The Aiguille du Midi Chamonix

Written by on July 7, 2017 in Quirky Stuff, Rhône Alpes

The Aiguille du Midi is a 3842m mountain peak in the Mont Blanc Massif and if you want to get up close and personal to Mont Blanc and have a glimpse of the heavens, this is the place.

To get there you have to get the cable car from Chamonix which will mean about a half an hour drive from Saint Gervais. The cable car in itself is an experience and when it opened in the 1950s, it was the highest in the world. It still has the record for the highest vertical ascent (from 1035m to 3842m) so brace yourself.  From Chamonix, it goes via the Plan de l’Aiguille (2,317m) and then (without any support pillar) it swings across Les Pelerins glacier before going up to the Aiguille du Midi (3778m).  It’s the first leg of a heady experience.

A trip to Aiguille du Midi is not for the faint hearted. It’s an extraordinary place where two great wonders meet: nature, in all its rawest glory and engineering, in all its brilliance. You walk from the cable car via a small bridge to a platform wrapped round the tip (or the needle – aiguille) of the mountain peak, right up in the heavens. And there you have it, the world at your feet. Or at least views across the mountain tops and to Mont Blanc less than a mile away, and on a clear day, to the Matterhorn in the distance.

But remember… it’s cold up there, even in the summer, so go well prepared.

Step into the void

You’ll also find the “Step into the Void” skywalk at the Aiguille du Midi, which opened in 2013. In short, it’s a glass room dangling at 3,842 m and with a 1,000-m drop. From it, if you dare open your eyes, you can see the three countries of: France, Switzerland and Italy as well as dramatic glaciers. Not for those who don’t like heights but another amazing feat of engineering and apparently, the highest attraction in Europe.

Pop over to Italy

Once you’ve recovered from the void, in the summer you can catch the highest cable car in the world, from France to Italy. It’s 5km from the Aiguille du Midi to Point Helbronner in Italy and then there’s a cable car, that takes you to the nearest Italian village, La Palud.

Well why not. After all, exploring the mountains doesn’t have to be all about skiing and mountaineering.

When I went, a round trip to Aiguille from Chamonix was €60 which may seem steep – and let’s face it, it is! For a round trip to Italy, prices start at €89.00 but it’s probably the cheapest way to go by air! (prices subject to change)

Related Articles

How to explore the Gorges of Ardeche

The gorges of Ardeche in the far corner of the Rhône-Alpes region, south of France is one of the most popular places to go for the French. But visitors to France are hardly aware of its existence. Roads tend to be of the winding type and you really do need a car to see it […]

Continue Reading

Ardeche | Gorges, gorgeous villages and winding roads

The Ardèche with its winding roads and inspiring views is a surprisingly quiet corner of southern France. It’s at the very south of the Rhône-Alpes region, flirting with both northern Provence and the Languedoc. There’s a hint of the Garrigue (aromatic undergrowth) in the rugged landscape. And, you’re just a hair’s breadth from the lavender […]

Continue Reading

The Pont d’Arc and the Pont d’Arc Cavern, Ardeche

The Pont d’Arc is a 60m high and 34m wide. It’s a natural bridge carved out of the rock face of the gorge over the Ardèche River in Ardeche, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (formerly Rhone-Alpes). It’s a geological wonder and thousands of years of water and wind have eroded the stone into shaping this natural entrance to the […]

Continue Reading

5 Brilliant things to do in the Haute-Pyrenees, France

The French Pyrenees are a mountain range unlike any other. Situated along the French-Spanish border, these mountains have a distinct medieval history. Although they are less famous than their eastern sisters the Alps, their relative obscurity gives the Pyrenees a distinct peace. Robynne McTaggart of Le Belvedere, a gorgeous holiday rental home in the lush […]

Continue Reading

Valence Provence the gateway to the south of France

Valence is in the department of Drome, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (formerly Rhone-Alpes). Just an hour south of Lyon, Valence is a beautiful and surprising city. It’s known as the gateway to the south of France. From Paris, you can be there in a couple of hours on the TGV which steams its way through and on south […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.