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Montenvers - Ice Cave

Train du MontenversEntrée de la grotte de glaceGrand hôtel du Montenvers



Map and real-time info

The famous little rack railway

The Montenvers rack railway starts from Chamonix and, in 20 minutes and in total safety, reaches the bottom of the Mer de Glace (1,913 m), France’s largest glacier (7km long, 200 m thick). This historic site marked the start of Alpine tourism in the 19th century and offers a panoramic view of famous peaks such as Les Drus and Les Grandes Jorasses.

The tour of the “Grotte de glace” (Ice Cave) takes visitors into the very heart of the glacier. Re-sculpted every year, it describes the life of mountain people in the early 19th century. It can be entered either by a walk of around 20 minutes on a footpath, or by gondola lift. NB: There are more than 400 steps from the arrival of the gondola lift to the entrance to the cave.

3:19Montenvers - Mer de GlacePresentation of what's new at Montenvers Mer de Glace in Chamonix Mont-Blanc: The Temple of Nature, the Glaciorium ... Accessible with the little red train and open all year. © Compagnie du Mont-Blanc» activities

The Glaciorium
A world of discovery awaits you at the new exhibition centre at the Montenvers Mer de Glace. Here the creation and evolution of the glaciers over the centuries is explained in detail.

The Temple of Nature
The Temple has now reopened to the public and an innovative optical theatre takes visitors on a trip into the past where they will meet the likes of Forbes (the Scottish geologist),  Chateaubriand, Louis Pasteur and Agutte the artist.

The complete tour (including the cave and travelling time) takes an average of 2 to 3 hours. The time required for the tour may be doubled during peak periods.

Hill-walks include the hike from Montenvers to Plan de l'Aiguille via the Grand Balcon Nord hill-walking trail, and also the return descent down to Chamonix via Les Planards or Les Bois village.

There are two choices for eating: either fast food at the railway station buffet or else a Savoie or traditional meal in the Grand Hôtel in Montenvers, a place full of history and authenticity built in 1880.

In the summer, the hotel serves its original main purpose, i.e., accommodating mountaineers, travellers and adventurers, just as it did in the late 19th century. With its nine rooms and its dormitory, it has retained the charm and simplicity of bygone days.

Montenvers timetables
Period First departure Last return trip to visit the Ice cave Last one way Last return from the top Frequency
From 1 May to 4 July 2014 8h30
Departure 9h00 optional depending on how busy
IMPORTANT : Opening of the Cave for Thursday 5 June 2014.
16h30 17h00 Every 20-30 mins depending on how busy
From 5 July to 31 August 2014 8h00 16h30 18h00 18h30
From 1 September to 14 September 2014 8h30 15h30 17h00 17h30
From 15 September to 28 september 2014 8h30
Departure 9h00 optional depending on how busy
15h00 16h30 17h00
From 29 September morning to 17 October 2014 inclusive Annual Closing
From 18 October to 2 November 2014 10h00 Ice Cave + Gondola closed From 28 September evening to 20 December morning 2014 16h00 16h30 Every hour or 30 mins according to demand
From 3 November to 19 December 2014 Departures: 10h00 - 12h00 - 14h00 -15h00 - 16h00 Ice Cave + Gondola closed From 28 September evening to 20 December morning 2014 16h00 Return trips: 11h30 - 13h30 - 14h30 - 15h30 - 16h30 nc
Montenvers Yearly** Rates
Categories Chamonix-
Montenvers Mer de Glace
Montenvers - Mer de Glace Montenvers - Mer de Glace - Chamonix :
ascent or descent by train + visits
(Vallée Blanche return)
Package Voyage à la Mer de Glace :
Return trip by train & gondola & visits
Package on the site : Return trip by gondola + visits One way
29,50 € 16,00 €
24,00 €
25,10 € 13,60 €
20,40 €
Family package* 88,50 € -
Extra child 14,80 € -

Non contractual rates, opening dates; prices and conditions of sale may be subject to modification (subject VAT)
*Family: 2 adults (parents or grandparents) + 2 children from the same family.
Extra child = 50% of additional adult public rate
** Winter: 01/12/13 to 04/05/14 - Summer: 05/05/14 to 30/11/14

For train ticket purchased : access to Gallery of Crystals, the Glacorium and the Ice cave

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