebelles’ womens ice hockey team and you can read more about our efforts to support the younger players on page 18. Building on this success, our partnerships with leading brands offer you great savings and also help keep you safe: Intersport – giving you the greatest savings on sports equipment rental. Vredestein – transporting you safely on the best quality tyres, and Deep Nature Spas – relaxing you after the day’s activities. Finally, I would like to thank you on behalf of all our staff for your continued custom. We are all thrilled to be an essential part of so many holidays this year. As always we love to hear your feedback on how we’re doing as we continue to make travel from airport to resort easy for all of you. I hope you enjoy your transfer with us today and we look forward to seeing you again very soon. Have a great holiday!

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All of our routes and journey details

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Chamonix Newsround - what we’re doing, with you in mind.

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Essential Film - we look at a selection of alpinerelated feature films.

12-13 There’s Something About Chamonix - everything you need to know about Chamonix. What to do, where to eat, drink and party. 15

Les Houches - shopping and eating in the area, as well as some local history.

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Argentière and Vallorcine - we take a look at what they have to offer.

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Ice Ice Ladies - find out about the Chamexpress Rebelles women’s ice hockey team.

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In His Own Words - Mickey Bourdillat, Michelin star chef of Le Bistrot at the Hotel Le Morgane in Chamonix talks about his influences and passes on a delicious recipe.

22-24 Picturesque Morzine. Keep up to date with what’s on and where so you don’t miss out. 26-27 Essential Gear - we get a bit scientific and look closely at some valuable safety-oriented gear. 29-30 Historic Megeve - where to eat and drink in the resorts of Megeve and Les Contamines. 34-35 Courting Courmayeur - we’re doing it Italian style with these stunning resorts just across the border in Italy. 37

Essential Art - retro chic with Charlie Adam.

38-39 Romantic Annecy - known as the Venice of the Alps, Annecy has an incredible amount to offer. 40-41 The Art of Science and Safety. We chat with the UK Managing Director of Vredestein, Stuart Jackson, on the importance of winter tyres. 42-43 London Calling. The Olympics may be over, but London never sleeps, and our guide to what to do and where to go should give you plenty to discover. 44

Brain Teasers - get your grey matter working.

46-47 Hobnobbing in Cannes - our little piece of summer chic. Boats, film festivals and perfect summer days on the French Riviera. Andrew Martin Managing Director SARL Chamexpress.com Express Airport Transfers (UK) Ltd.

48-49 Parisienne Walkways - ooh la la, the French capital features in our summer service. We give you the capital’s lowdown. Where to go, what to see and most importantly where to eat and drink in this romantic city.

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www.chamextras.com

N째1 oNliNe ski reNtal

Offer remains valid until April 30, 2014. This discount is not valid in combinaison with other discounts. RCS EVRY B 964 201 149.

rent your skis in advance and pick them up on site : over 210 stores in 130 french ski resorts.

best rates for the whole family to off SUR VOTRE LOCATION DE SKIS

www.intersport.fr


we

give more

Winter: We are open 19 hours every day from 05:30am until 01:00am from December to April. Summer: 10:00 am. until 7:00pm. every day from May to November.

you

We appreciate our customers and value your business, so we’re offering FREE, or discounted, transfers to everyone who uses our airport transfer service. Collect 3 points for every transfer booked and get your FREE transfer with 30 points! The more airport transfers you book with us, the greater your discount. Register with us online for your destination and begin building reward points immediately.

By Phone: FR: 0033 (0) 480 96 50 08 FR: 0033 (0) 480 96 50 04 FR: 0033 (0) 450 54 73 72 UK: 0044 (0) 871 218 1200 By Email: info@chamexpress.com Facebook: facebook.com/chamexpress Twitter: @chamexpress

In Person: SARL Chamexpress.com 498 Avenue des Alpages Les Houches 74310 France Express Airport Transfers (UK) Ltd. 450 Bath Road Heathrow London UB7 0EB England

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New Additions to the Chamexpress Vehicle Fleet We are delighted to announce the continued expansion of our vehicle fleet:

Latest Technology Installed in All Our Buses To further improve our customer service and operational efficiency, we have recently installed a state-of-the-art satellite tracking and communications system in all our vehicles. The system enables constant monitoring of the location of each bus as well as recording driving manner, driving hours, fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Two-way communication is also provided between the driver and our Operations Centre to ensure quick response to customer needs. Over the next 12 months SARL Chamexpress. com continues its 700,000 Euro investment in new minibuses and coaches. We’ve purchased a number of brand new Renault Master minibuses complete with full passenger climate control and webasto central heating for your comfort. These new luxury minibuses comply with the latest tough Euro 5 emissions regulations so we’re also continuing to reduce our carbon footprint as well!

Flexi-fare At Chamexpress.com we pride ourselves on the regularity of our service and with transfers leaving Geneva airport every 30 minutes at peak times we can help take the stress out of your journey to resort. By purchasing a flexi-fare you can jump on the next transfer with available seats should you miss your scheduled departure.

The first new vehicles went into service on our popular Geneva to Chamonix route during 2013 with additional minibuses and coaches being rolled out throughout 2014 across our existing and new route networks.

Chamextras We know your time in resort is precious and so we have made it even easier for you to save time by reserving certain services ahead of your trip. Our partners Intersport will save you 20-50% on your ski hire and ensure it is ready for pick up upon your arrival. Whilst the Compagnie du Mont Blanc have allowed us to setup your lift passes in advance to save those queues at the lift station. If you are new to skiing or

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just need to brush up on your skills ESF are providing both private and group lessons as well as a host of mountain activities. You can also ease those aches and pains after a hard day on the hill with our partner Deep Nature Spas offering preferential rates on massage and use of the spas. Please see www.chamextras.com for more details.

the best place in town dedicated to entertainment • Bar & Snacks • Ten Pin Bowling • 8 lanes • Automatic scoring • Glow in the dark animation • Bumper system for kids • 17 billiard tables • 8 pool • US pool • snooker • pyramid • French billiard • Arcade games • Indoor minigolf

OPEN DAILY 5pm - 2am on bad weather days from 2pm

196 Avenue de Courmayeur Chamonix sud (near hôtel “Les Aiglons”) Reservations + 33 4 50 53 74 37 or info@bowling-chamonix.com www.bowling-chamonix.com ChamXPubsfinal11.pdf

12/19/2013

11:13:35 AM

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essential

film

A trip to the mountains means different things to different people as we find out by taking a look at a film-maker that is capturing these "trips" from a very different perspective – Sebastien Montaz-Rosset.

We start with "A Fine Line" a truly breathtaking journey over the spectacular snow covered peaks of the Alps in which ultra-athlete Killian Jornet-Burgada and his friends combine the sports of ultrarunning and alpinism. The film explores the background of Killian’s extraordinary capabilities as a mountain athlete by chronicling the first year in which he trains and prepares to break ascent records on Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Mount Elbrus as part of a project known as "Summits of my Life". The use of some groundbreaking filming techniques really sets this film apart. One such technique employs the use of drones, a sort of remote controlled-helicopter, which allows the camera to follow the athlete much more closely than from a helicopter. This provides some vertigo-inducing flybys of Killian as he traverses knife edge ridges and sprints over snowy passes.

The film culminates with Killian forced to go solo on an EastWest traverse of the Mont Blanc range after the tragic loss of Stéphane Brosse, on a previous traverse from South to North. We witness Killian’s resilience to adversity and are given a stark reminder that despite the beauty of the surroundings these are very real adventures taken on by athletes that know the risks but chose this way of life.

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The next film we saw was "One Step Beyond". This takes us behind the scenes for a close up into the world of wing-suit flying. A sport that is guaranteed to capture the imagination of those who come into contact with it! Géraldine Fasnacht, worldrenowned snowboarder and base-jumper, invites us into the small and close-knit community of those brave enough to fly through the grassy valleys and along the jagged ridgelines of the Alps. The rollercoaster ride across the full spectrum of human emotions that follows takes us from total euphoria to devastating loss, living life at full force and in glorious technicolour. Her energy and attitude to life is infectious and the viewer is left feeling the need to enact a bit of carpe diem, particularly as she chirpily imparts, "In life it’s our choice whether we laugh or cry - and I chose to laugh"

Sebastien Montaz-Rosset again delivers a bare bones, honest account that gives us a window into the lives of ordinary men and women who have chosen to take an extraordinary path in life. The on-board cameras give you a "bird’s eye" view of the terrain that rapidly passes beneath and the flying in formation shots give perspective of the control that these athletes have over the lines that they choose to fly.


