Trainspotting in Chamonix
When you visit Chamonix it’s nice to take the time to travel the area and soak up its outstanding natural beauty via trains and cable-cars.
When holiday-makers ask me which skiing resort they should go to, I often suggest that they visit Chamonix. Situated in the pretty Haute-Savoie region and at the base of Mont Blanc (the highest summit in the Alps), this resort offers breathtaking views and superb skiing. It also has a charming and fun atmosphere, ensuring that this resort ticks all their boxes.
Upon arrival you will be in awe of the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The best way to get your bearings and experience the stunning mountain vistas up-close is by taking a train ride or cable car ride – be sure to pack a camera!
The Mont Blanc Express
This sight-seeing train runs from St Gervais/Le Fayet train station in France right through to Martigny in Switzerland. Along the way, you will travel through Chamonix and Argentiere, beneath the Col des Montets and down the other side – expect incredible views of the entire area.
The Mont Blanc Express will make various stops along the way, including the centre of Chamonix where you can get access to the Aiguille du Midi (a very popular tourist destination). A top tip for those staying in Chamonix Valley: ask for the “Carte d’Hôte” guest card from your host and you can jump on the Mont Blanc Express for free. The penultimate stop, Les Marecottes, is highly recommended as here you will find an alpine zoo and a granite-carved swimming pool.
The Little Red Train
This charming vintage steam train is a wonderful experience which takes you 1000m up to the Mer de Glace – you will be stunned by the views both along the way and by the panorama at the top.
The journey, which takes around 20 minutes, takes you through an enchanting forest and tunnels that convey you over viaducts and through rock. You will emerge high up in the clouds at the foot of the legendary glacier at 1913m. This is my favourite recommendation for anybody who decides to visit Chamonix.
Aiguille du Midi
Beginning at Chamonix, this cableway travels nearly 3300 yards and rises an astonishing 4920 feet without pylons, all the way to the Aiguille du Midi at a staggering 12,605 feet. This is the starting point for the epic descent of the Vallee Blanche down to Chamonix Valley. The twin peaks are linked by a footbridge which is the perfect place to stop and take in the incredible panoramic view.
Brévent and Flégère
These cablecars are south-facing and will take you to the top of the mountain from Chamonix. As well as providing great views of the French Alps, there are many brilliant walks and bike paths that start here.
For those who visit Chamonix, I highly recommend that you make time to travel through the surrounding area and take in the sublime views. Both the trains and cableways have their own charm and take you to different areas.
If you are travelling to Chamonix and would like a stress-free airport transfer from any of the nearby airports or train stations, do not hesitate to get in touch with Shuttle Direct today. We will even transport your ski equipment for free if you notify us in advance.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private transfers to and from airports, cruise ports, train stations and hotels all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're planning to visit Chamonix, pre-book your airport transfer before leaving home to ensure a smooth start to your stay.