France’s Chamonix valley is the perfect setting for a family holiday. With its spectacular backdrop of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, you're spoilt for choice with outdoor activities. From our comfortable chalet base in the village of Argentière we ensure that your family gets the most out of the trip. Join our experienced hiking guide for a family friendly introduction to alpine walking. Enjoy classic walking trails mixed in with adventurous outdoor activities along the way!
The Chamonix Family Adventures are designed to involve the whole family and with these fun packed itineraries you will definitely all be kept busy, and you can then enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot tub of an evening! Let our local guide do the thinking whilst you enjoy exploring!
Still have more energy? We promise to provide you with an action-packed week of fun and adventure in the heart of the French Alps, but if you find yourself still full of energy on your free afternoon and then we will help you arrange additional activities such as Mountain Biking, Canyoning, Via Ferrata or Hydrospeed!
Thanks again for an adventure packed week, for keeping us all safe and the experience you bring to our crazy family. Everyone had a fantastic time. I don't know how you stay so patient!
You will meet your guide this evening at your accommodation in Chamonix Valley. This evening, we will have an informal chat about the week ahead when your guide can answer any questions you might have.
We being our week by exploring the lower balcony trails along the Petit Balcon Nord & Sud. Facing each side of the valley these paths wind there way through the pine forests and hamlets along the River Arve making only short climbs and descents on route. Enjoy excellent views of the Mont Blanc Massif from the sleepy village of Les Lavancher as we make our way towards Chamonix town centre. You will soon feel the grandure of the surrounding peaks as you pass the mighty Aiguilles Verte, Drus and Aiguilles Rouge as they line either side of the valley. We decend on easy trails through the pine forests and old village of the Bois du Bouchet to meet a wide riverside trail leading us into the historic town of Chamonix. Learn from your guide about the history of this famous Alpine town from the first ‘tourists’ who visitied the mountains and glaciers for science to the Golden Age of Mountaineering and the famous figures conquered the summits.
Distance: 6km (9.3 miles). Ascent: 124m (1148ft). Descent: 296m (1312ft). Walking time: 2h30 - 3 hours.
After our walk and picnic lunch we head off to get wet with a fun, fast and furious journey on white water along the river Arve through the centre of Chamonix itself. Choose from Rafting or 'Hydrospeed', which is swimming with a helmet, flippers and a block of plastic as a float! To raft you must be 10 yrs old or 1m 20cm (3ft 9in) in height, and for ‘Hydrospeed’ at least 12 years old and 1m 50cm (4ft 9in) in height, and be able to swim. We back to the chalet on the historic Mont Blanc Express train.
Today we head towards the Swiss / French border on the Mont Blanc Express - one of the world's most picturesque mountain train journeys. We alight in le Buet where we pick up the 'Chemin des Diligences' – an ancient stage coach route – featured on the famous walk the 'Tour du Mont Blanc. Passing through ancient hamlets and alpine pastures strewn with cows ‘at work’ producing milk for locally produced cheese. We gain height with the help of a cable car up above the tree line and walk again. After about 20 minutes of easy angled ascent we reach the Col des Possettes at 1997m (6551ft) and alpage coffee stop for wonderful views of the Le Tour glacier and across to Swiss frontier which is our next stop. A longer but steadier climb for about an hour gains the Swiss border and the Tete de Balme at 2312m (7585ft) where we will have our picnic lunch. You can literally stand with a leg in each country high up in the mountains! From the Col de Balme at 2191m (7188ft) we have a fun descent as we first use the chair lift then a bubble cable car to return to the valley floor and the village of Le Tour. We return to our accommodation by bus from here.
Distance: 10km (6.2 miles) Ascent: 300m (984ft) Descent: 350m (1148ft). Walking time: 3-4 hour
Tonight we will eat out in Argentiere at a French restaurant, the Petit Vert.
