GRANDE TRAVERSEE DES ALPES self-guided - section 1 and 2

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14 days 14 days
Self-guided Self-guided
With baggage transport With baggage transport
Accommodation Classic or comfort
Level *** Level ***
From 1120 € From 1120 €

From Lake Geneva to Vanoise massif

Right throught the Alps towards people and mountains... Grande Traversée des Alpes (GTA) between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean is a long-distance journey. That's a chance to take a long break and put your daily life aside.

This itinerary runs along Swiss and Italian borders crossing five departments and some of the most famous massifs of the Alps.

1st section: Chablais, Haut Giffre, Aiguilles Rouges, Mont Blanc
This first stage takes us from the shores of Lake Geneva to the ice capital of Chamonix. We discover the Chablais massif with it's characterful limestone relief and the rich green alpine pastures of Abondance! The wild and preserved Dents Blanches massif opens the doors of the Faucigny area. Land of giant waterfalls, lappiaz and abysses and also land of heavenly mountain pastures. A few hours of hiking later we are at the Aiguilles Rouges from where we finally discover the whole Mont Blanc range, a spectacular display of glaciers and rocks. To be continued…

2nd section: Mont Blanc, Beaufortain, Vanoise
This section leads from the giant glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif to those equally imposing of the Domes de la Vanoise. On our way, collections of milk cans remind us of the authenticity of farming life in the Beaufortain pastures and then on the Vanoise the first National Park in France, created in 1963, land of ibex and marmots.
One of the benefits of being with a guide is the opportunity to discover some beautiful variants and mountain passes stress-free! The chance to feel alone in the world, in the vast preserved Beaufortain and Vanoise areas.

You will like

  • Crossing mountain ranges, with varied geology and landscapes
  • Rich ecosystems, abundant wildlife and valleys full of history
  • The beginning of a long-distance alpine trek, which can be continued to Nice in 4 weeks

GRANDE TRAVERSEE DES ALPES self-guided - section 1 and 2

From 1120 €

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Dates & prices

DEPARTURES AND PRICES

Daily departure from 20th of June to 1st of September 2022

Classic version in 14 days

Without baggage transport
1120€ per person in classic accommodation (based on 2 people)
Single person supplement: 120

With baggage transport (except days 1, 4 and 6)
1575€/ person for groups of 2, classic accommodation.
1405€/ person for groups of 3, classic accommodation.
1320€/ person for groups of 4, classic accommodation.
1260€/ person for groups of 5, classic accommodation.
1220€/ person for groups of 6 and more, classic accommodation.
Single person supplement: 490€

Comfort option (double/twin bedroom 8 nights), 14 days: +195€/pers.
With baggage transport (except days 1, 4, 6, 10, 11 and 13)
Supplement for baggage transport to Moëde Anterne refuge (price on request)

Information and reservation by telephone or mail.

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THE PRICE

The price includes

  • Half board from dinner the first evening to breakfast of the last day;
  • A road book: description and IGN maps (1 road book per registration up to 4 people. A supplementary road book for groups of 5 or more. Extra road book supplement 10-25€);
  • Daily baggage transport between accommodation if you have chosen this option (except Days 1, 4, 6, 10, 11 and 13);
  • Transfer on Day 3;
  • Organisation and booking fees, taxes.

The price does not include:

  • Picnic lunches;
  • Personal expenses, drinks, touristic visits, etc.;
  • The cable car at Thollon (approx 6€ per person) and descent on cable car at Brévent (approx 15€ per person);
  • Cancellation insurance (4.2% of total tour cost).

The price is all inclusive from departure to end point.

L’itinéraire jour après jour...

Day 1

THOLLON LES MEMISES - PIC DES MEMISES - ALPAGE OF NEUVA
Meet at the Tourist Office in Thollon-les-Mémises with your baggage. Way up with the cablecar and depart towards the balcony trail overlooking Lake Geneva. Then traverse the Mémises range and Mottay alpine pastures before descending to Novel valley. Night in a refuge without baggage.
3.5 - 4 hour walk / Elevation: +350m -500m

Day 2

BISE PASS -  CHAPELLE D’ABONDANCE 
From the refuge, climb to lake Neuteu and Bise pass. Detour possible by Lake Darbon, under the mocking eyes of the ibex ! Descend into Bise Valley, climb to Pas de la Bosse and descend to La Chapelle d'Abondance, a typical village. Night in a gite.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +900m -1350m

