Mont Blanc

Western Europe’s highest peak is a hub for extreme sports enthusiasts, while its bustling base town offers all the amenities for a perfect European ski holiday. 

Mont Blanc is among Europe’s most iconic peaks. This 15,781-foot (4,810-meter) playground for thrill-seekers attracts visitors for extreme skiing, ice climbing, paragliding and other exhilarating activities. For something a little more low-key, relax in sophisticated Chamonix, a base town for activities around Mont Blanc. Dine in chic restaurants, browse high-end boutiques and experience the town’s exciting nightlife scene.

Ride the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi and ski the famous Vallée Blanche powder continuing onto the Mer de Glace glacier. This 12-mile (20-kilometer) run is one of the longest off-piste runs in the world. Arrange a guide for safe skiing. 

Make the invigorating climb with ice picks and crampons to the summit of Mont Blanc. One popular route begins at the Tramway du Mont Blanc, then ascending from the Nid d’Aigle. This hike is geared toward seasoned mountaineers and should be undertaken with the help of a guide. 

A lower altitude option is hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 106-mile (170-kilometer) circuit of the mountain, which crosses through France, Switzerland and Italy with highest elevations of about 8,700 feet (2,700 meters). The hike typically takes between 8 and 12 days to complete. 

Try skiing at a number of excellent resorts surrounding Mont Blanc on both sides of the Chamonix Valley. Sunny Brévent-Flégère offers gorgeous views of Mont Blanc across the valley and a wide variety of slopes suitable for all abilities. For a greater challenge, head to Argentière-Les Grands Montets to take on some of the region’s steepest terrain.

At night, discover dining and nightlife in Chamonix. Find diverse restaurants, bars and a casino along the banks of the Arve River, beautifully contrasting against Mont Blanc and its neighboring peaks.

To reach Mont Blanc, take one of the regular buses to Chamonix that run from Geneva airport year-round. Alternatively, most trains coming from other regions of Switzerland and France stop in the nearby villages of Saint-Gervais or Martigny. The ski areas in the Chamonix Valley are linked by a bus system, which is typically free with a lift ticket. Enjoy your trip to this buzzing winter sports destination.

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