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.
From 2500 €Contact us
Daily departure from 18th of June to 20th of August 2023
Without baggage transport
2500€ per person (based on 2 people)
Single departure supplement : 260€
With baggage transport (except on days 1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 20 and 25)
2 persons : 3380€/ person
3 persons : 3180€/ person
4 persons : 3015€/ person
5 persons : 2965€/ person
6 persons : 2930€/ person
Single departure supplement : please contact us
Information and bookings by telephone or email.
The price does not include:
The price is all inclusive from departure to end point.
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 refuge without baggage.
3.5 - 4 hour walk / Elevation: +350m -500m
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 gite.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +900m -1350m
COL DE BASSACHAUX - LINDARETS (Goat village) - VALLÉE DE LA MANCHE
Climb up to Pointe des Mattes in the Mont de Grange nature reserve, where you can spot chamois. Crossing through the pastures of Abondance to reach Bassachaux pass, overlooking Lake Montriond. Descend to the pretty village of Lindarets, well-known for its goats ! Transfer to Vallée de la Manche. Night in refuge.
6.5 - 7 hour walk / Elevation: +1250m -750m
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 then short climb to Golèse pass (1666m). Descend to the hamlet Les Allamands. Climb under the rock slabs of Tuet to reach the 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
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.
5.5 - 6 hour walk / Elevation: +700m -1250m
COL D'ANTERNE - REFUGE MOËDE-ANTERNE
Climb to the Rouget waterfall and then to the Pleureuse and the Sauffaz waterfalls. The trail reaches the pastures of Anterne at the heart of the natural reserve of Sixt-Passy, a vast and high plateau where one of the most beautiful lakes nestles. Kingdom of marmots and rare bearded vultures! Another small climb to Col d'Anterne and descend to Moëde-Anterne refuge. Night in refuge, without baggage.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1500m -350m
COL DU BREVENT - CHAMONIX
Short descent towards the Arlevé bridge. 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.
5 hour walk / Elevation: +800m; -800m
Extra 1.5 hour walk if descending by foot to Chamonix: -1000m added
LES HOUCHES - COL DU TRICOT - CONTAMINES
Take the cable car and walk between valleys and forest to start your day, before climbing to the Col du Tricot, in front of the Bionnassay glacier. After a coffee break, descend to the village Les Contamines and Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge. Night in refuge.
5 - 5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +600m -1250m
1 hour walk / Elevation: +250m from Les Contamines to Nant Borrant
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.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1350m -700m
COL DU BRESSON - PORTE DE ROSUEL
Balcony trail overlooking Lake Roselend and climb up to the Col du Bresson at the foot of the Pierra Menta. Descend to the valley of Ormette to reach the Tarentaise valley. Taxi transfer from the Saint Guérin chapel to reach Peisey Nancroix and Rosuel. Night in refuge without baggage.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +950m -1170m
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 The Sache Valley and the Tignes-Champagny natural reserve to the village of Tignes les Boisses (optional way via the Col du Palet). Night in a hotel.
6 - 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1200m -850m
VALLEY OF LA LEISSE - COL DE LA VANOISE
Short transfer by local bus to the Val Claret village. 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. The south face of the Grande Casse (1700m) overlooks the trail. Night in refuge without baggage.
6.5 - 7 hour walk / Elevation: +1100m -650m
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 refuge without baggage.
6.5 - 7 hour walk / Elevation: +1000m -1800m
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, towards 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
MODANE - VALLEE ETROITE PASS
Transfer to Valfréjus (20mins) to the famous departure point of the GR5, towards the Étroite Valley. Gentle climb towards the mountain pass which acts as a natural border between the Northern and the Southern Alps. Enter the Hautes-Alpes and Étroite Valley, a French enclave in Italy. Descent to the hamlet of Les Granges.
5 hour walk / Elevation: +850m -720m
VALLÉE ÉTROITE - COL DU VALLON - NÉVACHE
Turn back on the trail to sink into the heart of the Clarée Valley. In an extremely wild area, climb to the Vallon pass (2645m) overlooking 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: +850m -1050m
FONTS DE CERVIÈRES - COL MALRIF - ABRIÈS
Transfer to Fonts de Cervières (50 min). Reach the Queyras National Park via the Malrif pass (2830m). A beautiful climb from the Fonts de Cervières hamlet. Cross the Malrif 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 gite.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +850m -1300m
ECHALP - LAKE VALLEY - COL VIEUX - LAKE BLANCHE
Going up along the Italian border, the valley of Bouchouse is a biotope reserve. Passage to Egorgeou and Foréant lakes and then to "Col Vieux" (2806m) to reach "Col de Chamoussière". Descent into this wide valley of the "Aigue Blanche" to reach the refuge de la Blanche by the lake, nestled at the foot of the "Tête des Toilies". Night without baggage.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1400m ; -600m
LAKE BLANCHE - COL DE LA NOIRE - MALJASSET
From the refuge, in this extraordinary landscape, climb to the mineral area of Col de la Noire. Leaving behind the Queyras region to enter the wild valley of Haute-Ubaye. Gently descending into the flowered Longet Valley to the hamlet of Maljasset. Night in gite.
