"Take an old time train for some ice spelunking" Mer de Glace & Montenvers Tip by iNorv9

  The intriguing blue walls of Montenvers' Ice Grott
by iNorv9
 
  • The intriguing blue walls of Montenvers' Ice Grott - Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
      The intriguing blue walls of Montenvers' Ice Grott
    by iNorv9
  • Alpine peaks carved out by la Mer de Glace - Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
      Alpine peaks carved out by la Mer de Glace
    by iNorv9
  • The Montenvers Train - Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
      The Montenvers Train
    by iNorv9
  • La Mer de Glace - 2nd largest glacier in the Alps - Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
      La Mer de Glace - 2nd largest glacier in the Alps
    by iNorv9
 

The Montenvers Railway, first completed in 1909, takes you from Chamonix along a windy, tree lined and sometimes steep 5.1 km (20 minute) route to the Hotel de Montenvers station (6,276 ft/1 913m). From here you can take a gondola (or take the path during the summer) down to the Mer de Glace, the second largest glacier in the Alps. My favorite part of Montenvers was La Grotte de Glace, or Ice Grotto, essentially an ice cave which has been freshly carved out each year for the past 50 years. The deep blue glow of the glacial walls is remarkable, and after all, where else will you be able to step foot INSIDE of a glacier? Also, near the station there a free Alpine Museum with plenty of, well, stuffed wildlife.

Cost: about 20 euro for round trip train ticket + Grotte de Glace gondola

Time: at least 2 hours, more if you choose to hike back

Bottomline: Nice landscapes, unique experience, worthwhile if your budget allows

Address: Station is to the south of Chamonix
Directions: Take the pedestrian bridge over the SNCF railway at the SNCF train station in town center
Phone: +33 4 50 53 12 54
Website: http://www.chamonix.net/english/sightseeing/mer_de_glace.htm

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  • Updated Dec 19, 2005
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iNorv9

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