February 2005 view of Les Contamines-Montjoie
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Étienne Jacquet|
|43.55 km2 (16.81 sq mi)|
|• Density||27/km2 (69/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||990–3,880 m (3,250–12,730 ft) |
(avg. 1,164 m or 3,819 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Les Contamines-Montjoie is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.
The original name of the village, Les Contamines, is from the word contamines, which in the ancient local dialect meant ploughable land on the estate of the squire.
In 1760 the parish became independent of the parish of Saint-Nicolas de Véroce.
Creation of the local Mountain Guides Company which was established in 1850, marked the first corporation in the village dedicated to tourism. Further development surged after 1900, in the form of hotels, restaurants, and, in 1911, a local ski club. The first ski lift began operation in 1937.
After World War II, in 1949, the name was changed to Les Contamines-Montjoie.The first chair lift opened three years later, in 1952, along with a summer attraction at l'Etape.
Les Contamines Montjoie is located in the French Alps. It is approximately 11⁄4 hours from the aeroport of Geneva and 15 minutes from the Saint-Gervais-les-Bains-Le Fayet train station and from the A40 Highway (exit 21). Les Contamines is located in between the well known resorts of Chamonix and Megève, it is close to Mont Blanc which means that it is used for both mountain climbing in the Summer and skiing in the Winter. Its proximity to Chamonix means that access to Italy is easy via the Mont Blanc Tunnel.
The village of Les Contamines is a jewel at the heart of the Mont Blanc region. The sensation of a hidden valley results in a very close knit local community. The village has preserved its historic aspect. More than 70% of old farm buildings have been restored in respect of the local Savoy architecture.
Created in 1979, the nature reserve, La réserve naturelle des Contamines-Montjoie, covers more than 5,500 hectares of varied terrain rising from 1,100 to 3,800 meters high and covering forests, pastures, torrents, rocks, snow fields and glaciers.A local association ensures a link between the reserve and the general public. The information centre, located in the village centre, can recommend various activities for all age groups.
Les Contamines Montjoie main industry is tourism through its Skiing Area which is moderately sized. It ranges from the village at around 1100m to l'Aiguille Croche (Crooked Needle) at around 2500m. There are four sections of the ski area: the Tierces section, the Roselette section, the Montjoie section and the Hauteluce section.
The Tierces section faces south: it is the highest section of the resort and possesses the resort's hardest black runs, Grevettaz and Rebans. The Tierces section also has easier blue and red runs such as Coins (blue) and Tierces (red). From most places in the Tierces section one can, weather permitting, see a vivid panorama of Mont Blanc and its neighbouring peaks including Aiguille de Bionnassay and Domes de Miage.
The Roselette section is a north-facing area of ski runs which range from blue to black, the hardest run in this section being the black of Olympique. The Aiguille de Rosselette towers over the majority of the section giving it its name. There is off piste potential in the steep couloirs of the Aiguille de Rosselette.
The Hauteluce section is the name given to the section of runs on the other side of the Col du Joly in the Val Joly (rather than the Val Montjoie). The run difficulty is varied in this section.
The Montjoie section is the name used to describe the lower runs.
Haute-Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France, bordering both Switzerland and Italy. Its prefecture is Annecy. To the north is Lake Geneva; to the south and southeast are Mont Blanc and the Aravis mountain ranges.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, more commonly known as Chamonix, is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. In 2017, it had a population of 8,611.
The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.
Megève is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France with a population of more than 3,000 residents. The town is well known as a ski resort near Mont Blanc in the French Alps. Conceived in the 1920s as a French alternative to St. Moritz by the Rothschilds, it was the first purpose-built resort in the Alps. Originally it was a prime destination for the French aristocracy. It remains one of the most famous and fanciest ski resorts in the world.
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Manigod is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France.
Combloux is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, with a population of over 2000 residents. It is a mountain village in the French Alps and is popular as a ski resort. Combloux is located 4 km (2.5 mi) from Megève and 30 km (19 mi) from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.
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The Mont Blanc massif is a mountain range in the Alps, located mostly in France and Italy, but also straddling Switzerland at its northeastern end. It contains eleven major independent summits, each over 4,000 metres (13,123 ft) in height. It is named after Mont Blanc, the highest point in western Europe and the European Union. Because of its considerable overall altitude, a large proportion of the massif is covered by glaciers, which include the Mer de Glace and the Miage Glacier – the longest glaciers in France and Italy, respectively.
The Tour du Mont Blanc or TMB is one of the most popular long-distance walks in Europe. It circles the Mont Blanc massif, covering a distance of roughly 170 kilometres (110 mi) with 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of ascent/descent and passes through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France.
The Aiguilles Rouges are a crystalline mountainous massif of the French Prealps, opposite the Mont Blanc Massif. The colour of the iron rich gneiss (metamorphique) mountains gives the range its name. The highest summit is the Aiguille du Belvédère at 2,965 metres (9,728 ft). At the southern end of the range, Le Brévent at 2,525 metres (8,284 ft) is accessible by a cable car in the Planpraz and the Brévent sections.
The Arve Valley is an alpine valley located in the French Haute-Savoie department. The namesake of the valley is the river at the bottom: the Arve. The valley as a whole makes up the majority of Faucigny, one of the Natural Regions of France, and one of six that make up the Savoie region.
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. The village is best known for tourism and has been a popular holiday destination since the early 1900s. It has 445 km of pistes, the third largest domain exclusively in France, and is one of the least busy ski areas of its size. In 1892, two hundred people were killed when a water pocket in a glacier above the town suddenly burst open and caused flooding.
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Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval is a municipality in the Haute-Savoie department within the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. It is located at the end of the Giffre Valley.
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The Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve is a nature reserve located in the Aiguilles Rouges mountain range in the Haute-Savoie department in southeastern France.
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The Goûter Hut, is a mountain refuge in the French department of Haute-Savoie. It is located at a height of 3,835 metres (12,582 ft) on the Arete du Goûter in the municipality of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. It overlooks the Glacier de Bionnassay, and is the highest wardened mountain hut in France.
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