If you are looking for spectacular scenery and beautiful attractions, then look no further than the village of Chamonix in the French Alps. Although a popular destination for skiing, the tourist attractions in Chamonix also bring visitors from all over the world. Add amazing Alpine cuisine, fun après-ski bars and lots of ways to relax to give you a truly inspiring winter break. The allure of this region is its dazzling beauty and here are some of the best places to visit:
Here are 5 Gorgeous Tourist Attractions in Chamonix, Mont Blanc:
1. Mont Blanc Tramway
If it’s scenic views and relaxation that you are after, then taking a ride on the Mont Blanc Tramway is perfect for you. The journey takes around an hour starting at Le Fayet or Saint-Gervais all the way to Belleview at the foot of Mont Blanc. The route offers views over Contamines Valley, the Aiguilles Rouges mountain range and also, the peaks of the Aiguille du Goûter and Aiguille du Midi.
If you want to travel further from Bellevue, you can take a further 25-minute tram ride to Nid d’Ange. Here you can enjoy scenic paths and views from the very place mountaineers start their climb of Mont Blanc. The tramways provide you with a way to see the area without having to do anything too strenuous or gives you a starting point for an amazing hike.
This railway is the highest railway in France and offers some of the best views of Alpine landscapes in the area. A round trip will cost around 30 Euros for adults and 26 Euros for children and seniors.
2. Chamonix Village
A charming place at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix Village is a true Alpine escape. With a mix of the old and the new there’s plenty for everyone here. From historic churches and rustic lodges to fine dining restaurants and luxury hotels. Although there is contrast, this place manages to remain genuine and the atmosphere is one of upscale warmth and community.
If you like shopping, then you will love the unique boutiques and stores which are as lovely to browse in and well as to spend in. Or you may prefer to wander the older streets and discover the historic architecture dating back to the 1800s when Chamonix first became a popular destination for mountaineering.
However you choose spend your time here, one thing is for certain, when you see the mountain backdrop of this village it will wow you!
3. Sea of Ice or ‘Mer de Glace’
The Mer de Glace is an amazing sea of ice and the largest Glacier in France. It may take you a while to differentiate between the glacier and surrounding mountainside when you first see it. However at a massive 7km long and 200 m deep you can understand why visitors flock to this top attraction in Chamonix.The area also has its own attractions including the favourite Ice Cave and the Glaciorium.
The Ice Cave or Grotto is dug out of the live glacier and can be accessed by steps in and out from the top of the glacier gondola lift. You can see what it is like on the inside of the sea of ice and wonder at Ice sculptures and crystal gallery too. The Glaciorium is a small museum which offers interactive and educational exhibits enabling its visitors to learn about Glaciers and how the environment affects them.
The Mer de Glace is accessible from Chamonix town centre by the Montenvers funicular railway. A ride along this railway can be a lovely experience in itself. The journey upwards and along takes about 20 minutes to arrive at the glacier.
4. Aiguille du midi summit
If you want a complete three sixty view of the mountain scenery without having to do any mountain climbing, then take a trip on the Aiguille du midi summit cable car to the summit. This top attraction is one of the reasons that Chaminox, Mont Blanc is among the best winter destinations to visit.
The journey is in two stages, first climbing to Plan de Aiguille then rising towards Les Perrins glacier before reaching the top station at Aiguille du midi. To reach the view point you first walk along the footbridge to the Central Piton terrace, then an elevator takes you within the rock to the very top. Once you reach the top you will be standing at a height of 3842 metres.
The ride takes just 20 minutes from Chamonix centre and a family pass will set you back 186 Euros. For individual tickets a round trip will cost 60 Euros for an adult and 41 Euros for a child.
5. Mont Blanc itself
Mont Blanc is a sight everyone wants to see when planning a holiday in Chamonix. As its name explains, this mountain is so high it is always capped with white snow. Most visitors will just want to gaze in wonder at the beauty of the mountain but others may attempt to climb to the peak.
Experienced climbers are able to reach the top with the help of a guide; however, it is not an easy feat. Those who manage the complete climb will not be disappointed with the view from the top though. It’s not called the roof of Europe for nothing as the scenes are absolutely breath-taking.
For those of us who are just casual hikers, there are also other hiking trails which range in difficulty from easy to more strenuous uphill routes. Even the easier routes will gain you the opportunity to take some amazing photos of the mountain and its surrounds.
What are you waiting for?
There we have it, five gorgeous attractions in Chamonix, Mont Blanc that will make you want to visit and see the beauty all for yourself! Even if you don’t like winter sports, or any sports for that matter, these attractions are sure to draw you to this winter destination.
Have you ever visited Chamonix and the Mont Blanc area? Which do you think are the best attractions to visit?
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CC photo credits from Flickr: chamonix pano by adina*raul; Chamonix by thierry linseeds; at play in the mountains of the Lord by adina*raul.