The charming town of Chamonix sits at the base of Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc. Towering 15,531 feet (4,734 meters) above sea level, snow-covered Mont Blanc is one of the most visited natural attractions on the planet — a mecca for skiers, mountaineers and casual tourists alike. In fact, the 1786 ascent of Mont Blanc by Jacques Balmat and Michel Gabriel Paccard is considered by many to have been the birth of mountaineering.
Nicknamed the “Roof of Europe,” the peak sits in the middle of the Mont Blanc Massif, straddling the border of France and Italy. One of the best views of the peak is from the 12,619-foot (3,846-meter) summit of Aiguille du Midi, where the world’s highest cable car carries visitors to an observation tower affording stellar views.
Local buses, called navettes, run between Chamonix and many of the cable carsin the area, including the one to the Mont Blanc observation tower.