Mont Blanc / Chamonix / Sport & Activities

The top 5 things to do in Les Houches

Les Houches is a ski resort located 6km from Chamonix. Although much quieter than Chamonix itself, there’s still a good variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

In this post, we’re focusing specifically on activities within close proximity to Les Houches. However, if you want to discover year-round activities a little further afield, check out our destination guide or our top 10 things to do in Chamonix.

Here are our team’s favourite things to do and places to visit in Les Houches…

When does the ski season start in Les Houches?

When the ski season begins always depends on the snow conditions. Typically, you can ski from mid-December, however, historically Les Houches has opened on some weekends as early as the end of November. For the most up to date information regarding resort opening times, refer to the tourist office website.

Les Houches: Things to do

Although the main bulk of things to do take place in Chamonix, Les Houches is also home to some great activities suitable for the whole family. Skiing and boarding are the main attractions in winter, with hiking and biking being the most popular in summer. 

1. Parc de Merlet

Merlet animal park in Les Houches is the ideal outing for the whole family. In summer, enjoy a stroll through the forests and meadows of the park and look out for indigenous animals such as ibex, chamois, marmots and roe deer. 

Throughout winter, why not take a guided snowshoe tour of the park? With the animals roaming wild, it’s a real opportunity to immerse yourself in the local wildlife and nature!

Picnics are not allowed in the park, but there is a restaurant, and picnic tables are available just outside the entrance.

Please note that the park is currently closed and will be open to visitors from May 1, 2022 (by reservation only).

2. Hiking and Snowshoeing

In summer, you can make the most of the fantastic hiking trails on offer in and around Les Houches. 

Our favourite family-friendly option is the Gorges de la Diosaz. Open from early June-late September, take a visit to the suspended footpaths and enjoy the stunning views below of the natural rapids. With most of the path shaded from the sun, it’s a great activity if you want to cool off on a sunny day but still want to explore the area. For more hiking options in Les Houches click here.

The beginning of the winter season doesn’t have to put a stop to your hiking itinerary! There are plenty of snowshoeing trails available in Les Houches, which allows you to still discover the pisted and non-pisted terrain in and around Les Houches, even when there’s deep snowfall.

3. Visit a Spa

Why not take some time to yourself and treat yourself to a day at the spa? Whether you want to book a treatment, take a relaxing swim, or enjoy the saunas, spas and thermal baths, Les Houches is a great place to be if you want to unwind. Check out the following wellness centres to see which suits your itinerary…

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4. Mountain Biking

You’ll find a range of mountain biking trails for all abilities in and around Les Houches. Advanced bikers will enjoy the steeper, more technical tracks, however, beginners will also be able to enjoy the gentler runs. Bikes can be taken on many of the lifts, and on the Mont Blanc Express train.

Our top route is the Priairon gondola down to St Gervais and Le Fayet. From St Gervais to Le Fayet take the Pipeline – the route follows a large water pipeline from the bottom of the Le Bettex cable car. With tight switchbacks and wooden steps, this trail is better suited to advanced riders.

A man mountain biking through the forest

For more information on mountain biking in Les Houches, visit the tourist office website.

5. Ice Skating

In the heart of Les Houches, you will find the ice skating rink which is open from late December to the end of March. Access to the rink is 3€ or free for children under 6 and skate rental is 4€. There’s also a coffee shop next to the rink so you can warm up whilst watching the skaters or enjoying the view of the Mont Blanc Massif. 

To find out more about the ice skating rink including specific opening times and price packages, visit the website here.

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