Cross the Alps meeting people and mountains... The Grande Traversée des Alpes (GTA) between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean is a long-distance hike. The opportunity to take a long break and put daily life aside.
This itinerary runs along the Swiss and Italian borders while crossing five counties and some of the most famous mountain ranges in the Alps.
3rd section: Clarée, Queyras and Italien Piedmont - From Modane to Larche
During this incredible week switch from the Northern Alps to the beautiful Southern Alps. Mont Thabor, Nevache Valley, Briançon, Queyras region, Val Maira and Ubaye region, many beautiful mountains to discover. Far from the mechanic scars on the landscape of the big ski resorts, enjoy wild preserved nature and an authentic warm welcome in small villages. Incredible flora and sparkling altitude lakes, all under the sun of the Southern Alps, this tour will leave you with long lasting memories.
4th section: from Larche to Menton - Ubaye, Mercantour, Vallée des Merveilles
The fourth section starts from Lake Geneva and goes to Menton. This section has an incredible diversity of landscapes, flora, heritage and the most remarkable architecture in the French Alps. From the highest summits of the Ubaye area, to the Mercantour lakes and its wide open space via the Vallée des Merveilles; you will be diving towards the Mediterranean sea via a multitude of valleys, mountain passes and typical mountain villages. Don't be a fooled this is no beach holiday yet... the local terrain and the deep valleys make this section physically challenging. A dazzling experience.
From 1230 €Contact us
Choice of departure from 16 June to 16 September 2024
Without carrying luggage
1400€ per person, in classic accommodation
1665€ per person, in comfort accommodation room of 2 people (except the night at the refuge des Merveilles).
With luggage transport (except J4, J6 and J11)
Economic and ecological formula, departure on Sunday morning: 1615 € per person
Based on one person: 2190€
1825€ per person for 2/3 pers. in classic accommodation
1690€ per person for 4/5 pers. in classic accommodation
1645€ per person for 6 pers. in classic accommodation
>> Drop-off and luggage storage fees in Menton, if you do not have a hotel booked on the evening of Day 14: 10 €/ luggage.
>> Single person departure supplement: 365 €
We will book the extra nights accommodation for you and potential transfers between the sections... please contact us!
The price includes:
The price does not include:
The price is all inclusive from departure to end point.
MODANE - VALLEE ETROITE
Transfer to Valfréjus (20mins) to the famous departure point of the GR5, towards the Étroite valley. Gentle climb towards this mountain pass which acts as a natural border between the Northern and the Southern Alps. Here enter the Hautes-Alpes and Étroite Valley, a French enclave in Italy. Descentdto the hamlet of Les Granges to spend the first night in a refuge.
5 hour walk / Elevation: +850m ; -720m
VALLÉE ÉTROITE - COL DU VALLON - NÉVACHE
Returning on the trail a few hundred metres to sink into the heart of the Clarée Valley. In an extremely wild area, climb to the Vallon pass (2645m) dominating the magnificent Lake Blanc. A beautiful descent towards the Nevache village in the upper Clarée Valley. Cross the traditional village of Ville Haute.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +900m -1050m
FONTS DE CERVIÈRES - COL MALRIF - ABRIÈS
Transfer to Fonts de Cervières (50 min). Reaching the Queyras National Park via the Malrif pass (2830m). A beautiful climb from the Fonts de Cervières hamlet. Cross the Marif pass with a breathtaking view of the famous Mont Viso, the Lord of the Southern Alps. A long descent to Abriès via the Malrif lakes which are among the largest in the Queyras region. Night in a gîte.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -1300m
ECHALP - LAKE VALLEY - COL VIEUX - VALLEE DES AIGUES
From the last hamlet of this high valley of Guil, up along the Italian border, the valley of Bouchouse which constitutes a biotope reserve. Passage to Egorgeou and Foréant lakes and then to "Col Vieux" (2806m) to reach the refuge Agnel ou the refuge de La Blanche, depending on availability. Night without luggage transport.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1300m ; -600m
AGNEL - LAKE BLANCHE - COL DE LA NOIRE - MALJASSET
From the refuge, by the GR58, ascent of the Col de Chamoussière to reach the Pic de Caramentran at more than 3000m. From there, an exceptional panorama along the Franco-Italian border before reaching the Blanchet lakes and then climbing up towards the Col de la Noire. Entry point into the wild valley of Haute-Ubaye. Through the very flowery valley of Longet, a peaceful descent to the first hamlet of Maljasset to spend the night there.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +500m -1050m
MALJASSET - COL MARY - CHIAPPERA
At the foot of the Haute-Ubaye, the Chambeyron (3412m), a gentle climb via the valley of Col Mary with its multitude of lakes cheerfully dotting the pastures. From the mountain pass, enter into Italy in the Piedmont to reach Val Maira and the beautiful village of Chiappera. Night in gîte (*without baggage).
