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Chamonix

 

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, or more commonly Chamonix, is a French mountain commune located in the Haute-Savoie department, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The commune of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc covers from north to south sixteen villages or hamlets: le Tour, Montroc, le Planet, Argentière, les Chosalets, la Joux, le Lavancher, les Tines, les Bois, les Praz de Chamonix, Chamonix- Mont-Blanc, the Pècles, the Mouilles, the Barrats, the Pélerins, the Gaillands, the Bossons.

Chamonix entered history in 1091, when Count Aymon I of Geneva made an endowment of the valley at the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Michel de la Cluse, in Piedmont. Monks settled on the right bank of the Arve. It is the birth of the priory of Chamonix. The town is a territory of the Duchy of Savoy which is part of the States of Savoy, themselves subsequently integrated into the Kingdom of Sardinia. Then under the French Revolution and the First Empire, it became French territory. On March 24, 1860, by the Treaty of Turin, the Duchy of Savoy was ceded to France. On April 4, 1860, the commune of Chamonix then became definitively French. It took the name of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc on November 21, 1921: the Mont-Blanc extension resulted from an agreement with the municipality of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains.

Surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Aiguilles Rouges and Mont Blanc, Chamonix shares with Saint-Gervais-les-Bains the record for the municipality with the highest altitude in France and Western Europe (this point is the subject of (a cross-border discussion with Italy. It has not yet been settled from the point of view of international law). It owes this to the presence on its territory of the highest summit of the Alps: Mont Blanc, which rises to 4,810 meters. The town is very popular with mountaineering enthusiasts and mountain sportsmen in general. The tourist attraction of Mont Blanc gives the city a very cosmopolitan face.

 

Tourist Information Center (Office de Tourisme de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc), 85 Place du Triangle de l'Amitié, ☏ +33 04 50 53 00 24, ✉ info@chamonix.com.  Daily 09:00-21:00.

 

Destinations

See
In the city
Alpine Museum Avenue Michel Croz - it traces the history of mountaineering in the valley. It is also an ecomuseum and the place of interesting temporary exhibitions (cartography of Mont-Blanc, photography ...).
Espace Tairraz crystal museum, just behind the church and the Maison de la Montagne - The result of a partnership between the Chamonix Mineralogy Club, the town hall and the Alpine Museum, it presents an impressive collection of minerals from the Chamonix Valley , but also from the Alps and the whole world. The scenography highlights the aesthetic as well as the scientific aspect, educational panels retracing the formation of crystals, and the geology of the find sites.

The Mer de Glace
Accessible by the Montenvers cogwheel train.

Montenvers railway

The Aiguille du Midi
Accessible by the Aiguille du Midi cable car, one of the highest in the world (3,842 m). Provide adequate equipment, the temperature is very low even in summer (pullover, anorak, hat, sunglasses, etc.).

Start of the white valley ski descent. Please note, this off-piste route on a crevasse glacier is reserved for experienced skiers, appropriately equipped (harness) and in good physical condition. Do not hesitate to call on a guide.

Aiguille du Midi cable car

The Brevent
In the Massif des Aiguilles Rouges, accessible by the Brévent cable car (2,526 m), offers an incomparable panorama of the Mont-Blanc Massif. The descent on foot to Chamonix is ​​a good warm-up for athletes.

 

Getting here

By plane
Chamonix is ​​approximately 90 km from Geneva airport.

By train
To access Chamonix by train, you have to take the tourist line that connects Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (Le Fayet) to Martigny in Switzerland. This metric gauge line operates all year round. Allow about an hour from Le Fayet. The line also serves Les Houches, Bossons, Praz de Chamonix, Argentière ...

Saint-Gervais station is itself accessible directly from Paris (night train, TGV) and Lyon (around 3 hours).

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc station

By car
Access to Chamonix by car is very easy, particularly due to the presence of the Mont-Blanc tunnel (major transalpine axis).

From Geneva: take the A40 motorway to Fayet then the N205 and the N506.
From Paris: A6 towards Lyon, in Mâcon, take the A40 towards Geneva then take the previous route.
From Lyon: A42 direction Geneva then follow Chamonix. Another possibility: A43 towards Chambéry, just before Chambéry take A41 towards Annecy, go past Annecy to join the A40 towards Roche-sur-Foron.
From Martigny (Switzerland): via the Col des Montets. Rather rare closure during the winter.
From Italy: Courmayeur, Mont-Blanc tunnel.

By minibus
Deluxe transfers offer you a service between Geneva and Chamonix.

 

Around the city

Chamonix has a decent bus network, especially during the tourist season. Road traffic is heavy in season.

1 Mont-Blanc tunnel (entrance on the French side) (south-west of downtown Chamonix) € 45.6 as of January 1, 2019 from France to Italy. - 11.6 km Franco-Italian road tunnel from Chamonix to Courmayeur