Haute Route Highlights
Haute Route Highlights
Haute Route Highlights
Haute Route Highlights
Haute Route Highlights
Haute Route Highlights

Haute Route Highlights


Trip Overview

Walk the world famous hiker's Haute Route in just one week. Our Haute Route highlights tour starts in Chamonix, France and finishes in Zermatt, Switzerland.Our trail works it's way beneath ten of the twelve highest peaks in the Alps, including Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

To enable us to complete the route in a week we make use of a few short transfers to by-pass some sections, but still allowing you to truly experience the Best of the Walkers Haute Route.

Highlights

  • 7 full days of exceptional hiking
  • Highly experienced and expert local guide
  • France to Switzerland - Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • A night at the beautiful Lac de Louvie
  • View 10 of the highest peaks in the Alps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • 2 nights in mountain huts
  • Single rooms possible for solo travellers in hotels

 


Julia was excellent. She was very patient, knowledgeable and helpful. She timed the breaks so that we were fueled and rested before the particularly difficult or long sections of the day's trail. She maintained a cheery disposition throughout and was very encouraging. I would follow her anywhere! Our group of 10 was so friendly and diverse. They were all such good sports and very supportive of one another.

Itinerary

  • house
  • airport
  • The group will rendezvous at the group hotel in Chamonix. Lying beneath the stunning north face of Mont Blanc, the views are beautiful from the start! The guide will give a briefing about the days ahead, and will answer any questions clothing and gear.

  • We ease into our trip with a short journey on the historic Mont Blanc Express train, which for over a century has carried mountaineers along the valley to the start of their routes. We alight at the hamlet of Montroc and begin our climb through the larch woodlands before gaining the flank of the Aiguillette des Posettes. The balcony trail that leads to our first Col offers spectacular views of the glacier at Le Tour, and your cameras will be busy. Many trips then head for the Col de Balme, but we choose to go our own special way round to Les Tseppes, which in our view offers the best views of Switzerland and the Trient glacier. We complete our day with a short climb to reach the Col de la Forclaz where we sleep the night.

    Distance: 13.5km. Ascent: 1200m. Descent: 1100m. Approx. 6-7 hours.

  • We begin this rewarding day of walking via the Bovine trail, a steady climb which leads us to the 'Alpage de Bovine' where we can stop for refreshments, including home made cakes. We meet Nathalie and family who spend the summer months on the mountain tending to the walkers and to their herd of 'fighting cows'. We then descend through the gorge to the rustic cafe at Plan de L'Au. Here we meet our transfer for the short ride to the remote village of Fionnay where we join a stunning trail which takes us back into the mountains and the spectacularly located Cabane de Louvie. A coffee stop may be required before we set off as we then have our second climb of the day of around 750 metres to the Cabane. The rigors of the climb are more than compensated for by the absolutely stunning views, and a welcome drink at the top. Certainly one of our favourite trails which offers super views across to the Mont Blanc Massif and the Grand Combin.

    Distance: 18km. Ascent: 1250m. Descent: 550m. Approx. 7-9 hours. Note: no access to luggage.

  • This is one of the most spectacular days of the trek, traversing two high cols with dramatic views throughout. At the start, the path follows the lakeside and on a good morning can mean stunning 'mirror image' photos of the moutains in the lake. We then hike steeply up to the high path which wanders in spectacular fashion beneath the cliffs. This is often our chance to see ibex grazing in the early morning sunlight. A dramatic path then takes us to the Col de Louvie (2921m), before we make the steep descent onto the edge of the Grand Desert Glacier. Finally, we cross the Col de Prafleuri (2987m) and descend to the Cabane de Prafleuri (2624m) for the evening.

    Distance: 18km. Ascent: 820m. Descent: 550m. Approx. 7-9 hours. Note: no access to luggage.

  • A short climb greets us today as we quickly gain the Col de Roux, overlooking the blue green waters of the Lac de Dix. Early morning on this col with the views to the glacier and the chance to see ibex is a joy. A gentle descent then takes us to the lake shore which we follow to its end, with views of Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the Pigne D'Arolla. Marmots are to be found lying in the sun along the whole length of the lake. We make a steep ascent to the Col de Riedmatten or the Pas de Chevre and its brand new ladders, where there are more spectacular views of the Glacier de Dix. The Pas de Chevre ladders were replaced in 2015 and now offer a much more secure and easy ascent to the Col. It is then all descent to the gorgeous alpine village of Arolla for a welcome afternoon drink. From Arolla we take a short transfer to La Sage via the quintessential Swiss village of Les Hauderes.

