[ 2020 / 2021 UPDATE – ⛸ the outdoor rinks should be able to open, but with Covid-19 regulations! ]
It’s that time of year when the ⛸ seasonal ice-skating rinks begin to appear in town centres throughout 🏔 le Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) . . . a lovely way to spend some time en famille . . .
This year, of course, is slightly different . . . ❄ the outdoor ice-skating rinks had to await government announcements to let us know if they could open for the holidays! They have been given the green light, but with Covid-19 restrictions (number of people allowed on the ice, wearing of masks, no spectators . . . ).
[ note: the indoor rinks 🏔 le Pays du Mont-Blanc are SHUT for the time being! They may be able to open from 20th January 2021 ]
Colour code for listings:
Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches & Servoz) and Vallorcine
Passy & environs
Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Le Fayet, Saint-Nicolas de Vérone & environs
Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs
Les Contamines-Montjoie & environs
🇫🇷 Further France 🇫🇷
🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭
What to WEAR . . .
- ✅ it is a good idea to dress very small skaters in their ❄ WINTER SKI SUITS, in order to keep them warm and water-proofed (in case or when they fall!);
- ✅ GLOVES – very important to avoid a skate injuring the hand, and to keep hands warm and dry!
- ✅ HELMET for little ones;
- ✅ FACE MASKS – oh, how very 2020 / 2021!
AU PAYS du MONT-BLANC
Chamonix (Stade Olympique)
The stade olympique’s ⛸ anneau de vitesse (a reminder of the 1924 Olympics!) is now open for ice-skating! Located in front of the indoor ice skating rink, it has FREE access at the weekend, and you can rent out skates Monday to Friday 12h until 16h.
Located in the heart of Les Houches village, this is ⛸ an outdoor ice-skating rink with a stunning view! It measures 26m x 56m. It used to be entirely natural, thought these days it is artificial! / website;
🗓 FRIDAYS during the holidays: « Nocturnes Givrées » – FREE ice skating from 20h to 22h;
❄ Covid-19 regulations – ” Location des patins à l’extérieur. Masques obligatoires pour accéder à l’intérieur du bâtiment.
Activité organisée dans le respect des normes de sécurité COVID “;
🗓 opening dates: from late December until March, 14h until 19h;
price: adults & children: 3€ (FREE for under 6s) / skate hire: 4€ / abonnement saison (entrée + location patins) : 30€ / FREE entrance and skate rental for holders of Via Cham / FREE skate with Mont-Blanc Unlimited 3 to 21 day pass (skate rental: 3€);
address: (next to the Le Tourchet pistes) 25 avenue des Alpages, 74310, Les Houches; bus stop: Le Tourchet / La Griaz / train stop: Gare des Houches; 🅿️ parking: Le Tourchet / Olca;
Vallorcine (Résidence & Spa Vallorcine)
[ SHUT for winter season 2020 / 2021 ]
Sallanches (La Grenette)
[ CANCELLED for winter season 2020-2021 ]
We experienced ⛸ Megève’s outdoor ice-skating rink for the first time just before Christmas a few years ago. Our then 6-year old elder son had a great time; he could have kept going for hours, and we eventually had to drag him away to pick up his younger brother from crèche! The ice-skating rink is located right next to the 🥘 Restaurant Les Voiles, which has a little food hut this winter – the perfect spot for parents or accompanying adults to have a drink while watching the little ones skate (but keep moving!). Across the road, you’ll also find La Yourte and Le Vieux Megève, selling take-away food!
🗓 opening hours: from late December until early March, from 13h30 to 19h30 (over the holidays 10h until 19h);
price (skate-hire included!): adults: 9€ / children (5 to 14 years): 7,70€ / FREE for under 5s!
address: place de la Résistance, 74120, Megève; 🅿️ parking: Le Casino (paying);
Located near the centre of Les Contamines-Montjoie, in Les Loyers, and 🗓 open from December until late March, you can skate at this semi-natural outdoor ice-skating rink (1400m2) with views of 🏔 les Dômes de Miage! / 🌠 themed events and nocturnes during the holidays / website;
NEW since 2019 – a new playground and pumptrack (when not covered in snow!). Also new, is the hut, so that you can put on your skates in comfort and warmth! (not this season though!);
⛸ Matinée des Super-Héros for young skaters – 🗓 on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, 10h to midday, with music and accessories for children / see website;
🗓 opening hours: open from mid December until late March, 9h30 to 13h and 16h30 to 20h (opening times and dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature) / FREE Friday evenings from 19h (except skate hire), with 80s tunes;
price: adults: 4€ / children: 3€ and FREE for under 5s! / skate hire: 3€ / discounts for those with a carte d’hôte!
