Hit the Skyway for the best views of Mont Blanc
If you’re heading to the Alps this summer and want to experience the high mountains of the Mont Blanc range, in complete safety, then Skyway could be the ideal journey to take.
Opened in 2015, this new cable way starts close to the Italian Alpine town of Courmayeur, just the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel from the French side.
It’s 4.5 kilometres in length and set up in two stages, the first taking just 4 minutes from the valley up to the mid station (Pavilion) and the second stage taking 7 minutes, from Pavilion to Punta Helbronner at 3,462 metres.
During the summer I got the chance to try it out for myself.
Parking outside the cable car station is easy, there’s a large multi-story car park and everything is well organised but it’s worth having a ticket organised beforehand.
The first stage to Pavilion whisked me up quickly from the valley floor and the view of Courmayeur is laid out below. During the winter, skiers can get access to some steep off piste terrain via the Skyway cable car, although a guide is recommended.
Getting off at Pavilion, the middle station, is easy and it’s possibly to spend time up here enjoying the Alpine garden located at 2,000 metres of altitude. It’s one of the world’s highest natural gardens and showcases the kind of plants found in high alpine environments.
There’s a café and an excellent restaurant here too.
The second stage from here to the top at Punta Helbronner is a 7 minute ride in some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery – you really get a sense of being up in the very highest mountains in the Alps and you are, at the top it’s one of the very highest points you can reach with a lift in Europe.
There’s an indoor and outdoor viewing station here, but even if summer temperatures are warm down in Courmayeur, at Punta Helbronner it can be below freezing most of the time so it’s worth taking something warm to wear.
The views of Mont Blanc and the Glacier du Géant, leading to the Mer de Glace that ends in the French town of Chamonix. It’s also possible to cross the glacier to the Aiguille du Midi on the French side via another cableway.
But I head back down to Pavilion and enjoy a lovely Italian lunch.
Skyway is a great experience for the whole family and just an easy way to get close to the high mountains without much effort. The 100+ million Euro project was and still is the most expensive cable car installation in the world and it shows.
Whether you’re staying in Courmayeur or Chamonix during the summer or winter, it’s worth a ride up Skyway. I’d recommend spending a few hours heading up, looking around and taking some lunch.
Tickets and info:
A round-trip ticket for an adult costs from €55, 8-17 years olds cost €39, 7 and under go free of charge, dogs cost €7.
Tickets are non-refundable and a time slot must be booked.
Family tickets are available at €170, including two adults and two children (8-17 years)
An alpine lunch at Pavilion costs €25 (2 courses) or €35 (3 courses) per person.
Further information and booking: www.montebianco.com/en