Mont Blanc Express: Embark On A Scenic Train Journey

mont blanc express

The Mont Blanc Express is a scenic mountain train that takes passengers across the Alps and Alpine villages, from Switzerland into France. The train has been running for more than a century, linking Martigny in Switzerland with Chamonix in France.

The Mont Blanc Express train journey is not just a way of getting to Chamonix and the French side of the Alps, it is also a popular tourist attraction as it offers breathtaking views of the Alps and the surrounding countryside such as the magical Trient Valley along the way.

Basically, it is well worth taking a ride on this train journey if you are around the Lake Geneva area of Switzerland, and here are all the details you need to know about it.

The Mont Blanc Express Route

mont blanc express
© Mont-Blanc Express

The train journeys just 38 km long as it goes from Martigny in Switzerland to Chamonix in France.

As you depart Martigny, Switzerland you will travel through the Rhone Valley and on to Vernayaz and the impressive Trient Gorge before ascending to the steepest section of the route to the village of Salvan.

The journey then continues to Marécottesl Le Trétien, Finhaut, and Le Châtelard completing the Swiss leg of the trip, before the train crosses into France.

The train then enters France through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, which is the highest road tunnel in Europe. French stops are Vallorcine – an Haute-Savoie village – and the famous Chamonix Mont Blanc, at the foot of the imposing Mont Blanc summit, Europe’s highest peak.

You can get off at each stop as you wish to see the sights along the way or you can stay onboard and gaze at the beautiful view of the wild gorges, Chamonix Valley, mountain peaks, and rocky outcroppings along the way.

Mont Blanc Express Tickets

Tickets for the Mont Blanc Express can be bought online or at the train station on the day of departure. The cost of the ticket varies depending on the time of year, the class of travel, and the type of ticket you purchase – they are generally not that expensive though.

You can also buy combination tickets that, for example, also give you access to the Zoo at the same time as giving you a ride on the train.

Mont Blanc Express Timetable

The Mont Blanc Express runs daily from the early morning hours throughout the day and into the evening. You can find links to both timetables, from France and from Switzerland, here.

The first train departs Martigny or Chamonix at around 7 am and the last train departs either Martigny or Chamonix close to 6 pm with several departures throughout the day.

The timetable varies depending on the time of year, and passengers are advised to check the timetable before traveling.

What to Expect During the Train Journey

mont blanc express
© Mont-Blanc Express

The Mont Blanc Express train journey is a scenic and relaxing experience as the train is equipped with comfortable seating, large windows, and air conditioning, providing a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

Passengers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Alps and the surrounding countryside as the train winds its way through the mountains, gorges, valleys, and more.

One of my favorite views is down the Rhone Valley into Lake Geneva as you rise up into the Alps above Martigny.

You will also see the wild Trient Gorge, countless mountain peaks, waterfalls, forests, rivers, and lots more on the trip to Chamonix. One beautiful view along the way is across the Chamonix Valley on the French side, especially when Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak comes into view.

You will have to change trains along the way, something that is not made too obvious on the Mont Blanc Express website. The change happens at Vallorcine when you get onto a mountain train.

Also, be sure to travel with valid entry documents for your trip as you are crossing borders with the added bonus of views of majestic mountain crags and alpine villages along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Swiss Travel Pass Cover the Mont Blanc Express?

Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass covers the Mont Blanc Express. Passengers with a Swiss Travel Pass can travel on the Mont Blanc Express for free.

How long does it take to travel the entire route?

The whole journey from start to finish takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, but you can spend the day jumping from train to train as you explore each stop.

When is the best time to travel on the Mont Blanc Express?

You also have the added bonus of a lot fewer tourists using the train in June and September, especially when compared to the likes of July and August.

The best time to travel on the Mont Blanc Express is during the months of June and September as during this time, the weather is warm and sunny, and the scenery is at its most beautiful.

Winter can also be a lovely time to use the train as you get to see all the landscapes covered in snow.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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