What to do in Chamonix

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If you have never been to Chamonix, drop what you are doing right now and book the next flight out.  If I could live in this charming alps town in France I would in a heart beat.  Hiking in the summer months, skiing in the winter and coming home to eat things cover in hot cheese, can you possibly ask for anything more in life??  Chamonix was a perfect break from our few days in the hustling and bustling city of Paris.  Although I would be perfectly happy sitting on a porch eating cheese, cured meats, and sipping wine while peacefully gazing at the mountains and glaciers there are some pretty great things to do Chamonix.

1. Take the cable car to Mont Blanc

Don’t leave Chamonix without at least taking the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi.  The cable car ride makes two stops on the the way up.  One at a small jut out with a shop and lunch stop and one at the top of the mountain point which is the main attraction.  This is incredible, Aiguille du Midi is actually the highest mountain top point you can get to with access from the cable car in the WORLD! You can’t get any higher in the world than right here, unless you are someone who treks up sides of mountains often.  How cool is that??  From the top you can check out the viewpoints from their many different platforms, watching climbers trek the peaks, pick up from souvenirs, and even their famous ‘Step Into the Void‘ where you can walk on  glass platform to see straight down.  Try to plan this around the weather and go on a clear day.  They views are breath taking and worth all the money for your ticket.  You can purchase tickets here, but we waited until the morning of the day of.  You don’t want to go unless its a clear day so we wanted to be able to take a look at the weather first, we just got there early to beat the crowds.

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2. Take a ride on the train

Take the famous little train to the top to get to the Montenvers building.  Make sure you get a window seat to see the sights over town on your way up and down.  From here you have a panoramic view of Mer de Glace Glacier, and many mountain peak views.  The MultiPass includes multiple sights such as the cable car mentioned above and this tram ride.  I planning to see multiple things in a day this would be a great deal, we did this on two different days as we wanted hike to hike at the sights and stops.

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3. Hike down to the glacier

From the train stop from above you have the option to hike down to the Mer de Glace Glacier and even go inside the Ice Cave.  The ice cave is re-sculpted every year as the glacier is melting and moving.  The hike is only about 20 minutes and it is all downhill.  If not up for the hike there is a gondola that will take you closer to the entrance of the Ice Cave.  And remember a hike down to the Ice Cave means a hike up! Unless we you to use the gondola, which we did on the way back up!

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4. Hike- long or short

Being near the Alps there are always great hiking options, both long and short hikes.  Just make sure the paths are clear of snow and ice unless you have the proper equipment with you.  I would suggest taking one of the ski lifts up and hiking down!

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5. Visit the local bakeries

Every bakery we went into in Chamonix was absolutely delicious!  I still dream about waking up to the pastries that we enjoyed in Chamonix.  I usually am not one crazy about breads in the US but those European pastries and croissants…I could never get sick of them.

6. Eat fondue

One of my favorite memories in Chamonix is dipping cured meats into hot cheese, sipping on a glass of wine all while staring at the mountains surrounding us.  I could have stayed in that seat for as long as they would let me.

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Some other things we saw people doing, but we did not get a chance to partake in were:

  • Rock Climbing in the local park
  • Small Casino
  • Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster

 

 

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