Crossing the Mont Blanc Massif – Courmayeur, Valle d’Aosta, Italy

Riding the Glaciers

Courmayeur is one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe, nestled at the base of Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc), Europe’s highest mountain, and stunningly situated in the middle of a dozen other peaks above 13,000 feet.

The cable car ride that originates here at La Palud and carries steel-nerved adventurers up and over the Mont Blanc Massif into Chamonix, France (bring your passport) is one of the most breathtaking of its kind in the Alps.

Aptly called “Riding the Glaciers,” it is a three-part trip whose most impressive moment is spent dangling over the Valle Blanche and a sea of glacial snowfields more than 2,000 feet below before arriving at the viewing station high above Chamonix (where the bar’s sunbathing terrace offers some of the world’s most sensational views).

Meanwhile, back down on earth, visitors will enjoy the old-fashioned but stylish alpine town of Courmayeur. The tiny nearby hamlet of Entreves is the home of La Maison de Filippo, one of the most famous restaurants in the Alps.

An avalanche of appetizers that make up the bulk of a seemingly endless meal in a festive all-you-can-eat atmosphere has earned the barnlike tavern the nickname “Chalet of Gluttony” among hungry skiers.

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