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

Haute Route Highlights


Hiking holiday in the Alps

Walk the world famous Haute Route in just one week. Our Haute Route highlights tour starts in Chamonix, France with at the foot of Mont Blanc and finishes in Zermatt, Switzerland beside the Matterhorn. Two of the most famous and iconic mountains in the world packaged into one bite sized chunk of the Haute Route.

Highlights

  • Eight days of exceptional mountain hiking
  • France to Switzerland - Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • A night at the beautiful Lac de Louvie
  • Two nights in Zermatt and walk the Edelweiss High Route Trail
  • View 10 of the highest peaks in the Alps
  • Highly experienced and expert professional guide
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Two nights in remote mountain huts
  • Single rooms possible for solo travellers in hotels

Our trail along the 'high route' works it's way beneath ten of the twelve highest peaks in the Alps bringing you breath-taking views of sparkling glaciers, jagged peaks, and impressive snowy summits. 

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


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.

- Andrea, Hong Kong, 2014

Itinerary

  • Your guide will meet you this evening at our hotel in Chamonix Valley, France at approximately 1800 hrs.  Lying beneath the stunning north face of Mont Blanc, the views are beautiful from the start. Your guide will give a briefing about the days ahead, and will answer any questions about clothing and gear.

  • We begin our epic journey by easing 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 into Switzerland and the Trient glacier. We complete our day with a short climb to reach the Col de la Forclaz where we spend the night.

    Ascent: 1200m (3936ft) Descent: 1100m (3608ft) Distance: 13.5km (8.5 miles) Duration: 6h00-7h00 

  • 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 (2460ft) 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.

    Ascent: 1250m (4100ft) Descent: 660m (2154ft) Distance: 18km (11 miles) Duration: 7h00-9h00

    NB: No access to luggage

  • This is one of the most spectacular days of the trek, traversing two high cols in terrain that feels wild and untouched, while providing 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 our first pass, the Col de Louvie which sits at 2921m (6983ft). We then make the steep descent onto the edge of the Grand Desert Glacier. This section is wild, rocky and quite frankly is a stunning 'moonscape' environment with a trail that can be hard to find if you do not know where you are going! Finally, after a climb through boulder fields we cross the Col de Prafleuri at 2987m (9797ft) and begin our descent to the Cabane de Prafleuri at 2662m (8731ft) where we will spend the night. On the way down there is the rare chance to see the iconic Edelweiss flower which grows by the trail on this section. 

    Ascent: 1239m (4063ft) Descent: 820m (2689ft) Distance: 14km (8.7 miles) Duration: 7h00-9h00

    NB: 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. The early morning light on the mountains brings the detail into sharp relief and some wonderful photos are earned from this climb. 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. At this time of year they are eating as much as they can to store fat before the winter hibernation begins. 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 the quintessential Swiss village of La Sage where we will spend the night and your will be re-united with your luggage. 

    Ascent: 1100m (3608ft) Descent: 1360m (4460ft) Distance: 22km (13.8 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

  • After a great breakfast at our lovely hotel we being our day which will involve crossing two high cols. Wandering past ancient wooden chalets and farms we work our way towards our first pass at the  Col de Torrent which sits at 2912m (9551ft). It is a long climb but the walking is easy and the zig-zags taken by the path mean we gain ground quickly. We pass through the summer meadows where again we usually have large herds of 'fighting cows'. After a break on the Col, we then descend to the turquoise waters of the Lac de Moiry. The water is an amazing colour which apparently is due to the amount of glacial 'rock flour' in the lake. There is a cafe at the dam, and we often stop here for our picnic lunch. Ahead we can see some of the giant peaks of the Pennine Alps, including the infamous Dent Blanche, or 'White Tooth'. Then it's onwards and upwards to the imposing Col de Sorebois, a climb which is shorter but steeper than the ascent to the Col de Torrent, but presents no real difficulty. From here, we have spectacular views of the famous peaks 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 800m (2624ft) of descent.  If you have tired legs it will seem a bargain!

    Ascent: 1790m (5871ft) Descent: 1781m (5841ft) Distance: 20.5km (12.8 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

    NB: If you take the cable car then the descent will be 901m (2955ft)

  • This is a really lovely walk today through larch forests and across the mountain side with Nutcracker birds calling in the trees, and the possibility of seeing chamois. The Nutcrackers collect as many as 30,000 pine nuts in a season! We do only have one Col to cross today, and the hiking is very pleasant and traverses the mountain side until we reach a path junction where we turn off to being the climb in earnest to the Col de la Forcletta which sits at 2874m (9426ft). We take in the views from the Col, and it is easy to see where we will be heading tomorrow. Our descent gives very fine views of the glaciers and peaks of the Turtmann valley, and as we walk through the meadows we have another chance to spot the elusive Edelweiss by the path. Today we leave the French speaking part of Switzerland and enter the German speaking region. Eventually, we descend through forests of Arolla Pines which are unique to this part of the world, instead of having two 'needles' in a cluster they have five 'needles' which apparently makes them rather different and very much loved by the Nutcracker birds. Our overnight is in the remote hamlet of Gruben in an historic hotel used for many generations by mountaineers. 