All images by Sébastian Montaz-Rosset

We conclude our "essential film" section with a film entitled "Downside Up" sub-titled "not just another (boring) ski film". What follows is anything but and for those of you that think you know what steep skiing means, think again. With phrases like "better to fall than get the rope out" and "Vivian’s the dry skiing specialist" when referring to his ability to ski over rocks, the terrain that these athletes are tackling will have your heart in your mouth from start to finish.

Sebastien Montaz-Rosset’s ability as an alpinist allows him to capture the steepness of the terrain when shooting this film as he perches on the various cliff edges with these athletes before they launch into the near vertical descents below. It also allows him to record the banter that is dished out between the group as they egg each other on.

The film features many firsts in terms of skiing descents and as is so often the case for these athletes the conditions have to align to make what they do possible. The 2012/13 winter brought the sort of conditions that allowed them to descend the Frigord Couloir on the Aiguille Verte and a terrifying descent of the Eperon Migot on the Aiguille du Chardonnet.

So three films, a handful of exceptional athletes and one filmmaker proves in this case to be the recipe for some "essential" viewing. We admired the honesty and intimacy that they were shot with but more than that we loved the perspective of the mountains that they gave. This is testament to Sebastien Montaz-Rosset’s creativity as a film maker but also his ability as an alpinist to get us closer to the action than most film-makers dare.

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We have teamed up with our partners Temmos and Deep Nature Spas to bring the winner of our photo competition a relaxing spa weekend break for two in Chamonix. The break will include flights, transfers, accommodation, plus access to the spa and a host of treatments at Les Aiglons hotel. We are looking to capture some of the excitement of your journey to resort and so want you to snap those moonlit Mont Blancs, sunsets in St Gervais, and avalanches in Argentière that you see through the window of your Chamexpress transfer. To enter, all you have to do is join our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Chamexpress) and upload your photos. The winner will be the snap accepted by our panel of judges with the most likes and announced at the beginning of May 2014. What can YOU see out of your Chamexpress window?

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The oldest skiing resort in the Alps is transforming with a wave of new features. We bring you up to speed with what’s new in the valley as well as taking a look back to its roots in this Winter Olympic year.

For those not going off skiing or climbing from the summit of the Aguille du Midi there is a new attraction called "a step into the void". This is a 2.50 m glass cage that moves out from the main station over a 1000 metre precipice, putting you in the position of the early pioneers that ascended the route up to the famous pinnacle. Chamonix’s lift system may have been installed to support the ski industry but its visitor numbers in summer (130,000) can often be significantly more than in winter (100,000) and so running almost continuously is a reality for the Chamonix Valley.

Chamonix is a well established mecca The Arve River that runs through for skiing and climbing as is reflected Chamonix is a tributary to by the many different languages the mighty Rhone that you will hear spoken when wandering flows down to the through town. The buzz is palpable in the Mediterranean cafes and bars packed with down jackets, jangling harnesses and the excited chatter of adventures being planned or reminisced.

The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc (CMB), responsible for this lift system announced in November 2013 a 20 year plan to upgrade the lift system and ski area. They have pledged 477â‚Ź million to make this happen and in the immediate future this means changes to the Grands Montets, Brevent and Le Tour areas to provide new lifts and beginner areas.

It is the fast access to high mountain terrain that makes extreme adventure so accessible in Chamonix. The Aguille du Midi cable car sweeps visitors from the valley floor to a dizzying 3,800 metres in less than 30 minutes, providing a launch pad for epic adventure.

The accommodation facilities are also being upgraded with the stunning five star Hotel Mont Blanc and the ultra-modern Heliopic situated next to the Aguille du Midi opening their doors in 2014.

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Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.chamexpress.com


As well as looking forward this being an Olympic year Chamonix celebrates its history with the games. It was 90 years ago, that Chamonix hosted the first Winter Olympic Games, with nearly 300 participants from 16 nations. At the time, six sports were on the agenda: ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, curling, bobsleigh, and of course skiing, which only covered men’s Nordic events (cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined and a demonstration of military skiing, an early version of biathlon). The Olympic spirit truly exists in this valley; Chamonix has in fact been represented by one or more sportsmen or women at each one of all 21 Winter Olympics!

Another relatively new feature to the Valley is the Luge Alpine Coaster; a two man sled that travels along a 1300m rail construction, descending through the forest at 40km/h. You can manage your speed using the control levers at your side before descending into the arrival station where you are brought gently to a stop by the magnetic braking system. You then have the opportunity to go check yourself out on the big screen as you were captured on camera during the ride.

The main street in Chamonix is named after Dr Paccard, who was the first person to successfully summit Mont Blanc in 1786

Chamonix golf course nestles between the Mont Blanc range and the Aiguilles Rouges on the valley floor. In this magnificent setting American architect Robert Trent Jones Sr played with the natural contours of the land to provide a course that is technical, yet subtle in comparison to its vertical surroundings.

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In true Chamonix style the competition of choice is the Ultra Golf Chamonix Mont Blanc. This is played in July over 54 holes in two days testing participant’s performance endurance to the limit. The competition is open to teams of two amateurs and includes a two-player 18 hole scramble, a best ball 18 hole and a combined individual scores 18 holes.

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Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.chamexpress.com

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Made up of a collection of hamlets at the gateway to the Chamonix valley, Les Houches has some interesting associations in this Winter Olympic year. It has been twinned with the city of Sochi this year’s Olympic host - in the areas of health, education and the development of tourism for the past ten years. The partnership is now paying dividends as preparations for the Olympics come to a head and French firms are helping to realise a number of Olympic projects.

The original St Bernard rescue dogs had short hair and Merlet Animal Park in Les Houches is one of a handful of breeding centres

Each summer, Les Houches plays host to the start of the famous Tour du Mont-Blanc, where hikers travel around the white giant, crossing high mountain passes and staying in rustic alpine refuges along the way. It is also the start of the popular Goûter Route taken by those attempting to climb Mont Blanc.

Bio Supermarket – for those of you who share Sébastien and Camille’s passion for organic agriculture, this shop is for you. You will find the highest standards of fresh organic produce as well as excellent baby, gluten free, and dairy substitute product ranges. Les Houches is also home to the oldest ski race in the world - the Kandahar. Created in 1928, it was the first international alpine competition to combine downhill and slalom events. In more recent times it has played host to the men’s downhill World Cup and the course they use provides a great opportunity to follow in the footsteps of pro skiers, without stopping to catch your breath, of course. You may also see some of these elite athletes training there as it provides a training ground for the French National Ski Team and the Ski Club of Great Britain.

The Kitsch Inn – re-opening this winter after a major fire in June 2013, the Kitsch Inn is set to return with a vengeance. With live music every day from 4pm until 7pm during winter, as well as regularly throughout the summer, this quirky offbeat bar diner serves up some pretty good grub too.

Despite the associations of Les Houches with elite performance, the area aims to offer a family-friendly experience to its visitors, with gentle pistes in winter, and hiking and biking in summer. The ski area also has a purposebuilt ski touring and snow shoeing track allowing those going uphill to separate themselves from those going down.

Ghandi – this maybe not be appropriate if you are only away from multi-national cuisine for a few days. But for those that have eaten their body weight in fondues and tartiflette during their stay, Ghandi offers an authentic curry experience guaranteed to spice things up a bit. The onion bhajis are particularly good.

Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.chamexpress.com

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Argentière

The village of Argentière sits at the base of the world-famous Grands Montets. The dedicated powder hunters in winter base themselves here to make sure they get access to that precious first lift of the day. In summer it provides a more relaxed setting for those heading out on day hikes or to climb in the Aiguille Rouge. Although live music often frequents the bars of Argentière, if you do decide you want to indulge in a lively night out, then Chamonix is only a short journey away using the Chamexpress in-valley taxi service.

The world record for total vertical metres descended on skis in one day was broken at the Grand Montets by Canadian Mark Jones, On the activity list in winter is cross-country with a staggering 64,000 skiing, dog sledding, and snow-shoeing. metres However, Vallorcine is also linked into the Le

Tour ski area directly by the Vallorcine télécabine. This gives its visitors the option of being remote or accessing a great family ski area.

In summer access to the Aiguille Rouge is a treat for hikers and climbers. The Vallon de Berard nature reserve is also on the doorstep and led Vallorcine to be awarded its National Heritage status.

