The French and Italian Alps need little introduction; Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, dominates the horizon and hikers and alpinists have long been drawn to this region to feast (pun intended) upon it. We first stay in the lovely alpine village of Megève; with its pitch-roofed architecture and rural character, the charm is immediate. Then to Chamonix, the quintessential French adventure town, virtually surrounded by mountains and host of the Olympics in 1924. Finally, to Courmayeur, in northwest Italy to bask in the grandeur of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. For hikers who want to combine the best of France and Italy, hiking on glorious alpine trails, this is a bucket list trip.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
  • A hike you will never forget: from to Plan de l’Aiguille to Signal Forbes to Montenvers and enjoying an afternoon beverage on the terrace of the Refuge de Montenvers
  • Alpinists talk in Chamonix
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises!

Location

Genève

Geneva, Switzerland

Day 1+7

Megève

Megève, France

Day 1+2

Chamonix

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

Day 3+4

Courmayeur

Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy

Day 5+6

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guide(s)
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 5 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed maps and GPS instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2022

Your trip can start on any date in July and August.

2023

Your trip can start on any date in July and August.

Self-guided and custom trips also available. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

4-12 participants

TOTAL DAYS

7 days / 6 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Genève

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate.
Please refer to distance & elevation gain of each day's hike on the itinerary page.

TERRAIN

These are alpine hikes, often starting with wide paths but including narrow trails and sometimes rocky terrain. Surefootness an asset.

COST

Land Cost:
US $3,650 pp*
Includes 6B/5L/5D

Single Supplement: US $950 pp*

*Based on number of participants:
8+pax: US $3,650 (SS US $950)
6-7pax: US $4,250 (SS US $1,050)
4-5pax: US $4,850 (SS US $1,250)

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services.
Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All our trips outside Canada are quoted in U.S. Dollars (USD) but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars (CAD) also.
If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604 730 1247 | +1 800 242 1825.

Getting There

We will meet up in Genève, Switzerland at 9am. Arrive dressed in hiking attire with a daypack with anything else you may want for today’s hike (your luggage will be transported to our first night’s hotel). We will shuttle to Combloux, just outside of Megève in the Mont Blanc massif.
Shuttle from Genève to Megève, France: 1.5 hours.


1

Day 1

Megève

Our first hike is along forested trails through alpine meadows to a mountain refuge, where lunch awaits. Afterwards, we will hike down passing rustic ancient timber chalets peppering alpine pastures, to the charming village of Megève. We stay at the 5-star Les Fermes de Marie, a rustic-chic collection of chalets with spa, pool and restaurant. We’ll host a welcome wine reception and then have dinner at Flocons Village, 3-star Michelin chef Emmanuel Renaut’s original bistro.

Hike distance: 9.7km, gain +465/-574m (6mi, +1400’/-1720’).

2

Day 2

Chamonix

Today, we’ll transfer to the village of St-Gervais-les-Bains to take the Mont Blanc tramway. This cog railway winds its way up through meadows, pastures and small mountain lakes, via Les Houches to Col de Voza. We will hike a trail past mountain auberges, across suspension bridges and down to the valley, enjoying views of the Bionnassay Glacier and Mont Blanc. After a sumptuous lunch at an alpine auberge, we will hike to Bellevue station. If you wish to extend the hike and enjoy another fantastic view we will climb Mont Lachat before leaving the alpine. Back on the tramway, you can return to St. Gervais & Megève. We then transfer to one of the most celebrated villages in France, Chamonix. Popular with climbers, skiers, hikers, adrenalin seekers, this village also boasts luxurious lodgings – we stay at the historic 5-star Hotel Mont-Blanc. We’ll be joined by a local climber/mountain guide who will talk about the history of climbing here before dinner.

Hike distance: 8.8km, +1050/-350m (5.4mi, +3150’/-1050’).
Afternoon option: 1.4km, +220m (0.8mi, +660’).

