February, 07 2019 ( Updated February, 08 2019)
If you’re looking to diversify your ski break with
some fun off the slopes, we can
recommend these top activities for you to try:
The artificial outdoor ice rink in Les Houches offers an idyllic setting in the heart of the village, with views of the Mont Blanc Massif to take in from the ice.
For something equally timeless, why not enjoy an enthralling husky sleigh ride through the snowy wilderness of Chamonix? Ideal for either 1 adult or 2 children, the husky sleigh rides from March - April offer a liberating way to take in the magical scenery.
Looking for something a little different?
A traditional way to enjoy the winter season is to book a experience. The timeless sport sees a person standing on a pair of skis, whilst being drawn by a well-trained horse. Skis are also provided, so all you need do is bring your ski boots! The centre also offers the ideal opportunity for pony treks in the snow.
As well as high-altitude climbing and skiing, Chamonix also offers high-altitude sightseeing. With a super number of scenic attractions to take advantage of, here are our top must-see high-altitude attractions!
The most famous high-altitude sightseeing spot in Chamonix has to be the Step into the Void attraction. Reached by the Aiguille du Midi cable car from Chamonix centre, visitors will arrive at the gateway to the 3,842m summit. Spectacular panoramic terraces offer 360° views across the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. From here, a lift takes visitors to the ultimate summit terrace, for pristine views of the Mont Blanc. For a memorable photo opportunity, the ‘Step into the Void’ attraction lets daredevil visitors stand on the glass floor of a specially engineered glass cage, suspended over a 1,000m cliff drop. Also, ‘The Pipe’ is a long 32m steep gallery runs a full circuit around the central peak and offers 360° views to remember. The panoramic ‘Mont Blanc Gondala’ ride (open from June-September) lets visitors glide over the Glacier du Géant, to the Pointe Helbronner in Italy. With a year-round café and gift shop and a summertime restaurant serving typical Savoie cuisine, this high-altitude visitor attraction offers a priceless way to spend the day.
For those looking to enjoy a day of high-altitude hiking, the Plan de l’Aiguille cable station at 2,310m (which forms the half way point between Chamonix and Aiguille du Midi) serves as the departure point for the Balcon Nord hike to Montenvers. Refreshments and food are available at the ‘Refuge du Plan’, 5 minutes’ walk away.
Another fun outing is to the Mer de Glace. From
Chamonix, hop on the famous rack and pinion railway to Montenevers (1,913m).
The day trip promises a dramatic view of the Mer de Glace glacier, the Drus and
the Grands Jorasses. Popular sightseeing points are the ‘Ice Cave’ (Grotte de Glace),
which is reached on foot in 20 minutes or by gondala lift and once there,
enables visitors to walk to the centre of a glacier. Another
popular attraction is ‘The Glaciorium’ exhibition centre at the Mer de Glace.
Visitors can learn about the life cycle of the glaciers over the centuries. ‘The
Temple of Nature’ also offers an engaging educational experience, with a
high-tech optical theatre enabling visitors to ‘meet’ the eminent Scottish geologist
Forbes, as well as Chateaubriand, Louis Pasteur and the artist Agutte.
Hikers here are also able to enjoy a hill walk from Montenvers to Plan de l’Aiguille, as well as the return descent to Chamonix, via Les Planards or the village of Le Bois.
The attraction also offers a range of eateries, from snacks at the ‘Glacier Bar’ and authentic Savoyard cuisine at the ‘Restaurant du Refuge du Montenvers’ to a fantastic scenic bistro lunch at the ‘Panoramique Mer de Glace’.
A trip to The Bossons Glacier includes a scenic chair lift ride from the top of Bossons village to an altitude of 1,425m, passing typical alpine chalets as you go.
Having alighted the lift, the viewing point at The Glacier des Bossons chalet is 5 minutes’ walk away. Food and refreshments are also available, and visitors can learn more about the glacier as well as hike up to the Les Pyramides chalet, for more refreshments and for closer views of the glacier’s ice cascade, ice pinnacles and ice pyramids. This scenic location is also the starting point for the high-altitude hike to the 2,589m rocky arm of La Jonction (the route for the first ever ascent to Mont Blanc in 1786).