Résidence Vallorcine

This year our partnerships with the Résidence Vallorcine and Bellevue Alpine Lodge will see us running services over to the last village in the Chamonix Valley before the Swiss border. Vallorcine is a peaceful mountain village hidden behind the Col des Montets and at the foot of the Aiguille Rouges.

Known as the valley of the bears, it certainly has that wild feeling and provides a more peaceful getaway than the hustle and bustle of many of the larger resorts. In Vallorcine, you are always close to nature and the chances of glimpsing a chamois, red squirrel or ibex is always a possibility.

Café Comptoir – with traditional rustic mountain food presented beautifully, this a must stop for anyone visiting Vallorcine. There is a daily menu that changes frequently and highlights include a Reblochon pie, a crème caramelwith salted butter, and roast venison.

A wild ibex

Vallorcine

Bellevue Alpine Lodge Hotel and Gite in Vallorcine www.bellevuealpinelodge.com

Tel. +33 (0)4 50 56 60 43

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Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.chamexpress.com


Become a property owner in Chamonix Valley APARTMENTS FOR SALE RESIDENCE VALLORCINE MONT BLANC

cybergraph chamonix - ne pas jeter sur la voie publique

Tourism Residence HHHHH Vallorcine - Chamonix

THE APARTMENTS

With the purchase of your apartment, you get 1 indoor parking space, 1 private cellar and 1 individual ski locker with boot-dryers.

AN INTERESTING INVESTMENT WITH/WITHOUT OWNER OCCUPATION. Your apartment starting AT 195 000 € INCL. VAT • You are 100% freehold owner of a high quality apartment • You get the VAT off the purchase price (19,6%) • You sign a commercial lease contract with VALLORCINE MONT BLANC EURL and get a rental income

INVESTMENT FORMULAS

• Investor Formula : Commercial lease No occupancy & rental income • Formula with 3 weeks occupancy : Commercial lease + rental income • Formula with 6 weeks occupancy : Commercial lease + rental income

For more information : Clotilde Hezez - +33 (0)4 50 54 00 68 - c.hezez@alpes-chalets.com


We are delighted to enter into our second year of partnership with the Chamexpress Rebelles, a women’s ice hockey team made up of the best players from the region in which we operate, the Haute Savoie. Ice hockey is one of the rare team sports for girls in the Haute Savoie and so is highly regarded in the area because of its team and village bonding powers. One of the key objectives of the team is to encourage and promote young girls to participate. Our investment is therefore directly providing an important opportunity for the girls to play a high quality of ice hockey. The team is picked from a preseason team-building and recruitment day and can include girls as young as 14 years old. One of their promising new recruits Clara Mourin (16 years) won last year’s Chamexpress Espoir award, for promising young local female hockey players. We caught up with her to get an insight into her journey as a player: What inspired you to play ice hockey? My elder brother, played hockey in the premiere division. When did you start? When I was 4 years old How did you hear about the Chamexpress Rebelles? They invited me to practice with them at a session in Morzine and awarded me a prize of 200€, which I used to buy a new helmet and stick. How does playing for Chamexpress Rebelles differ from club hockey? We play mixed hockey at my club in Morzine, which is great but at 13 contact is introduced. For the last few years I have been playing in the under 15 team in the youth championship which is quite intense and the next age group is under 18, which frankly can be challenging for a girl, particularly if she is "petite". Playing for the Chamexpress Rebelles there is no contact. The standard is not quite as high as the youth championship or the French junior team that I am used to but I am now able to play women’s hockey much more regularly. Do you play women’s hockey outside the Chamexpress Rebelles? I played with the French under 15 girls team and have been a reserve for the under 18s.

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SUPPORT THE REBE LLES Megeve

Saturday 1st February

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Saturday 8th February

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In his own words...

Mickey Bourdillat

Michelin star chef of Le Bistrot at the Hotel Le Morgane, Chamonix

When did you decide to become a chef and why? I am originally from Burgundy and have dreamed of being a chef since my childhood. My mother’s cooking inspired me a lot, I would try to recreate all the flavours of her stews and the traditional tastes of her sauces. I studied at the Hotel School in Nogent-sur-Seine, and at the age of 17 made it to the final of the best apprentice-chef in France. I had also experienced this appetite for success and passion for excellence from my time as a promising young footballer training with AJ Auxerre. For me, customer satisfaction in my restaurant is equivalent to pleasing the crowd in a football stadium.

Who was your biggest influence?

Without hesitation: Pierre Carrier at the two Michelin stars restaurant "Le Hameau Albert 1er" in Chamonix, alongside whom I spent more than 16 years. I arrived as a young apprentice in the kitchen of this iconic chef and was caught up in his passion for the mountains. He is my spiritual father in the kitchen. He was looking for help in the kitchen and at the time I was seventeen years old. After three or four years, I became chef and we earned the second star together. He taught me the mountain spirit, how to stay humble and respect the produce and the terroir.

When and how did you get your Michelin star?

After sixteen years spent working with the master, I wanted my cooking to be recognised in its own right, so I opened le Bistrot, named with a wink at the grand pomp of haute gastronomy. In 2007, three years after its opening, the restaurant earned its first star. When we opened we wanted to do something a bit different for Chamonix. A place without tableclothes or anything, where everything is in the cooking. And although the restaurant has adjusted its format since obtaining the star, it retains the simplicity and warmth which is so important to me. A place where you feel welcomed like a friend.

From the Chef’s table... Reblochon spring rolls Ingredients (to serve 4 people) • 1 egg yolk • 1 reblochon cheese • 4 sheets of filo pastry • 8 tablespoons acacia honey • 3 tablespoons white vinegar • 1 tablespoon soya sauce • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce • 3 drops of Tabasco • 4 lettuce leaves

Préparation Step 1: Spring rolls – separate each spring roll sheet into three equal triangles. Paint them with the egg yolk. Fold round a slice of reblochon. Step 2 : Sauce – mix the honey, vinegar, soya sauce, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Step 3 : Fry the spring rolls in a non-stick pan in peanut oil, drain them on a paper towel. Step 4 : Wash the lettuce leaves, roll the spring rolls in a lettuce leaf and dip in the sauce.

What is your favorite dish?

There are so many! But if forced to choose, I have a weakness for Mont Blanc snails with polenta espumade.

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151 Avenue de l’Aiguille du Midi * Chamonix 74400 * France Telephone 04 50 53 57 64


Cybergraph Chamonix • photo : Ludovic DiOrio

BOOK SPA & MASSAGE 2 SPAS - CHAMONIX

Resort & Spa les Aiglons aiglons@deepnature.fr Tel: +334 50 55 96 37

SPA . CH AMONIX

Spa Hotel le Morgane morgane@deepnature.fr Tel: +335 50 53 13 22

CHAMONIX AVORIAZ - VAL D’ISERE - ARC 1950 - PARIS - DEAUVILLE - BORA BORA

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A bustling events calendar is the work of the tourist office that looks to support and engage visitors through weekly welcome drinks, quizzes and treasure hunts. There are also externally organised music events such as the Dropzone, Basscamp and Rock the Piste’s festival. Morzine is a traditional market town originally formed around the agriculture and slate mining industries. It sits in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area, with Lake Geneva to the North and Mont Blanc to the South. Morzine is the liveliest of the resorts in the Portes du Soleil with a great après scene in winter and a world class mountain biking setup in summer.

The Port du Soleil claims to be the The main event of the summer is the largest lift serviced ski area in the Pass Portes du Soleil Mountain Bike world , with 200 lifts in total, weekend. The 10th edition of this took spread over 14 valleys and place in the summer of 2013. The town about 400 square transforms into a mecca for the 6,500 miles mountain bikers of all ages that descend on it. There are several different events including a downhill race, womens’ race, kids’ guided tour and on the Friday evening a night ride brought about by the brand Hope and their head torches.

The idyllic town with its wooden chalets straddles a river gorge and is surrounded by lush wooded slopes, giving it an air of tranquillity, which contrasts its party town reputation. This serenity is continued at Lac Montriond, a short journey from Morzine town centre and well worth a visit particularly in summer.

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Morzine also boasts a fine sports centre with pools of all shapes and sizes to cater for all ages and abilities. The sauna and steam rooms are also on hand to help you relax at the end of a long day on the mountain.

Morzine’s skiing links into the Portes du Soleil’s vast 650km of pistes. The area is considered to be suitable for the intermediate skier; however there are a number of black runs at "the bowl" if your group is made up of more experienced skiers. In addition to skiing, those seeking thrills of a more unusual kind can find everything from icebanner-2.ai 1 13/11/2013 12:17:48 diving to Segway driving.

