Chamonix cable cars and mountain railways have been pulling in the crowds for over a hundred years.
The easy access to the spectacular landscapes of the high mountains is one of the unique aspects of Chamonix, and equally appealing to the hardcore ski mountaineer and the more relaxed traveller.
Aiguille du Midi cable car
The highest cable car in Europe, The Aiguille Du Midi is a heart-stopping ride to the pinnacle, 3842 metres above sea level.
Once at the top, you’re in another world of ice and snow.
The views over the Alps are indescribably beautiful and you can often see the tiny dots of climbers ascending the summit of Mont Blanc.
There’s a cafe and shop, or you can have lunch at the restaurant. It’s possible to cross to Italy from the top, on the Hellbronner lift, and have a day in the cheerful Italian town of Courmayeur.
Montenvers Railway and Ice Cave
The charming old cog railway on Montenvers winds up from a separate station just next to the main train station in Chamonix. You can see it sometimes from the balcony as it passes high above the chalet). At the top, there’s an amazing panorama of the Mer De Glace glacier, a cafe, restaurant and shop.
It’s a lovely spot for lunch, and you can either walk or get the lift down to the ice cave carved out of the glacier.
Another lovely old rack railway, the Mont Blanc Tramway – built in 1913 – starts at Le Fayet and makes a stop at St Gervais. In winter, after winding up through woods and villages,it stops at Bellevue. You can enjoy the views at the restaurant, or by walking or snowshoeing on the plateau surrounding the area.