3

Day 3

Chamonix

We will take the La Flégère gondola and hike to Lac Blanc, one of the highlights of the “Tour de Mont Blanc”. The trail leads through a nature reserve where ibex and marmots are often spotted. The view from La Blanc of the Mont Blanc Massif is one of the most impressive in Europe. Continue to Lacs des Chéserys for an optional add-on if you wish.
This will be a free night for dinner and you can choose from the many recommended restaurants in town.

Hike distance: 8.8km, +540/-540m (5.4mi, +1620’/-1620’).

4

Day 4

Montenvers

We start the day by taking the famed cable car up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi where you can browse exhibits on the history of mountaineering and the geology of the Mont Blanc massif. A glass-floored exhibit dangles over a 3,000-foot drop! After catching our breath, we’ll cable car half-way down the mountain to Plan d’Aiguille where our hike starts. We will follow a trail to the Signal de Forbes viewpoint and bask in the view of the Mer de Glace, France’s longest and largest glacier. Arrive to Montenvers, where we overnight at the rustic and charming Refuge de Montenvers. You can visit one of the world’s most famous ice caves, the Grotte de Glace. We will enjoy dinner in the hotel’s superb restaurant and bask in the view.
Note – on some departures, we return to Chamonix in lieu of staying at Montenvers.

Hike distance: 6.8km, +120/-500m (4.2mi, +360’/-1500’); or 14km, +222/-1475m (8.6mi, +660’/-4425’).

5

Day 5

Courmayeur

Awake in the splendor of the mountains. If you would like to hike down to Chamonix, this is an option after an early breakfast. Or, relax over a leisurely breakfast, and take the cog train back down to Chamonix. From here we’ll transfer 20min to the mountain village of Courmayeur in Italy.
You’ll have three options today: for those who might enjoy a leisurely hike, this is an option to climb up to the Refugio Bertone for lunch and locally produced wines; it’s a moderate hike with views of glaciers rolling down from the high peaks near Mont Blanc. Or if you would like to try via ferrata ‘iron road’ in Italian, a method of climbing while attached to a cable, this is an option. Another option is to take the newly built Skyway Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) cable car up to the glacial snowfield. Professional mountain guides will provide a lesson using crampons and then after roping up with guides, partake in a glacier walk (availability depends on weather). Afterward, descend to the village of Courmayeur and L’Auberge de La Maison.

Hike distance: 10.4km, +750/-500m (6.5mi, +2250’/-1500’).
Morning optional hike: 7.5km, +100/-950m (4.6mi, +300’/-2850’).

6

Day 6

Courmayeur

Today, we’ll hike the famed Mont Blanc ridge trail. Along the way, we’ll stop at the Walter Bonatti refugio. Named after the famed mountain climber, explorer and journalist, this quaint mountain refuge is an ideal place to enjoy lunch. Afterwards, continue along the ridge trail, descending to the Val Ferret valley and Courmayeur. We will host a final night wine reception and then dinner at the hotel’s fine restaurant.

Hike distance: 11.7km, +450/-645m (7.2mi, +1350’/-1935’).

7

Day 7

Departure Day

We will provide a group transfer at 9am to Genève. If you wish to linger and depart at your leisure, this is an option.

Les Fermes de Marie, Megève

This luxurious 5-star property boasts rustic-chic guest rooms, spa with saunas, a hammam, indoor pool and hot tub. There are three elegant seasonal restaurants and a casual outdoor café.


Hotel Mont-Blanc, Chamonix

This 5-star hotel sits in the center of Chamonix. There’s an elegant French restaurant with an alpine-chic lounge bar and garden seating. Other amenities include a heated outdoor pool, a gym, a hot tub and a spa.


Refuge de Montenvers*, Montenvers

Established in 1880, this remarkable hotel, renovated in 2017 boasts a fantastic setting overlooking the Mer de Glace glacier. There are only nine guest rooms, cozy bar and restaurant with terrace both with panoramic mountain views. *depending on availability, we might spend the 4th night at Hotel Mont-Blanc instead of at here.


Auberge de La Maison, Courmayeur

This luxurious 4-star hotel has been in the same family for three generations with outstanding hospitality. There is a restaurant that features Valle d’Aosta cuisine, a convivial bar, two lounges, spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools.