Chamonix travel guide
Mer de Glace
Montenvers, Chamonix, France
Mer de Glace is the largest glacier in France, located in Chamonix. This stunning natural wonder offers visitors the opportunity to witness a spectacular sight of ice formations and stunning views of the surrounding alpine landscapes.
Departing from Chamonix centre, the rack-and-pin- ion railway takes around 20 minutes to deliver you to Montenvers at an altitude of 1,913 metres. The line was finished in 1909 and the viaduct and parts of the line can be seen from the valley floor. In the height of the season you should book tickets as it gets busy and crowds push and shove to get onto the train. Once aboard it’s a pleasant trip, the train climbing steeply up through trees and tunnels and at one point pauses for the returning train to pass.
From the train station, the Télécabine de la Mer de Glace and 470 steps (100 more than in 2015, and 467 more than in 1998) take you down to the Mer de Glace and the man-made tunnel within it. More people have been underneath this glacier than any other and the journey requires a certain amount of endurance to steps.