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Making Memories at Aiguille du Midi: A Family Travel Guide to Chamonix

We had originally planned to visit the Aiguille du Midi a few years ago but it was closed due to strong winds.  Since then it has always been at the back of our minds and in March we took an impromptu trip to Chamonix and decided it was the perfect time.

This famous peak is one of the highest in Chamonix, reaching an altitude of 3,842 m. and has been welcoming visitors for more than 60 years. 

We kept a close eye on the weather to make sure it would be sunny with clear skies and booked our tickets a few days in advance.  It’s a good idea to book ahead because on the Saturday when we arrived we saw that it was fully booked.  

The departure station is in the centre of Chamonix and there are a few car parks around although those get very busy at peak times.  We were staying at the Refuge des Aiglons which was a short walk away so we left or car in their carpark and walked from there.   There are also a couple of disabled parking spaces just in front of the departure point.

When you arrive, you need to remember the cable car number you have been assigned to when you booked and wait for that number to appear on the screen to start boarding.  The cable car number is written on your tickets. To reach the summit, you will take two cable cars and in total it takes about 20-30 minutes depending the number of people and the weather on the day. 

The first cable car takes you to Plan de l’Aiguille (2,299 meters/7,542 feet). The view is already spectacular at this level and you will see the Aiguille du midi before starting a 5 minute journey to reach it.

When we reached the top we took the lift up to the very top where you can try the “step into the Void” experience.  We arrived a bit too late and the closing time was approaching so we couldn’t do this but we could enjoy the views from the Aiguille du Midi and its terraces which offer a 360° view of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.   

The views from the top are incredible and we were happy to have picked a sunny day which meant we could see for miles around.  The Aiguille is the closest most non-climbers can get to Mont Blanc which is the highest mountain in Western Europe and the Alps.

While this experience would have been possible with Elio in his wheelchair, we were glad that we didn’t take him because it was windy and cold at the summit and the cabins were crowded which he wouldn’t have appreciated.  Children below three years old are not allowed and it is not recommended for children under 5.  Because of the altitude, it is not advised if you have a heavy cold or cardiac difficulties.  I am pretty fit but I felt quite dizzy when we reached the summit.  It’s a good idea to bring a bottle of water and don’t forget some warmer layers because it’s colder at the top.  

It’s a great experience and a unique family outing.

You can also try the immersive 4D cinema experience which is located at the departure point and there are bars, restaurants and a gift shop on site too.

Our main tips are :

  1. Prepare for the Altitude: Aiguille du Midi stands at 3,842 meters, so it's essential to be aware of the effects of high altitude. Drink plenty of water, move slowly, and take time to acclimatise. It's also a good idea to keep snacks handy, especially for younger family members who might need more frequent energy boosts.

  2. Dress Appropriately: The temperature at Aiguille du Midi can be significantly cooler than in the valley, even in summer. Dress in layers, including a windproof jacket, hats, and gloves. Sturdy shoes are a must, as you'll encounter snow and ice even in warmer months.

  3. Book Tickets in Advance: To avoid long waiting times, especially during peak tourist seasons, book your cable car tickets online and in advance. Consider early morning slots when the site is less crowded and the visibility is often better.

  4. Plan Your Visit: Prioritise what you want to see and do, keeping in mind the attention span and interest of younger family members.

  5. Safety First: Always keep an eye on children and stay within the marked paths and viewing areas. The high mountain environment can be hazardous, so it's crucial to follow all safety guidelines and instructions provided by the site staff.


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