What to see in Les Houches
Les Houches offers a breathtaking view over the Aiguilles de Chamonix.
The Mont-Blanc tramway is one of the last remaining adhesion railway trains in France and passes through the upper part of Les Houches. Its summer terminal, the Nid d’Aigle, sits some 2,372 metres high and is the starting point for the ‘normal’ route climbers take to ascend Mont Blanc.
In winter, the train ends its journey on the Bellevue plateau at an altitude of 1,800 metres. It drops off hikers who want to explore on foot or on snowshoes, and skiers keen to enjoy the ski runs, the view and the sunshine.
The village of Les Houches is overlooked by an impressive statue reminiscent of Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro. Accessible on foot from the station, the effigy of Christ the King stands 25 metres tall, culminating at an altitude of 1,200 metres looking down over Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley. It was built in 1933 on the initiative of the abbot Claude Marie Delassiat, priest of Les Houches, to symbolise love and peace between men.
It has recently been listed as a historical monument and is one of the highest statues in France.
Parc de Merlet* is a former Alpine pasture located at 1,500 metres altitude on the southern side of Les Houches. The 21-hectare park is not to be missed and affords extraordinary views over the Mont-Blanc Massif. An array of animal species live semi-wild here – the kids will love it!
Undeniably quieter than Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, the village of Les Houches guarantees a relaxing family break in an enchanting natural setting.
*Admission from €5.50 per person.
‘Farmland’ ideal for competitive skiing
As is the case for many places in the valley, the name Les Houches is a toponym. Its root means ‘farmland’ and it was apparently first used in the 14th century.
With its well-oriented ski area and good quality snow, Les Houches is highly popular. Its pleasant slopes are appreciated by skiers of every level of skill.
Les Houches is also the site of a world-famous downhill piste that features on the World Cup circuit, the Kandahar run.
But be warned – this descent might be known as ‘la Verte des Houches,’ or the green slope, but it is certainly not for beginners! It is a 3,3343-metre run with an 870 m drop. The adjective ‘green’ dates back to 1946 when the first slope ratings were introduced, when green indicated the most difficult slopes.
Les Houches, the family resort for every season
The first inhabitants of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley arrived via Les Houches in the Bronze Age.
It is the ideal place to bring your clan to enjoy hiking in summer or skiing in winter. Awarded the ‘Famille Plus’ label, the resort offers a family-friendly welcome, activities and entertainment.