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Guardian Travel Awards 2014
  • Vallorcine Mountains

    1 of 3 - Vallorcine Mountains

  • Vallorcine Trees © (Marie Anne Chamel)

    2 of 3 - Vallorcine Trees © (Marie Anne Chamel)

  • Vallorcine Village 9 (Marie Anne Chamel)

    3 of 3 - Vallorcine Village 9 (Marie Anne Chamel)

Vallorcine

The tiny, unspoilt village of Vallorcine is superbly located at the foot of Mont-Blanc, 20km from Chamonix and close to the Swiss border.

The scenery is stunning and is a family friendly resort with a relaxed atmosphere. The resort offers many excursions, hiking and walks in the mountains being surrounded by forests and at the gates of the Aiguilles Rouges and Berard Valley nature reserves.

Facilities in the Vallorcine village itself are blessedly limited. There are a handful of simple restaurants. However if you’re looking for a livelier night out or more extensive facilities, it’s easy to get Chamonix.

Chamonix (10 miles away) is indeed a fascinating traditional resort with a bustling atmosphere thanks to the presence of over 100 shops, bars and restaurants. The picturesque town also has a casino, Olympic ice rink, sports complex, tennis courts, climbing wall, bowling, Alpine museum, seven night clubs and three cinemas. Also in the region you can try paragliding or take a helicopter sight-seeing flight.

Describing all the activities that are available in Chamonix area would be long but with more than 46 different sports activities you will be spoilt for choice. There is even an incredibly scenic 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones senior. With 350km of signposted walking area and many lifts operating throughout the summer the choice for hiking and rambling is endless. Sunday is market day in Chamonix.

MultiPass Mont Blanc Card

The Multipass Mont-Blanc chip card is the best way to enjoy many of the world renowned facilities in the Chamonix Valley. It gives you free access to all the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc facilities and will save you valuable time by avoiding ticket queues and extra reservation fees (eg for Aiguille du Midi). Facilities include the Aiguille du Midi (inc. booking fee of €2 + Free  access to the top lift of Aiguille du Midi -instead of €3), Montenvers train to the Sea of Ice, Mont-Blanc Tramway, Flégère, Brévent, Balme, Grands Montets, Bossons lift and Prarion gondola in les Houches. You will also get discounts on the Chamonix tourist train and Courmayeur lifts in Italy. Pre-book with Peak Retreats. Prices from £48 per adult, £41 per child and £132 per family for 1 day. View here for full prices of MULTIPASS MONT BLANC.

Places of interest in Chamonix Valley

·          Europe's highest cable car in Chamonix will take you to the fascinating Aiguille du Midi. The views from Europe’s highest cable car station (3842m) are literally breathtaking. It is the closest you can get to the Mont-Blanc without climbing training! From there you can walk back to the famous ‘Mer de Glace’ with ease and catch Montenvers train back to town.

·          The Montenvers romantic red train journey to the famous ‘Mer de Glace’ or ‘Sea of Ice’ is also captivating. Discover what a real glacier is: 7km long, 40 sq km in area, 200 metres thick. Also available on site is a crystal gallery, a wildlife exhibition and the famous ice grotto.

·          Argentières’s cable car to Les Grands Montets glacier also offers the starting point for superb walking itineraries. Reach Italy by cable car with the Helbronner cable car, which flies over the glaciers for more than 5km from the Aiguille du Midi. The Mont-Blanc tramway is the highest rack & pinion train in France and takes you from Saint-Gervais to the Eagle’s Nest (‘Nid d’Aigle’) at 2372m.

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