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Known as the birthplace of mountaineering, Chamonix and the Chamonix Valley are situated between the spectacular Mont Blanc range to the south and the Aiguilles Mountains to the north, creating a magnificent scenic landscape perfect for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.
Access to the slopes and glaciers of towering Mont Blanc is what Chamonix is most famous for. The world’s highest cable car, 12,000 feet above the ground, takes you over the town, up the Aigulle du Midi ridge, and terminates at a lookout with breathtaking views of the summit of Mont Blanc and the Alps panorama. The cable car stops frequently at popular skiing and hiking points, where you can take downhill or cross-country trails through snowfields and valleys, traverse glaciers, and scale some of the challenging peaks. The famous Mer de Glace is the second largest glacier in the Alps and can be viewed from the inside via an ice cave.
In the town, the ancient 11th century Thorens Glires’ Castle houses an impressive collection of art, ornaments, tapestries, furniture and historic documents. The town’s other main attractions are the Alpine Museum, with a collection of mountaineering equipment and documents, and the Mont Blanc Observatory.
Luxurious accommodations and acclaimed restaurants are the norm at Chamonix, as you would expect of this popular but expensive destination, while numerous bars and cafes create a nightlife scene to suit all tastes.
The nearby Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve to the north is another beautiful alpine area, and a variety of flora and fauna can be found on its slopes. Another cable car takes you to the peak of Le Brevent, at 2525 meters, for more stunning alpine scenery. Only 40 km north of Chamonix is the Swiss village of Martigny, famous for its chocolate.
Geneva International Airport is the nearest to Chamonix; the closest French international airport is Lyon. Connections from Lyon can be made to Chambery, where various transportation options are available to the town.
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