There aren't many places in the world where you can ride a 100 year old train up to a glacier, explore ice caves, see massive crystals and have lunch in an historic hotel - but you can in Chamonix!
The two mountains that dominate the south side of the Chamonix valley are connected by one of the most spectacular hiking trails in the area - Le Grand Balcon Sud.
Right on the Swiss border, the Domaine de Balme is a bucolic paradise of clanging cowbells and pretty stone shepherds huts. It is also home to some pretty awesome downhill mountain biking terrain...
Get up amongst the glaciers even in the height of summer at Les Grands Montets, where Chamonix's highest ski area becomes a summer paradise of pine forests, lush meadows and craggy blue glaciers.
The starting point for many a Mont Blanc expedition, the sleepy little commune of Les Houches is a beautiful place to wander amongst typical Alpine scenery scattered with small farms and ancient shepherds huts.