In search of cafes; short family hikes

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Not always do our kids share our enthusiasm for walking, so incentives ‘to get there’ are often required.  In most cases this takes the form of food or drink. Given that Chamonix is a glacial valley its sides are steep so a cafe or buvette at a key view point can be a welcome break.  Here are some of our favourites. We’ve not been specific on directions as the paths are pretty well sign posted (as you might be able to see on the photo below) with estimates of length in minutes which seem to be family pace.

Cascade du Dard (1,233m).

This is probably one of the easiest short walks that can handily be combined with a walk up to Chalet du Cerro .

Cascade du Dard has views of the 20m high waterfall and Aiguilles Rouges.  It takes about 20 mins to get there if you park in the car park at the last bend on the road to Mont Blanc, or 40 mins if you walk directly from Barrats A.

Chalet du Cerro (1,358m)

This is a further 40 mins on from Cascade du Dard.  Just behind it is the viewing platform for the Bossons Glacier, the longest in the valley, if not in Europe I think.  Alternately you can park next to the Mont Blanc tunnel and ascend for 20 mins or walk from 45mins from Songenaz in Les Bossons.

La Floria (1,137m)

This is worth the effort if only to appreciate the beautiful flowers.  These frame the fantastic views of Mont Blanc on the opposite side of the valley. This is also situated on a public foot path, a little above the Petite Balcon Sud so you can picnic providing you purchase a drink.

The walk takes about an hour from Barrats A or about 45 mins from the Brevent, Les Nants (next to the Tennis courts) or Paradiz des Praz car parks.

Chalet du Chapeau (1,576m)

This is placed within the l’Arveyron canyon, offering a view of the Drus and the Chamonix valley.  It also has a view point 15mins higher up which gives great views of the foot of the Mer de Glace.  The walk takes about 50 mins from La Lavancher or 1hr 15 mins from the village of Les Bois. We cycled from Chamonix via the Bois du Bochet cycle route just to add another dimension to things and locked the bikes up near Les Bois.

Cascade du Berard (1,456m).

This is within the area of Vallorcine at the top of the Chamonix valley. It’s at the beginning of the much longer Col du Buet walk, but a great introduction to this part of the valley.

It’s a gentle 25 mins stroll from the car park in the Buet hamlet.

Short family hikes have the advantage of leaving you half the day free to do things that might be higher on the kids list like, swimming or visiting the lake.  Or alternatively taking advantage of a break in the weather when the skies decide to demonstrate why the local flora & fauna is so lush and green.

And if they don’t fancy walking, here are some other ideas when the weather is good.

(and we’ve added a few more dry ideas and another and this one even has an outside museum)

and when the weather isn’t so good….


6 thoughts on “In search of cafes; short family hikes

    […] so decided to go for a walk rather than half a day on the piste with rubbish visiblity. We chose La Floria as it has some great views of Mont Blanc on a good day.  Look how different it was last time we […]

    […] here are a couple more ideas for short family walks and and outside museum incorporated into a short […]

    […] Not always do you want to be walking for the whole day, but a short jaunt out to stretch your legs is appreciated. Sometimes the walk might only be to exercise the dog.  On this particular occasion we fancied a dog walk close to the flat but trying somewhere other than our usual round trip to Cascade du Dard. […]

    […] We’ve also added a page on short walks you might find […]

    […] previous suggestions for sun and rain activities (and even rubbish snow) follow the links. And some short walk ideas are also […]

    […] her and off she trotted, very gamefully up 50 degree or so slopes, full of snow. The walk to the Cascade du Dard from the back of our flat suited her nicely and quickly helped to expend her of some energy. (By […]

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