mont blanc hiking tour

Mont Blanc, highest peak in western Europe

At 15,770 feet, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in western Europe. We hike from Megeve in the heart of the French Alps south to the sunny Mediterranean at Menton, discovering ancient villages and a spectacular mountain realm as we cross three national parks.

Photo by Dan Heller

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Mont Blanc to the Mediterranean route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6895  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Megeve, France
Depart: Nice, France
Lodging: 13 nights charming hotels and inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 12 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 5-7 hours a day, altitudes between 6,000-9,200 feet, van support (for luggage or tired feet)
5

Highlights

  • Hike our unique route from the mountains to the sea through a range of cultures and landscapes
  • Discover hidden mountain villages and untrammeled national parks
  • Overnights in small hotels set in delightful villages with Old World ambiance
  • Small group—maximum 7 participants!


This is my second time on this trip! It’s a great hike.Neil C.—Swampscot, MA

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

This hiker’s dream journey brings you from mighty Mont Blanc, with its eternal glaciers and vast snowfields, to the palm-fringed beaches of the Cote d’Azur, where the Maritime Alps plunge into the blue Mediterranean. Each hiking day presents dramatic changes in the culture and scenery of this stunning corner of the world. Setting off with sweeping panoramas of Mont Blanc, you’ll hike in high alpine meadows where cowbells echo and blue gentian blooms and through antique villages that are a step back in time. Heading south, you’ll follow glorious sections of the legendary GR5 trail across remote national parks of singular beauty, then enter brightly colored hill villages that announce the Mediterranean is near. Arriving on the Cote d’Azur, we kick off our hiking boots and head for a celebratory dip in the sea!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-7
Megève / Vanoise National Park

A warm-up hike from Megève reveals the splendor of the French Alps and Mont Blanc (15,771’). In the Vanoise, home to ibex, chamois, and golden eagles, our dramatic hikes offer fabulous views of the glaciated Pralognan Valley and the immense ice cap of the Dome de la Vanoise. A ramble along an old Roman road leads beneath the towering Grande Casse (12,648’).

Days 8-11
Queyras Regional Park / St. Martin-Vésubie / Mercantour National Park

In Queyras, one of the most untouched areas of France, hike across flower-filled meadows to the Col Cross, where mountain sheep roam. A relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere comes to life in St. Martin-Vésubie, where men play pétanque in the square and sip Pastis, the favorite drink of southern France. Mercantour National Park, with its tiny perched villages, steep peaks, and lush forests, is the setting for spectacular hikes with views of vast icy mountains.

Days 12-14
Menton / Nice

After exploring the Vallée des Merveilles, with its Bronze Age rock engravings, head to the coast for a well-earned swim at the beach. Depart on Day 14 via Nice.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This hike is Level 5, Strenuous. All trip members should have mountain hiking experience. Most hiking is between 6,000 and 8,000 feet, and the maximum elevation reached is about 9,000 feet. Trail conditions can be primitive, and there is a good bit of up-and-down (often a 2,000- to 3,000-foot gain and loss in elevation per day). We will undoubtedly encounter snow on the highest passes, and trails can be very rugged. Every participant must understand that this hike is truly challenging—trip members should be in excellent physical condition. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in top physical shape for the trip. Of course, you are always free to skip a day’s hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle. The best training for hiking is hiking, especially over hills or rough terrain. Next best are running, swimming, bicycling or other sports exercise (stair-climbing machines are excellent preparation for hiking uphill). Try to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule at least a couple of months before departure. Your feet should also be well prepared—make sure your hiking boots are sturdy and thoroughly broken-in.

Lunch will usually be either in a small village, mountain lodge, or picnic spot amidst the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Most evening meals will be taken at our hotels and will be hearty, nourishing mountain fare, often with the cuisine the region is noted for. In Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the U.S. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm. Vegetarians please note we will accommodate dietary needs as best as possible, but it is a good idea to bring along protein bars and other supplements.

