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.
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.
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).
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 when the weather isn’t so good….