Being a true eagle’s nest at 1,800 m of altitude, Chamois has been inserted among the ‘Pearls of the Alps’, an award given to the most virtuous mountain municipalities for environmental sustainability and soft mobility. It is a spot out of time where cars can’t be run: a quiet place suitable for families, couples and all those willing to live according to the rhythms of an authentic environment.
Chamois can be reached only on foot or by a comfy cableway. And the lucky ones can even try a landing in the small mountain airport.
WHAT TO SEE
● The town centre, that is to say the hamlet of Corgnolaz, a car-free area with wood and stone building and tiny streets.
● Saint Pantaléon parish church: originally built in 1681, it was enlarged and transformed in 1838, when it assumed the actual structure, with the bell tower facing East and the presbytery with an octagonal dome and vault facing West.
NATURE AND SPORT
Is there anything more natural than a car-free town? Should you prefer not to use the cablecar, you can reach Chamois by going through the old mule track and its 93 bends! Or, easier, from La Magdeleine, through an easy and flat path.
To admire Chamois from a higher point of view and without taking the chairlift you can walk along the Ru des Novalles, a panoramic irrigation canal dating back to the Middle Age.
Another interesting area from a naturalistic point of view is the Lake Lod, which is accessible either by chairlift or after a 40-minute walk. Close to it, there is a picnic area. From here, various hikes towards other villages and peaks start, as well as the route to the Clavalité sanctuary.
In winter, the Chamois ski resort has more than 16 km of ski slopes of various difficulty levels and some off-piste routes. There are also some striking tracks for snowshoes.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
● Chamoisic: international festival of experimental music, electronic and jazz in an exceptional natural environment.
● The taste of a walk: in August, along the path from Chamois to La Magdeleine, stalls display typical products, from crafts to food and wine. The market is enlivened by live music.
● New Year’s Eve torchlight procession: celebrations for the last day of the year are held in the main square with live music and a charming torchlight procession.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
A panoramic playground welcomes kids who have just arrived in Chamois. Just a bit further there is a spectacular route: between Chamois and La Magdeleine lies an almost flat path suitable for kids with ludic facilities and educational panels on the subject of energy (‘energie in gioco’). A true must-see, the volcano on which kids can climb and the double funicular to ‘fly’ for almost 20 metres.
● Inhabitants: 100
● Altitude: 1800 m
● How to get there by public transports: after having reached Châtillon by bus or train, take the bus to Valtournenche and stop at Buisson. From here, take the cableway to Chamois.