GRANDE TRAVERSEE DES ALPES - section 1,2,3 and 4

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28 days 28 days
Guided / with a guide Guided / with a guide
With baggage transport With baggage transport
Accommodation Classic (dormitory)
Level *** Level ***
From 3200 € From 3200 €

From Lake Geneva to Menton

Right through the Alps towards people and mountains... The Grande Traversée des Alpes (GTA) between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean is a long-distance journey. The opportunity to take a long break and put daily life aside.
This itinerary runs along the Swiss and Italian borders while crossing five departments and some of the most famous ranges of the Alps.

You will like

  • Traversing mountain ranges, the geology and the varied landscapes
  • Rich ecosystems, abundant wildlife and valleys full of history
  • Baggage transport
  • Between each section the night is offered in B&B

GRANDE TRAVERSEE DES ALPES - section 1,2,3 and 4

Next date Next departure 21/06/20

From 3200 €

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Hike details

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Dates & prices

Dates Status Prices
From 21/06/20
to 18/07/20
Guaranteed departure 3200 € Book online
From 05/07/20
to 01/08/20
Guaranteed departure 3200 € Book online
From 19/07/20
to 15/08/20
Guaranteed departure 3200 € Book online
From 02/08/20
to 29/08/20
Guaranteed departure 3200 € Book online
From 16/08/20
to 12/09/20
Guaranteed departure 3200 € Book online

THE PRICE

The price includes

  • Organisation and booking fees, guiding by a qualified and insured mountain leader ;
  • All meals including picnic lunch (except day 7, 14 and 21) snacks during the day ;
  • Accommodation in gites, refuges and small hotels ;
  • Baggage transport between accommodations (except day 1,4,13,18, 20 & 25) ;
  • Bus transfers.

The price does not include:

  • Personal expenses (drinks, etc.), touristic visits ;
  • Diners day 7, 14 and 21
  • Airport taxes ; 
  • Cancellation insurance ;
  • Your return journey from home to the point of departure/end point.

The price is all inclusive from departure to end point.

Personalised tour available

Contact us !

The route day to day...

Day 1

Meet at 12:00pm in front of Thollon-les-Mémises Tourist Office or at 09:30am in front of Chamonix train station, if you have chosen this option.

PIC DES MEMISES - BALCON DU LEMAN
Way up with the cablecar and depart towards the balcony trail overlooking Lake Geneva. Picnic lunch and crossing the Mémises and the alpine pastures of Mottay before descending to Novel valley. Night in the alpine pasture, without baggage.
3.5 hour walk / Elevation: +550m -600m

Day 2

COL DE BISE - BISE VALLEY
From the refuge, climb to the lake Neuteu and Col de Bise. Short detour possible at the lake Darbon, under the mocking eyes of the ibex! Descend into the Bise valley to reach the refuge Ubine nestled under the north face of Mont Chauffé.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +970m -970m

Day 3

ABONDANCE - LAKE TAVANEUSE
Descend to the village Abondance then quick transfer in the valley. Climb to the lake Tavaneuse and on to the mountain pass at 1997m. Descend into the alpine pastures and the forest to the lake Montriond. Transfer to Chardonnière. Night in a refuge dormitory.
7 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -1350m

Day 4

RANGE DENTS BLANCHES - PAS AU TAUREAU
Climb to the Tête de Bostan facing the superb and wild range the Dents Blanches. Cross the Pas au Taureau (2555m), short cabled passage, then descend into the lunar-like valley of the "Combe aux Puaires", an unusual area of lappiaz (eroded limestones). Night at the refuge Vogealle in dormitory (without your baggage).
7 hour walk / Elevation: +1200m -660m

Day 5

THE "BOUT DU MONDE" AND THE CIRQUE DU FER À CHEVAL
From the refuge Vogealle, a beautiful descent facing the cliffs of the Tenneverge to the Bout du Monde then to the amphitheatre Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval and its multiple waterfalls. Night in the village Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +100m -1150m

Day 6

LAKE AND COL D'ANTERNE
Short transfer. The day begins through the woods, along the waterfalls Rouget, Pleureuse and of the Sauffaz. Climb to the pastures of Anterne in the heart of the Natural Reserve of Sixt-Passy, a vast and high plateau where one of the most beautiful lakes of the region nestle. Kingdom of marmots and rare bearded vultures! Stone skimming contest followed by a small climb to Col d'Anterne and descend to the refuge Moëde-Anterne. Night in a refuge in dormitory.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1300m -250m