Day 3

COL DE BASSACHAUX - LINDARETS (Goat village) - VALLÉE DE LA MANCHE
Climb to Pointe des Mattes in the Mont de Grange nature reserve, home to chamois. Traverse through the pastures of Abondance to reach Bassachaux pass overlooking Lake Montriond. Descend to the pretty Lindarets village, known for its goats! Transfer to Vallée de la Manche. Night in a refuge.
6.5 - 7 hour walk / Elevation: +1250m -750m

Day 4

COL DE LA GOLÈSE - FOLLY REFUGE
Climb to the pastures and farm of Fréterolles, its cows, its goats and its cheese! Cross at the foot of the Terres Maudites and short climb to Golèse pass (1666m), descend to the hamlet Les Allamands. Climb under the rock slabs of Tuet to reach Folly refuge for a night overlooking the distant lights of the Giffre Valley. Night in refuge (without your baggage).
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1050m -990m

Day 5

VOGEALLE LAKE - SIXT-FER-À-CHEVAL
Day in the wild range of Dents Blanches. Depart towards the Combe aux Puaires an unusual area of lappiaz (eroded limestones). Descend to Lake Vogealle. Follows a beautiful descent facing the waterfalls of the cirque of Bout du Monde and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. Night in the village Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.
5.5 - 6 hour walk / Elevation: +700m -1250m

Day 6

COL D'ANTERNE - REFUGE MOËDE-ANTERNE
Climb to the Rouget waterfall and then to the Pleureuse and the Sauffaz waterfalls. The path reach the pastures of Anterne at the heart of the nature reserve of Sixt-Passy, a vast and high plateau where one of the most beautiful lakes of the region nestles. Kingdom of marmots and rare bearded vultures! Another small climb to Col d'Anterne and descend to Moëde-Anterne refuge. Possible swim at Lake Pormenaz, 15mins from the refuge. Night in refuge, without your baggage.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1500m -350m

Day 7

COL DU BREVENT - CHAMONIX
Short descent towards the Arlevé bridge. Here the landscape changes, the Fiz limestone gives way to the rocks of the Aiguilles Rouges range. Climb up to Brévent pass (2368m), then descend to Planpraz to take the cable car down to Chamonix. Night in a hotel in the valley.
5 hour walk / Elevation: +800m; -800m 
Extra 1.5 hour walk if descending by foot to Chamonix: -1000m added

End point in Chamonix during the afternoon.

Day 8

LES HOUCHES - COL DU TRICOT - CONTAMINES
Take the gondola to start you on your way to the Col du Tricot at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier. Descend to the village Les Contamines and Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge.
Night in a small dormitory in the Nant Borrant refuge.
5 - 5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +600m -1250m
1 hour walk / Elevation: +250m from Les Contamines to Nant Borrant

Day 9

COL DU BONHOMME - CORMET DE ROSELEND
Climb up along the Roman road to the famous Col du Bonhomme on the Tour of Mont Blanc. Then cross the Gittes ridgeline and traverse through the vast Beaufortain pastures at Cormet de Roselend.
Night in dormitory on the Cormet de Roselend plateau.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1350m -700m

Day 10

COL DU BRESSON - PORTE DE ROSUEL
Balcony trail overlooking Lake Roselend and climb up to Col du Bresson at the foot of the Pierra Menta. Descend to the valley of Ormette via small canals and hamlets to reach the Tarentaise valley. Taxi transfer from the Saint Guérin chapel to reach Peisey Nancroix and Rosuel. Night in a dormitory in a refuge without luggage.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -1170m

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 in La Plagne before climbing to the Col de la Sachette (2713m). Descend into la Sache valley and the Tignes-Champagny natural reserve to the village of Tignes les Boisses.
Night in a hotel.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1200m -850m

Day 12

VALLEY OF LA LEISSE - COL DE LA VANOISE
Short transfer by local bus to the Val Claret village. Depart to discover the wide spaces of the Vanoise National Park and climb up to the Col de la Leisse. Descend the Leisse Valley with its lakes and where the 1700m south face of the Grande Casse overhangs the trail.
Night in a dormitory in the refuge Col de la Vanoise (*without baggage).
6.5 - 7 hour walk / Elevation: +1100m -650m

Day 13

CIRQUES DU PETIT AND GRAND MARCHET
Leave the refuge and take the 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 without luggage.
6.5 - 7 hour walk / Elevation: +1000m -1800m

Day 14

COL DE CHAVIERE - VALLEE DE LA MAURIENNE
Walk up to the Chavière Valley dominated by the Dômes de la Vanoise, in a moon-like world, dotted with cairn forests. The Aiguilles de Péclet-Polset show us the col de Chavière nearby. Walk down into the Valley of Maurienne among the pastures and to Modane. 
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1150m -950m to the Orgère refuge
1.5 hour walk / Elevation -880m additional descend to Modane on foot

End of the trek around 5:00pm at Modane train station.