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Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.morzexpress.com


A great deal of focus is given to families, for which they have been given a national award of "Famille Plus Montagne". In town there are games set out in the streets, performers and a carousel. Meanwhile on the slopes, the pistes of Le Grand Cry provide an area of the mountain that is ‘children only’, with Wild West theme. Bar Robinson or Robbo’s is situated on the Chemin du Plan. This is the liveliest spot on the après circuit after a hard day skiing and has a simple method of attracting in thirsty visitors, they serve one beer; the mighty Mutzig. And so the crowds pack in despite the lack of music and décor from the 50s. Last orders are at 19:30 giving everyone a chance to go home and regroup for the night ahead. Towards the bottom of the Rue de Bourg is Le Rhodos, a popular après ski bar serving snakebite and giving its clientele the opportunity to drink for free by being handy with the dice in a game called "toss the boss". They also have a PMU betting station, popular with the locals.

The rest of the ski area consists of mainly blue and red runs for those up to a moderate level, a beginner zone for those just starting out. However if your group does have a few more experienced skiers, the Deborah Anthonioz boarder-cross course is worth a visit.

The Tremplin, which sits at the foot of the pistes by the Pleney lift is another major après destination, whose location and regular live DJs draw in the crowds coming down from the slopes.

To support the families that frequent Les Gets a choice of high quality, British ski and board tuition isavailable. Lessons tend to start from the lively ‘Chavannes’ area which is at the top of the red telecabine from the village. There are a number of great restaurants on the slopes at Les Chavannes, including Altitude Lodge that serves up a great hot chocolate. In town Les Gets now has its very own curry house ‘Le Bombay Ski Club’ with Indian chefs from Coventry!

Les Gets

Les Gets is perched at the western edge of the Porte du Soleil ski area and is another resort that identifies strongly with "eco-tourism". Its 18 hole golf course for example is the first to have obtained an environmental certificate. The stone and wood chalets speak of an effort to preserve and celebrate the town’s cultural heritage and lend the place the feel of a haven from the coarser, more frenetic ‘modern’ world beyond the snow-bound slopes. 170 x 25 advet LGS.pdf 1 07/11/2013 15:34

British ski lessons, ski guiding and snowboarding lessons in Les Gets and Morzine Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.morzexpress.com

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Les Gets doesn’t have the après scene of Morzine, however there are some great pubs that put on a bit of a show. Bar Bush has a ‘Winter Quiz Series’ every Friday and regular fancy dress parties. Boomerang bar is popular with the locals because the prices are a little easier on the wallet and they do great fish and chips.

Avoriaz

In 1960 Jean Vuarnet won the Winter Olympics and became the director in charge of transforming Avoriaz into a ski resort. When he was finished he realised his dream of creating a ‘small Savoyard Colorado’, built high on an escarpment above Morzine. It is one of the top snowboarding destinations in the world, with the impressive Snowpark d’Arare acting as the focal point for many of the riders that come from far and wide to hit the various kickers, rails, and boxes. The resort retains a quiet feel, despite being a station on the main circuit of Les Portes du Soleil. The whole resort is pedestrianised, which means children can go sledging in the heart of the village in complete safety. The only other mode of transport in the village is the horse-drawn sleighs, which give a festive feel.

In summer the mountain biking scene is linked in with that of Morzine and the Les Gets trails have played host to both the World and French Mountain Biking Championships. There is something for riders of all levels but the more experienced riders will be heading for the Jump Park, North Shore downhill and freestyle airbag.

Avoriaz also plays host to the Aquariaz Waterpark. This aquatic paradise contrasts a tropical feel with the snowy mountains outside in winter and its lush vegetation, rocks pools, slides and gently flowing river make it a great facility for all the family.

Ski with some of the best British instructors in the Alps Call us or email us now to book lessons Call 0033 450 74 98 58 from France Call 0844 484 33 44 from the UK email Info@thesnowinstitute.com visit www.thesnowinstitute.com 24TSI_Ad 170x112.5.indd

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Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.morzexpress.com 19/12/2013 12:09


Cybergraph Chamonix • photo : Ludovic DiOrio

BOOK SPA & MASSAGE AVORIAZ

Residence P&V Premium SPA . AVORI AZ

amara@deepnature.fr & +33 4 50 84 53 07

AVORIAZ CHAMONIX - VAL D’ISERE - ARC 1950 - PARIS - DEAUVILLE - BORA BORA

www.deepnature.fr


We check out some of the essential items you should be carrying, wearing or sticking in your back pack when heading out into the mountains this year.

ABS Vario Silver Edition + Few skiers these days venture into the backcountry without at least considering strapping on one of these airbag systems. With such high avalanche survival statistics behind them even the hefty price tag isn’t enough to deter most. The latest innovations in these bags are in reducing weight from the cumbersome early versions. This unit is particularly narrow and fits to the body seamlessly thanks to a neoprene hip strap. When combined with the zip-on Ultralight 18litre backpack, this is a must have for those that are looking to be light and safe.

Swix Sonic Poles Swix Sport is set to launch a new adjustable pole collection for 2014 called Swix Sonic, at the heart of which is a revolutionary new locking system. The position of this system is located higher up on the pole allowing performance to be greater than its competitors and weight to be reduced. It’s alloy construction also gives it great locking reliability and means it can be completely disassembled without tools. We also loved the silicone grip that gives you great feel and that Swix claim stays soft even in the coldest conditions.

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Sirocco helmet by Petzl Next up is a groundbreaking climbing helmet from Petzl. Not only does it hit our lightweight pre-requisite thanks to its monobloc construction, it retains top end impact resistance due to the use of expanded polypropylene so your safety is not compromised. One neat feature that Petzl have managed to get a patent for is the one hand adjustable chin strap that uses a magnetic buckle. This is a great feature in a sport where two hands free is rarely an option. Lastly and most importantly for us, unlike many helmets on the mountain this looks sleeker and is better ventilated so all climbers out there are sure to be a bit cooler when donning one of these.

Suunto Ambit2 S White Suunto has been synonymous with adventure since Finnish orienteer Tuomas Vohlon founded the company in 1936 with the first liquid filled compass. We take a look at a watch that takes adventure to the next level, the Ambit2 S White for women. Its distinguishing features are its low weight for a watch of this genre and soft, elastic strap, specially designed for greater comfort on women’s wrists. But forget comfort the reason we love this watch is that you can continually upgrade it with a wide range of apps available at the Suunto online store. These allow you to track your location, monitor your performance and stay alert to the conditions around you. Some of our favourites apps include current incline, beers burned off, oxygen level, sleeping heart rate, ski speed, swimming pool laps, average stride length and gel alert.

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The town has also recognised the need to support the growing number of tourists and so has invested in a new tourist office with a more interactive feel and faster access to useful information. The idyllic winter wonderland of Megève with its cobbled streets, horse drawn carts and boutique shops is perhaps how some would envisage a perfect alpine ski resort. Steeped in charming 18th century buildings and Michelin starred restaurants, this chic resort was founded back in the 1920’s by the Rothschild family.

Flocons Villages, is the village bistrot of owner Emmanuel Renault, who holds three Michelin stars at his Flocons de Sel restaurant in the next valley. This restaurant represents excellent value and his expertise is clear from the ingredients, recipes and consistent quality.

Overlooking the village of Megève, at an altitude of 1300 metres, the 18-hole golf course at the Domaine du Mont d’Arbois is today one of the oldest and most stylish golf courses in the region. The driving force in those days was the Baroness Maurice de Rothschild who decided on the advice of her private ski instructor to transform the Domaine du Mont d’Arbois into a privileged mountain holiday location to rival St. Moritz. Traditionally popular with wealthy international business men and famous actors from across the globe, Megève does indeed cater well for these clients with events such as the Snow Polo Cup, International Show Jumping and Jazz festival. However the town’s facilities work well for families too, with friendly skiing, a high quality sports centre and various educational mountain installations. The focal point of Megève is the central square with a fine medieval church, the Aallard department store where the world’s first ski trousers were tailored and in winter a spectacular Swarovski Christmas tree.

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It has a significant intermediate ski area with 445km of pistes at your disposal and plenty of variety for beginners, something that many other resorts lack. Megeve’s proximity to Mont Blanc, extensive network of snow canons and its underlying grassy terrain means that the resort doesn’t struggle to keep all its areas banner-1.ai 1 13/11/2013 12:06:08 open for the season.

The Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a golf enthusiast, who was behind the creation of the course in 1964, entrusted the layout to expert course designer, Henry Cotton.

