Chambéry is both the gateway to some of the finest skiing in the French Alps and an irresistibly charming destination in its own right.
Stroll around the narrow Medieval streets of its immaculate old town, and you’ll be treated to a stunning castle, impressive art galleries and family-run restaurants overflowing with character.
Arriving at Chambéry Airport
Chambéry Airport sits between the city of Chambéry and Aix-les-Bains, on the shores of Lac du Bourget. Grab a window seat on your flight for impressive views as you come in to touch down. The breath-taking peaks and ridges of the Rhône-Alpes region soar above the resorts, cities and lakes below.
Once you’ve landed, this friendly airport offers a bureau de change and a cashpoint for last-minute money, as well as a restaurant for your first meal in the region.
Flights from London City to Chambéry run during the ski season, and the airport admirably greets hordes of skiers and snowboarders arriving between December and April on their way to destinations like Courchevel and Val d’Isère. If you’re here for the snow, hop on a one of the shuttles buses, operated by Altibus and Trans’Neige, which run directly from the airport to most of the nearby ski resorts.
Alternatively, hire a car at the airport from one of the major European brands with outlets here and head in to the city. Chambéry’s centre isn’t far away – about seven miles (11km) – and accommodation options are plentiful. Taxis are also available for swift door-to-door service.
Festivals and Events
Chambéry is a city that enjoys a good festival and every month involves some kind of big party.
June recognises the international nature of modern France with Lafi Bala – a festival dedicated to the art, music and cinema of Burkina Faso – and a Market of the Continents on alternate years.
October promises the Comic Strip Festival, which pays tribute to the bande dessinée, one of France’s most beloved art forms.
December, naturally, brings Christmas markets that sell Savoyard gifts and festive treats. Or come in February and you will be treated to both Les Nuits de la Roulotte, which is a celebration of gypsy music, and the Chambéry Carnival, complete with floats and street artists.
Many local events promote the economy and trade of the region. September’s Fair of Savoy, in particular, lasts for 10 days and features exhibitions on all things local. Around 400 exhibitors set up shop to sell their wares, but it isn’t all business. Attendees still have the chance to enjoy entertainment and talks throughout the duration of the fair. Similarly, the International Festival of Mountain Trades (FIMM) runs here every two years with the aim of stimulating employment in