Every month, My Next Memory gives you real feedback from a French destination and tell you how it’s really like to travel there. So buckle up, and come with us. This month, we take you to Chamonix!
Chamonix and the Mont Blanc are located on the France-Italy-Switzerland border of and surrounded by the mountains and valleys of the Alps. With its 4810 meters above sea level, Mont Blanc is the highest peak of the Alps and the highest point in Europe. It is also one of the most visited natural sites in the world, and provides a great destination for both winter and summer holidays!
How much time to spend in Chamonix &Mont Blanc?
Needless to present the view: with its iconic, pyramidal peaks, the Mont Blanc (also known as the white lady or “la dame blanche”) mountains will make every visitor pause for a moment. Covered with snow all year long, it is a sight that calls for contemplation and gratefulness.
As a tourist, you are also entering a giant playground providing unique climate and conditions to practice all kinds of fun things: from extreme sports like rock climbing to more relaxed hikes or cable car tours, the Mont Blanc has it all and can welcome you from 2 up to 7 days !
What to do in Chamonix & Mont Blanc?
The destination is particularly exciting as it allows for a great diversity of activities for all tastes! Here is our top selection!
- Trekking: Travelling through Europe
The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is definitely a world-class classic trekking route for hikers! So famous that it now hosts a yearly “ultra-trail” competition with over 10,000 participants at the end of the summer, making the route a legend among the other 6000+ mountain hikes in France. Experienced visitors can go for this Mont Blanc tour – a 250 km trip between the peaks but keep in mind that regular hiking averages for 8 days with 6 hours walking each day.
Less famous but as delightful, the Chamonix Valley has 350 kilometers of well-functioning hiking trails all open in the summer. Those are perfectly suitably for everyone doing their own hiking, that is to say, even if you are a novice, family or friends, going for only 1 day or more,, you can also enjoy this unparalleled experience!
Visitors who like the forest scenery can choose low-altitude hiking trails, while those who want to challenge their physical strength and enjoy more unique peak views can try high altitude routes.
The Alps hiking routes include many rest areas such as wooden house restaurants, or alpine huts for staying overnight. You may also choose to camp if it is your preference.
The best is to have someone local tailoring the route and booking your huts accommodation based on your physical condition and experience !
- Mountain climbing – challenging the roof of Europe
Mountaineering is also a classic in the Mont Blanc area. Conquering the Mont Blanc is a dream for many climbers but remains a risky entreprise. Unlike the trekking described earlier, all mountaineering tourists will need to be escorted by professionals. Those without priori climbing experience will also have to take a dedicated prior training for a few days before they can formally begin the journey to conquer the “roof of Europe”. So while the ascent is relatively short, allow about one week for the entire trip.
Ask us if you need to find a reliable and good local mountaineering guide!
As a kind reminder, here are also some of the required equipment for the climb: climbing backpacks, food, technical clothes, sunglasses, fleece hats, hiking shoes, crampons, ice axes & cones, helmets, safety belts, quick hanging, ropes and locks, , sport camera, headlights, gloves, trekking poles, insulation cups, energy bars.
You can find them all in Chamonix, no worries!
When traveling to the Alps, of course, skiing is an important activity, if not the most important one!
Skiing will definitely be one of our Winter post topics at My Next Memory. But did you know? Not only you can use some of the ski resorts facilities in summer in low-altitude ranges (like the ski lifts or the cabins) but you can also try summer skiing! Very high up in the Alps, snow doesn’t melt!
- Cable Car Tours
No, the Alps are not just for the fearless extreme riders. The peaceful and beautiful scenery can also be explored for the tranquil and quiet visitors. Several mountain lifts around the Mont Blancallow visitors to easily enjoy the magnificent view .
The cable car ride cost is between 25-30 Euros on average. and its definitely the best choice for those in a rush with only one or 2 days to visit the area.
- Other sports
Accommodation and food
You may choose to stay in a hotel or a bed & breakfast, the good news is that most accommodation in the area is in typical alpine huts!
Like many visited destinations, prices vary a lot between the low season and the high season. For example an alpine house hosting up to 10 people can range from 200 up to 700 Euros depending on when you come. So we definitely recommend you book in advance so that you may find opportunities to privatize beautiful little houses at the best value for money.
As far as diet is concerned, the local cuisine near Mont Blanc has a strong Alpine character. Its most famous and unique features are the fondue and stew pot. Though they are rather winter delights, you must not miss the most unique local cuisine if you are looking for an authentic experience! The fondue is particularly fun: it is made by melting three types of local cheeses together with white wine in a hot pot. Then guests use special forks to dip small potatoes or pieces of bread into the cheesy mixtures and eat.. The French tradition requires that if you lose your food into the fondue pot, even if by accident, you’ll have to accomplish a small pledge given by your friends
In a nutshell
That post was only a small introduction, giving you the flavor of what conquering the roof of Europe is like for your vacation! Mont Blanc is really a place combining incredible sightseeing with exciting activities that can satisfy anyone regardless of your physical strength or experience ! So don’t hesitate and just rush to these mountains to get your dose of outdoor and nature!
And like any other major French highlight, we can’t say it enough: book your trip in advance! We hope you’ve loved our insiders’ view on Chamonix and the Mont Blanc ! Feel free to like and share with your friends and give us a shout if you’d like us to organize the perfect excursion for you