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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.

Period 1st Departure Last departure from Chamonix
to visit the Ice cave
Last departure from Chamonix Last return from Montenvers Frequency
From May 1st to July 10th 2015 8h30
(Possible train at 9:00am and 5:00pm depending on demand)
Opening expectations of the Gondola and the Ice Cave of Mer de Galce on May 30th, 2015
16h30 17h00
(Return to 9:30 and 17:30 depending on demand)
every 30 min or 20 min according to demand
From July 11th to August 30th 2015 8h00 16h30 18h00 18h30
From August 31th to September 13th 2015 8h30
(Departure to 9:00 depending on demand)
15h30 17h00 17h30
(Return to 9:30 depending on demand)
From September 14th to September 27th 2015 8h30
(Departure to 9:00 to 17:00 = depending on demand)
15h00 16h30 17h00
(Return to 9:30 to 17:30 depending on demand)
From September 28th to October 16th 2015 inclusive Annual closer
From October 17th to November 1st 2015 10h00 Ice cave and gondola closed
from september 28th evening until December 20th morning
16h00 16h30 Every 30 min or 60 min according to demand
From November 2nd to December 18th 2015 Departures: 10:00 - 12:00 - 14:00 -15:00 - 16:00 Ice cave and gondola closed
from september 28th morning until December 20th evening
16h00 Return : 11:30 - 13:30 - 14:30 - 15:30 - 16:30 nc
Horaires Train du Montenvers Mer de Glace
From 29th September to 17th October 2014
Annual Closing
From 18th October to 2nd November 2014
First departureLast return trip to visit the Ice caveLast one wayLast return from the topFrequency
10amIce Cave + Gondola closedFrom 28 September evening to 20 December morning 20144pm4:30pmEvery hour or 30 mins according to demand)
From 3rd November to 19th December 2014
1st departureLast visit to see the Ice CaveLast one way trip upLast return from the topFrequency
Ice Cave + Gondola closed From 28 September evening to 20 December morning 20144pm4:30pm11:30am
From 20th December 2014 to 13th March 2015
1st departureLast visit to see the Ice CaveLast one way trip upLast return from the topFrequency
10am3:00pm4pm4:30pmEvery hour (or evey 30 min - 20 min according to demand)
From 14th March to 30th April 2015
1st departureLast visit to see the Ice CaveLast one way trip upLast return from the topFrequency
10am3pm4:30pm5pmEvery hour (or evey 30 min - 20 min according to demand)
Montenvers Yearly** Rates
Categories Chamonix-
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
One way
30,50 € 25,00 €
25,90 € 21,30 €
Family package* 91,50 € -
Extra child 15,30 € -

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: 01/12/14 to 03/05/15 - Summer: 04/05/15 to 30/11/15

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

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