Chamonix, while boasting many terrific hiking routes and skiing opportunities, can also lay claim to some beautiful parks, gardens and woodland. This could be of particular interest if you have small children or babies in buggies! Here is our list:
A relative newcomer to Chamonix, inaugurated in the summer of 2015, the Parc Couttet is a little gem of a park, right in the centre of Chamonix! It leads down from La Maison des Artistes, and sometimes there are open-air concerts here. It’s a good place to organise picnics and children’s games! During the CosmoJazz festival during the summer months, there is a stage set up here.
Bois du Bouchet
The Bois du Bouchet hosts the parapente landing field, cross-country ski routes and a sledging area in winter. It is also a great place to walk, run or cycle with small children, with designated paths, cycle routes, picnic tables and plenty of shade. There is an easy hiking/strolling route through the woods, up to Les Praz and back via the river path, accessible in both winter and summer; this is an ideal baby-carrier, sledge or buggy walk (with decent wheels), depending on the weather. There is handicapped access on landscaped paths, with explanatory panels along the way detailing mountain terrain, flora and fauna.
As well as being the main outdoor climbing area in Chamonix, there is a (mostly) shaded path leading from the climbing rocks down towards Les Bossons, through the woods and along the Arve river. At Les Bossons, the path leads off towards a small playground, or heads more steeply up towards Les Houches. This path is possible with a good buggy or bike.
Paradis des Praz
What a little treasure this natural playground is in summer time! Nestled in the woods near to the golf course in Les Praz, right next to a gurgling stream, Le Paradis des Praz is a wonderful place for children to splash around in the shallow water. You can walk with buggies through the woods to get there, or even cycle. There is a small playground next to the stream, pony rides in summer and a small café for snacks. It can get very busy in summer, but there is plenty of shade. For more information on Le Paradis des Praz, click here.
Hidden up above the Espace Tairraz, this is a pretty landscaped park.