Welcome to the Mont-Blanc massif, in Chamonix and experience one of the most sensational adventures in the French Alps: the ascent of the Aiguille du Midi which stretches to the sky at an altitude of 3,842 m. To reach this legendary summit, which offers extraordinary views of the French and Italian Alps, you will have to board a cable car which will propel you in 20 minutes at an altitude of 3,842 m. Take advantage of your camping stay near Annecy to make this dizzying ascent and take with you an indelible memory of your holidays in the French Alps.
At the start of the 20th century, two Swiss engineers had an ambitious idea: to link the hamlet of the Pilgrims to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi by cable car. They encountered several technical problems and were forced to throw in the towel. A few years later, a French company seduced by this idea managed to convert the project into reality. The first section of the cable car, between Les Pèlerins and La Para, was opened in 1924. Three years later, the second section to Les Glaciers was finished. Even before its completion, the Aiguille du Midi cable car was already the highest cable car in the world. The works came to a halt during the Second World War. A new cable car, the one currently in operation, was built in just 5 years, between 1951 and 1955, and completely renovated in 1991.
Currently, the Aiguille du Midi cable car provides access to one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the French Alps. Visitors from all over the world take it every year to admire the highest peaks and the French, Italian and Swiss glaciers. From the heights, in summer, it is not uncommon to spot mountaineers who set off to conquer Mont Blanc. To take full advantage of the landscape, you will find terraces at the summit, at 3,482 m above sea level, where you can sit and pause, taking a look into the Chamonix valley. Apart from Mont Blanc, you be able to appreciate the contours of other alpine giants like Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and Grand Combin.
From Chamonix, it takes 16 minutes to reach the northern peak of the Aiguille du Midi with a positive elevation of more than 2,700 m. The journey takes place in two sections of 8 minutes each, separated by an intermediate station (Plan de l'Aiguille, 2,317 m). The Aiguille du Midi cable car is open all year round. On the upper terrace, the big attraction of the summit was installed in 2013: the Pas dans le vide. It is a glass cage hanging on the wall. By advancing, you literally take a step into the void, a void of almost 1000 m under your feet. Before going back down, you can eat at 3842, one of the highest restaurants in the world.
Want more? From the Aiguille du Midi arrival station, take the Panoramic Mont Blanc, the gondola that connects France and Italy.