address: route de Notre Dame de la Gorge, Les Contamines-Montjoie / tel: +33 (0)4 50 47 06 23/04 50 47 01 58; 🅿️ parking: centre of town or car park at junction of route de Notre Dame de la Gorge and route de Nant Fandraz;
🇫🇷 FURTHER FRANCE 🇫🇷
The ⛸ outdoor ice-skating rink in Cluses is under new management this year, and usually one of the first seasonal rinks to open for the winter season near the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc! Located in the centre of town, its 600m3 of ice hosts plenty of themed events over the season;
🌠 nocturnes and themed evenings – see website for more details / NB – it is obligatory to wear GLOVES!
🗓 opening hours: open from 19th December 2020 until early March (opening times and dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature and weather!) / ” Les horaires d’ouverture restent les mêmes que pour les vacances de la Toussaint, c’est-à-dire : ouverture tous les jours (séances de 2h). le matin : 10h – 12h / l’après midi : 13h – 15h, 15h – 17h, 17h-19h “;
price: adults: 4€ / children (under 12s): 3€ / skate hire: 1€;
address: place des Allobroges, 74300, Cluses / tel: (+33) 07 68 11 69 44;
The ⛸ ice-skating rink in Carroz is located in the heart of the village and measures 36 m x 18 m;
🌠 nocturnes during the holidays on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays / why not combine with a go on the Speed Carroz (luge sur rails) ? / website;
address: chemin du Club, 74300, Les Carroz-d'Arâches;
⛸ Samoëns ⛸
The ⛸ ice-skating rink in Samoëns is located in the Grenette, in the centre of town / more information here;
🗓 opening hours: from 19th December;
Covid-19 regulations – ” Nous avons l’autorisation d’ouvrir en extérieur seulement. Ce sera différent qu’en temp normal, l’accès aux vestiaires est interdit c’est pourquoi nous avons installé plusieurs tonnelles pour vous permettre d’être à l’abris. Interdiction totale de stocker vos affaires personnelles ( sac à dos, chaussures, vestes etc ) venez avec le minimum ou avec un sac à dos vous permettant de patiner avec. Il y aura plusieurs séances de 2h30 par jour limitées à 180 personnes maximum. Nouvelles animations pour cette période le curling et isstock ! Vous pourrez essayer les activités les lundis et mercredi de 9h00 à 10h30. L’accès à la patinoire est réservé aux patineurs SEULEMENT. Les accompagnants ne sont pas autorisés.Le port du masque est obligatoire pour tout le monde dès 6 ans à partir du moment où vous entrez dans la file d’attente de la patinoire. ”
🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭
The ⛸ outdoor rinks have not opened this winter season in 🇨🇭 Switzerland.
🇨🇭🇫🇷 FURTHER AFIELD SWITZERLAND and FRANCE NATURAL ICE-SKATING 🇫🇷🇨🇭
None of the accessible 💦 LAKES au Pays du Mont-Blanc freeze over solidly enough to allow for ⛸ ice-skating fun au nature during the winter months . . .
However, look at these fabulous photos of skaters this year up at Lac des Cheserys (Tristan Shu Photography). I’ve also seen some photos of skaters up at the Lac d’Anterne!
[ disclaimer: you should NOT attempt to skate on an outdoor lake, unless you are with professionals! / the ice could easily break if not thick enough! ]
(If later in the season, this is allowed!) – if ice-skating on a natural lake is something you would like to try out, then website Loisir.ch has a detailed list of some of the offerings of 🇨🇭 lake skating in Switzerland (among other artificial ice-skating rinks); see « Où patiner en Suisse Romande? » for more details: Lac de Joux (VD); Lac des Taillères (NE); Lac Noir, Schwarzsee (FR);
At nearby 🇨🇭 Lac de Champex (Champex-Lac, VS), the lake ❄️ freezes for ice skating (weather dependent) and there is an artificial rink too! It is nicknamed “ petit Canada ” / dimensions: 70m x 150m / see here for more information;
In the 🇫🇷 French Jura mountains, several lakes ❄️ freeze over for skating, at the ⛷ ski station Les Rousses for example! / see here for more information;