7.5 hour walk / Elevation: +550m -1300m
MALJASSET - COL MARY - CHIAPPERA
At the foot of the highest point of the range of Haute-Ubaye, the Chambeyron (3412m) climb via the Col Mary Valley with its multitude of lakes cheerfully dotting the pastures. From the mountain pass, enter Italy, to reach the Val Maira and the beautiful village of Chiappera. Night in gite, without baggage.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +815 m ; -1150 m
CHIAPPERA - COL DES MONGE - ORONAYES VALLEY - LARCHE
Nice 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... Arrive in Larche, a small village of Haute-Ubaye.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1150 m ; -1150 m
LARCHE - VALLON DU LAUZANIER - PAS DE LA CAVALE
Depart towards the Lauzanier Valley at the gates of the Mercantour National Park. Climb via a pleasant trail to reach the Lauzanier Lake before a final slightly steeper climb up to the pass. Great view from Col de la Cavale on 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.
6 hour walk / Elevation: +1040m ; - 1100m
ISOLA 2000 - COL DE LA MERCIERE - LE BORÉON
Early transfer to Isola 2000 ski resort, then 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 gite.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: + 550 m ; - 1090 m
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) overlooked by the Gelas, highest summit of the Mercantour. Descend to the hospices of the Madone de Fenestre passing near the cheese cave. Climb up the Poncet Valley to the Baisse des lacs and then to the 5 lakes of Prals before going up to the Baisse des Prals. Beautiful descent into the Gordolasque Valley. Night in refuge.
7.5 hour walk / Elevation: + 1550m ; - 1520m
VALLÉE LA GORDOLASQUE - REFUGE DE NICE - BAISSE DE VALMASQUE - VALLÉE DES MERVEILLES
Climb through the Gordolasque Valley to Lac de la Fous and Refuge de Nice which dominates. Light package for a night without baggage at refuge des Merveilles.From Refuge de Nice, climb to Baisse Basto to join the famous Vallée des Merveilles and its engraved caves. Be enchanted by numerous enchanting lakes in that mineral landscape.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: + 1300m ; - 790m
REFUGE DES MERVEILLES - PAS DU DIABLE - COL DU RAUX - L'AUTHION - CAMP D'ARGENT
Leave the Vallée des Merveilles by the Pas de Diable. Change of scenery starting from the Pas de Diable while crossing several mountain passes of medium altitude, through sheep pastures. At the Col du Raux, heading 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, first sighting of the Mediterranean. Descend to the small ski resort of Camp d'Argent.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: + 625m ; - 1000m
CAMP D'ARGENT - MONT VENTABREN - MANGIABO - SOSPEL
Let's go for a great day on the ridges. Leaving these landscapes rich of military vestiges of the Second World War to reach Sospel by the Mount Ventabren and Mangiabo ridges. With a continuing view on the Var and the outskirts of Nice. Charming descent to Sospel village on the Bévéra river.
7 hour walk / Elevation: +1050 m -1750 m
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... Enjoy the last mountain pass, Col du Berceau (1050m) and a picnic lunch overlooking the harbour of Menton... final descent of 1050m to the waters edge!
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1110m -1450m
End point in Menton harbour.
Elevation: +/- 600m to 1200m approximately per day.
Walking time: 5 to 7 hours per day.
Type of trek: mountain route on marked trails. An easy cable passage on day 4, it can be avoided by taking another parh with a little more elevation.
Before departure, we send you a travel folder containing:
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.
Two options :
Without baggage transport: you carry your baggage.
With baggage transport: your baggage is transported, except on days 1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 20 and 25).
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!)
CLASSIC: 27 nights in dormitory, in refuge or gite.
Breakfast and dinner are provided in each accommodation.
Picnics are not included and can be pre-ordered at each accommodation in the evening.
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.
We can personalise a tour according to your requirements (number of days, participants, level of route, accommodation, etc.)
IGN Top 25 - 3528ET/ Morzine and Top 25 - 3530ET/ Samoëns (1/25 000).
From mid-June to mid-September.
Departure from Thollon-les-Mémises tourist Office.
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 Nice at 7:11pm arrive in (Paris) Gare de Lyon at 7:54am the day after.
Times given are indicative and should be verified at a train station or at www.oui.sncf
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.
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.
1 hour by car to Chamonix.
Bus and minibus services direct to your accommodation (25-35€ pp each way)
2.15 hours by car to Chamonix.
Train every 2 hours to Chamonix, 4.15 hour journey (40-45€ pp return)
7 hours by car to Chamonix.
Train every 2 hours to Chamonix / 5-6 hour journey (80-120€ pp return)
End point in Chamonix.
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
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.
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 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 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!
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.