The trip

LEVEL ***

Elevation: +/- 600m to 1200m approximately per day.
Walking time: 5 to 6h30 per day.
Type of trek: this tour is not technically difficult and is open to children from 12 years.

ROAD BOOK

Before departure, we send you a travel folder containing: 

  • 2 IGN TOP 25 with the route highlighted. 
  • 1 road-book containing all the information necessary for the trek. 
  • 1 waterproof map holder.
  • Accommodation list.

SIGNPOSTS AND WAYMARKS ALONG THE TREK

In France trails are marked with red and white stripes for Grande Randonnée (in both directions).
It is preferable to know how to read a topographical map at 1/25000.

BAGGAGE TRANSPORT

Two options:
Without baggage transport: you carry your baggage.
With baggage transport: your baggage is transported by our vehicle, except on days 1, 4, 6, 10, 11 and 13).

YOUR BACKPACK FOR THE NIGHT WITHOUT YOUR BAGGAGE

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!)

ACCOMMODATION

CLASSIC: 6 nights in a dormitory of 4-8 persons, in refuge or gite                                   

COMFORT: 5 nights in hotels or gites in a twin/double bedroom.
1 night in a refuge dormitory
All accommodation offers hot showers.

MEALS

Breakfast and dinner are provided in each accommodation.
Picnics are not included and can be pre-ordered at each accommodation in the evening. 

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

PERSONALISED TOURS

We can personalise a tour according to your requirements (number of days, participants, level of route, accommodation, etc.)

MAPS

IGN Top 25 - 3528ET/ Morzine and Top 25 - 3530ET/ Samoëns (1/25 000).

Practical information

ACCESS TO DEPARTURE POINT

From mid June to mid September.

Depart from Thollon-les-Mémises tourist Office.

BY TRAIN
Inbound: depart Gare de Lyon (Paris) TGV Paris/Bellegarde/Evian.
There are regular buses from Evian to Thollon Les Mémises (40mins) www.thollonlesmemises.com
Return night train: depart Les Houches at 6:32pm arrive in (Paris) Gare de Lyon at 6:18am.
Times given are indicative and should be verified at a train station or at www.oui.sncf

BY CAR      
Take the A40 motorway to Annemasse, free parking.
Train or bus to Evian :
ligne-141-evian-annemasse or www.oui.sncf
Bus to Thollon les Mémises: www.thollonlesmemises.com                                                  Return: Chamonix to Annemasse by train.
Or
Taxi transfer before or after your hike.
Parking: free parking in Annemasse, Thollon-les-Mémises and Chamonix.
In Chamonix: free parking at the Biolay car park opposite the Montenvers train station, if you wish to leave your car in a covered garage, contact: Chamonix Auto Park: 04 50 53 65 71.

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)

End point in Chamonix.

ACCOMMODATION BEFORE AND AFTER

Thollon Les Mémises: www.thollonlesmemises.com      
Hotel Bellevue***: +33 (0)4 50 70 92 79 www.hotellebellevue.com            
Hotel Bon-Séjour**: +33 (0)4 50 70 92 65 http://bon-sejour.com/indexen.php
Evian-les-Bains: www.evian-tourisme.com
Hôtel Evian Express: 04 50 75 15 07 www.hotel-evianexpress.fr                             
Hôtel Continental: 04 50 75 37 54  www.hotel-continental-evian.com
Hôtel Arc en Ciel: 04 50 71 90 63 www.hotelarcencielthonon.com
Hôtel Le Comte Rouge: 04 50 71 06 04 www.lecomterouge.com

Chamonix Tourist Office: +33 (0)4 50 53 00 24 www.chamonix.com

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

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 (except Days 1, 4 and 6) 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 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!

If you wish to prolong 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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