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Mer de Gla

The excursions from Chamonix take you to picturesque heights of the Alps. Mer de Glace translated as Sea of Ice is a glacier on the Alps located on the northern slopes of the Mont Blanc. At 5.6 km long and 200 m deep, with an area of about 40 km², Mer de Glace in Chamonix in France is the second-longest glacier in the Alps, seconded only by the Aletsch Glacier.
Mer de Glace
The Mer de Glace near Chamonix in Europe originates at an elevation of 3,900 m, and descends down to 1,400 m. Once easily visible from Chamonix, the glacier has shrunk considerably and is now barely visible from the foot. The Mer de Glace is the first place in the Chamonix valley to have been developed as a tourist destination.

The Mer de Glace can be reached by the Montenvers Railway, which departs from Chamonix and traverses up the sides of the Aiguilles de Chamonix reaching an altitude of 1913m. The station at Montenvers itself makes a pretty sight being is poised on a rocky ridge overlooking the Mer de Glace.

 


A cable car is available from the station to the glacier where you can visit the Ice Grotto. A collection of ice sculptures can be seen inside the grotto under the glacier. This grotto now has to be dug out every summer since the glaciers are moving at a rate of 70m every year. The Grotto is transformed into a small ice museum in winter.

Four other glaciers are also sometimes erroneously, included as being part of the Mer de Glace; these are the Glacier de Telèfre, the Glacier de Leschaux, the Glacier du Tacul, and the Glacier du Géant.