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -1150m
CHIAPPERA - COL DES MONGE - ORONAYES VALLEY - LARCHE
Beautiful traverse in the unusual Maira valley to reach the Monges pass (2542m) marking the border between France and Italy. Descend into the Montagnette valley, dominated by the fortresses of Maginot erected during the Second World War... Arrive in Larche, a small village in Haute-Ubaye.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1050m -940m
LARCHE - VALLON DU LAUZANIER - PAS DE LA CAVALE
Depart for the Lauzanier Valley at the gates of the Mercantour National Park. Climb via a pleasant path to reach the Lauzanier Lake before a final slightly steeper climb up to the pass. A magnificent view from Col de la Cavale of the Tinée and the surrounding mountains. Descend into the high valleys of the Alpes Maritimes passing via the Col des Fourches and the magnificent promontory of Mont des Fourches. Reaching the Bonnette Restefond road (the highest road in Europe) encountering poignant vestiges of the Maginot line. Night in Bousseyas, the first hamlet in this high valley of Tinée.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1100m -1000m
ISOLA 2000 - COL DE LA MERCIÈRE - LE BORÉON
After an early transfer to Isola 2000 ski resort, climb to the Col de la Mercière (2342m). Descend and then cross through the old village of Mollière and up to Col De Salèze. Depending on the condition and the fitness level of the group a detour is possible to Lake Negere. Descend into the Vésubie to the village of Boréon. Night in a gîte.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +490m -1090m
LE BORÉON - PAS DES LARDES - MADONE DE LA FENESTRE - LACS DE PRALS - LA GODOLASQUE
From Boreon, climb through the valley towards the Trécolpas lakes and cross the Pas de Lardes (2448m) dominated by the Gelas the highest summit of the Mercantour. Descend to the hospices of the Madone de Fenestre passing near its cheese cave. Climb the Poncet Valley to the Baisse lakes then on to the 5 lakes of Prals before continuing on up to Lower Prals. A Beautiful descent down to the bottom of the Gordolasque Valley, to the Relais des Merveilles.
7.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1550m -1520m
VALLÉE LA GORDOLASQUE - VALLÉE DES MERVEILLES
Travel light for a night without baggage transport to the Refuge des Merveilles. Climbing through the Gordolasque Valley to Lac de la Fous and the dominating Refuge de Nice.
From Refuge de Nice, climb to Baisse Basto to join the famous Vallée des Merveilles and its engraved caves. A succession of enchanting lakes in the middle of this mineral landscape typical of this historical valley.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1350m -790m
REFUGE DES MERVEILLES - PAS DU DIABLE - CAMP D'ARGENT
Via a multitude of lakes leave the Vallée des Merveilles via the Pas de Diable. From here a change of scenery begins. From the Pas de Diable cross several mountain passes at medium altitude through sheep pastures. At the Col du Raux head back to the small plateau of Authion dominated by a remarkable redoubt, a high place of confrontation during the Second World War. From Authion, on a clear day the first sighting of the Mediterranean is possible! Descend to the small ski resort of Camp d'Argent.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +650m -1000m
LE CAMP D'ARGENT - MONT VENTABREN - MANGIABO - SOSPEL
A magnificent day on a ridge awaits. Leaving these landscapes rich in military vestiges of the Second World War to reach Sospel via the Mount Ventabren and Mangiabo ridges. With a continuing view over the mouth of the Var and the outskirts of Nice. A Charming descent to the village of Sospel on the Bévéra river for the night.