The course is the setting for numerous amateur and professional competitions, the most well-known being the Pro Am ‘Baronne Maurice de Rothschild’. However for those of you that think golf is a sport reserved for summer, think again because Megève each winter brings us the "The Snow Golf Cup". Played on a snowcovered course and using enlarged holes the Cup is battled for by 500 golfers over 8 days of competition.

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Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.megevexpress.com

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St Gervais is best known for the thermal waters that have risen up from deep in the earth’s crust for more than 200 years. Their hydrotherapeutic properties led many to travel great distances to be cured of a wide range of health complaints. This gave rise to the 19th Century spa architecture that now features strongly in the town centre. The thermal spa facility at the bottom of the hill has recently undergone a significant development, throwing off its medical background and creating a modern space for relaxation and rejuvenation.

In August 2010 a lake under the Tête-Rousse glacier above St Gervais had to be pumped dry to prevent a possible flood. A ninteenthcentury flood caused by a lake under the same glacier broke through and tearing down the mountain killed 175 people

The Tramway du Mont Blanc featured in the film "Malabar Princess" ascends from the town on a rack and pinion track to an altitude of 2372 metres. This brings you up close and personal with Mont Blanc and the Glacier de Bionassay.

As with many resorts in the Alps the attitude of the town is heavily influenced by the town Mayor who in this case is a leader in sustainable development. He encourages a softer form of tourism, and this is reflected in his "Pure Mountain Campaign" a deliberate choice to respect the surrounding mountains and control excessive access for pure commercial benefit. The ski area, connected to Megève, is huge and perfect for intermediate skiers wanting a resort that offers mile upon mile of tree-lined skiing. Facing Mont Blanc the views are stunning and at just under an hour from Geneva airport it is also a perfect weekend getaway.

The resort also boasts ownership of the highest mountain in Europe, Mont-Blanc, whose summit falls within the town’s boundaries. The famous "Voie Royale" route departs from Saint-Gervais and is said to be the most direct access to the summit.

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La Raviere on the mountain is a tiny wooden chalet hidden in the woods just above the Communaille chairlift. You should go with close friends as you will be sitting virtually on top of each other in this family run refuge.

Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.megevexpress.com


Welcome to Geneva’s only open-top bus day excursion to Chamonix A must see on everyone’s holiday list with attractions such as Europe’s highest cable car, the Aiguille du Midi and the Mer de Glace where you can descend by gondola onto the glacier and explore the caves that descend into the heart of the ice.

Panoramic Valley Tour In addition we provide the Official Tour of the valley for those already in Chamonix and invite you to experience the magnificent sights, scenery and attractions of the valley in safety and comfort aboard our open-top sightseeing buses.

Let us transport you there in the comfort of our state of the art bus with retractable roof to assist you in taking some spectacular panoramic shots of the Chamonix valley. The bus departs from the Warwick Hotel in Geneva at 08:15 and with a journey time of 1 hour and 30 minutes you will arrive in the Chamonix valley before the crowds. On entering the valley a guided tour commentary available in 8 different languages will begin on the headphones, distributed by our friendly staff. The first half of your tour will end when we set you down conveniently at the Parc Loisirs, right by the Montenvers train station. From here you can directly access the Mer de Glace or walk over the bridge and into the centre of town. Many of you will also want to visit the Aguille du Midi, which is only a short walk away and for which we can arrange preorder tickets to save queuing time. The bus will then return at 17:00 to pick you up and take you back to Geneva. On the way out of the valley your headphones will go live again and you will receive a guided tour of the North side of the valley to round off your day. The ChamonixSightseeing open-top buses are also available for private hire. Ideal for any special occasion, whether it’s a wedding, party, or corporate event. Make sure your guests are transported in style and comfort. The buses can also be decorated according to your individual requirements. Please email info@chamonixsightseeing.com for a personal quotation.

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After boarding our open-top bus at the Parc Loisirs you will be able to enjoy the 360 degree panoramic views of the Chamonix Valley, even if it rains thanks to a ‘state-of-the-art’ sliding, electric glass canopy. Your time in Chamonix is often precious and our tour provides the most efficient way to see the valley, take in its fascinating history and experience its unusual architecture.


Geneva Daytrip Prices

Tour Include s

The ma ny Comme sights of Cham ntary onix Duratio in 8 language s n 60 m inu Special family d tes Childre n unde eals r 3 free

Adults 85 € Children 50 € (under 12s) Children Under 3 FREE

What’s Included? • Return travel by open top bus • Audio commentary in 8 languages • All tolls and taxes

Tour Schedule Our buses operate daily throughout the summer from May to October.

Tour Frequency On the hour between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm.

6 Easy Ways to book... 1. From your hotel reception or chalet/apartment owner 2. At our Tourist Information Points, or any uniformed staff 3. Travel Agencies and Tourist Information Offices 4. Online at our website: www.ChamonixSightseeing.com 5. At Geneva Airport: From the Chamexpress Representative 6. Our main office: 498 Avenue des Alpages, Les Houches.

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courting

courmayeur A short journey through the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix on our Aostaexpress service will bring you into the charming resort of Courmayeur. The first thing you will notice is the architecture of the houses with their distinctive stone roofing. You can then either go into the pedestrianised centre and find your first hit of espresso or head for the lift station where in winter you will most likely be confronted by a wall of brightly coloured ski suits.

When discussing the ski area it is also worth mentioning the Bianca Neve (Snow White) Point Experience, a new nursery situated on the Plan Checrouit, just a few steps from the ski runs. Here trained staff will take care of your children from age 0 to 10 years, so you can freely enjoy your days skiing. Don’t think they’ll be just stuck indoors all day either; the outdoor activities include a range of toys and inflatable bouncy castles. To the North of Courmayeur is the Val Ferret valley, which leads up to the Swiss border. In winter this is the start point for several ski touring adventures and also home to a great cross-country ski circuit. In summer it is frequented by hikers, many of which are on their way around Mont Blanc. Also at the foot of the Val Ferret valley is the Mont Blanc cable car that gives access to the Vallee Blanche and Hellbronner lifts, the latter of which connects to the Aguille du Midi in summer.

French was the official language

Courmayeur offers up some great until the 19th century and it skiing and often the conditions qas the first town in Italy to contrast that of the French resorts have a guide company on the opposite side of Mont Blanc. A founded in it powder day in Courmayeur for example can often be a poor day in Chamonix and vice versa. There is limited on piste skiing and it’s not possible to ski directly back to the village but there is some great offpiste that is often untracked. In addition to this the atmosphere in the mountain restaurants makes Courmayeur a standout experience. You can often feel like you are part of the family when crossing the threshold of one of these establishments and the cozy, rustic interiors are matched with mountain food cooked with passion, Italian style.

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Courmayeur shares administration of Mont Blanc with St Gervais and is subsequently able to claim itself as highest commune in Italy. Mont Blanc is ever present during time spent in Courmayeur and shows a steeper and rockier face from the Italian side than the soft dome and gentle rolling glaciers visible from the French side.

Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.aostaexpress.com


The ski area starts at an altitude of 1,450m in the town and reaches over 2,600m, with the awesome run number 3 and its 73o gradient providing a challenge for even the best skiers. The Wazimu snowpark, which in Swahili means "madness" is so named to remind those heading for the kickers, boxes and rails that they will require a touch of Swahili to do so. The park can be found on Piloni slope number 12, which is easy to reach from the town by means of the DMC cable car or Bosco Express chairlift. La Thuile is also well known for its snow kiting area, situated on the Little St Bernard Pass (2,188 m). The area is positioned so that the wind is never in short supply and kiters can freely practice jumping and soaring down the snow-laden slopes away from the skiers. There is also a snow kiting school that caters for kiters of all abilities.

Heli-skiing is permitted in Italy and drop offs can be made in Cervinia, Gressoney, Valgrisenche, Ollomont, La Thuile and in the swiss resorts of Trient and Verbier. However most exciting of all are the heli-drops on Mont Blanc itself. This gives access to skiing on the Miage and Bionassay glaciers and for the experts access to some exciting steep skiing lines can be organised.

La Thuile

At the end of a day on the slopes, the Gelateria is generally the place of choice, however far from an Après ski hangout this is a small café that serves up great icecream and cakes. In summer La Thuile, like many of the alpine resorts, is building a reputation as a great place to ride mountain bikes. They have gone about things slightly differently, focusing on singletrack trails instead of building wide downhill tracks. There are two chairlifts, giving a vertical drop of around 1000 and 220km of routes to keep riders occupied.

