Many a time have we driven towards the Mont-Blanc tunnel but not quite turned into it. We’ve even taken the trek to Chalet de Cerro and crossed the road immediately in front of it, but never have we been through it until this year.
As part of your Mont-Blanc Unlimited pass you can ski in Courmayeur (it needn’t be a full week pass but 1 or more days). Given that conditions can be quite different either side of the big mountain, this Italian accessibility can add a great extra to your Chamonix based holiday. It gives you an extra 100km of piste to play on, and I’m informed the off piste stuff can be pretty good too.
I suppose one of the things that has put us off going before is the thought of the toll costs. They make the Severn Bridge look like an absolute bargin at 45,90E for 1 return trip. However, the Mont-Blanc Unlimited pass entitles you to a 50% discount on the tunnel during the ski season (buy the tickets at usual Compagnie du Mont-Blanc sales points and show pass and ticket when you get to the tunnel kiosk). So after a couple of days in the Chamonix valley we gave it a go…
The tunnel itself was quite an experience, perhaps not surprisingly given the unfortunate events of 1999. We left the outside at -5 degrees C, travelled 3 miles up hill gaining around 30 degree C and travelled another 3 miles down hill to pop out at the typical temperature of a ski resort. Quite weird having a near tropical experience in a windowless tube.
Anyway we arrived at the Funivie Monte Bianco car park about 5 mins after exiting the tunnel, having just goggled the sight of a busy pizzeria at the rather ugly customs point. Are the Italians that worried about French cuisine? The sign posts and road to get there were very straightforward, but we did spot the sign that said it is obligatory to have snow tyres or snow chains on during the winter months. Oops, as it’s not obligatory in France we’ve never quite got round to it..
The Funivie Monte Bianco car park wasn’t particularly picturesque either (I’m assured that Courmayeur town is prettier) but the cabin did the trick of getting us up the mountain and parking was free and plentiful. After activating our passes at La Palud ticket office we were off.
All is not lost if you don’t have a car in resort though as the bus routes over to Courmayeur is being ramped up to five journeys per day for this winter compared to three previously, so its still accessible.
So I’m pleased to report that skiing in Courmayeur while on a Chamonix holiday is very straightforward.
Lots of writing and I haven’t even spoken about the skiing and the food there yet! I’ll save that for later.
This entry was posted in Day trips from Chamonix, Skiing and tagged Buses through the mont blanc tunnel, Driving in Italy in the winter, Funivie Monte Bianco car park, getting to Courmayeur from Chamonix, MB Tunnel bus timetable, Mont Blanc tunnel, Mont Blanc Unlimited, Skiing in Courmayeur from Chamonix, tunnel discounts.