Cutting through the Alps to bridge France and Italy, the Mont Blanc tunnel is one of the most famous road tunnels in the world. At the time of its inauguration, in 1965, its impressive proportions made it the longest tunnel ever built. A wonder of engineering, this incredible example of public work shortened the journey between Chamonix and Courmayeur by over 37 miles. One of the main reasons for its creation, however, does remain the fact that it makes crossing the border much easier, especially in winter when the Alpine passes are closed due to the snow. The tunnel also makes for a choice solution for any truck wishing to reach the other side of the massif.
The Mont Blanc Tunnel: An Attraction in Its Own Right
Beyond its purely practical role, the Mont Blanc tunnel is also considered a well-known tourist attraction. A stone’s throw away from our Chamonix Hotel, it ranks high on the list of must-sees for any visitor of the Alpine mountains.
How long is the Mont Blanc tunnel, exactly? 11.6 km (or 7.2 miles) long, the tunnel reaches an altitude of 1,274 metres (4179.8 feet) at its French-side entrance, 5 km (3 miles) away from Chamonix. On the Italian side, it sits at an altitude of 1,381 metres (4530.8 feet), 5 km (3 miles) from Courmayeur.
Following the fire that occurred inside the tunnel on the 24th of March 1999, it took three years for the repairs and security improvements to be complete. The Mont Blanc tunnel reopened on the 9th of March 2002. Security cameras and radars were installed along the entire length of the structure and the safety features were enhanced. The same goes for the speed limits (a minimum of 50 km/h – or 31 mph – and a maximum of 70 km/h – or 43.5 mph) and for the safe distance between vehicles, which is now 150 metres (492 feet).
Mont Blanc Tunnel Cost Guide & Practical Info
Before undertaking your journey underneath the Alps, you will need to know how much going through the Mont Blanc tunnel costs. Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle, on whether you buy a one-way or a return ticket and are not even the same if you get in from the French side or from the Italian side! A one-way ticket for a car entering from the French side will cost you €46.30, while a return ticket under the same conditions is just €57.80. So, if you wish to spend less than seven days on the Italian slopes before heading back to Chamonix, going through the Mont Blanc tunnel costs less if you opt for a return ticket. It is also worth noting that flat rates can be applied if you purchase a 10- or 20-trip pass and that monthly subscriptions are available.
What are the Best Activities Near the Mont Blanc Tunnel?
Nestled at the heart of the Alps, the Mont Blanc tunnel allows visitors to enjoy the most unforgettable attractions on either side of the massif. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime from inside the glass cage up the Aiguille du Midi: Pas dans le Vide. On the Italian side, in the Aosta Valley the equivalent is at the top of the ‘Skyway Monte Bianco’ cable car. From there, you can admire a wonderful panorama from an altitude of 3,500 metres (almost 11,500 feet)! Amid the tranquil, icy environment, have a hot chocolate while basking in the beauty. If you love these landscapes, back in Haute-Savoie, don’t miss out on the stupendous Mer de Glace.
Finally, after so many adventures, a nice rest is in order. On either side of the Mont Blanc tunnel, you can enjoy a moment of bliss at one of the countless spas the region has to offer. Our Chamonix spa even boasts a jaw-dropping view of the mountain.
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