This page on the orientation around the location of the Chamonix Train Station is the second part of an orientation of the elegant town of Chamonix Mont Blanc, beautiful, inimitable special style of the French.
To go to the overview and orientation of the very best parts of Chamonix Mont Blanc, click on the button.
The Train Station Area:
Location Chamonix Station
Here is what the Le Gare SNCF, at Chamonix Mont Blanc looks like. As with the majority of buildings in this area, it looks utilitarian and purposeful, somewhat run-down as is common around transport hubs, but nonetheless, the City Town Planners have taken the effort to keep the area clean and it is not at all seedy.
See the open car park area, that's where the long distance buses pick up passengers.
Here's the low down:
The township of Chamonix Mont Blanc is not large and the location of most key places is within walking distance. The train station is about a 10 minute walk from Place Balmat, which is not far but sufficiently inconvenient if you're lugging snowsports gear and luggage.
Now, this area, just like any rail precinct in any city, is where you'll find reasonably priced shopping, food, and budget accommodation. The prices naturally reflect the location which is a little worn and a little out of the way. Nonetheless the location is cheery and clean, there's no sense of seediness as you'd find in other cities' rail precincts.
Location Chamonix Train Station
This is the main train station (le Gare) for trains plying the route between Switzerland and Geneva. There is a special train that just services the valley so there are necessary train changes if you're going into Switzerland, onto the narrow gauge train that crosses the Alps at le Buet or at Vallorcine; and into France, the Chamonix Mont Blanc SNCF train changes at St Gervais/ Le Fayet where passengers hop onto another SNCF service.
The Mont Blanc Express that runs between Vallorcine and St Gervais/La Fayet
If you're arriving by train or bus, it is this location Chamonix Train Station,
where you'll be dropped off. Chamonix is not so large that it's too inconvenient to walk from here to your accommodation, but it is a right pain when you're lugging all your gear and the weather is cold, wet and miserable, and you don't know where you're going.
This orientation map will at least be some guide to give you a sense of direction till you can contact your hosts.
Location Chamonix Train Station for Montenvers Historic Train
The beautifully restored rack and pinion Montenvers train or funicula is located here and it takes you to the base of the Mer de Glace glacier. Most skiers on completing their adventure skiing down the Valle Blanche will have to get on this train back to town. It's on a separate line and is accessed from a building next to the main train station.
Exploring this part of the resort is an ideal activity if you're having a non-skiing day or for non-skiers in your party.
The large parking area at the front of the Chamonix Train Station is the location for the long distance bus hub, including the free buses to Courmayeur Italy, Verbier, the major Italian cities as well as the free Chamonix ski buses and the local "mulet".
You'll also find the location of the Europcar Car Rental
representative here, directly opposite the entrance to the train
station. You'll see the little office and next to it is a small secure
parking area. That's the rental office.
Chamonix Resort Pass Ticket Office
Although the location is too subtle for mere tourists, this is the location to obtain your Chamonix unlimited pass. The ticket office is located at the Montenvers train building.
To get there, go towards the main building, don't enter, but go up the external stairs on the left hand side. This will take you over the tracks to the Montenvers Rack and Pinion Train.
don't get your tickets at the fancy looking building at the Aiguille
du Midi, nor the tourist office nor the Ski School booking office. You
have to make your way here, so be sure you're not wearing your ski
boots as it's quite a way to get here and you'll wear out the base of
your boots on the cobble stones.
Selecting the appropriate pass depends entirely on what sort of skiing vacation you have in mind. We take the mystery out of the passes on Skiing in France: Chamonix Best Value Ski Pass.
Chamonix Train Station - Chamonix Lifts at Planards
The beginners lessons area at Les Planards is in this area behind the train sidings where most lessons take place. This is just one of the Chamonix lifts accessible directly in town.
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