On Foot from France to Italy to Switzerland

Overview

Circling Mont Blanc, the crown jewel of the Alps, is one of the “Great Hikes of the World,” and we’ve honed this classic journey to perfection. Our well-designed hiking days bring you to high cols flanked by peaks, past epic glaciers that feed glistening streams, across meadows carpeted with wildflowers, and into culturally distinct valleys radiating into France, Italy, and Switzerland. Each day unfolds with new delights as we cross from one country to the next, savoring meals that reflect each region’s specialties, with a special visit to a cheesemaker, and overnights in cozy hotels and hiker’s inns. Our experienced guides (up to three on each departure!) are the best in the Alps, and they’ll share the wonders of this mountainous realm with you in style!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Chamonix / Les Contamines

In the mountaineer’s paradise of Chamonix, our warm-up hike brings you to the jagged needles of the Aiguilles Rouges and mountain-ringed Lac Blanc. From the Col de Voza, we descend to Bionnassay Glacier, with great views of the Dômes de Miage, before descending to charming Les Contamines.

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Days 3-4
Into Italy

Crossing the Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme, we reach remote Les Chapieux, where we overnight at a family-run auberge. After visiting a local cheesemaker (superb Beaufort!), we hike across the border and enjoy fantastic vistas of Mont Blanc’s 11,000-foot-high southern face. On one festive evening we may find ourselves passing the traditional grolla bowl (espresso and grappa—flambé!) to toast our day’s adventures.

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Days 5-6
Val Ferret, Switzerland / Champex / Trient Glacier / Col de la Forclaz

Our hike into Switzerland via the Grand Col Ferret traverses the Val Ferret, with its flower-filled meadows and charming chalets. From lakeside Champex, hike switchback trails up to the dramatic pass overlooking the magnificent Trient Glacier, and descend right along its edge to Col de la Forclaz.

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Days 7-8
Col de Balme / Chamonix

Climbing through larch forests to the Col de Balme, we cross back into France. We’ll savor jaw-dropping views of Mont Blanc as we come full circle to the Chamonix Valley. Depart on Day 8.

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Highlights

Highlights

One of the world’s classic hikes—and we do it in style!
Enjoy magnificent mountain and glacier views and hike across three international borders on foot
Delicious regional cuisine, from French tartiflette and Italian pasta to Swiss fondue
Overnights in mountain villages with great charm and character

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $4495  
Arrive: Chamonix, France
Depart: Chamonix, France
Lodging: 5 nights hotels, 2 nights small inns with semi-private rooms
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

7 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 6-8 hours a day, altitudes between 4,000-8,800 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike). This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.

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