"reliable snow, uncrowded pistes... and heli-skiing" Like many of the resorts we provide transfers for La Thuile was originally a mining town, with its history dating back to the beginning of the 19th century; it is now a tourist resort founded on winter sports. La Thuile’s state-of-the art lifts are one of its main strengths, carrying up to 35,000 people per hour and ensuring that this is a resort where queues are rarely a problem. Neither is snow thanks La Thuile’s majority North facing slopes and heavy investment in the 400 snow making canons.

mobile: +39 349 399 13 63 email: alpettacourmayeur@gmail.com web: alpettatrattoria.com

Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.aostaexpress.com

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HOTEL LES LANCHERS CHAmONix



With 19 comfortable bedrooms and

The restaurant serves traditional

ski rental shops nearby providing

a charming bistro restaurant, this

french and local savoyard

discounts for hotel guests, Les

hotel is one of the most convivial

specialities with an excellent

Lanchers is the perfect place for

addresses in Chamonix with the

value wine list personally chosen

your Chamonix ski holiday.

added bonus of being near a cable

by the proprietor. A selection of

car accessing the main ski area.

international beers and cocktails is

KEY FACiLiTiES

available in the lounge bar fitted with The en-suite rooms have great

3 screens for worldwide sports and

views of Mont-Blanc or l’Aiguille

news programmes.

Sauna, Restaurant Rendezvous, Baby Sitting, Free WIFI

des Drus with a selection of twins, doubles and two-bedroomed suites

Ideally located very close to the

for families or groups of friends.

Flegere cable car for easy access to the mountains and a choice of

+ 33 (0) 450 534 719

89 km

|

vacances@hotel-lanchers-chamonix.com

B&B / Half Board

| hotel-lanchers-chamonix.com

2 Min

£74 - £99 p/night


Welcome to world of retro chic with Charlie Adam... Born in 1975, a great year for Bordeaux wines, funk music and Swedish tennis, Charlie Adam has become the most easily identifiable graphisist in the Alps. His retro images with humorous captions are instantly recognisable and no chalet is complete without the warm nostalgic feeling that one of his works brings to the owner.

Charlie fell in love with drawing and snow from a young age in his secret base, his parent’s garage. With a crayon in one hand and ski pole in another he passed through his childhood years in Chamonix perfecting his style before being picked up by the Geneva art school. Post-college Charlie found work creating pictures for bars and hotels until his brother Lionel suggested he make a series of post cards entitled Alp Chic in a kitsch style. These captured the imagination of his employers who asked him to make full sized versions of these creations and so it began. Tourist boards and brands like Quiksilver, Samsung and The North Face soon followed. Despite an explosion in popularity Charlie loves nothing more than to go back to his secret base, now slightly larger and draw for the pleasure of his fans.

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a smorgasbord of alleys, galleries, hidden courtyards and delightful nooks waiting to be discovered Annecy is known as the ‘Venice of the Alps’ for good reason, being steeped in history and filled with canals, flowers, and cartloads of charm. It is one of the oldest inhabited sites in the Northern Alps, and is perched on the shore of one of the purest lakes in the world, which was formed around 18,000 years ago when the great Alpine glaciers began to melt.

The lake offers endless possibilities for enjoyment, from serene walks to vigorous water sports – the sky is pretty much the limit. If you want to soak up the scenery then a lake cruise or sightseeing tour is ideal, and a great way to discover hidden gems, and learn the layout of the area and some of its history. If, however, you’d rather be more active, then wakesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and pedal boat trips are just few of the ways you can get up close and personal with the lake – some more so than others! If simple sailing, or messing about in a pedal boat is a little tame for you, then Essaonia - Rivières du Monde have the perfect solution, offering a broad range of extreme aquatic activities to get the blood pumping, such as white water rafting, kayaking, hydrospeed, canorafting and sea kayaking trips.

The crystal waters and picturesque town are overlooked by the Tournette Mountain with its armchair-shaped summit, and surrounded by wooded slopes, offering a breathtaking setting that conjures an intense air of tranquillity that is hard to rival.

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Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.annecyexpress.com


Those wishing to experience a taste (literally) of Alpine traditions should keep a keen eye on Annecy’s many markets, held at various times throughout the month – anything from once a month, to every week. They offer a wide range of fare, from a mouth-watering selection of food at the Place de la Mandallaz, to clothing, jewellery, and furniture at the Creators’ Market. There is even an antiques and art market on the last Saturday of every month for those who enjoy antiquing or simply browsing through the pieces on offer in search of a unique treasure to take away.

In the 13th Century Annecy was the Capital of Geneva. Annecy is twinned with Cheltenham

Of course, while an army may march on its stomach, a flock of visitors fortified by the sharp alpine air could give them a run for their money, which is why

For many, a trip to somewhere like Annecy is more about relaxation and exploration than throwing themselves into sports (and the lake!), and this is where Annecy comes into its own, with many places of historical interest in and around the town. Popular sights and monuments include The Castle – a historical symbol of Annecy, which has been well restored after being acquired in the fifties, The Old town hall, the Visitation Basilica, and the Conservatory of Art and History, which was built in the 17th century. Should the mood to explore further afield grab you, then the Cascade d’Angon is well worth visiting, and is set in truly beautiful surroundings, much like the Secret Garden. This intriguing place was created in 1980 and is a smorgasbord of alleys, galleries, hidden courtyards and delightful nooks waiting to be discovered. The gardens show off a range of diverse themes, blending different materials, flora and fauna, to create a truly unique and oddly whimsical place.

Annecy plays host to some stunning eateries and restaurants, serving up traditional mountain cuisine. It is the perfect chance to savour some of the area’s specialities, such as fish, fresh from the lake, cheese, or the ever delectable chocolate for which the region is well known. A gastronome’s delight, an extreme sport fan’s perfect retreat, and the ideal haven for the traveller seeking relaxation in an awe-inspiring setting – Annecy is many things to many people, and this pictureperfect town deserves every accolade with which it has been bestowed.

Book your transfer from Geneva Airport at www.annecyexpress.com

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Do you have to fit winter tyres in sets of four? I must stress that fitting winter tyres to the drive wheels only, is not an option. Today’s more advanced vehicles means that the vehicle requires and compensates for handling and braking on all four corners. Having winter tyres on only two wheels versus four can cause significant handling issues and should never be done.

Chamexpress has joined forces with highly respected European premium tyre manufacturer, Vredestein, to maximise your safety whilst travelling with us. We have fitted winter tyres to all our vehicles for the past few winters and have found them to be highly effective in challenging Alpine road conditions. But what are winter tyres, what are the benefits of fitting them and with much of the UK experiencing temperatures of below 7° Celsius between November and March each year, should you consider fitting them to your car back home?

Do winter tyres reach operating temperatures quicker in cold conditions than all year round tyres? Because the winter tyre is designed to work at lower temperatures and the all season is a combination tyre, the winter tyre will reach operating temperature very quickly. The section of the all season designed for winter conditions, will do the same. The summer section of the tyre may take slightly longer, so allow for that in your driving style.

We ask Vredestein UK Managing Director and Chairman of Tyresafe, Stuart Jackson, to explain: What exactly are winter tyres? Winter tyres are specially developed to give optimum performance in temperatures of 7° and below. Why do we need that? Because below that temperature a summer or ‘standard’ tyre’s compound changes and becomes less able to handle the road conditions. Imagine taking a piece of rubber and putting it in the freezer, it would stiffen, be less pliable and wouldn’t be able to adapt to changing road conditions. In simple terms, this is what happens to your tyres. We use more natural rubber instead of synthetic materials to make the winter tyres which avoids that. In addition, we design additional varied grooves in the tyre tread which we call ‘sipes’. These little grooves are placed around the circumference of the tyre tread. They naturally deform when the tyres rotates and create a form of ‘toothed’ effect. This creates extra grip and natural cleaning properties for the tyres to allow the movement of snow and ice build up, where necessary, improved grip in wet conditions – especially at lower temperatures and greatly improved braking performance. Are they the same as M+S (Mud and Snow) tyres? No. A dedicated winter tyre carries a snow peak marking on the sidewall. This indicates that it has been designed specifically for the purpose, giving better grip (all round – not just on the drive wheels), better braking performance and better ability to compensate for changes in road conditions and temperature change. Do they only benefit while driving on snow? Absolutely not. We have a dedicated tyre designed, the ‘Snowtrac’, to give optimal performance in snow. We don’t have snow on the ground all winter round, but what we do have is a combination of wet weather and cold weather. The condition that has the greatest effect is low temperature. You may also hear the tyres referred to as ‘cold weather tyres’ for that reason.

