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Non-Bikers Sample Itinery

For those significant others that might want to come to a beautiful place like Chamonix on holiday, but will not be participating in the guided mountain bike rides, here is an example itinery of things a non-mountain biker can do. This shows that there are a lot of activities available as Chamonix is the premium alpine destination in the summer for the Alps.

Arrive Saturday
Unpack and make yourself comfortable in your room. Walk the few hundred metres into Chamonix Town Centre and familiarize yourself with where everything is. May be have a coffee at one of the many street cafes before returning to the chalet for a hearty dinner.

Take the nearby Brevent cable car up to the halfway stage, Plan Praz. From there walk up to the top of Brevent via the Col de Brevent, part of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc route. Have lunch at the restaurant at the top looking across the valley at Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi. Walk down through the trees or take the cable car depending on how energetic you are feeling.

Catch the Montenvers cog-railway up to the end of the Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in the Chamonix area. Enjoy the views as the train winds its way up through the alpine forest and then have your breath taken away by the view up the huge sea of ice at the top. For a few extra Euros you can go down to the ice cave which is dug out of the glacier every year. Inside they have carved beautiful sculptures out of the ice, and see the layers indicating the years of snowfall like rings on a tree. Visit the free alpine wildlife museum by the Hotel Montenvers (the highest hotel in Chamonix) to understand more of the regions flora and fauna. Choose one of the pretty hikes down, or return on the train back to Chamonix Town Centre.

Make an early start to miss the crowds and catch the cable car up the spectacular Aiguille du Midi. The second stage of the cable car is the longest and highest cable car with no intermediate pylons. Remember to wrap up warm as the top station is surrounded by ice and snow all year round. The views across France, Switzerland and Italy for a mile up will ensure you use a lot of camera film! Only 1000m short of the top of Mont Blanc you can often spot climbers trudging out across the snow. Go out through the ice tunnel to the top of the Valley Blanche and watch as brave souls take off from here with their paragliders.
Take the cable car down to the halfway Plan du Aiguille and then walk down through the alpine meadows finishing up in town for a well deserved drink.

Take the local train from Chamonix up the valley to Montroc, from there hike up the Tour du Mont Blanc trail to Le Tour. Take the opportunity to catch the cable cars up towards Col de Balme. Hike the final distance up to the Refuge for a cup of coffee, in Switzerland! After the refueling, start what is a long hike down into the Trient valley in Switzerland through alpine meadows and forests. Enjoy the amazing view of the Trient glacier before descending down into a little Swiss village. Following the road along the valley as far as Chatelard stop at the shops to buy some chocolates and cuckoo clocks before getting on the train all the way back to Chamonix. You did remember your passport didn't you?

The long days hiking in the Chamonix Valley yesterday means that something more relaxing is required. Rent a car, or take a bus and go through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy. Rebuilt and reopened after the devastating fire of 1999 the tunnel is a source of much local controversy. The deepest tunnel in the world, it goes directly under the Mont Blanc massive. On the other end of the tunnel you will come out into the beautiful valley of Courmyeur. Known as the valley of sunshine cool off by a walk along the river fueled by the melting glaciers, or add some ice to your drink in a local pizzeria!

Have some adventure and book an early morning flight on a paraglider from the Plan Praz take off area half way up Brevent. After gliding over 1000m above the valley floor touch down in the landing zone right by the chalet. Instead, you could walk to the Planards beginner's ski slope. In the summer, when there is no snow this plays host to the summer luge and the Parc de Adventure. The summer luge is a fast track for plastic sledges and an opportunity for lots of fun, but be warned, you do need that brake. The Parc de Adventure is a fun in the trees with cargo nets, high-wires and rope slides.
In the afternoon rent a bike from one of the hire shops in town and explore some of the low level VTT trails up and down the valley. Maps available in the chalet for you to borrow. Come back and watch the sunset on the Aiguilles Verte.

Its departure day, but if your flight isn't until a little later why walk the couple of minutes to the shops and buy a few souvenirs for those at home who missed out on this great trip.

You'll have to come back next year because look at all the other things you didn't get to do: -
1. Walk to the beautiful Lac Blanc and admire this high mountain lake and the waterfalls on the way back.
2. Relax at the leisure centre by one of the three swimming pools or by the lake.
3. Go climbing at Lac Gaillands.
4. Take a day to go and see an alpine stage of the Tour de France, if you get your dates right!
5. Hike from the Flegere cable car and stop off on the way down at the beautiful Chalet Floria, famed for its flowers and hanging baskets.
6. Go rafting or canyoning with one of the many organised trips.
7. Find the hidden waterfall in Vallorcine.
8. Go shopping in Geneva.
9. Hike from Argentiere up to the Grand Montets ski area and have a coffee looking out on the Glacier du Argentiere.
10. And thats all the things that the non-riders can do, just think how action packed a week with riding as well is going to be with 10fifty in Chamonix!

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