On Foot from France to Italy to Switzerland

Overview

One of the “Great Hikes of the World” is the walk that encircles Mont Blanc from France to Italy to Switzerland. We’ve honed this hiker’s classic to perfection with impeccably designed days that bring you to epic glaciers, across wildflower-carpeted meadows, and into mountain hamlets as we hike in to discover each valley’s cultural delights. Overnights are in cozy mountain hotels and hikers’ inns, and our team of Trip Leaders (up to three on each trip) brings esprit de corps to the adventure.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Chamonix / Col de Tricot

The charming alpine town of Chamonix sits right at the foot of glacier-clad Mont Blanc (15,770'), western Europe’s highest mountain. One of our warm-up hikes brings us up to the Col de Tricot (7,000') for panoramic views of the snow-covered Dômes de Miage, one of the most spectacular ridges on the Mont Blanc massif.

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Days 3-4
Into Italy / Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme

From the lovely chapel of Notre Dame de la Gorge, an ancient pilgrimage site, we hike through gentle glades and forests and up through the superb gorge called the Nant Borrant as we make our way to the top of the Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme. The next day, crossing into the Aosta region of Italy on foot, we 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 (a bowl of espresso and grappa, flambé!) to toast our day’s adventures.

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Days 5-6
Into Switzerland / Champex / Col de la Forclaz

Crossing into Switzerland on foot, we traverse the Val Ferret, with its flower-filled meadows and charming chalets. From lakeside Champex, our hike takes us along a classic cattle trail used by shepherds for centuries and through a forest to Col de la Forclaz.

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Days 7-8
Col de Balme / Chamonix

Our trail climbs through a serene larch forest to the Col de Balme (7,234'), the border between Switzerland and France. With the glory of the Mont Blanc massif before us, we look over the beautiful Chamonix Valley and descend, coming full circle on this classic adventure. Depart on Day 8.

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Highlights

Highlights

One of the world’s classic hikes—and we do it right!
Hike across three international borders on foot and enjoy magnificent mountain and glacier views
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 (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
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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