Chamonix Mer de Glace: Getting There, Grotte de Ice, and Scenery Review

If you’re wondering if Chamonix’s Mer de Glace is worth visiting, check out my comprehensive guide below and buckle up before you get there and discover what to see along the way.

Nguyen Oanh

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

Translated as “the Sea of Ice”, Mer de Glace is a must-see that surely completes your trip to Chamonix on a high note.

Dubbed as the longest and most impressive glacier in the Chamonix valley, Mer de Glace is one of the largest of its kind all over the country, spanning for 7 kilometers long with a 42km² wide surface before dropping down to around 80 meters near the ice grotto.

To get to Mer de Glace, you need to board a train. In this article, I’ll be showing you where to catch the train and what to expect before visiting the ice grotto.

Montenvers Mer de Glace Train Station

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

The charming cogwheel train departs at Gare Du Montenvers, a medieval stone-walled building located just behind the Gare SNCF. Right next to it, you will find an old locomotive for children to play on as the parents wait for the next train to come.

Right in front of the building is the train timetable so you can keep track of your departure time.

During the peak season, you may wanna save more time lining up for the train. The queue can get crowded even 20 minutes before the train comes.

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

Ice Grotto Of Mer de Glace

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

If you have obtained the Mont Blanc Multipass then all you need to do is collect the ticket and enter the cable car right away without any extra cost.

The pass gives you access to 3 excursion sites including Aiguille du Midi (Except Panoramic Mont-Blanc – Pointe Helbronner), Montenvers Mer de Glace, as well as Tramway du Mont-Blanc, and Skyway.

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

The cable car station is a 1-minute walk across the road from the arrival terminal of Montenvers – Mer de Glace. It’s known as the red Télécabine that takes you 5 minutes to reach the terminal of the riverbed.

Once you get off, walk for another 10 minutes down the steep rocky alpine before the Ice Grotto opens out in front of you.

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

The Ice Grotto has to be carved out fresh every year to keep up with the glacier’s movement. The digging of the Ice Grotto takes 3 whole months to complete.

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

No matter which season it is, the area here is always windy and chilly.

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

One of the coolest things about the walk is catching sight of the stunning blue layer of ice sneaking out in between the rocks and being exposed to the air.

蒙特維冰河列車Montenvers Mer de Glace

Nonetheless, the cave is very impressive to see with atmospheric lightning dispersed throughout the mystic walkway. They set up mats on the floor too so you don’t have to worry about slipping. Overall, the ice walk is extremely family-friendly, even for kids and seniors. Plus, it doesn’t take too long to complete.

The sculptures appeared in all shapes and sizes. Checking in with the ice polar bear sculptures or kicking back on the ice seats, you name it.

The entire trip to Mer de Glace needs at least 2 hours to complete or even the whole day during the peak season in July and August when trains are crammed with people. If you come during those months, allow some extra time to get on the trains up and down. There are restaurants and souvenir shops around the train stations if you need to charge up an empty stomach.