Sights & Attractions
Chamonix’s striking and dramatic mountain landscapes attract visitors from all over the world, whether it’s to see western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc, or to take part in one of the many outdoor pursuits in the Chamonix Valley - be it climbing, mountain-biking, running and hiking in the summer, or skiing, snowboarding or ski-touring come winter. The town centre has grown up around a love of these mountain activities and there are a range of cable cars, trains and chair lifts across the valley, giving you access to the different mountain areas and their stunning views.
Aiguille du Midi
The Aiguille du Midi stands at an impressive height of 3842m, and requires 2 cable cars to reach the summit. The first takes you to the mid-station at Plan de l'Aiguille, which is the start or finish point for a number of hiking trails. Continue on the 2nd cable car, enjoying views of the Taconnaz and Les Bossons glaciers, to reach the impressive viewing platforms at the top. Enjoy stunning views of Mont Blanc, the Chamonix Valley and the wider French, Swiss and Italian Alps.
The site is the start of the famous 20km off-piste glacier run the Vallee Blanche and you can glimpse mountaineers and skiers setting off along the 'arête'. There is also a café, snack-bar and sit-down restaurant where you can enjoy lunch at altitude, plus a number of museums and displays set in exhibition spaces in the rock. This is also the site of the unmissable attraction 'Step into the Void', a clear glass box hanging over the edge of the mountain. Step in for a breathtaking thrill and mind-bending views of the 1000m drop below you.
Montenvers - Mer de Glace
From the terminus in Chamonix Centre, the vintage Montenvers train climbs 1000m, winding its way along the valley, through forests, to the Mer de Glace glacier (1913m). This stunning panorama has bought people to the Chamonix Valley for hundreds of years. The site holds a number of different attractions, most famously the Ice Caves, carved into the glacier each year, allowing you to walk through the glacier and view the many ice sculptures.
They are accessed via a cable car, followed by a steep staircase, which charts the history of the receding glacier. Back at the station, the Glaciorium offers information on the formation of the Mer de Glace, its history, its future and the effects of climate change. There is also a café and gift shop, or you can have a delicious lunch at the restaurant at Hotel Refuge du Montenvers before returning to Chamonix.
Tramway du Mont Blanc
This mountain train sets off from St Gervais Le Fayet, providing a panoramic tour of the mountains, winding all the way to up the Nid d'Aigle (eagle's nest) at 2380m. Enjoy incredible views of the Aiguilles de Chamonix and the Dômes de Miage. You can disembark the train at a station at the Bellevue plateau, to discover some beautiful family friendly hikes around the Les Houches area. Otherwise, continue to the terminus at the Nid d'Aigle, which is also the start of one of the mountaineering routes to Mont Blanc, with views of the Bionnassay Glacier and the stunning surrounding landscapes. At the viewpoint there is also a mountain refuge where you can enjoy a drink or snack before returning back down the mountain.
Panoramic Mont-Blanc Gondola
Open exclusively in the summer months, this gondola crosses the French-Italian border and connects the Aiguille du Midi, on the French side, and the Skyway Monte Bianco on the Italian side of the Vallee Blanche. The panoramic travels 5km over the Géant glacier, giving you exceptional views and a different perspective of crevasses, ice falls and the Mont Blanc range. The trip takes about 30 minutes each way and the departure point is from the top of the Aiguille du Midi.