Chamonix, Martigny and a Stunning Drive

One of the beauties of living in Samoëns on the edge of the Haute Savoie region is that we are only a short drive from numerous renowned destinations, so as part of our continued exploration of the area we decided on heading across the border to Martigny, Switzerland, to visit the Fondation Pierre Gianadda Museum.

Driving through the spectacular Month Blanc valley we made an impromptu stop for a coffee in Chamonix in order to gaze in wonder at the scale of Aguille du Midi, the even more impressive Mont Blanc and at the dramatic Bossons glacier that seems to cling precariously onto the mountain.

Leaving Chamonix via Argentière the road starts to climb up towards the French / Swiss border at Le Châtelard. We’d heard that the drive across to Martigny was stunning and we certainly weren’t disappointed as we passed over the Col des Montets, the Col de Balme and then, once across the border, the Col de la Forclaz where, despite the steepness of the slopes, numerous vineyards lined valley walls.

On reaching the Fondation Pierre Gianadda Museum in Martigny we were surprised by the extent of the exhibitions on show. For the car lovers there is an amazing collection of antique cars from around the world. For science and design lovers, through until September, there is an entire hall of the museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci including numerous models of his work. There were a number of other major exhibitions, “Portraits” including works by Picasso and Matisse as well as an outdoor sculpture galley set in the museum gardens that included works by César and Chagall.

For a CHF 18 entrance fee the museum offered great value for money and after treating ourselves to an ice-cream we still had the stunning drive home to look forward.