In the summer, The French Alps offer an unparalleled trip for the entire family. If you need a particular reason for an adventure, riding the highest train in France is an experience not to miss.
On a rainy afternoon this past July, we took a ride up through alpines landscapes, forests, and pâtures on a carriage bearing a charming name – Anne – We started at the station in the village of St. Gervais Les Bains and rode to Eagle’s Nest (2,380 meters) gateway to the Mont Blanc royal route. The Tram moves slowly up the mountain through neighborhoods and steep hills bearing a beautiful view of the valley below. We stopped twice on our journey up to allow the tramways coming down the mountain to cross. Each stop is an opportunity to hop out and take a few hours for a hike.
When we arrived at the final stop, low clouds were hanging around, blocking our view. On a clear day, you’ll have a splendid view of the Bionnassay glacier. We took a few pictures to say we were there and hop on the carriage back to the Bellevue Plateau, the departure point to numerous alpine hiking itineraries, some of which provide access to the high mountains. We took a hike to the Prarion restaurant located at mid-mountain and had lunch overseeing the valley of Chamonix. The hotel and restaurant are accessible through the trail systems all around and the gondola. For avid hikers, primitive lodges are available throughout the mountain, where you can spend the night. These lodges can be busy during the summer season. Plan to arrive early to ensure you get a spot. It is also a paradise for mountain bikers.
The Mont Blanc Tramway is the highest mountain railway line in France and the fourth highest in Europe.