Mont Blanc to the Mediterranean

From the Mountains to the Sea along the GR5

Trip Level

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 US. 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.


The months we visit the Alps are the optimal ones, but the weather can be fickle and it can range from blue skies with temperatures in the 70s (or even 80s) to cloudy, wet, and cold, making rain gear and warm garments necessary. We are likely to experience a full range of weather conditions, including snow on the trails. Be prepared!

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.


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.

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