The Aiguille du Midi cable car leaves from the centre of Chamonix, and is a journey of two stages. The first brings visitors to the Plan de l'Aiguille at 2300m (7544ft), with the second stage traversing Les Pelerins glacier before rising up the impressive North Face of the Midi. In summer it is often possible to spot climbers on their way up this face towards the summit of the Aiguille. From the top station the view of the Alps is incredible, with several terraces from where visitors can take in the spectacular views of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps. On a clear day it is possible to see the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the Grand Combin. An elevator inside the rock rises the final 42m (138ft) to the top terrace at 3842m (12,601). This is the closest you can get to Mount Blanc without climbing!
We then descend to the mid-station at the Plan de l'Aiguille and leave the cable car to enjoy our picnic lunch before starting todays hike along the Grand Balcon Nord. This classic Chamonix trail travels along the side of the mountains all on good wide path never gaining or losing much height but offers excellent views of the Chamonix Valley below and the jagged rocky mountain spires all around. There is one short climb to reach the view point Signal Forbes 2198 m (7214ft), from here we descend to reach the famous Mer de Glace Glacier or 'sea of ice'. To descend we use an historic rack and pinion railway called Montevers to reach the valley floor. On route we pass the Summer Luge which always makes for a fun way to end the day and is also included on your train and cable car ticket.
Distance: 6km (6.2 miles) Ascent: 140m (459ft) Descent: 523m (1715ft) Walking time: 2h30-3 hours.
Chamonix is a world-class area rock climbing famous all over the world by both elite and novice mountaineers. It's every climbers dream to experience scaling a rock face in this prestigious town. Today you have the chance to explore the art and agility of climbing for yourself! Join a professional climbing guide at Chamonix's lakeside crag 'Les Gaillands' to experience (for some!) this very addictive sport! Learn the skills and techniques to scale a rock face and abseil by yourself back to 'terra firma'!
The afternoon is then free for you to explore.
You may wish to relax, head to the Chamonix 50 metre swimming pool & flume, the Olympic ice rink or if you are in need of more adventure then your guide will help you organise another activity. Try Mountain Biking, Canyoning, Via Ferrata or Hydrospeed!
The mountain biking trails are suitable for all of the family. Choose from riverside and woodland trails, passing cafes along the way to neighbouring villages along the valley. When you are ready to head home you can simply catch the train back to the starting point.
Canyoning involves descending deep gorges/rivers on foot and using abseils, jumping and sliding over waterfalls and swimming through hidden pools. Professional guides will give you protective gear and detailed instructions to allow you to safely enjoy the thrills of one of the region’s best canyons. To canyon you need to be 1m 50cm (4ft 9in) in height, over 12 years old, keen for an adventure, and be a confident swimmer.
Via ferrata, which in Italian means the 'iron way', is a mountain route with fixed ‘protection’ such as metal ladders, handles and chain that you remain attached to using a climbing harness. This allows access to isolated trail systems, rocky cliff lines and summits normally reserved for climbers. The technique was initially developed by soldiers in the First World War, but has become an established, safe and popular sport.
If you would like to book additional activities please let us know as soon as possible so that we can do our best to make it happen.
Afternoon activities are optional and not included in the trip price.
Over dinner our hiking guide will brief you what you need to pack and wear for the two day trek.
Today we being a two day mountain adventure. We need to be organised and ready to leave early, as this is our most challenging walk. We pack our rucksacks to walk along the world famous trail: the 'Tour du Mont Blanc'. Our two day adventure begins from Les Houches, and we first of all make use of a cable car to gain 900m (2952ft). We cross under the Bionnassay glacier and head up to the Col de Tricot, 2120m (6953ft), before a steep descent to the delightful Refuge de Miage and alpine pastures. Here we have the afternoon to explore this hidden valley with its farm animals, river and views to the glacier. We spend the night in characterful accommodation set amidst an alpine meadow, hosted by the Orsett family. Please note that this walk can be adapted to suit most fitness levels and age groups. Depending on the time of booking, accommodation could be in a non-segregated mixed dormitory which is normal for mountain hut accommodation. The principal is that we should be happy to have a warm, cosy bed, and good food regardless of the sleeping arrangements!
