Aiguille du Midi
At 3842 metres, Aiguille du Midi commands an amazing view of Le Mont Blanc. The Aiguille du Midi can be reached by a two-stage télépherique which leaves from Chamonix – a good head for heights is needed!
The journey for a family is expensive, so a trip out should probably be planned with care.
As a guideline the return trip for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) is €111. The ascent is not recommended for children under two years old. However as this is one of the longest cable car ascents in the world the end is worth it for the incredible 360° panorama.
The journey takes place in two stages. The 1st stage is from Chamonix to Plan de L’Aiguille at 2317m. This takes 10 minutes. A further 10 minutes completes the 2nd stage to L’Aiguille du Midi. Once at the Aiguille there are several options open to the visitor. The site itself is divided into three separate sections:
1/ The northern Piton – here can be found the arrival and departure stations as well as ‘Le 3842’ café, gift shops and a viewing platform for looking down on Chamonix.
2/ The central Piton – this has the Mont Blanc gallery and lift
3/ The Mont-Blanc Terrace is an exceptional observation centre that has been literally carved out of the rock.
Access to the Vallée Blanche during the winter season is through the ice tunnel while in the summer there is access to the Télécabine to La Pointe Helbronner in Italy over the Rebuffat footbridge. This summer only service is a ride across the glacier to Italy that takes 30 minutes to cover a distance of 5 kms.
Tramway du Mont Blanc (TMB):
www.compagniedumontblanc.fr which leaves from le Fayet (20 kms W of Chamonix on the N205). The adult return fare for a complete return trip from Le Fayet to Le Nid d’Aigle is around €35* (around €25* for under 16s).
A ride of over 1 hour brings you eventually to a height of 2380 m at Le Nid d’Aigle (Eagles Nest) at the foot of the Glacier de Bionnassay from where there are wonderful views of the high mountains and many options for walking and climbing.
Another possibility, popular in the area is to take bicycles (either your own or hired) on the tramway to the half-way point at Bellevue (also reachable by cable car) and then cycle back to base. (Check train times for those services that permit the carriage of bikes).
For those holidaying in The Alps with younger children, often long walks through the spectacular scenery are not an option. However the views and higher mountainous areas are still attainable using either cable cars, ski lifts or rack railways.
Just outside Chamonix is the rack and pinion railway, which leaves for the Gare du Montenvers every 20 minutes in the summer for the stunning Mer de Glace glacier.
At the terminus you can either take one of the many walking routes or else take the short cable car to the huge Ice Cave that is carved out of the glacier every year – this is great fun for children as it contains lots of different rooms decked out as bedroom, living room, dining room etc…complete with the appropriate furniture – all carved out of ice!
*prices are subject to change, please check the operators’ website for latest information
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Alps:
- Attractions in the Alps
- Outdoor activities
- Walking & mountain biking