The best hikes to see glaciers in Chamonix, France

Chamonix, France, is best known as a hardcore ski destination and Europe’s mountaineering capital. But, in summer, the trekking and hiking routes that take you about the stunning Chamonix valley are equally spectacular. Chamonix is not just home to some of the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, but also to several major glaciers — including the largest one in France, Mer de Glace. And you don’t need to pack crampons and ice axes to experience them. These five hikes to glaciers will bring your right to the crevasses of major glaciers or allow you to see them from a panoramic perspective of the high mountains.

Mer de Glace glacier via Grand Balcon Nord Hike

Photo: Geartooth Productions/Shutterstock

At nearly 25 thousand feet long and over 600 feet deep, Mer de Glace is the largest glacier in France. The name of the glacier translates to English as “Sea of Ice” and explains what this massive glacier appeared like to the early explorers of Chamonix — crevasses of ice glistened in the valley like frozen waves. Although it has declined significantly over the last century, Mer de Glace is still an incredible glacier to experience up close.

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