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chamonix to martigny

Hello all. I would like to take a train next summer from Chamonix for a day trip to martigny. Was wondering if anyone knows how much a round trip ticket costs, if there are transfers or not, if the ride is very scenic or not, and what there is to do there. If anyone knows an easy way to get from Martigny to Taveyanne that would be wonderful too. Thanks!

Posted by
177 posts

Thanks, Sam, I appreciate the help, especially the Taveyanne part. Personally, Taveyanne is a place I'd want to visit more than Martigny. While Martigny seems pretty, it's mainly just an easy visit to say I've visited Switzerland, whereas Taveyanne just resonates with me... so peaceful, simple and beautiful. I'm worried though, as a solo traveller on a tour, that trains or busses out to/from Taveyanne are sparse or infrequent... is this the case? Is it really out in the middle of nowhere as it seems, or is getting back to Chamonix doable? If I had a choice, I'd rather skip Martigny and devote more time in Taveyanne, though it seems that the train stops in Martigny anyway. Thanks again!

Posted by
16445 posts

I'd say the route is very scenic. I believe the rail line between Argentiere and Vallorcine is being rebuilt as DB shows a bus connection between the two. Don't know when work will be complete, but next summer seems likely. You can get from Martigny to La Barboleuse on the train, then there is a bus (currently shows only operates May 25 to June 21) to Taveyanne. Otherwise you can hike from the top of the La Barboleuse-Les Chaux cable car. http://files.gadmin.ch/55339?CFID=18600560&CFTOKEN=53126032 Seems like a stretch to do in a day trip. You might just wave to Taveyanne from the bus if you want to make it back to Chamonix in a day.

Posted by
16445 posts

You have to go through Martigny to get to Taveyanne. If it resonates, make it a 2 day trip and spend the night. In the summer, its in the middle of nowhere, in the winter, its in the middle of the Villars-Les Diablerets ski area.

Posted by
5668 posts

I did the day trip to Martigny from Chamonix a few years ago. It's very scenic. I did it because I was totally wiped out from a hike and the idea of sitting on a train for a few hours was mightily attractive. :) There was much to see and do in Martigny itself. I had a nice lunch. So, if you can work in a visit to some place else and still get back to Chamonix go for it. Pam BTW the hike that did me in was the Balcony Walk, but I would do it again in a flash. It's beautiful. Think about it.

Posted by
177 posts

Unfortunately I could only make Taveyanne a day trip (that's probably all I need anyway), because I'd be in Chamonix as a part of a RS tour. While it's there for 2 nights, there will not be time the first day, whereas the second day is a whole day. According to the link you posted, Sam, there are three busses that run to Taveyanne, each about three hours apart. 3-6 hours seems like enough time to be there, and I'm assuming the bus drops you off "in town" so you're not walking a few miles up the road. It is interesting why the bus only runs through June. You'd think it'd at least go all summer. I wasn't able to discern which train and station I need to go to from Chamonix or whether or not it's direct. Doing this option gives me the best of both worlds... a scenic train ride to Martigny, time in Taveyanne, and perhaps even time for a stroll around Martigny while waiting for a train. Thank you everyone again for your help! :)

Posted by
16445 posts

The bus is problematic. You would not be able to get to La Barboleuse until after the first bus is gone, and the third bus would get you back to La Barboleuse too late to get back to Chamonix. That leaves the second bus, which would simply turn around and come back to La Barboleuse. The bus only runs in June apparently because Barboleuse-Les Chaux cable car does not operate in June, just July to late October, and not every day after Sept 13. The trail from the top of Les Chaux to Taveyanne appears to be about 2 miles and drops 300 ft. So if your heart is set on Taveyanne, here is how to go. Do this only in July, August, and early September. Take the first train from Chamonix at 7:54 am and proceed to La Barboleuse. Arrive La Barboleuse at 11:10 am and walk 600 meters to the cable car and ride to Les Chaux. You should be at the top about noon.
Hike 2 miles down to Taveyanne. Stop in at Alpage de Taveyanne to tour the Alpine farm, see the cows, have some Fondue. 3 pm at the latest head back to Les Chaux. You should be at the cable car station by 4 pm so you can ride down and get to the La Barboleuse train station to get the 4:42 train back to Chamonix.

Posted by
3336 posts

Martigny is actually a nice little town! There is an old Roman ampitheater, a museum dedicated to the St. Bernard breed of dog (it's not too far from the St. Bernard Pass at the Italian border), a ruined hilltop fortress/tower, and a lovely old town center. Good restaurants and lovely vineyards for miles around. It's a lovely little place!

Posted by
3336 posts

Martigny is actually a nice little town! There is an old Roman ampitheater, a museum dedicated to the St. Bernard breed of dog (it's not too far from the St. Bernard Pass at the Italian border), a ruined hilltop fortress/tower, and a lovely old town center. Good restaurants and lovely vineyards for miles around. It's a lovely little place!

Posted by
16445 posts

Continue from my previous post. This is all based on this summers schedules of course, and next summers schedules are likely to be different. Train schedules are based on the current info on the www.bahn.com site. Info about Taveyanne is available at http://www.villars.ch/en/page.cfm/Ete/RandoEte/RandoPedestres/Geotrails Details include: http://files.gadmin.ch/20995?CFID=18600560&CFTOKEN=53126032
http://files.gadmin.ch/15095?CFID=18600560&CFTOKEN=53126032

Posted by
177 posts

Thank you Anita and Pamela for the tips! I didn't realize Martigny was so close to the Italian border as well. Can you just "walk right into" it? I appreciate all the help, Sam, you've done navigating the train/bus schedules and trails. I suppose 4 miles of hiking isn't too bad for the experience of a lifetime (though the uphill part won't be fun haha). Just have to be careful not to miss that last train back to Chamonix. Do you think these trains need reservations? Also, is the ride from Chamonix to La Barbelouse direct?

Posted by
16445 posts

The trains are most definitely not direct. Just go to www.bahn.com and type in Chamonix-Mont Blanc going to La Barboleuse, and put in a date a couple of days from now. There is a change at Argentiere (just outside of Chamonix) to a bus to go around track construction over the pass, then back on a train to Martigny, then a change to Bex, then finally you connect to the train to La Barboleuse. Next summer the bus link may be eliminated when the construction is complete. These are all local trains with no reservations required. And Martigny is 30 miles from the Italian border over the St Bernard Pass. Italy is closer to Chamonix, just on the other side of Mont Blanc.

Posted by
3336 posts

It's close but not that close! Takes about 45 minutes to drive from Martigny to the St. Bernard Pass and about an hour + to get to Aosta through the tunnel.