Day Trip to Chamonix-Mont Blanc from Geneva
While researching what to do in Geneva, Chamonix-Mont Blanc came up. We’ve never heard of this place before! We are planning to do a longer Switzerland trip to admire the Swiss Alps later this year, so we decided to do a day trip to see the French Alps! We are lazy travelers, so instead of figuring out transportation to get there on our own, we just booked a day tour from Geneva though Viator.
It took about 1.5-2hours on a bus to arrive in Chamonix-Mont Blanc. This town is known as a prime ski spot, so if you are an avid skier in Europe, this place is a must visit place to get your skies on!
We went in November and the ski season has not fully started yet. It was perfect for us since we could enjoy the town without the ski crowd!
Tip: You are still crossing borders from Switzerland to France so make sure you bring your passport with you! The guards did a quick check on the bus when we were crossing.
Our tour included the cog train ride to Montenvers where you can get a closer look at the Mer de Glace and the French Alps. You get on this cute little red train and go up the mountains for about 10-15minutes if I remember correctly.
Once you get up to the top, this is the view you are faced with!! We were in awe! We were lucky that it was a clear, sunny day when we visited!
This is by far my favorite photo from this trip! As you can probably tell, it’s cold here especially for us Californians. We wore our thickest jackets and got ourselves some heat-tech from Uniqlo, life saviors!
We have never seen this much snow in our lives before, so we were definitely excited like little kids! It’s hard to see in the photos but there are part of the mountains that are very emeralds-blue color, which is the actual glacier part. What a cool experience!
We spent about 45minutes to an hour up here enjoying the grand views. There’s also a small cafe and a souvenir shop up here.
We took the little red cog train back to the town. They run every 30minutes or so and you can just hop on the next one when you are done up in the mountains!
On the train ride back, you can get a different view of the French Alps. On the photo to the left, you can see the cute town of Chamonix nestled in the French Alps! There’s so much to see while on the train so the time goes by super quickly!
Once we got back to town, we were ready to eat some lunch.
For lunch, we headed over to Josephine, a cute and cozy French restaurant in Chamonix. We ordered a pasta and scallops dish. I wouldn’t say it was the best food we’ve had but it was decent. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this restaurant more than the food itself. But, the hot chocolate was really good! Something about a nice hot chocolate on a cold day! I always have really good hot chocolates in France.
After lunch, we walked around the town to digest a bit. There’s a lot of shops here, way more than you think since it’s such a small town in the mountains.
One of the highlights of visiting this town is to take the red cable car up to the summit of Aiguille du Midi, which takes you close to Mont-Blanc. However, it was under construction/maintenance when we visited so we couldn’t go up. Per our guide, a few months ago, there was an incident where people were stuck in the cable car for a few hours (don’t think anyone got hurt and everyone got rescued safely), which is why they are taking their time to fix. For us, who are scared of heights, this was truly a blessing in disguise!!!
So, instead of the cable car ride, our guide took us on a 30-45minute hike (more like an easy trail) to get a different view of the glaciers. It wasn’t anything fancy but we had a lot of fun walking through the snow!
If you look closely at the photo above, you will be able to see the blue spots in the mountains covered in snow. Those are the actual glaciers! You could still get a good look at them even though you are not at the summit.
We didn’t know what to expect of this trip, but it was definitely worth it! If you are visiting Geneva and not sure what to do, I’d recommend visiting Chamonix-Mont Blanc for sure!