Classic Chamonix Hikes | Our 5 Favourite Walking Trails

Summer in Chamonix is all about being outside – whether that’s hiking in the mountains, enjoying an al fresco lunch in town, climbing Mont Blanc, or splashing in the river. Here are a few of our favourite hiking trails that take in the best parts of the Chamonix valley.

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Lac Blanc, Flegere

Lac Blanc is one of the iconic Chamonix hiking destinations. From the top of the Flegere cable car you follow the signposts high above the Chamonix valley, along rocky paths and through high altitude meadows to a crystal clear lake surrounded by towering mountains. There are two routes, either directly from the cable car or from the top of the Index chairlift. Both are only moderately strenuous and take around an hour and a half to reach the lake. The name “Lac Blanc” comes from the white snowy peaks that are reflected in its mirror-like waters. From the banks of the lake you have a panoramic view of the Mont Blanc massif on the opposite side of the valley. Those who are brave enough can dabble their toes in the icy water, extremely refreshing on a hot day! Lac Blanc is within the Aiguille Rouges nature reserve and is a common place to spot alpine wildlife such as bouquetin and marmots in their natural habitat. If you have the energy then you can hike across to Brevent-Planpraz along the Grand Balcon Sud and take the gondola back down to Chamonix.
The Flegere cable car, Index chairlift and Planpraz gondola are all included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Lac Blanc at Flegere Chamonix


Grand Balcon Nord

This stunning hike not only takes in sweeping views of the entire length of the Chamonix valley but also includes two of our favourite sightseeing attractions, Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace. The hike itself only takes around 2-3 hours but we highly recommend setting aside a full day, so that you can fully explore everything that the two sites have to offer. Starting from the Aiguille du Midi cable car, you should ride all the way to the summit at 3842m and take a walk round the various viewing platforms before taking a deep breath and stepping into the void – a glass cube suspended thousands of feet above the glaciers and crevasses of the world famous Vallee Blanche. Once you’ve taken in the jaw-dropping 360° views you can come back down to the mid-station at Plan de l’Aiguille and follow the hiking signs along the Grand Balcon Nord towards Montenvers Mer de Glace. The trail undulates gently along the mountainside, just above the treeline so that you have uninterrupted views of the whole of the Chamonix valley. The towering rocks above you and the pine forests below you make a beautiful contrast to the high altitude meadows that the paths winds its way through. Once at the Mer de Glace you can take a gondola lift down to the ice caves of the glacier, or visit the glaciorium to learn more about the fascinating geology of the area. The historic Grand Hotel Montenvers will welcome you for lunch or a refreshing drink on their terrace before you ride the little rack and pinion train back down to Chamonix centre.
The Aiguille du Midi cable cars and Montenvers train are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Hiking in Chamonix along the Grand Balcon Nord


Aiguillettes des Houches

This vertiginous ridge walk looks out beyond Chamonix into the gorges and mountain ranges of the surrounding valleys. You get a strong sense of the incredible landscape and the massive scale of the Alps from this breathtaking vantage point. Starting from the centre of Chamonix you take the gondola up to Planpraz, followed by the cable car to the summit of Brevent at 2525m. From here you can pick up signposts for Aiguillette des Houches, but be sure to make the small diversion to the serenely beautiful Lac du Brevent. You can either take a picnic to enjoy at the lake, or stop off at the Bellachat mountain refuge for a traditional Savoyard lunch of cheese omelette and homemade myrtille tart. The trail takes you along a stunning high altitude ridge with carpets of wildflowers and berries stretching out on either side, past the ancient stone shepherds’ huts at Chalets de Chailloux. Once you’ve reached the pinnacle of the ridge the path drops down through the forest, past Parc de Merlet and back down to Les Gaillands, from where you can take the train or bus back to Chamonix centre. Public transport in Chamonix is free of charge with your carte d’hote, issued to you by Mountain Lifestyle.
The Planpraz gondola and Brevent cable car are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Hiking in Chamonix


Alpage de la Charme, Les Houches

A short walk from the Prarion gondola brings you to the aptly named alpine pastures of La Charme in Les Houches. This short ramble is perfect for families and those who prefer a gentle stroll to a strenuous hike. Picturesque views and a multitude of picnic spots make this a lovely day out, especially if you call in at the goat farm for a taste of locally produced cheese. To turn it into a full day out you can take the train from Chamonix to Saint-Gervais and ride the Tramway du Mont Blanc up to Nid d’Aigle at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier in Les Houches. Once you’ve admired the majestic view you can ride the tram back down to Col de Voza and follow the hiking signs from here to La Charme, taking the Prarion gondola back down at the end of the afternoon and hopping on the bus back to Chamonix.
The Prarion gondola and Tramway du Mont Blanc are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Les Houches in Summer in Chamonix


Aiguillette des Posettes, Vallorcine & Le Tour

Make the most of the free public transport in Chamonix and hop on the train to Vallorcine, the train station is right beside the gondola lift that will whisk you up into the pastures of the Domaine de la Balme, right on the edge of the Franco-Swiss border. From here you can hike up to the pinnacle of the Aiguillette des Posettes at 2201m, a stunning viewpoint surrounded by high peaks in all directions. The steep descent will bring you back down to the gentle rolling meadows of Charamillon, where the clinking of cow bells fills the air. You can either hike down to Le Tour car park on a narrow twisting trail or save your knees and take the gondola. From the car park you can pick up the bus back to Chamonix, or walk ten minutes down the road to Montroc train station.
The Vallorcine and Charamillon gondolas are both included in the Mont Blanc Multipass – buy it online here

Hiking in Chamonix


All of the above hikes can be done simply by following the hiking signs. If you’d like to go farther afield or venture out onto the glaciers then we recommend booking a guided hike to fully appreciate the experience.