Day 7

ENVERS DU BREVENT - CHAMONIX
Short descent towards the Arlevé bridge. Here the landscape is changing, the Fiz limestone gives way to the rocks of the Aiguilles Rouges range. Climb up to Col du Brévent (2368m), then descend to Planpraz, to take the cable car down to Chamonix.
5 hour walk / Elevation: +750m -750m

Day 8

LES HOUCHES - LES CONTAMINES
Start of the trek at 1800m. Traverse to the foot of the Bionnassay Glacier before climbing to the Col du Tricot. Descend to the chalets of Miage, then to Les Contamines. Night in the village in a small dormitory in a gite.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +650m -1300m

Day 9

COL DE LA CROIX DU BONHOMME - CORMET DE ROSELEND
Climb via the Roman road to the famous TMB mountain pass: the Col du Bonhomme. Descend by the Crête des Gittes and the vast pastures of Beaufortain to arrive at Plan de la Lai. Night in a dormitory in a gite above Lake Roselend.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1000m -1000m

Day 10

FROM THE FOOT OF THE PIERRA MENTA TO THE PORTE DE ROSUEL
Balcony trail overlooking Lake Roselend and climb to the Bresson pass (2469m) at the foot of the Pierra Menta. Descend through the Ormette Valley through water channels and hamlets to reach Valezan, part of the Tarentaise Valley. Transfer by taxi to Peisey Nancroix and La Porte de Rosuel.
Night in a dormitory in a refuge (or hotel)
7 hour walk / Elevation: +1050m -1650m

Day 11

COL DE LA SACHETTE - TIGNES
Enter into the Vanoise National Park at the foot of Mont Pourri and the Dome de la Sache. Detour possible to the lake of La Plagne before climbing to the Col de la Sachette (2713 m). Descend into la Sache valley and the natural reserve of Tignes-Champagny to the village of Tignes les Boisses.
Night in a hotel.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1160m -940m

Day 12

COL DE LA VANOISE: VIEW OF THE GRANDE CASSE
Short transfer in local bus to join Val Claret resort. Depart of the hike to discover the wide spaces of the Vanoise National Park and climb to Col de la Leisse. Descend the Leisse Valley and its lakes where the 1700m south face of the Grande Casse overhangs the trail.
Night in a dormitory in the refuge Col de la Vanoise (without your baggage).
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1080m -650m

Day 13

CIRQUES DU PETIT AND GRAND MARCHET
Leave the refuge and traverse along balcony trails overlooking the Pralognan Valley: Combe de l'Arcelin, Cirque du Dard, Grand Marchet, Petit Marchet, Valette Lake and Combe des Nants. Descend into the Prioux Valley.
Night in a dormitory in a refuge.
7 hour walk / Elevation: +1000m -1800m

Day 14

COL DE CHAVIÈRE - VALLÉE DE LA MAURIENNE

Climb the Chavière Valley dominated by the Domes de la Vanoise in a lunar landscape punctuated by cairn forests. The Aiguilles de Péclet-Polset indicate the nearby Chavière Pass. Descend into the Maurienne Valley through the alpine pastures. Short transfer to Modane from Porte de l'Orgère.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1150m -950m

Day 15

MODANE - ÉTROITE VALLEY
Transfer to Valfréjus (20mins) to the famous departure point of the GR5, heading towards the Étroite Valley. Gentle climb towards this mountain pass which acts as a natural border between the Northern and Southern Alps. Entering the Hautes-Alpes and the Étroite Valley, a French enclave in Italy. Descend to the hamlet Les Granges to spend our first night in a refuge.
5 hour walk / Elevation: +850m -850m

Day 16

VALLÉE ÉTROITE - COL DU VALLON - NÉVACHE
Returning a few hundred metres on our path to sink into the heart of the Clarée Valley. Into an extremely wild area and climbing to the Col du Vallon (2645m) dominating the magnificent Lac Blanc. Beautiful descent towards the village Nevache in the upper Clarée Valley. Cross through the traditional village Ville Haute and transfer at the end of the day to the neighbouring valley of the Fonts de Cervières (35mins). Night in a refuge.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +900m -900m

Day 17

FONTS DE CERVIÈRES - COL MALRIF - ABRIÈS
Joining the Queyras National Park at altitude via the Col Malrif (2830m). Beautiful mountain climb from the magnificent hamlet Fonts de Cervières. Traverse the Col Marif with a breathtaking view of the famous Mount Viso, Lord of the Southern Alps. Long descent to Abriès by the Malrifs lakes, one of the largest in the Queyras to the Guil Valley. Night in a gite.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -950m