    Distance: 22km. Ascent: 1100m. Descent: 1360m. Approx. 8-9 hours.

  • We have an early start as today’s walk involves crossing two high cols. The first ascent to the higher of the two, the Col de Torrent (2912m), is long but easy walking and quickly gained. We descend to the green waters of the Lac de Moiry, and often take lunch near the cafe at the dam, which makes an ideal stop for a cold drink. Ahead we can see some of the giant peaks of the Pennine Alps, including the Dent Blanche. Then it's onwards and upwards to the imposing Col de Sorebois, a climb which is shorter but steeper than the ascent to the Torrent, but again presents no real difficulty. From here, we have spectacular views of the Weisshorn, Dent Blanche and Zinal Rothorn. There is the optional extra of taking a cablecar at the end of the day and saving 800 m of descent.  If you have tired legs it will seem a bargain at 14 CHF per person. 

    Distance: 24.5km. Ascent: 2000m. Descent: 1850m. Approx. 8- 9 hours.

  • Only one Col to cross today, and we begin with a pleasant ascent through the larch woods where the nutcracker birds are usually busy in the trees. We reach a summer meadow, where we begin our traverse of the mountainside. This traversing trail is really enjoyable as it meanders up and down along the mountainside, until we reach the junction of the path for the two Cols, the Col de la Forcletta which sits at 2874m, and the Meidpass which lies further along the route, and sits at 2790m. Normally, we prefer to take the Forcletta as we believe it offers by far the best views of the glaciers and peaks of the Turtmann valley. We usually arrive at the Col around lunchtime and it makes a brilliant place to enjoy the mountains. Eventually, we descend through alpine meadows where the famous, and elusive, edelweiss are to be found growing beside the path. A rare chance to see this iconic flower. Julie Andrews has a lot to answer for!

    Distance: 19km. Ascent: 1315m. Descent: 1165m. Approx. 7-8 hrs. If the Meidpass is taken the ascent, descent and distance is slightly more.

  • Another superb walk as we complete our high level trek today. We start out through open woodland, then high pastures and rocky upland wilderness. Early morning we pass several farmers huts and the 'guys' are often to be found enjoying a local apertif even at this time of day. We soon find the cattle which they are herding, and usually wander through several herds enjoying the lush grazing in this high valley. Our final pass is the Augstbordpass (2894m), beyond which we descend steeply into a bowl and take a rocky trail across the mountainside. This is alpine walking at its best with a trail which at times seems to cling to the mountain, but don't worry it's a good path! Eventually we descend to the pretty hamlet of Jungu and on again into the Mattertal and the town of St. Niklaus. We will not hold it against you if you opt to take the 'characterful' cable car down from Jungu and save your knees by eliminating the final 1000 metres of descent. Depending on our numbers from St Niklaus, we will take a short train or taxi ride to what has to be one of the most famous mountain towns in the world - Zermatt! We overnight here and enjoy a final meal together to celebrate this wonderful week of walking.

  • The package finishes after breakfast but please contact us if you’d like extra nights in Zermatt as this can easily be arranged and is highly recommended.

We always aim to complete the proposed itinerary, however it may be necessary for our guides to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for years, and it’s like visiting friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details.

You will spend 6 nights in comfortable hotels, chalets or gîtes, with good facilities (showers, restaurant, bar etc.), and all bedding provided. If you are booking as a couple you can expect to be in a twin or double room, normally with en suite facilities. Single travellers will be accommodated in same gender twin rooms, which may be ensuite or with shared bathrooms. There are also 2 nights in mountain huts, where the accommodation is on a non-segregated, dormitory style basis. This type of shared accommodation is all part of an alpine mountain experience. Due to the nature of the accommodation on this trip - small hotels, often in tiny villages and remote mountain huts - single or private double rooms are not readily available, but do ask and we can advise on availability at the time of booking.

Hotel Pointe Isabelle, Chamonix

Hotel

Ideally located in the heart of Chamonix, France, the Hotel Pointe Isabelle offers deluxe rooms with mountain views, along with a bar and restaurant.

Cabane de Louvie

Cabin

Imagine a life in a cabin, without ropes or ice-axes, without the waking at four o'clock in the morning, without blankets that itch. Imagine this hut perched above a small lake, at an altitude of 2250 meters, in the heart of a nature reserve full of stories and tradition, populated by ibex, marmots and chamois, 4 hours walk from Verbier or 2 hours from Fionnay. Don’t dream anymore, come to Louvie!

