C&IT's associate editor Andrew McCorkell took a trip to Argentière in The Chamonix Valley last week to see what the region has to offer MICE visitors.
On our approach, jaw-dropping vistas of the Alps and Mont-Blanc opened up to reveal a valley and the picturesque French village of Argentière.
The Chamonix valley, with its adjacent alpine peaks straddling the French, Italian and Swiss borders can be easily be reached by a short, 80 minute flight and an hour transfer from Geneva Airport.
In the summer, the region is coveted by hikers, runners and the mountaineers to which the region owes its esteemed history, when Victorian Britons first forged a route to the summit.
Now more famed for its world class skiing, there is much to offer the more sedentary traveller, as well as those recovering in hot tubs and spas from the ravages of the slopes.
Chamonix has all anyone would want from bars and restaurants and boutique shopping. Or grab a fancy pastry at a boulangerie and while away the hours sipping coffee at a French café.
Activities and suggested itinerary
(organised by venue Les Rives d’Argentière's suggested itinerary)
- Montenvers Railway for trip to Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice). The viewing point, next to a café, is perched over the largest glacier in France, which is 4.3 miles long, 200m deep and one of the biggest attractions in the Chamonix Valley.
- Yoga, massage, spa, steam, sauna and hot tubs in the snow with mountain views (On our trip, massage and wellbeing services were provided by Equilibrium Fitness)
- Skiing, departing from Les Grands Montet ski station
- Guided tour booked through the Chamonix Tourist Office
- Helicopter trip over the slopes
- Wine tasting followed by an eight-course, tasting menu
The chalet venue Les Rives d’Argentière has a long history of serving guests for meetings and conferences and offers drivers to transfer from the Swiss side of Geneva airport.
With an early flight around 8am, expect to be eating a French classic like Beef Bourguignon as part of a three-course offer by lunchtime. Five interconnected chalets span several floors, with on-site spa and informal breakout spaces in lounge, restaurant, disco and cinema rooms.
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