Chamonix has a long history as a winter-sports hub. Rediscovered as a tourist destination by Brits William Windham and Richard Pococke in 1741, Chamonix hosted the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924.
For all the desolate beauty of the mountains, downtown Chamonix hums with life. Streets are lined with Michelin-starred restaurants, sports gear stores and some of the French Alps’ fanciest hotels. And if you do the nightlife justice, it’ll exhaust you as much as the mountains.