Day 18

L'ÉCHALP - LA VALLÉE DES LACS - COL VIEUX - AGNEL REFUGE
From the last hamlet of the Guil Valley, climb along the Italian border, the Bouchouse Valley which constitutes a biotope reserve. Pass via the Egorgeou lakes, Foréant and to Col Vieux (2806m) descending the Col Agnel Valley. Night in a refuge. According to availabilities, possibility to keep walking to the refuge Blanche (+1h30).
Night without your luggage.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1200m -1200m

Day 19

AGNEL - LAC DE LA BLANCHE - COL DE LA NOIRE - MALJASSET
From the refuge via the GR58, climb to the Col de Chamoussière to reach the peak of Caramentran at +3000m. From this promontory with remarkable panorama, pass along the French-Italian border to the lakes of Blanchet then climb up to the Col de la Noire. Through this pass leaving the Queyras to penetrate the wild valley of Haute-Ubaye. Descending gently through the very flowery Longet Valley to the first hamlet Maljasset. Night in a gîte.
7.5 hour walk / Elevation: +900m -900m

Day 20

MALJASSET - COL MARY - CHIAPPERA
At the foot of the highest range of Haute-Ubaye,  the Chambeyron (3412m), easy climb through the Col Mary Valley with its multitude of lakes cheerfully dotting the pastures. From the mountain pass enter Italy, to the Piedmont to reach the Val Maira and the beautiful village Chiappera. Night in a gîte without your luggage.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -950m

Day 21

CHIAPPERA - COL DES MONGE - ORONAYES VALLEY - LARCHE
Beautiful traverse in the unusual Maira Valley to reach the Col des Monges (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... End of the trek in Larche, a small village of Haute-Ubaye. Transfer around 6pm to the Montdauphin-Guillestre train station.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1200m -1200m

Day 22

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 massifs. Descend into the high valleys of the Alpes Maritimes passing by 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 of this high valley of Tinée. 
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1100m -1100m

Day 23

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, then cross through the old village of Mollière and up to Col De Salèze. Depending on the conditions and the level of the group, detour to Lake Negere. Descend into Vésubie to the village of Boréon. Night in a gite.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +850m -850m

Day 24

LE BORÉON - PAS DES LARDES - MADONE DE LA FENESTRE - LACS DE PRALS - LA GORDOLASQUE
From Boreon, climb through the valley towards the lakes of Trécolpas to cross the Pas de Lardes (2448m) dominated by the Gelas, highest summit of the Mercantour. Descend to the hospices of the Madone de Fenestre passing near its cheese cave. Through the Poncet Valley to the lower lakes then on to the 5 lakes of Prals before going up to Lower Prals. Beautiful descent down to the bottom of the Gordolasque Valley, in the Relais des Merveilles.
7.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1450m -1450m

Day 25

VALLÉE LA GORDOLASQUE - REFUGE DE NICE - BAISSE DE VALMASQUE - VALLÉE DES MERVEILLES
Climbing through the Gordolasque Valley to Lac de la Fous and Refuge de Nice which dominates. Travelling light for a night without baggage transport at the Refuge des Merveilles.
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 valley full of history.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1350m -1350m

Day 26

REFUGE DES MERVEILLES - PAS DU DIABLE - COL DU RAUX - L'AUTHION - CAMP D'ARGENT
Via a multitude of lakes, leaving the Vallée des Merveilles by the Pas de Diable. Change of scenery starting from this Pas de Diable where we will cross several mountain passes at medium altitude through sheep pastures. At the Col du Raux, heading back to the small plateau of Authion dominated by a remarkable redoubt, high place of confrontation during the Second World War. From Authion, it is from here on a clear day the first sighting of the Mediterranean. Descend to the small ski resort of Camp d'Argent.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +650m -650m

Day 27

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 by the Mount Ventabren and Mangiabo ridges. With a continuing view of the mouth of the Var and the outskirts of Nice.
Charming descent to the village of Sospel on the Bévéra river for the night.
7 hour walk / Elevation: +1050m -1050m

Day 28

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 in the middle of ruined shepherd huts. Passing flocks of sheep and goats from Rove testifying 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... and 1050m of descent to the waters edge!
6 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -950m

End point around 4:30pm in Menton harbour.