Our accommodations are in comfortable (but not luxurious) small hotels and pensions with private en suite bathrooms. Our hotels have been chosen as much as possible for their ambience and history and they are delightful for the local color and dining that they offer. These are hikers’ hotels and the rooms are clean and comfortable, but are not always of uniform size or amenities. In some of the smaller hotels, a bathroom may have to be shared by two or three rooms. Our Trip Leaders try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
Jul 12-25, 2015  Annie Hawkins
Aug 2-15, 2015  Clive Roberts
Aug 23-Sep 5, 2015  James Fuss

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$6895 (6-7 members)
$7395 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $680
Forced single supplement: $480
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of at least two Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders (and sometimes three, depending on group size)
  • Accommodations in hotels and inns
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • Van support and luggage transfer
  • Cable cars and chairlifts to trailheads for scheduled hikes
  • Land transportation during the trip, transfers between overnight stops, airport transfers

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, alcohol at meals, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Hotel Au Vieux Moulin

Hotel Au Vieux Moulin

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Megeve, France

Just steps from the pedestrian zone of the pretty mountain town of Megéve, this is a chalet-type hotel, all in wood, with a friendly atmosphere ...
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Hotel Autantic

Hotel Autantic

Day 3 (1 night), Bourg-St. Maurice, France

With a tranquil countryside location outside Bourg-St. Maurice, this modern hotel has traditional Savoyard stone-and-wood architecture and ...
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Hotel de la Vanoise

Hotel de la Vanoise

Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France

This friendly family-run hotel is in the heart of the unspoiled mountain village of Pralognan-la-Vanoise. The hotel’s bar is a great place to ...
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Hotel le Moulin de Marie

Hotel le Moulin de Marie

Day 6 (1 night), Val Cenis, France

With traditional architecture, this cozy eight-room mountain inn offers us a warm welcome at the end of our hike. Savoyard specialties at the ...
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Parc Hotel

Parc Hotel

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Briancon, France

The Parc is a comfortable, modern 4-story hotel with a great location overlooking Briancon’s fortified old town, which was built three ...
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Le Chateau des Magnans

Le Chateau des Magnans

Day 9 (1 night), Jausiers, France

This apartment-style hotel enjoys a lovely location—it’s set on a hillside near the quaint town of Jausiers in the heart of Mercantour ...
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Hotel Le Gelas

Hotel Le Gelas

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), St. Martin-Vesubie, France

Hotel Le Gelas offers simple guest rooms, a restaurant with traditional Savoyard specialties, and a great location in a quiet corner of the stunning ...
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Hotel Le Mirval

Hotel Le Mirval

Day 12 (1 night), La Brigue, France

This is a quaint little inn located in a wonderful  traditional village. There’s a nice garden—and good food!
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Menton Hotel

Day 13 (1 night), Menton, France

In Menton we stay at one of the following properties:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

James Fuss

Departure Dates: August 23-September 5, 2015

James Fuss is a trekking guide, photographer, cyclist, and chef extraordinaire. Born and raised in South Australia, James found his wanderlust early on family camping trips across Australia. His love of the culinary arts is deep-rooted as well, and as a young chef, he headed off to Europe to ...
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Annie Hawkins

Departure Dates: July 12-25, 2015

Annie Hawkins, born and raised in a small village in Burgundy, is a passionate world traveler and one of our most enchanting Trip Leaders. After studying art history in Provence, Annie moved to California, where she led adventure tours in the American Southwest and realized that leading adventure ...
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Clive Roberts

Departure Dates: August 2-15, 2015

Clive Roberts, from Ireland, is a seasoned guide with a contagious passion for the mountains. When not guiding for us, he teaches mountaineering and climbing skills. Clive has guided all over Europe and Nepal and speaks French, German, and Nepali. In his free time, he enjoys canoeing, woodworking, ...
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Client Comments

This is my second time on this trip! It’s a great hike. Neil C., Swampscot, MA A superb trip with superb leaders. Laura T., Oakland, CA I loved it all. A great hike with extraordinary views, great company, delicious meals, cozy inns, and dramatic scenery changes. To end with a swim in the Mediterranean was perfection! Cathy C., Sonoma, CA This is the second time I’ve traveled with WT. I’m noting consistent high quality, excellent planning, excellent Trip Leaders, and nice clientele. Teddie G., Pocatello, ID A trip I would highly recommend! Helen F., Clancy, MT I’ll be doing more of these trips! Deborah C., Santa Monica, CA
I loved everything about the trip and just wish it could have lasted longer. Thank you for making my trip so wonderful. Carrie M., Boise, ID A fabulous trip! Everything was terrific, really quite perfect! Randie B., San Francisco, CA The variety in scenery from day to day was wonderful. There was always something new to see! Elizabeth M., Long Beach, NY Great trip! Excellent leaders and companions, food, scenery, and lodgings. Pretty much what we have come to expect from WT. Larry A., Golden, CO Another spectacular WT adventure! Christina S., San Francisco, CA

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