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Top 5 – What to do in Chamonix ?

aiguille du midi

 

What to do in Chamonix ? Our top 5 things to see for your stay in Chamonix!

Planning a weekend in the mountains? We tell you what to do in Chamonix with the most beautiful landscapes to see!

1) Une randonnée en raquettes

We had the chance to do a snowshoeing tour in the Merlet animal park below Chamonix, at 1500m above Les Houches. It was our first snowshoeing experience, we had never done it before and it was really a unique experience.

Animal park of Merlet

The setting is simply exceptional! It is a closed park with about 80 animals in their natural environment and a breathtaking view on the Mont Blanc massif. You will see chamois, deer, mouflons, llamas (yes yes), fallow deer, roe deer and ibex. The proximity with these animals is impressive, we did not think we could get so close to them, we almost forget their wild character! They are used to see people and to be with their caretaker, who comes to feed them every day. Be careful not to be too abrupt if you do not want to see them move away. The walk itself is not difficult, accessible to everyone with a moderate pace. We do not think that snowshoes were so light, we almost forget them at the end of the day!

Practical information

    • Departure of the hikes at 1pm from the train station of Les Houches with access by minibus to the park entrance.
    • 200 meters of difference in altitude with a walk between 3H and 5H depending on the desire of the guide to chat
    • Reservation with Philippe at 06 78 50 03 96
    • Price: 35€ (transport and snowshoes included)
    • Opening generally between the beginning of December and the end of March
    • Groups of 5 to 8 people
    • Waterproof shoes essential!

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 2) The aiguille du Midi

We advise you, as for most of the very touristic places in the world, to get up early and to make the opening. There is a cabin every 15 minutes with a capacity of 75 people and it takes a good 20 minutes to climb with a change of cabin halfway up at 2317m. As you go up, the view is more and more beautiful!

The arrival is at 3777m of altitude so be careful to cover yourself because it is not protected and it is often windy. Once there, count between 30 minutes and 2 hours of visit depending on the affluence. The number one attraction that we could not do because of the storm of the previous days is the step in the void. It is a small glass room with almost 1000m of vacuum underneath, the sensation must be impressive. You can also visit the tube, a 32m long access to reach the central piton of the Aiguille du midi. Finally, it is possible to eat at the 3842m restaurant with a breathtaking view.

Please note that the opening and closing times vary throughout the year.

 

The price is 61,50€ round trip per person (adult). All the info on Mont Blanc Natural Resort.

aiguille du midi

3) Skiing in the Brévent-Flégère area

This domain has the particularity to be in front of the Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi with a full southern exposure. Therefore, the sun is present all day long. Everywhere in the resort, the view is magnificent! The two resorts, which have 32 runs, are linked by a connecting cable car. There is only one green run for beginners and many blue runs.

For off-piste skiing enthusiasts there are many options, but of course you have to be very careful. To eat, go to the Bergerie de Planpraz with its sunny terrace and view on the whole massif. We had the chance to have lunch on a sunny day and the food was delicious. On the domain, you will also find one of the most beautiful terraces in the world ideal for a coffee or a hot chocolate at the top of the Brevent: The Panoramic Mont Blanc.

Ski area information : Mont Blanc Natural Resort

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4) SPA at the Refuge des Aiglons

After a long day of skiing or hiking, we highly recommend you to try the SPA at the Refuge des Aiglons. The setting is idyllic, the outdoor heated pool with jacuzzi overlooks the Aiguille du Midi. There are also small cabins next to the pool with a hammam and sauna and à la carte treatments. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

If you stay at the hotel the access is free and unlimited. Otherwise you have to pay 19€ per person for a 2H session LIEN (and 39€ with the hydromassage). Towels and bathrobes are provided – don’t forget your bathing suit!

5) Montenvers train – Mer de Glace

How can you come to Chamonix and not visit the Mer de Glace? Especially since the access is done by a ride on a little red rack train that is too cute. The departure is from the Chamonix train station and the ascent to the Montenvers site (1913m) takes 20 minutes. The journey, on the side of the mountain, offers an exceptional panorama from the beginning to the end.

Once on the Montenvers site, you must visit the ice cave at the foot of the glacier. Sportsmen can get there in 20 minutes of walking, and the less sportsmen with the cable car. “Less athletic” but not lazy either because 480 steps separate the arrival of the cable car from the entry of the ice cave.

You can also visit the Glaciorium, which shows the evolution of the glacier over time with global warming and its future… Finally, you can visit the museum “the temple of nature”.

This exceptional site offers the possibility to eat, but also to stay in a beautiful hotel renovated in July 2017, where you will not be disturbed by the neighbors!

Practical information :

  • Depending on the time of year and how busy it is there is a train every hour or every 30 minutes.
  • In winter, the first ride is at 10am and the last return is at 4:30pm or 5pm depending on the date.
  • Attention the ice cave closes between 14H and 15H.
  • Price: 32,50€ (return train + ice cave)
  • Tip: do not arrive at the last moment in the train to choose a seat on the side of the mountain!

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This article was made possible by a collaboration with the Tourist Office and its partners. We keep a total editorial freedom.

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