How to enjoy the view of Mont Blanc? Here you are – your practical guide on how to prepare for the Aiguille du Midi for the best view of Mont Blanc! Do it right and enjoy!
I am not a mountain person at all. I love seaside, cities, culture more than mountains activities. Yet, I guess I have never been introduced to the mountains lifestyle properly…I love nature yet it scares me so I have always tend to stay away. That is probably the reason I haven’t realized or simply forgot that Lyon is actually located near the beautiful Alps and the mountains can be reached from Lyon within 2 hours!
Can you imagine living so close and having all those opportunities to go and see Alpes (another example on how wonderful Lyon is)? So I have checked it out and I decided I want! I want to see the famous Mont Blanc but I want to do it the easiest and safest way possible. So, I did and it was wonderful. Now I will tell you more and in details how you can prepare yourself for the best experience to see Mont Blanc the easiest, the safest and enjoyable way and make your dream come true…as it has been amazing! So what did I do? Simply I went to Chamonix and used the famous world attraction. And here you have your practical guide on how to prepare for the Aiguille du Midi so you can make the most out of this and avoid unpleasant surprises.
But what exactly is the Aiguille du Midi?
“Aiguille du Midi” (3,842 m) which means Needle of the Mid-day (probably because the sun appears over its summit around noon) is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif. It is a popular tourist destination and can be directly accessed by cable car from Chamonix. It offers an exceptional experience and amazing views. At its 1st level of 2317m called the Plan de l’Aiguille you can admire the Glacier des Bossons, the Mont-Blanc, the Aiguille Verte, the Drus and the Aiguilles de Chamonix. At the peak of 3842m, above the glaciers, at the laid-out terraces which offer a 360° of all the French, Swiss and Italian Alps you can finally get a clear view of Mont Blanc. On top of that there is a long steel gallery of 32m, cafeteria, restaurant and a souvenir shop available at the “3842m” and… the best and very exciting experience called A STEP INTO THE VOID. This is simply a bit frightening step into the 2.50 m five-sided glass cage out over a 1000 m emptiness beneath your feet in which makes you feel that you are standing in the sky. Very cool and worth a wait of at least 30 mins!
Your practical guide on how to prepare for the Aiguille du Midi
- VERY IMPORTANT: Do take with you the warm clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Even in summer, temperatures in the open viewing areas can reach -10 °C
- Don’t be surprised, there is a stop on your way up! The cable car ride between Chamonix and Aiguille du Midi is in two stages. The intermediate stop is at a height of 2,310m. It’s a very good idea as you get other views of Alps and change your place in the car cable for a better experience
- Don’t take kids under 3 years (it’s forbidden!), have a good think if you should take the ones under 5 years old (it’s not recommended)
- Do arrive early (between 6:30 and 7:00) to enjoy the experience without so many people. With the nice weather, it can get very busy and crowded!
- Do allow yourself a good amount of time for Aiguille du Midi. The journey to go up takes 20 mins in 2 cable cars with a stop on the way at the Plan de l’Aiguille and the whole visit to Aiguille du Midi takes an average of 2 to 3 hrs
- Do double, triple check the weather before using Aiguille du Midi. There is no point of paying and going up and not being able to see anything because of the cloudy day. The screens with real live views are available online and at the station
- Do consider booking your visit in advance. You can avoid potentially long queues yet you will never be sure of the weather conditions which change in the mountains very quickly. So since you are not 99 % sure of the weather I wouldn’t recommend booking in advance…
- Do be advised that it is OK to take children above 3 years; elderly people (unless medical advice); and disabled (maximum 2 wheelchairs per lift, 1 wheelchair maximum in the “Step into the void®” with accompanying person). You cannot take any animals!
- Don’t worry about toilets. You can easily find them in Chamonix station, Plan de l’Aiguille and at the top at the Aiguille.
- Don’t worry about parking. It’s there for you – The Grépon paid parking
- Do visit Maison de la Montagne where you can learn about the weather and global warming and verify the weather forecast for 7 days (updated twice a day). Bonus: it’s for free and located opposite to the tourist office of Chamonix Pole mountain risk
- Do get the idea of prices to get the best deal for yourself. The ticket costs around €60 for an adult from Chamonix and back. But there are some offers, group deals available. Check here for details.
- Do check the opening hours as they change between seasons. All details and brochures for summer season you can get here and for the winter season are here.
- Don’t miss the gondola lift ride over the Glacier du Géant to the Pointe Helbronner in Italy. It is open from June to September. I haven’t known about it earlier so I missed out on this …
And lastly, check out My little SlideShow Photo Gallery so you will know better why you should go to French Alps and use the Aiguille du Midi.
I hope you found it useful to learn more about Aiguille du Midi and you are ready to make your dream come true…Feel free to comment if you have been or want to go. If you have any questions just get in touch! Thanks!