On our second morning in Chamonix we decided to ride the cog train up Montenvers to the Mer de Glace glacier.
We had a gorgeous walk to the train station in the morning. We found Chamonix very easy to get around by walking we didn’t move the RV once while there.
It rained overnight but we had a nice day for visiting the glacier.
You take the cutest little cog train up the valley to the Mer de Glace refuge. There is a store, restrooms and restaurant at the station there. Again you can hike up if you have the time and don’t want to pay for the train.
The Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) is the largest glacier in France, 7km long and 200m deep and is one of the biggest attractions in the Chamonix Valley.
The Montenvers Railway was the first custom built tourist attraction in the valley. It started operating in 1908. The funicular railway departs from Chamonix and makes its way up the sides of the Aiguilles de Chamonix to an altitude of 1,913m.
From the train stop you take a gondola part way down the valley to see the glacier.
The hike down is long, with many steps so leave the stroller behind and bring a carrier if you have a little one who can’t do lots of stairs. Emmy and Cannon did fine going up and back at four and six. There is so many steps because when the gondola was built the glacier was near the end, now it has receded so far they add to the steps each year. They are building a new gondola to make the glacier more accessible to more people.
When you get to the glacier, you can explore the ice caves (no additional ticket needed).
You can enter a man made ice grotto that is cut into the living glacier. The grotto has to be dug out every summer since the glacier moves about 70m every year.
Inside there is information about the ice, glacier and ice sculptures.
It is the most amazing blue color I have ever seen.
Once you are done in the ice grotto you get to climb the 400 something steps back up to the train station.
The hike down and back was nice with all the views but a little sad seeing all the markers for past years where the glacier used to be. I am glad we got to see it before its gone.
The ride back on the train is also very scenic.
We all enjoyed this visit so much!
Cory and the kids pretended to sleep on the way back.
We got the kids their puffer jackets right before leaving for our trip and I am so glad we did! They pack down small, are light to wear and are very warm. They work great for travel and life in Colorado!