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The great rocky fang of the Aiguille du Midi (3842m), rising from the Mont Blanc massif, is one of Chamonix’ most distinctive features. The 360-degree views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps from the summit are (quite literally) breathtaking. Year-round, you can float via cable car from Chamonix to the Aiguille du Midi on the vertiginous Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi. Dress warmly: even in summer, temperatures at the top rarely rise above -10°C (in winter prepare for -25°C).
Up top, you can take in the view in literally every direction (including straight down, thanks to the glass-floored Step into the Void). Halfway up, Plan de l’Aiguille (2317m) is a terrific place to start hikes or to paraglide.
From the Aiguille du Midi, between late May and September, you can continue for a further 50 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 France–Italy border. The SkyWay Monte Bianco cable car can then take you a further 4km to the Val d'Aosta ski resort of Courmayeur, on the Italian side of Monte Bianco.