Take the train to Chamonix and discover one of Europe’s most extraordinary mountain resorts. Once no more than a village in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Chamonix has ballooned into a bustling town with year-round appeal for mountaineers. The highest Alpine peak is the big draw, but many visitors to Chamonix go nowhere near the summit of Mont Blanc. For hillwalking, ice climbing or glacier skiing, or even just for chic days and cool nights in the valley, Chamonix is a year-round destination. It is the jumping-off point for some fabulous mountain excursions. One of the most popular is the 20-minute cable car ride to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. In summer, it is possible to continue beyond the Aiguille du Midi, riding a panoramic gondola over the Géant Glacier into Italy.
Chamonix is on a narrow-gauge mountain railway which links Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (France) with Martigny (Switzerland). Most visitors approach from the west, taking overnight or daytime trains to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, changing there onto the local train for the 45-minute ride up the Arve Valley to Chamonix. This local train is called the Mont-Blanc Express – though it’s hardly an express train!
The resort’s main station is Chamonix Mont Blanc, often just referred to as Chamonix. The station is a ten-minute walk south of the town centre. A second station, called Chamonix Aiguille du Midi, is west of the central area, just over the river from the cable car for the Aiguille du Midi. All tickets issued by Loco2 are to the main station, but if approaching Chamonix from Saint-Gervais, these tickets are also valid to Aiguille du Midi station.
Bookings for journeys to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains may open earlier than those to Chamonix. Our advice is that you should book to Saint-Gervais as soon as those tickets go on sale. You can always buy the add-on ticket for the short journey from Saint-Gervais to Chamonix just prior to travel. In addition to trains, there are a handful of SNCF direct buses to Chamonix on which rail tickets are valid. These run on peak travel days only, giving a link with the main-line stations at Bellegarde (Ain) and Lyon-Part-Dieu.
Travel to Chamonix by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe
Avg 0 changes 43m
Avg 1 change 5hr 35m
Avg 1 change 2hr 16m