The trip

LEVEL ***

Elevation: +/- 700m - 1300m approximately per day.
Walking time: 5 to 7 hours per day.
Type of trek: mountain route on trails with some well equipped aerial sections.

GUIDING

Group between 6 and 14 people supervised by a professional mountain leader.

ACCOMMODATION

CLASSIC: 27 nights in mountain chalets, refuges and gites

MEALS

Breakfast and dinner are provided in each accommodation.
Picnics are included and are carefully prepared daily by your guide, comprising a variety of healthy salads and local products.

PHYSICAL CONDITION

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 jogging or 3 to 4 hours hiking or cycling. Your physical preparation will enable you to enjoy your trek to the maximum.

Practical information

ACCESS TO DEPARTURE POINT

Meeting point at 12:00pm in front of the tourist office in Thollon-les-Mémises.

BY TRAIN

Inbound: depart Gare de Lyon (Paris) TGV Paris/Bellegarde/Evian
There are regular buses from Evian to Thollon Les Mémises (40mins) http://www.thollonlesmemises.com
Times given are indicative and should be verified in a train station or on OUI SNCF

BY CAR

Take the A40 motorway to Annemasse, free parking and bus sat-leman ligne-141-evian-annemasse or train to Evian-les-Bains, then to Thollon-les-Mémises thollonlesmemises.
For your car: free parking in Thollon-les-Mémises.

CLOSEST AIRPORTS
Geneva (GVA)
1 hour by car to Chamonix.
Bus and minibus services direct to your accommodation (25-35€ pp each way)
Lyon (LYS)
2.15 hours by car to Chamonix.
Train every 2 hours to Chamonix, 4.15 hour journey (40-45€ pp return)
Paris (PAR)
7 hours by car to Chamonix.
Train every 2 hours to Chamonix / 5-6 hour journey (80-120 pp return)

ACCOMMODATION BEFORE AND AFTER

Thollon Les Mémises
Evian-les-Bains 
Chamonix Tourist Office : +33 (0)4 50 53 00 24

If you book a night in the Chamonix valley, you can ask to your hotel reception a bus/train pass so you can public transports for free in the Chamonix valley.
www.chamonix.com/pdf/chambus.pdf 

INSURANCE

In accordance with regulations, we are covered by Professional Liability Insurance. In no case can we be responsible for your own Personal Liability. If you chose to take out repatriation insurance with EUROP ASSISTANCE whom we propose, Altitude Mont Blanc will only serve as an intermediary between the client and the insurer. We cannot influence either party. We adhere to strict conditions of sale. You are responsible for compliance with the reporting procedures of any incident.

Our insurance can only be sold to European citizens speaking French.

Before making any decision, contact EUROP ASSISTANCE.

CONTACT US

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

Equipment & baggage

EQUIPMENT LIST

Clothing

  • Walking trousers
  • Shorts (Bikini/swimsuit, just in case!)
  • Breathable or merino wool t-shirts
  • Breathable or merino wool leggings
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Wind stopper or Goretex jacket
  • Waterproof poncho + gaiters or Goretex trousers + waterproof rucksack cover
  • Pair of gloves and a warm hat
  • Sun hat or baseball cap
  • Walking socks (1 pair per day)
  • Sturdy walking boots with a good sole, already broken in
  • 1 change of clothes for the evening
  • A pair of comfortable shoes for the evening

Other Equipment

  • Toilet bag
  • Quick drying towel
  • Sunglasses and sun cream
  • Water bottle or Camelback (1.5 litre minimum)
  • Knife, fork and spoon
  • Plastic lunch box/plate for your picnic lunches
  • Plastic cup for coffee
  • Small First Aid kit (antihistamine, ibuprofen, Compeed type blister pads...)
  • Survival blanket
  • Head torch or hand torch
  • Sleeping bag liner sheet and pillowcase (blankets provided at accommodation)
  • Two adjustable walking poles (highly recommended)
  • Identity card or passport

BACKPACK

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.

BAGGAGE TRANSPORT

Your baggage will be transported daily between accommodation by our logistics vehicle. You are allowed 1 soft, sports type bag with all your possessions inside, no heavier than 12kg. Your bag has to be carried everyday by the the driver to refuges, which access is not always easy! Luggage which is too big and too heavy won't be accepted by the drivers!

If you wish to extend your holiday, we can safely hold another bag for you which you may leave with us at the departure point and it will be deposited at the end point with your other baggage.

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