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Creaking glaciers carving their way down to pine forests and flower-flecked meadows, ancient shepherds’ hamlets perched beside glassy lakes and hundreds of peaks to conquer.
More beautiful than you could ever imagine, how could you not fall in love with the Alps?
Tour leaders Mark and Carey Faulkner have a passion for walking, for Mont Blanc, and for each other. They met on an Exodus holiday in Morocco 14 years ago. After adventuring around the world together, these days they call the Alps home and have recently started a family here.
Interview with Mark and Carey
Carey: We’re people-people. We’ve both been tour guides since our 20s, and love showing how amazing the planet is – this area in particular!
Mark: But the mountains aren’t actually as remote as they seem – in the valleys are towns with everything you could need, including boutique shops and tasty ice cream.
Carey: And lots of the mountain refuges do amazing cakes! Like the Chalet de Miage, which takes the top spot for its generous wedges of myrtle tart with whipped cream.
Mark: The chalets and villages are full of character, and characters, too. The Sarraz family are personal favourites; the family has been running the Hotel Richemond in Chamonix since 1914. Mr Sarraz is 92, but he still looks after the garden.
Carey: As for us, we’ve been based here for 11 years. Nowadays, we also train other Exodus leaders and look after the local logistics. Even when we’re not guiding, we’re always around, checking that everything’s running smoothly.
Best Views in the Alps
1. Up high in the Chamonix Valley at the Refuge Bellachat, Mont Blanc dominates the panorama.
2. On the border of Italy and Switzerland looking down from the Grand Col Ferret. After a long steady climb, the path rounds off and you find yourself looking down into a huge valley with soaring cliffs and mountains to the right and a lush gorge below.
3. At Tête Nord des Fours, with its 360 degree panorama over the Italian and French Alps.
We have several options when it comes to walking in the Alps. Browse our trips below and decide which is best for you.