Standing at 4810 metres above sea level, Mont Blanc is the highest and most majestic mountain in Western Europe. On a recent road trip we were, once again, struck by the awesome majesty of this mountain range. It was New Year’s Eve and we had no plans. With a quick research, we found out that the thermal pools were still open so we headed there. While bathing in the outdoor hot-water pools surrounded by snow, we watched the sun going down on the Mont Blanc Massif then, around midnight, we joined the party in Chanoux square in Aosta, a beautiful ancient Roman town.
The morning after we woke up at 6 o’clock, determined to watch the sun rising while sitting with a cup of coffee on top of Europe’s highest mountain. From Courmayeur, a cable car ride took us to the panoramic terrace of Punta Helbronner: 3.466 mt.
And there we are, sitting alone, breathing the coldest and most rarified air we ever breathed, watching the first rays of sun hitting one of Earth’s most majestic features, the Mont Blanc Massif. Our eyes wandered over white eternal glaciers, steep valleys and granite towers. On the horizon the famous “4000” of Europe: the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Grivola, Gran Paradiso.
We opened and closed our eyes, trying to capture that moment and to imprint it in our memory forever. Time flew, more people joined us on the terrace. We realised we’ve been there for hours and we couldn’t feel our hands anymore. Time for another coffee!
Mont Blanc Skyway Price: Pontal Courmayeur – Punta Helbronner (return) € 48
MONT BLANC FOR FOOD LOVERS
Summiting isn’t the only thing to do on Mont Blanc. The Alpine food is a must “try” too. Do not miss the traditional and genuine recipes of Refuge Torino: wild boar, polenta, stew and a good glass of red wine. Located near Punta Helbronner, this remote mountaintop hut offers two double bedrooms and one dorm. Overnight stays will be unique opportunities to enjoy night sky views and to hear the fascinating stories of climbers and adventurers.
MONT BLANC FOR SPORT ADDICTS
In winter, snowshoes become a good alternative to hiking boots. You can rent them at the cablecar middle stop, the Pavillon du Mont Fréty, 2.173 m. If you are looking for the thrill, check out heli-ski and downhill skiing activities. In summer, check out the Track of the Giants – Sentiero dei Giganti – a panoramic route that goes from the old refuge Torino (3.375 m) to the new one.
MONT BLANC FOR FAMILIES
Reach Punta Helbronner (3,466 m) with the new Skyway cable car is a worthwhile day trip for all the family. 360° rotating cabins, futuristic stations, panoramic terraces, botanic gardens, kids areas, restaurants and the experimental high altitude winery. It is a must do.
MONT BLANC FOR SPA LOVERS
Don’t miss out the opportunity to enjoy the view of Mont Blanc from the relaxing warm water of the QC Terme Pré Saint Didier. A home to therapeutic waters since Roman times, and used systematically since the 1600s, the spa is a profusion of well-being and rejuvenation. Take time to soak in the hot pools, themed saunas and aromatic steam rooms. If you are planning to visit Mont Blanc and Spa, you can buy the combo package QC Terme + Skyway for € 78.