Aiguille du Midi

Aiguille du Midi information

Chamonix , France
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A jagged finger of rock soaring above glaciers, snowfields and rocky crags, 8km from the hump of Mont Blanc, the Aiguille du Midi (3842m) is one of Chamonix’ most distinctive geographical features. If you can handle the altitude, the 360-degree views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps from the summit are (quite literally) breathtaking. Year-round, you can float in a cable car from Chamonix to the Aiguille du Midi on the vertiginous Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi .

Up top, you can take in the view in literally every direction, including straight down thanks to the glass-floored Step into the Void , opened in 2013. Halfway up, Plan de l’Aiguille (2317m) is a terrific place to start hikes or paraglide.

In summer (especially mid-July to mid-August) there are massive lines (we're talking two-hour waits) so you may need to obtain a boarding card (marked with the number of your departing and returning cable cars) along with your ticket. Bring warm clothes, as even in summer the temperature at the top rarely rises above -10°C (in winter be prepared for -25°C).

From the Aiguille du Midi, between mid-June and August, you can continue for a further 30 minutes of mind-blowing scenery – think glaciers and spurs, seracs and shimmering ice fields – in the smaller bubbles of the Télécabine Panoramique Mont Blanc to Pointe Helbronner (3466m) on the French-Italian border. A new cable car from there to the Val d'Aosta ski resort of Courmayeur, on the Italian side of Monte Bianco, is set to open in 2015.