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How often should tyre pressure be checked and is it necessary to adjust for driving in snow conditions? We recommend you get into the habit of checking the pressure and carrying out a visual check for noticeable damage, and/or foreign objects in the tyre, at least once per month. You should always use the recommended tyre pressures in line with manufacturers’ recommendations and should also consider changing the pressures if you regularly carry a number of passengers or additional weight. In these circumstances, the tyre pressure usually needs to be increased. A winter tyre requires more tread depth, so always be mindful of that. On a final note, please remember that tyres are a safety critical item. Without them, your vehicle simply wouldn’t go anywhere!! That is how important they are and yet they are so easily overlooked. When you drive any vehicle, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is fit for purpose, not someone else’s; be it tyre dealer, husband, friend or whoever. You would never willingly put your life or that of your friends or family at risk, so look after your tyres and they will look after you. Having taken the trouble to get the right equipment for skiing and snowboarding this winter – it makes sense to get the right equipment for winter motoring. For further information, please visit: www.vredestein.co.uk


Vredestein Top performance

Winter Tyres Vredestein has an extensive and balanced range of winter

tyres that emerged as winners in various European tests.

With products such as the Snowtrac 3, Wintrac xtreme,

Wintrac 4 xtreme, Comtrac Winter, Comtrac All Season, Arctrac and the recently introduced Nextreme SUV, Vredestein offers a wide range of winter tyres for a large variety of vehicles. This includes cars and luxury SUVs to

light commercial vehicles. In addition, Vredestein is the only brand in the world to offer winter tyres for the Premium Styling concept: tyres in the 25-series and/or with speed

code Y (suitable for speeds up to 186 mph (300 km/h) for high-performance cars. So no compromises need to be

made in the winter interms of wheel size or speed code. This means the original high-end image of the car remains intact in the winter.

Rubber composition

Winter and summer tyres differ essentially in two main areas: the profile and the composition of the rubber. The rubber composition of the tread of a winter tyre is softer at

lower temperatures than the rubber of summer tyres. This means the profile blocks are more flexible and the tyres

generate more grip on the road. Thanks to the sipes that run across the tread, the tyre grips more easily on a snowy or icy surface.

A Top performance

Vredestein winter tyres will give you a perfect grip on wet, snowy or icy roads at temperatures below 7º C (45º F). The

special sipes provide excellent traction on snowy surfaces, ‘gripping’ into the snow. Snow and mud is effortlessly

shaken off from the tread. Due to the silicabase mix, the rubber remains soft and flexible and offers maximum grip even at low temperatures.

‘Snowflake’ coding

In addition to the standard M+S-coding, winter tyres can also be provided with a special snowflake symbol. This is

a standard defined by the industry which indicates that a winter tyre complies with the requirements of the special winter test. Winter tyres are awarded this symbol when they

successfully complete a prescribed test on a snowy surface. All Vredestein winter tyres have passed this testing method with ease and have the snowflake symbol in addition to the usual M+S coding.

www.vredestein.com

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london calling Nestled on the banks of the River Thames, London is the capital of England and a leading global city, long considered to be one of the world’s ‘culture centres’. It isn’t hard to see why this bustling metropolitan city is one of the most visited in the world, serving up, as it does, a delicious blend of art, fashion, music, theatre, and history. Rising above the skyline, the breathtaking historic architecture at its heart is punctuated by cutting-edge modern design, from the iconic London Eye, to the glassy 30 St Mary Axe, known to Londoners as ‘The Gherkin’.

what to do and where to go

The city is one of contradiction. The grand, almost imposing weight of history, from the very bricks and mortar, to the artwork, literature, and lingering musical tones in London’s theatres, cathedrals, and halls is comforting, awe-inspiring and almost sobering. Meanwhile, the modern buildings and busy commerce areas inject the city with an adrenalin that is hard to shake off. That these two radically different notes can exist in harmony mirrors the diversity of the city’s populace and the wonders it has to offer. London may not be the world’s biggest city, but it doesn’t have to be – size doesn’t matter, after all - as it packs in an extraordinary amount to see and enjoy. If you like soaking in architecture or museum hopping, then you’ll be pleased to know that the majority of the city’s museums and galleries are free to the public. These include the world famous British Museum, housing some of the greatest treasures of the ancient world, and the National Gallery on the fringe of Trafalgar Square, home to exquisite pieces such as Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ and Van Gogh’s’ Sunflowers’, alongside works by Turner, Monet, and Savoy Court is the only street Da Vinci. Similarly, The Imperial War in Britain that you are Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, required to drive on The Natural History Museum, and the Tate Britain are all free to the public. the right

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Tottenham Court Road, should you fancy haggling over the latest tech. If you like your shopping to be a littlemore down to earth and authentic, however, then London boasts some truly wonderful markets, many of which date back hundreds of years, such as Camden, Spitalfields , and Covent Garden to name but a few. These provide everything from foodie delights to odds and curiosities, to vintage clothing by the cartload - the perfect place to pick up something unique (after all, you can’t frame our service, no matter how good it is).

The ‘to do’ list of any London visitor is likely to be a long one, and the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, and Buckingham Palace all pull in millions of enthralled visitors a year, but just wandering London’s heart can see many simpler treasures unveiled. Tree lined avenues, quiet squares, and beautiful buildings are all there to be discovered, and on a summer’s day London’s parks are full of those soaking 10 up the heat in some welcome downtime from the bustle of the city. They make ideal places to walk off lunch, picnic with the family, or to enjoy unwinding with a good book in the shade of a tree.

If you enjoy men in shorts, or are possessed of a sporty nature, then you’ll no doubt appreciate London’s strong sports heritage. The iconic Wembley Stadium, rebuilt in 2007, is home to the FA Cup Final and other key sporting events. Perhaps London’s proudest moment, however, was when, in 2012, it became the first city to host the summer Olympic games three times – events which saw the host nation scoop the greatest number of medals the country actually had seen since 1908.

Downing Street is the official residence of the first Lord of the Treasury

For those who like nothing more than flexing their credit cards, and who can bear to tear themselves away from our dedicated services for a moment, Oxford Street is a hot destination, with a rich variety of retail names, and the vast shopping mecca of Selfridges. A stone’s throw away are the elegant boutiques of Bond Street and the electronic haven of Book your transfer from Heathrow Airport at www.myhotelexpress.com

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landscape/portrait orientation) will give you a better printout for some puzzles. OR, you can go back and change your puzzle settings to change the grid size, font size, or reposition the word list to the right or bottom of the puzzle.

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L L E S C O N T A M I N E S I N T I

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AGUILLEDUM AOSTA Find the phrases below within the jumbled mess APRESSKI of letters in the grid. You know how it works! CHALET Piste AguilleCHAMEXPRE Du Midi Ice Skating Skiing AostaCHAMONIX Icicle Slalom La Thuile ApresCOURMAYEU Ski GENEVA Les Contamines Sled Cannes Snow ChaletHELISKI London HUSKY Snowboarding Chamexpress Megeve ICECLIMBING Snowshoeing Chamonix Minibus ICESKATING St Gervais Courmayeur Mont Blanc ICICLE Trigell DriverLATHUILEMorzine Mountain Spa Vallee Blanche Geneva LESCONTANI HeliskiLONDON Olympics HuskyMEGEVE Orange Ice Climbing MINIBUS Paris

Sudoku Carol Vorderman may have moved on from 19/12/2011 Countdown, but that doesn’t mean14:18 you have to stop playing numbers games, so grab a pencil and start filling in those squares. No cheating!


"The objective of the classes is to allow a diverse group of ski and snowboard enthusiasts to reduce their risk of injury by being strong in specific movements and positions relevant to their chosen snow sport." Advances in ski, binding and boot technology in recent decades has helped to reduce the incidence of lower leg fractures and some companies are claiming that their latest innovations will protect against soft tissue damage as well. However these claims can only be proved over time and will never replace the importance of getting yourself in the sort of shape that will see you withstand all that the mountain can throw at you.