Please contact us directly or find out more about hiking in Chamonix on our website.

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Cosmojazz | Chamonix Jazz Festival

Summer is here and the mountains are calling… and singing! This week the Cosmojazz Music Festival brings music to the mountains from all over the world. Concerts take place in such spectacular locations as the sunny meadows of Le Tour and the natural rocky amphitheatre of Brevent. Jazz singers and musicians will be performing amongst the peaks, glaciers and forests of the Chamonix valley from 23rd to 31st July.

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Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

All of the concerts are completely free of charge, all you need to access them is a lift pass. The Mont Blanc Multipass covers all the lifts in the Chamonix valley, as well as the Mont Blanc Tramway from Saint-Gervais up to Les Houches, and the Montenvers train from Chamonix up to the glacier at Mer de Glace.

Cosmojazz music festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

The Mont Blanc Multipass is great value for anyone wanting to experience everything that the Chamonix valley has to offer. It opens up a multitude of hiking paths, mountain bike trails, climbing routes and sightseeing opportunities. There are special offers for families and if you book more than 3 days in advance, you can benefit from an extra day for free.

Cosmojazz music festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

The Cosmojazz Festival is a non-stop celebration of music with concerts taking place not only in the mountains but also in Chamonix town centre, in the bars and hotels, and in the gardens of Parc Couttet and the Maison des Artistes jazz club. Musicians and singers gather in Chamonix from all over the world bringing influences from such diverse places as Morocco, Albania and Japan.

Cosmojazz music festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

In between concerts, there are endless opportunities for adventure and excitement in Chamonix from paragliding over the peaks, to rafting the rapids. Find your inspiration for summer activities in Chamonix for all ages.

Cosmojazz Music Festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

The Tube – The Newest Addition to Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix

After many months of planning and construction work, the newest attraction at the Aiguille du Midi has been unveiled – The Tube.

The Tube at Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix
Photo Credit : Radio Mont Blanc

The name might not sound very inspiring but the new structure certainly is. The Tube is a 32m viewing tunnel that circles around the central peak of the Aiguille du Midi, giving you a 360° tour of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Made mostly of steel panels and glass windows, you’ll be strolling around at over 3700m altitude, whilst taking in some of Europe’s most breathtaking views.

The Tube at Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix
Photo Credit : Radio Mont Blanc

The Tube cost around 2.5 million euros and has taken about a year to build. The best news is that it is included in your Mont Blanc Multipass, so you don’t have to spend a single extra euro to try it out for yourself!

The Tube at Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix
Photo Credit : Radio Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Multipass

Your Chamonix summer lift pass includes all of the following at no extra cost:

Aiguille du Midi cable car ChamonixAiguille du Midi

  • Two cable cars up to the summit at 3842m
  • Viewing platforms looking out over some of the highest peaks in Europe
  • Step Into the Void – a glass cube suspended over a 1000m drop, do you dare to step into it?
  • L’Espace Vertical – the highest museum in the world!
  • The Tube – the newest visitor attraction in Chamonix

Montenvers Mer de GlaceMontenvers & Mer de Glace

  • Montenvers Train – an historic rack and pinion train that takes you from Chamonix town up to the Mer de Glace glacier
  • Le Glaciorium – find out how the glacier developed and the geology of the area
  • Le Temple de la Nature – a quaint little natural history museum housed in an ancient stone building
  • Grotte de Glace – enter into the glacier itself to see the wonderful sculptures carved into the ice
  • Grand Hotel des Montenvers – a fine old 19th building where you can enjoy lunch on the terrace and admire the traditional Savoyard interior

Tramway du Mont Blanc in Les Houches, ChamonixTramway du Mont Blanc

Follow in the footsteps of thousands of alpinists by taking this historic tram ride up through the forests and meadows of Les Houches to reach the Nid d’Aigle – the starting point for many a Mont Blanc summit expedition.

Luckily you don’t need ropes and crampons to get out and explore the gentle terrain at the foot of the glacier. The tram starts in Saint Gervais and there are various stops where you can access the many hiking trails that weave through this beautiful area.

You can either return to Saint Gervais by tram or take one of two cable cars directly down to the town of Les Houches, returning to Chamonix by bus or train.

Hiking in ChamonixHiking Paths & Biking Trails

Cable car, gondola and chair lift access up to the multitude of hiking paths and mountain bike trails in the Brevent, Flegere, Le Tour, Vallorcine, Grands Montets and Les Houches sectors of the Chamonix valley.
Chamonix Summer Activities

Alpine Coaster ride at Les Planards in ChamonixAlpine Coaster

Enjoy a free ride on the Alpine Coaster, a thrilling descent through the pine forests and meadows of Les Planards!

This two-person roller coaster is open during summer and winter and is suitable for anyone over 3 years old (children must be accompanied by an adult).

Les Bossons GlacierGlacier des Bossons

Take a scenic ride up to the snout of the Les Bossons glacier on a charming little chairlift, relax with a drink on the terrace of the little cafe and discover the history of this fascinating place.

Relics of the Malabar Princess aeroplane crash of 1950 are still being found amongst the crevasses and some of them are on display beside the glacier.

The Mont Blanc Multipass is your ticket to exploring everything that Chamonix has to offer this summer. Discounted rates apply for families with two or more children, and all passes of 6-9 days benefit from one day absolutely free of charge! Buy your Mont Blanc Multipass here or contact us directly for more information.

Check out this time lapse video of helicopters lifting parts of The Tube into place – impressive, eh?!