Well here we go with Chamonix Lodge’s top ten recommendations of things to do and see this summer in Chamonix. In at number ten is the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) and the Montenvers Train. We thought we would break you in gently with a relaxing 5km train journey to just over 1, 900 metres above sea level on what is a very scenic journey.
The train takes approximately 20 minutes and once you arrive at the Hotel de Montenvers, you have the real purpose of your journey – to visit the Mer de Glace or “Sea of Ice”. This is France’s biggest glacier with a total surface area of 40km2 and a length of 7km from top to bottom. As you will notice from the gondola journey and then flight of steps down to the Mer de Glace, the glacier has retreated significantly since the Montenvers Train was first installed in 1908, but nonetheless is still an amazing geographical phenomenon, and one of the world’s most visited natural sites.
Once at the mouth of the glacier you have to visit the “Ice Grotto”, which takes you into the heart of the glacier where you can marvel at the eery blue hue of the ice, as well as at the beautiful ice carvings depicting historical scenes, enabling you to witness mountain life in a bygone era. The Ice Grotto is newly carved out and sculpted each season as the glacier is continually moving and changing as it makes its journey.