7 hour walk / Elevation: +1050m -1750m
SOSPEL - COL DU RAZET - VIEUX CATSELLAR - MENTON
Last day of the GTA, not there yet... but can you smell the sea?! Beautiful climb to the Col de Razel (1032m) on an old paved path between ruined shepherd huts. Passing flocks of sheep and goats from Rove testifies to the arrival in Provence. The vegetation becomes much more leafy and fragrant. Chestnut trees, maples and rosemary line this beautiful day. Enjoy the last mountain pass, Col du Berceau (1050m) to picnic overlooking the bay and harbour of Menton.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -1450m
End point around 4:30pm in Menton harbour.
Elevation: +900m -1200m approximately per day.
Walking time: 5 to 6 hours per day.
Type of trek: easy mid mountain terrain on varied trails. Well marked paths often above the vegetation level with a few forest sections.
This tour is organized in collaboration with our local partner who offers an authentic approach.
CLASSIC : 13 nights in dormitory, in refuge or gite
COMFORT : 13 nights in a 2-person bedroom (depending on availability)
All accommodation offers hot showers (sheets and towels are not provided. Shared bathrooms).
For the night without your baggage at the accommodation (you will get it back the night after), here are the things to add to your backpack (about 2 kilos are enough!):
- small toilet bag
- sleeping bag liner sheet
- change of clothes (bare necessities!)
Breakfast and dinner are provided in each accommodation.
Picnics are not included.
To be able to easily walk 15km (on flat trails) in 3 hours maximum. If this is not the case, at least 3 weeks before departure, 2 to 3 times a week, we advise you to undertake some prior fitness training: 4 to 5km of jogging or 3 to 4 hours hiking or cycling. Your physical preparation will enable you to enjoy your trek to the maximum.
Meeting point at 9am at Modane train station. Free parking available nearby.
Inbound: depart Gare de Lyon (Paris) - Modane by TGV.
Return: night train or the next day from Montdauphin-Guillestre - Gare de Lyon (Paris) https://www.oui.sncf
Public transport is limited between Montdauphin-Guillestre and Modane (7 hour train journey).
We advise you to consult www.viamichelin.fr to plan your journey. Free parking available at Montdauphin-Guillestre train station.
From Grenoble, 2 routes are possible to reach Montdauphin-Guillestre:
- Via Gap
- Via the Lautaret pass and Briançon. Inquire about the condition of the pass: +33 (0)4 92 24 44 44 (answering machine).
2* Hotel les Voyageurs: +33 (0)4 79 05 01 39
3* Hotel du Commerce: +33 (0)4 79 05 20 98
Hotel Lacour: +33 (0)4 92 45 03 08 (from 40€ per room)
If you are late please contact the agency as soon as possible on: +33 (0)4 50 79 09 16 or +33 (0)6 42 49 76 07
Bring a comfortable backpack of 30 to 40 litres for your personal belongings for the day (warm clothes, waterproofs, water, plate and cutlery for your picnic, sunscreen and your identity papers) and please keep a little room to carry a picnic and snacks.
Your baggage will be transported daily (except Days 4, 6 and 11) between accommodation by our logistics vehicle. You are allowed 1 soft, sports type bag with all your possessions inside, no heavier than 10kg. Your bag has to be carried everyday by the driver, where access is not always easy, please think of their backs! Baggage which is too big and too heavy won't be accepted by the drivers!