I booked this trip last minute to join my mum and cousin and I have no regrets! It was an amazing week of trekking in the most glorious scenery, with an utterly lovely bunch of people. I spent lots of time in the Alps as a child, so this trip was not only nostalgic but also brought me to brand-new places. It was definitely a challenging week but in the best way possible. We were very lucky to have Mariá as our guide, he was generous, kind and patient with us all, sharing his extensive knowledge of the mountains, ecology and wildlife along the way and making us all feel part of the team. The accommodation and food were amazing, despite my awkward dietary requirements, each hotel was a delight in its own way and offered far more comfort than I was expecting. I left the week feeling heart-full and accomplished. What more could you ask for. I highly recommend this trip!
French Alps Holidays
Our French Alps Holidays
4 of The Most Beautiful Routes on French Alps Walking Holidays
Lac Blanc: Framed by panoramic views of the Aiguilles Rouges and the Mont Blanc Massif, Lac Blanc is one of the most picturesque alpine lakes in the French Alps. Its azure water reflects the shimmering mountain scenery which attracts seasoned walkers from around the globe. Begin the trek from La Flégère and take the popular circular route that leads to Lac Blanc, stopping off along the way to appreciate the mountain views. If you prefer to give your legs a rest on the way back down, ride the cable car from La Flégère to Les Praz.
Grand Balcon Sud: Sweeping along the western side of the valley and reaching around 2,000 metres, the Grand Balcon Sud is a fantastic hiking trail. Becausethe Grand Balcon lies on the opposite side of the valley to Mont Blanc, it affords unparalleled views of the Mont Blanc massif. The Grand Balcon Sud route in Chamonix follows a relatively flat trail before climbing more steeply up to Lac Blanc. From here you can take in the dramatic views of Aiguilles Rouges and Mont Blanc before heading back down to the hamlet of Les Frasserands.
Aiguilette des Posettes: Considered one of the classic and most breath-taking routes along the Tour du Mont Blanc, Aiguilette des Posettes combines views of the Chamonix Valley, the Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve, and even across to Switzerland on a clear day. You can access the route either from Tré-le-Champ or Trient, however, it is easier to start from Tré-le-Champ and is just a few minutes from the station. On your return down from Aiguilette des Posettes, visit the Refuge du Col de Balme and enjoy something to eat and drink on the outside terrace as you soak up the views.
Haute Route: Occupied as a long-distance skiing trail during the winter, the Haute Route transforms into a spectacular walking track in the summer months. The route runs around 100 miles from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn and follows a high alpine trail overlooking beautiful valleys that lie beneath ten of the tallest peaks in the Alps. The landscapes are punctuated with glacial lakes and flower-strewn meadows that create one of the prettiest backdrops for our walking holidays in the Swiss and French Alps. Staying overnight in alpine huts where you’ll sleep beneath the stars adds even more adventure to this classic trek. While some parts of the trek are demanding, the scenery is the only reward you need. You’ll also pass picture-postcard villages such as Zermatt, which lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. From the village you can ride on the cog railway up to the summit of Gornergrat for 360-degree views of the Matterhorn, Monte-Rosa massif, the Glacier Paradise and over to the Swiss and Italian Alps.
Hazel Moran Tour du Mont Blanc Week
T F Mont Blanc Highlights
I just had a fabulous week at Chalet Chalupa! The hosts, Adrian & Helena, were amazing. They were very friendly and always made sure that we’re happy. They always prepared delicious meals and cakes with wide variety (local, Mediterranean, healthy and oriental) and we all enjoyed it together with the group of great people. The room was specious and comfortable, the common areas were also always clean and had warm atmosphere. The car ride by them was also really fun and informative about the trip/area. Our guide, Shaun, was very knowledgeable and flexible based on the weather etc. This was my first hiking experience and he absolutely made it special. Everyday there were full of amazing views and walks!
Helen Mellors Tour du Mont Blanc Week
We’ve just returned from this trip and it was amazing. The views are stunning on this trip, Maria was our guide and he was just great. He got us safely round, motivated us when we needed it and was a pleasure to spend time with. The lodges are great, there’s towels and shower gel provided. Some had hairdryers but not all. After a days trekking it was great to have a few drinks and a nice meal with the group, we did the pack ups just for easiness which were pricier but good, there were more options for buying your own stuff the second half of the trek. We ended up with 8kg in our bags and we had everything we needed, packing lightly is the key as you’ve also got water and pack up to carry! Fitness wise it’s a hard but doable trip, the fitter you are the more you’ll enjoy it, the uphills are a slog but the views are worth it. We personally found walking poles a necessity, they saved my joints a lot especially on the downhills. We had a few dips in the rivers but just in our walking gear, it was cold but very refreshing at the end of the day! The last two nights we spent in Chamonix and it was great to have your spare bag for fresh clothes and a few little luxury’s. Highly recommend this trip, if your in doubt just book it, Exodus are a great company to travel with, thanks again Maria for being a great guide!
When is the best time to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc?
When planning your trip, you’ll need to take into consideration the weather as well as the length of daylight hours. Ideally, the best time to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc is between June and September. During these months the temperatures are at their warmest and there are more hours of daylight. Although there is generally less rainfall in the summer, this can change as the weather in the mountains is unpredictable. It can get extremely cold on the high peaks and there’s always a chance of snow. September tends to be less busy than in the summer, but the shorter daylight hours does mean you’ll need to begin your walks earlier in the morning.
How hard is the Tour du Mont Blanc?
Although it’s not essential that you’re a seasoned hiker to attempt the Tour du Mont Blanc, you’ll certainly need a good level of fitness to manage the daily long-distance walks and ascents. If you haven’t had much experience hiking long distances, we would recommend that you get some practice in before your trip. As well as being fit, you’ll also need a good amount of determination and stamina to cope with 8-9 hours of walking for several days in a row. Some days you will climb to heights of 3,000 – 4,000ft, following rough mountain paths.
FAQs on French Alps Holidays
Can you hike from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn?
Covering approximately 160km, the famous Haute Route is a long-distance trail that runs from Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland. Punctuated by alpine huts, glacial lakes and lush valleys, this is the most scenic and exhilarating way to hike from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn. In winter, the Haute Route is popular for skiers on French Alps holidays but in the summer months, most of the snow has melted and the lush meadows are strewn with wildflowers. Accompanied by an expert mountain leader, our guided tour takes you below 10 of the Alp’s highest peaks.
Where is the best starting point for the Tour du Mont Blanc?
Beginning and ending in the town of Chamonix, the Tour du Mont Blanc has several starting points. One of the most popular is Les Houche, just several miles from Chamonix where it sits at the foot of the mountain. Other starting points include Les Contamines in France, Champex in Switzerland or Courmayeur in Italy. The trail runs all the way round Mont Blanc and crosses through each of the three countries.
Where is the best place to hike in the French Alps?
World-renowned for their outstanding natural beauty, the French Alps are blessed with incredible scenery and wildlife and offer some of the finest walking routes in the world. Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, has several routes that guide you along its majestic peaks. Chamonix to Zermatt takes you from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn and even though it’s a demanding route, it showcases the best of the alpine landscapes. The Tour du Mont Blanc is another spectacular route which circumnavigates the massif. Alternatively, if you prefer to enjoy views of Mont Blanc, then Aguilles Rouges takes you among nature reserves and alpine lakes where you can soak up the mountain vistas.
What are the prettiest towns in the French Alps?
Made up of stunning mountain scenery, the French Alps are home to many villages and towns, all of which are exceptionally beautiful, and each has its own unique charms. Annecy lies in Haute-Savoie and is famous for its beautiful lake and colourful old town. Champex Lac, Orsières and Les Contamines are all equally as pretty and can be found on the Tour du Mont Blancs. Chamonix is arguably the most well-known town on French Alps holidays and is popular with the skiing crowd in winter.
Can you camp on the Tour du Mont Blanc?
If you prefer to get closer to nature on your hikes, camping on the Tour du Mont Blanc is a great way to immerse yourself in the wild landscapes and see the local wildlife. We offer the Tour du Mont Blanc with camping which provides stays at comfortable campsites where you can enjoy phenomenal views and star gaze below the dark skies – the kind of experiences you wouldn’t get when staying in a hotel. The tents are spacious and can sleep two people and if you would like extra comfort, you can hire mattresses and sleeping bags. You can even enjoy three-course meals in camp!
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