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Mont Blanc Tunnel questions???

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Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:26 PM
  #1
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Mont Blanc Tunnel questions???

Leaving for Annecy Sunday and want to spend a day visiting Chamonix and Mont Blanc. I read about going thru the tunnel to Aosta. Is it worth the time and money to do that? I don't really know how long we will spend on the mountain. I definitely want to take the gondola up but how much time is needed up there. Don't really want to do a ton of hiking up that high. Is going to Aosta too much?
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Well, it is pretty expensive. I have always found it worth it to go through one way, but not to make a round trip. For just one day in Aosta, I would say that it is not worth it. However, if you drive into Italy one way and then go back to France over the Petit Saint Bernard pass, it is quite a lovely trip.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:41 PM
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...and it's weather dependent - can't see anything in the
fog/low cloud!
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:48 PM
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Chamonix has everything Aosta has and more - much more IME - you can take a train up to Mont Blanc from near Chamonix and the aerial gondolas from Chamonix to Aiguille de (du)? Midi to Pt Heilbronner in Italy and back to me is one of the world's greatest aerial thrill rides - that will be enough of Italy for you! For a good description of the Aiguille de Midi to Pte Heilbronner gondolas, which go over a sea of ice and often stop when loading or unloading at either end dangle in silent of the ice far below - the ice you can hear cracking - eerie feelings and happy when the gondolas get moving again.

for a good description go to http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id2.html and check out a section in the France section that gives a good description of this unforgettable ride!

So much to do in Chamonix igtself - where glaciers descend practically to the town itself - Aosta is nice but pales IME in comparison and as kerouac says it costs an arm and a leg and two feet to go thru the Mont-Blanc Tunnel and back.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 03:09 PM
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Mont Blanc Tunnel questions???
Posted by: chayes on Sep 22, 13 at 5:26pm
Leaving for Annecy Sunday and want to spend a day visiting Chamonix and Mont Blanc. I read about going thru the tunnel to Aosta. Is it worth the time and money to do that?


Purely subjective. I would do it again. From Milan I drove to and through the Mont Blanc Tunnel on my way to Paris. The Valle d'Aosta is really beautiful.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 09:56 PM
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"Chamonix has everything Aosta has and more "

It hasn't.

Aosta is a proper Italian town, with a history, decent Romanesque churches and surprisingly good eating places, marred only by an extraordinarily unItalian bigotry about letting dogs into its restaurants and near-Teutonic determination to broadcast the prohibition (a speciesism only otherwise found in Italy's churches, where even the basilica built to house St Francis's tomb is festooned with anti-dog signs that must be making the saint turn in that tomb). Chamonix by comparison is a boring tourist-crammed dump.

But Chamonix is at the base of Mont Blanc, while Aosta is 25 miles down the valley in a much duller landscape. At this time of the year, that landscape is often heavily clouded.

It's not particularly expensive (€26 for a day return bus ticket), and it's two hours each way by bus.

But that really means you're writing off an entire day just for the trip from Chamonix to Aosta. It's quite tricky logistically (now the days are getting shorter, increasingly close to impossible), as well as a great deal pricier, to start in Chamonix and combine a bus trip to Aosta with a day that starts by getting the cable cars up to the top of the French side (hence cable cars back down, then a bus from Chamonix to Aosta) or the cable cars on across to the Italian side (then a cable down to La Palud, then a bus into Courmayeur, then the connecting bus into Aosta)

If your day starts elsewhere, I'd say the trip's simply impossible.

Note that ALL timings through the tunnel are subject to delay. There is often serious congestion.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:22 AM
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Chamonix - Aiguille du Midi: runs until 3rd November and again from 21st December
Aiguille du Midi - Pointe Hellbronner - Rifugio Torino: closed for works (probably until 2015)
Rifugio Torino - La Palud: runs until 3rd November and again from 21st December

Aosta is a charming town. Count about 4 hrs for a decent visit (incl the roman theatre and triumphal arch as well as the museum) and another 4 hrs for the many castles in the Valley. Most scenic access (by private car): via Col des Montets - Col de la Forclaz - Martigny - Col du Gd St-Bernard (takes about 4 hrs OW, more if you visit the museums and the Roman theatre at Martigny and the monastery at Gd St-Bernard). Gd St-Bernard Pass is usually closed from early November until late May.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 03:47 AM
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How would somebody who is constantly boring for Britain have any idea of what a "proper" Italian town looks like?
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