Distance: 8.5km (5.3 miles) Ascent: 700m (2296ft) Descent: 560m (1836ft) Duration: 6h00
After our breakfast in our mountain chalet we make the short climb to the Truc alpage, where we have the option of climbing a little further to the Truc peak for 360 degree views. We then head downhill through the larch forests to the small town of Les Contamines.
A little further along the valley, just beyond Les Contamines, we come to the Tree Tops Adventure Park, where we have our picnic lunch by the lakeside. Here we can experience the ‘high life’ travelling from tree to tree through the forest, using rope bridges, Tarzan swings, Tyrolean wire slides, rope ladders and cargo nets. The height for this is a minimum of 1m 20cm (3ft 9in) and is designed for children over the age of 8. Thanks to a technique taken from mountain climbing and Via-Ferrata, the journey through the trees is completely secure, but we do ask adults to stay with their children at all times.
We plan to have our picnic lunch here and have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the Les Contamines adventure park's other activities: including the outside swimming lake and pedalos (don't forget your swimsuits!).
Ascent: 150m (492ft) Descent: 600m (1968ft) Distance: 8km (5 miles) Duration: 4h00
Today is your departure day. For those with afternoon or late flights there are plenty of options for sightseeing in Chamonix.
It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.
We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In most cases we have known the management for many years, and it’s like visiting old friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured hotel/hotels and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of similar standard.
Our trips are booked on the basis of two people sharing a room. If you are travelling as a family there sometimes options for a triple room or a room for four people. Please contact us for details.
For this trip we stay in the 3* Hotel Aiguille du Midi, a traditional French mountain hotel perfectly situated at the foot of the famous Glacier des Bossons. The hotel, which has been run by the same family for generations, is within easy reach of the centre of Chamonix and is ideally situated for the trails. The trip price is based on twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Single rooms may be available on request for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details.
It includes a 3 course Dinner, Lunches, Bed and Breakfast and meals can be adapted to suit any dietary requirement. The hotel offers a spacious living and dining area, free wi-fi, spa facilities, massage room and garden with pool boasting wonderful views of Mont Blanc. Massages are available and can be arranged through your coaches and hotel reception.
The chalet is approximately 8km (5 miles) from the centre of Chamonix town. There is free bus and train travel up and down the valley. To take advantage of the free travel you should request a Guest Card from the chalet staff. You also have the use of the comfortable lounge area which has satellite TV & DVD and free WIFI.
Spending a night at the Refuge de Miage is a true mountain experience. After the day hikers have left the mountains you will still be 'up there' with the cows, sheep and horses which graze on the meadows beside this lovely mountain hut or 'refuge' as they are called in the Alps. Like most refuges the accommodation is rustic, traditional and characterful. The food is plentiful and delicious, there are hot showers, toilets, and the sleeping arrangements are in traditional dormitories.
The Refuge has been run by the Orset family for several generations and Olivier and his wife Celine continue the tradition. There is a fascinating local history book, usually lying in the restaurant, which details the part played by Celine's grandfather, a high mountain guide, in the local French Resistance Movement.
Chamonix, France is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane.
If travelling by train we recommend booking through RailEurope or Trainline. For coach travel we recommend using Flixbus. For more information on travelling by public transport, please see our travel blog.
If travelling by plane, Geneva is the closest international airport, only 1h15 by road which makes shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange.
A range of travel options to reach the Chamonix valley can be found on the Chamonix Tourist Office website.
Reaching Chamonix from Geneva airport is straightforward with many transfer companies operating this route throughout the day. Either consider a scheduled bus which will drop you at Chamonix Sud Bus Station, such as easybus.com, or use a private transfer company such as Haute Transfer, or Mountain Drop-Offs which will drop you at your accommodation. If booking with Mountain Drop-Offs you receive a small discount on the route by using our company code of TAT01. This code only applies to transfers in ’normal’ working hours. It does not apply to early morning, or late evening transfers.
Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.
When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:
Mountain Rescue Insurance
It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.
Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance
You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.
As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.
Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.
All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions.
If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.
For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.
When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. If you have any questions with regards to what to bring, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Personal First Aid
Items for the night in the mountain hut
**Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**
Leaders are all first aid trained and will carry their own first aid kit
On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.
The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person.
If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened.
Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.
For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page.
We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.
Tracks and Trails go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation for the countries that they work in.
Please note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment.
Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.
Designed to be suitable for most walkers in good health who exercise regularly. These family walking holidays are predominantly on good paths and at an altitude of between 1000m (3290ft) and 2000m (6560ft). On this trip you may reach 3842m (12601ft) if you choose to visit the Aiguille du Midi by cable car. We would expect all members of the family to have had some experience of walking in the mountains. You should be prepared to deal with hiking in bad weather if necessary. Expect to walk for between 4-6 hours on the walking days and with ascent and descents of no more than 800m (2624ft).
This week is designed for all the family from 8 years old and over. Chamonix has plenty to offer for all abilities so we can adapt the week to suit a variety of ages and enthusiasm!
Please note height and age restrictions may apply for some activities.
For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea.
You will not have access to your luggage on the night we spend at the Refuge de Miage and on that day you will need to carry a few extra items in your rucksack.
On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip.
We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day.
The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required.
Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you will find that those listed below cover the route:
IGN 89025: Tour du Mont Blanc 1:50,000
IGN 3630 OT: Chamonix Massif du Mont Blanc 1:25,000
IGN 3531 ET: St Gervais-les-Bains Massif du Mont Blanc 1:25,000
It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card.
On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.
On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region.
If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.
If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.
If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.
The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.
A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.
We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:
Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera.
Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.
For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.
If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number.
We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.
You can read our full policy here.
Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case.
Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.
There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners.
We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same.
We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.
When booking a trip during the pandemic we ask that you keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and be flexible.
Any holiday taken during the Covid-19 pandemic may be subject to change and with little or no notice of that change. As the past months have proven no-one can predict the situation from one week to the next, however, we will do our very best to gauge the best response to any new developments. New restrictions or guidelines might affect where we eat out, which accommodation we can stay in, and potentially transport arrangements if the numbers in vehicles are restricted.
Itineraries may not be exactly as advertised due to new regulations or restrictions. We are sure there will be various scenarios which we have not even thought about that might lead to a change or adaptation in the itinerary.
Please read our Covid-19 Cancellation Policy and ensure you have appropriate insurance as per our recommendations. We also ask that you make yourself aware of the entry requirements of any country you are visiting on your trip. We have compiled a Travel Links Advice list to help you source the correct information.
Prices may vary depending on date.
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|FCH2||Sat 29 Jul||Sat 05 Aug||
Sat 29 Jul - Sat 05 Aug
|Price: £1495||Spaces available||Book|
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|FCH1||Sat 06 Jul||Sat 13 Jul||
Sat 06 Jul - Sat 13 Jul
|Price: £1595||Spaces available||Book|
|FCH2||Sat 27 Jul||Sat 03 Aug||
Sat 27 Jul - Sat 03 Aug
|Price: £1595||Spaces available||Book|
Thanks again for an adventure packed week, for keeping us all safe and the experience you bring to our crazy family. Everyone had a fantastic time. I don't know how you stay so patient!
|Maximum Altitude||3842m (12,601ft)|
|Meet In||Chamonix, France|
We work with Cham'Aventure who organise the white water rafting and canyoning for your trip. A film here of what it is like to descent the River Arve through the heart of the town.
One of the activities available during this action packed week. You do need to be a certain height to participate in canyoning. Please read our itinerary for details.