Pension de la Poste, Zinal

Auberge

Located in central Zinal at the foot of the Couronne Impérial peaks, the Pension de la Poste has well appointed double rooms, tastefully designed in a mountain style giving them a cosy Alpine chalet feel.

Cabane de Pra Fleuri

Cabin

Perched at 2662m on the stage between Verbier and Arolla, the Cabane de Prafleuri offers modern and comfortable accommodation in a spectacular setting.


  • You will meet the rest of the group at the group hotel on the evening of Day 1 of the trip itinerary for dinner. Details of how to reach the hotel will follow upon booking. If you are in your own car then parking is available there. Chamonix is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. For suggested travel links please refer to our FAQs pages for further details. Geneva is the closest international airport, only 75 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

    Returning from Zermatt

    Services end after breakfast on Day 9 of the trip. The most convenient way of returning from Zermatt to Geneva is by train. To make a booking with Swiss Federal Railways click here, or telephone +41 900 300 300. There is a station in Geneva Airport and there are several connections throughout the day. Please note that 1/2 price fares are only available to those with the appropriate 1/2 price reduction card.

    Once you have booked we will send you a list of suggested equipment and clothing for the trek.

  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. For further details, please ensure you have carefully read the Insurance section of our website.

  • This trip will run once a minimum number of 4 clients have booked. We will take a maximum of 10 clients. We advise you not to make your travel arrangements until the trip is guaranteed to run.

  • Please note that a 'highlights' trip does not mean it is easier than the full 11 days version of the Haute Route. You will still tackle all the major passes on the route while taking short vehicle transfers along any valley walk sections of the route. This is a stunning trip for those who have a limited time to take in what is one of the most famous hiking routes in the world.

  • This trip is fully supported and clients are not required to carry sleeping bags or significant amounts of personal gear, apart from what is required on a day's hike. On most of the trekking days, there will be vehicle support to transfer your main bag to the next overnight stop. You just carry your day pack. There will be a total of two overnights where there will be no access to your luggage and you will have to carry a few extra items. To make things efficient during the luggage transfer process, and to prevent any losses, please keep luggage to a minimum i.e. a day sac whilst walking and one bag labelled clearly to transfer. Please make sure you can carry your overnight bag as many hotels do have have 'lifts'.

  • Summer mountain weather can vary considerably. It is generally good in the Alps with lovely days, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

  • Due to the specialised nature of our trips, we work with a select number of partners to help ensure your trip reaches its minimum group size to be guaranteed to run. The companies we work with reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Sat 13 Jul - Sun 21 Jul
Code: HRH1 19
Price: £1695 Book
Sat 20 Jul - Sun 28 Jul
Code: HRH2 19
Price: £1695 Book
Sat 03 Aug - Sun 11 Aug
Code: HRH3 19
Price: £1695 Book
Sat 10 Aug - Sun 18 Aug
Code: HRH4 19
Price: £1695 Book
Sat 31 Aug - Sun 08 Sep
Code: HRH5 19
Price: £1695 Book
Sat 07 Sep - Sun 15 Sep
Code: HRH6 19
Price: £1695 Book

What's Included

  • Fees of a professional International Mountain Leader
  • Hotel or gite accommodation for 6 nights (based on twin rooms sometimes with a shared bathroom)
  • Mountain refuge accommodation for 2 nights
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • Transfer of luggage between overnight accommodation (except for 2 nights spent in mountain huts)
  • Group taxi transfer from Champex to Fionnay, train or taxi to Zermatt and transfer from Arolla to La Sage
  • Tracks and Trails souvenir

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance*
  • Airport transfers*
  • Lunches
  • Snacks
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses – drinks, souvenirs etc.

*We are happy to advise on the best options for airport transfers and flights.

Julia was excellent. She was very patient, knowledgeable and helpful. She timed the breaks so that we were fueled and rested before the particularly difficult or long sections of the day's trail. She maintained a cheery disposition throughout and was very encouraging. I would follow her anywhere! Our group of 10 was so friendly and diverse. They were all such good sports and very supportive of one another.

Return to Search

Grade: Demanding

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £1695
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 17
Maximum Altitude 2921m
Countries Visited France, Switzerland
Meet In Chamonix, France
View all Walking Holidays

Sweet like Swiss chocolate