For the many sponsored athletes, ski instructors and guides that live in the Alps this is an essential part of their preseason and continued conditioning programme, particularly as they can’t afford a day off the slopes. However the classes also see many snow-mad locals unwilling to miss a single turn and those on holiday looking to ensure they are able to return year after year. The programme starts eight weeks before the lifts open and will continue to run throughout winter, with two classes per week. You can find LA CLINIQUE DU SPORT, by the Montenvers train station in Chamonix and if you’d like to go and check out what you’re missing, La Clinique is offering those mentioning CHAMEXPRESS their first class at a specially discounted price of 10€. In addition to offering other fitness classes such as yoga, kettle and pilates, La Clinique’s experienced professionals offer Sports Massage, Sports Physiotherapy and Osteopathy. These services can also be provided at your accommodation.

We take a look at what’s going on behind the doors at La Clinique Du Sport, where Neil Maclean-Martin, Chamonix’s sports injury specialist, continues to treat thousands of injuries, including those of Olympic athletes and World Cup winners from different ski disciplines. He is employing the latest techniques in pre-habilitation to a wide variety of subjects looking to hit the slopes this winter and seeing some significant results. "There is no doubt more time should be invested in prevention of the sort of injuries that I see on a day to day basis. The classes I have put together give those serious about their sport the structure, expertise and motivation to perform on the mountain from the first to last day of the season" says Neil. His groundbreaking class SKI FIT™ is a ski and snowsports pre-habilitation programme based on scientific injury prevention research and a unique blend of circuit training, custom dynamic balance routines and elements from CrossFit and Pilates. The focus is on stabilising the knee joint and ensuring that it works in unison with the other major joints employed whilst participating in snow-sports.

Neil Maclean-Martin

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Cannes is one of the most well known

and popular resorts of the French Riviera, with its Mediterranean climate offering blissfully long, warm summers, making it a top destination for visitors the world over. Perhaps more famous than the glorious weather, however, is the annual Cannes Film Festival, held every May, turning the resort into a Mecca for the movie mighty who flock to Cannes for the prestigious festivities.

Away

from the film ties, Cannes is a magnet for thousands of visitors every year who flood in from the mighty cruise ships that touch on the port, and those who enjoy a taste of luxury, with its upmarket bars, restaurants, and boutiques complimenting the range of elegant waterfront hotels and sleepy apartments.This keen attention is understandable, as, aside from the stunning beaches, there is much to do, whether it is shopping, or simply enjoying any number of outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking in the nearby hills, or golf, horse riding, tennis, and water-sports.

In

fact, the influence of the film industry on the city is a strong one, manifesting itself in wonderfully surprising ways. One of the most eye-catching of these is the series of over fifteen painted walls, featuring famous faces from the silver screen, including Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe. Finding them all is a great way of exploring the city - just pack your walking shoes!

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On average 4,500 journalists attend the Cannes film festival and the red carpet at the film festival is changed 3 times a day

Book your transfer from Nice Airport at www.cannexpress.com


Of course,

the serenity of the area makes it ideal for those seeking a more sedate and relaxing break, and the number of churches and beautiful villas, tucked away in the extensive greenery of the city, make it ripe for exploration. One of the most popular areas, of course, is the waterfront avenue of La Croisette, with its wide pavements,shaded by palm trees, offering a wealth of pleasant boutiques and cafes - perfect for watching the world go by while enjoying a cocktail or cool drink!

If

you like to enjoy more than just the sun, however, there are a number of museums and visitor hotspots to be savoured, most notably Ile Sainte-Marguerite, prison of the mysterious and tragic ‘Man In The Iron Mask’, made famous by the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas. Today, visitors can see the cell in which he spent a portion of his life, and enjoy the views from the Fort of St Marguerite, now known as the Museum of the Sea, which itself houses some fascinating discoveries from ancient shipwrecks around the island.

1 Which of these movies has NOT won the Cannes Palme d’Or?

Quiz Answers Question 1: B | Question 2: C | Question 3: B

A Barton Fink B Do the Right Thing C Taxi Driver D MASH

2 Which British pop band stormed the festival in 1997 to promote a film they had yet to actually make?

A Boyzone B All Saints C The Spice Girls D Blur

3 Which prominent French president once claimed that the festival was too expensive to be staged every year?

A Jacques Chirac B Francois Mitterand C George Pompidou D Charles De Gaulle Book your transfer from Nice Airport at www.cannexpress.com

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The Pont Neuf bridge, constructed in 1604, was the first to have unrestricted views of the Seine below

Sprawling decadently on the banks of the River Seine, and one of largest cities in Europe, Paris certainly needs little introduction. It remains one of the most visited cities in the world for good reason, boasting something for everyone, and is instantly recognisable from its famous skyline, pierced by the dominant, but romantic, spire of the Eiffel Tower.

Over time, Paris has become world renowned as a cultural hub for the arts and media, and is an inexorable magnet for art lovers, fashionistas, foodies, and movie stars who sustain France’s vibrant film, fashion and art industries, making them the envy of the world.

Building on its strong cultural heritage, Paris is home to some of the finest works of art in the world, none more so than the Mona Lisa, safely ensconced in the Louvre. This fortress turned palace and museum receives over eight million visitors a year, so if you want a glimpse of the world’s most enigmatic smile, be warned, you’ll need a very early start and sharp elbows to beat the crowds. Just be prepared, she is smaller than you think!

Visitors to Paris are truly spoiled for choice, with the Paris Opera and ballet a draw for the more culturally minded, and the stunning parks - such as Tuileries Garden - nestled along the banks of the Seine are the perfect destinations for those lazy, Parisian afternoons. Of course, if the tourist hotspots of the Champs Elysees, Arc De Triomphe, and the giddy heights of the Eiffel Tower aren’t for you, then a long walk through the city’s quieter districts can be the perfect way to while away your time, drinking in the breathtaking blend 5.5million peopl of historic and modern architecture, tower each year. and sampling the many delights of the city of lights”, thi boutiques and patisseries hidden among to the number o the winding streets.

who liv

It isn’t just the arts, however, that make the city famous, but the food. Rich, beautifully indulgent and exciting, French and Parisian cuisine is famous, and no trip to the city would be complete without dining out in one of the many thousands of first-class restaurants and bistros.

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Book your transfer from CDG Airport at www.myhotelexpress.com


For those seeking something a little different, however, the historic Montmartre district, traditionally home to Paris’s thriving art community, is a must-see. Over the years, the roster of artists who have kept studios or worked in the area reads like a who’s who of art, including famous names such as Dali, Monet, Mondrian, Picasso, and Van Gogh. Of course, the exotic district, known for its burlesque and cabaret shows, has been made equally, if not more, famous in recent years by Hollywood, thanks to films such as Moulin Rouge – the real home of which is actually in the nearby, former red-light district of Pigalle.

Located just 20 miles from the centre of Paris, Disneyland Paris is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. The resort comprises two theme parks and a number of hotels, with an entertainment complex, golf courses (including children’s facilities), and even a railway station.

le visit the Eiffel Nicknamed “the is actually refers of intellectuals ve there

Disneyland Park itself is, understandably, the main attraction and is split into five themed worlds: Main Street, U.S.A, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Discoveryland, each packed with a riot of magical attractions and rides to keep the kids and the young at heart utterly spellbound.

The second park is the newer Walt Disney Studios Park, which is themed around a Hollywood movie studio, complete with four ‘movie lots’, boasting rides, attractions and entertainment, with an exciting showbusiness feel. When you need to eat, unwind, and enjoy yourself, The Disney Village is the place to head, especially as it stays open after the main parks close. This entertainment district is chock full of restaurants and activities such as bowling, movies, and an impressive IMAX cinema, but perhaps most impressive is the PanoraMagique Balloon, which can carry up to 30 passengers over 100 metres into the sky for dazzling views.

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Taxi Ad (email 26/11/2012 @ 10:57 in “Issue 2 - Ads” folder)

We offer a convenient 24/7 taxi service throughout the Chamonix Valley and beyond to other resorts, cities, stations and airports in France, Switzerland and Italy. Prices start from just 20€ one-way and are based on a vehicle seating up to 8 passengers. We can provide multiple vehicles for larger groups. We are here to take your call 19 hours-a-day. Our office is open from 05:30am until 01:00am throughout the winter ski season. Remember, you must pre-order your taxi. You cannot hail us in the street. So pick up the phone and call us now! We’ll have one of our taxis with you in minutes!

1 0% O FO

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Call us now on: 0450 53 27 55 IMPORTANT - In order to comply with French law, our taxis cannot be hailed in the street and must be pre-booked.

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Cybergraph Chamonix • photo : Ludovic DiOrio

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Express Magazine - Issue 3  

As well as exploring the resorts in and around Chamonix, this latest issue looks at essential gear to keep you safe, the movies of Sebastien...

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