Aiguille du Midi cable car
Built in 1955 at the cost of four lives, this cable car held the title of the world's longest single span cable car until the connection between Whistler and Blackcoomb was built a couple of years ago. - the Midi lift takes you from 1035m to 3842m.
At the top, the scenery is simply spectacular - you can see three countries, the best view of the Mont Blanc massif, and on a clear day you can even see Lake Leman poking between gaps in the landscape.
There is an exhibition showing how the cable car was constructed, and its colourful history:
A Short Colourful History of the Aiguille du Midi
In 1905, the first attempt to reach the Aiguille du Midi by lift was made by two Swiss engineers, however it took until 1924 before the first section, originally from Les Pelerins was opened. This never reached the summit, and was closed in 1951.
An Italian engineer, Count Dino Lora Totino, re-routed the lift to where it is now, and completed the cable car at a cost of 500 million francs, four lives, and five years of construction.
After the 3km cable was strung out, the five guides undertook the longest abseil in mountaineering history back to Plan d'Aiguille.
In 1961, a French fighter plane cut the cable of the Panoramic lift (that links the Aiguille du Midi with Pointe Helbronner in Italy) killing six occupants.
In 1971, a lift operator was killed when wind blew the cabin from the cable
In 1983, the bottom station was damaged in a dynamite explosion.
In 1999, the chief accountant embezzled 10 million francs and disappeared.
In 2004, the tractor cable was dropped during routine maintenance - and a cabin crashed into the lift station during out-of-hours testing.
In 2013, the opening of the "Step into the Void" - a five-sided glass box suspended above a 1000m drop.
Prices: Adult €55.00 return.
Montenvers Railway and Ice Cave
The Montenvers cog railway opened in 1908, and is one of the highlights of Chamonix valley.
The 5.1km line transports you from Chamonix town centre to Montenvers, with its imposing position overlooking the Mer du Glace glacier. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes, at a speed between 14 and 20 km/h.
Once you have arrived, there is a rock crystal museum, and an interesting exhibition showing the evolution of glaciers and the influence of global climate change. You can also visit the ice cave - a tunnel carved into the heart of the glacier every year, filled with ice sculptures illustrating alpine life in the early 19th century.
The Grand Hotel du Montenvers opened in 1880 and is a great restaurant.
Prices: Adult €29.50 return.
Tramway du Mont Blanc
Starting in Le Fayet, the tramway comes up through St. Gervais, crosses the Col du Voza and Bellevue, and heads up to the Nid d'Aigle (Eagles Nest): a viewpoint at 2372m overlooking the Bionnassay Glacier.
The 12.4km line opened in 1907, with the intention to continue it up to the Aiguille du Goûter, however work stopped when World War I broke out in 1914, and was never resumed.
It takes one hour to go from Le Fayet to Bellevue
note: in Winter, the tramway finishes at Bellevue.
This fascinating museum hosts an impressive collection of alpine exhibitions and artefacts that relate to the surrounding mountains,
a large section dedicated to skiing and climbing, as well as other winter sports.
A gallery of photographs shows you how the mountains used to look like - together with some of the more remote parts of the area rarely visited by humans.
Open every day 2.00pm - 7.00pm.
Admission: Adult €5, Child (12-18) €1.50
Web site: more info on chamonix.com
89 avenue Michel Croz, zone piétonne, F-74400 Chamonix, Mont-Blanc +33 (0) 450 532 593
Foundation Pierre Gianadda
This impressive art gallery has exhibits on the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, an automobile museum, a sculpture park, and exhibits on Roman artifacts found in Martigny.
In 2013, it has exhibitions on Sam Szafran until the 16th June, and then Modigliani.
November - June: 10 h - 18 h
June - November: 9 h - 19 h
Admission: Adult €15, Family ticket €31.50
Web site : http://www.gianadda.ch
59 Rue du Forum, Martigny, Switzerland +41 27 722 39 78
In the centre of Les Houches, in a house dating from 1750, this exhibition presents a view of rural alpine life reconstructing the traditional rooms and objects of daily life.
It also houses the temporary exhibit, "L'Alpe homicide" or "Death in the Alpis" - showing 30 original drawings which appeared in the press between 1880 and 1950 depicting the various catastophies that took place.
Summer: open every day (except Tuesday) from 15:00 to 18:00
Guided visit every Monday and Wednesday at 17:00
Winter: open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 15:00 to 18:00
Guided visit every Friday at 17:00
2 rue d'Eglise, Les Houches +33 (0)4 50 54 54 74