If I had to choose one place that I loved visiting the most from our trip it would be Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix, France. The views here were unreal. The pictures look like paintings and it was even more stunning in person!
We started our day at 5am in Annecy and drove a little over an hour to get to Chamonix. We parked at the base of the Aiguille du Midi cable car, where you can also stay the night.
These are the faces of kids who are pretty tired and aren’t sure about their parents anymore.
We wanted to get up the mountain early before it became super crowded and we did catch the first cable car up the mountain.
Aiguille du Midi is the highest mountain peak served by an aerial lift system. The name translates literally to “Needle of the Mid-day”.
We stopped at Plan de l’Aiguille, the mid point, to got out to look around a bit. Also young children (and anyone really) can get sick when ascending so quickly up the mountain, so we thought a tiny break might be a good idea.
The morning sun on the mountains was stunning!
We walked around a bit then got on another cable car to ride to the top.
You can see in the photo above to pointy peak, that is where you ride to.
It is a two-stage journey. The first leg brings visitors to the Plan de l’Aiguille (2,317m). The second stage, without any support pillar, traverses Les Pelerins glacier before rising up the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi at the top station (3778m). A footbridge connects the cable car top station with the Central Piton terrace. An elevator inside the rock rises the visitor the final 42m to the top terrace at an altitude of 3,842m.
We thought about taking the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car, that spins 360 degrees while taking you to Italy. We decided not to because the day was cloudy so we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the views, but I am dying to go back and experience that.
We did the “Step into the Void” which is a glass room with a glass floor, situated off the uppermost terrace of the Aiguille du Midi at an altitude of 3842 meters.
It was very cold at the top but the views made it worth it.
I think Cannon would have liked a nap.
I love our Colorado Rockies, but the Alps forever have my heart.
We took our time exploring the complex at the top, which is very impressive! Then rode back down to the mid-point.
We went for a little hike from Plan de l’Aiguille
It is so stunning here!
We hiked down to the cutest mountain side restaurant.
Can we PLEASE get some of these in Colorado?!?
We stopped and for our lunch and enjoyed some regional specialties.
Many hikers were actually stopping here after hiking up from Chamonix.
That hike is beyond our current ability with a 4 and 6 year old but it’s goals for the future.
I think this was one of my favorite meals ever.
We then hiked back up to Plan de l’Aiguille to catch the cable car back to Chamonix.
You can also hike from this area to Mer de Glace and take the cog train back down. That hike is also on the bucket list for when we can hike further.
Most of the hiking signs in France are labeled in time instead of distance which I dislike because everyone hikes at different speeds. If you tell me how far it is I can figure out how long it will take us. You can see on the sign that Mer de Glace is 2 hours and 40 minutes away, I think it would take us much longer.
We loved this visit, and we think it is a must see when visiting France! Please go and then tell me how much you love it.
[…] Plan de l’Aiguille to Mer de Glace – Chamonix, France […]