    Ascent: 1315m (4313ft) Descent: 1165m (3812ft) Distance: 19km (11.8 miles) Duration: 7h00-8h00

  • 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 at 2894m (9492ft), 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 878 metres (2879ft) 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 spend two nights here with spectacular views of the Matterhorn!

    Ascent: 1070m (3509ft) Descent: 1765m (5789ft) Distance: 16km (10 miles)

    NB: If you opt to take the cable car the descent is 887m (2909ft)

  • Our final walk today is without a doubt a Haute Route Highlight. From Zermatt we wind our way through the narrow streets, past the traditional architecture, and up to the mountain. This route takes us up the famous Trift Gorge to the Trift Hut,  then we pick up a trail  to join what's known as the Höhbalmen, or the 'Edelweiss High Route'. This is a stunning hike and as we climb and begin to turn west we are confronted with the most stunning views of the Matterhorn. This is also the trail where you may see the iconic edelweiss. The flower can be seen in a variety of habits, but it is fussy! It won’t grow on ground formed of crystalline rock, but it flourishes on calcareous sediments – despite the harsh conditions. The flower is covered in fleecy hairs and these protect it from the sun, frost and dryness. The seeds require exposure to frost before they can germinate the following year. After the Trift gorge you emerge onto a high balcony trail offering one of Zermatt’s finest viewpoints, at Höhbalmen. In good weather it is truly breathtaking as we look straight at the north face of the Matterhorn with the Zmuttgrat ridge, the Breithorn, Liskamm and the Monte Rosa massif all on show.

    If you would prefer a rest day then today is the day. Enjoy 'car free' Zermatt life with its streets of outdoor clothing shops and Swiss alps souvenirs. Visit the Alpine Museum and learn about the triumph and tragedy surrounding the first ascent of the Matterhorn. Or simply hike up to the famed Edelweiss Restaurant for carrot cake to soak up the views. Perched on a cliff top over Zermatt its a great short day option. We will stay in Zermatt for a second night and enjoy a final meal together to celebrate this wonderful week of walking.

    Ascent: 1195 m (3919ft) Descent: 1195 m (3919ft) Distance: 20.7km (12.9 miles) Duration: 7h30-9h00

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

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. 

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. All of our trips are based on two people sharing a bedroom, what we call a 'twin' meaning two single beds in one bedroom. If you are booking as a single traveller you will share with someone of the same gender. In many cases a single room is available for a supplementary fee, but these can be in short supply and require early booking. Note that it is very rare to have air conditioning in European mountain areas, and most bedrooms do not have this facility. If you have any questions about the accommodation please contact us. 

You will spend 6 nights in comfortable hotels with facilities such as showers, restaurant, bar etc. 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 rooms are not readily available, but do ask and we can advise on availability at the time of booking.  Note that it is very rare to have air conditioning in European mountain areas, and most bedrooms do not have this facility.

Chalet Hôtel le Prieuré, Chamonix

Hotel

The 4* Chalet Hôtel Le Prieuré has a chalet style to the interior making it a warm and welcoming place to spend time in Chamonix.  Step onto your balcony and you have amazing views to the mountains. Your meals will be taken in the light and modern restaurant, with its glass frontage. Whether it be the start or end of your holiday a visit to the hotels pool and spa will help you relax and unwind.

In the Middle Ages, Le Prieuré was the name given to the center of the village of Chamonix. It was referred to as the Prieuré of Chamonix valley. In 1928, Doctor Chabanolles enlarged the building to accommodate children suffering from tuberculosis. In 1960, after extensive renovations, a 'Le Prieuré' opened its doors in Chamonix. It was run by the Morand family, who named it L'Hôtel le Prieuré in reference to its history. In 2015, the hotel was completely renovated while retaining its history and authenticity.

Hotel Col de la Forclaz

Hotel

This historic coaching inn has been in the same family for generations. Today it is run by Sophie who is the 6th generation! It was in around 1830 that her ancestor Joseph Gay-des Combes opened the first inn at the summit of the Col de la Forclaz with his wife. The hotel has a range of bedrooms, but due to the traditional nature of the building not all of them are en suite. 

Cabane de Louvie

Cabin

Perched high in the mountains beside a glacial lake this is without doubt a wonderful place to spend the night. The climb to the hut is steep but then it opens into a high valley and we are greeted by the Cabane de Louvie. The hut, which is relatively new, is run by Claudia, her staff, and the true boss her cat 'Chips'. We will be offered a good meal, a hot shower, and a comfortable place to sleep. 

As with all the huts on our trips this will be in dormitory accommodation. There are two private bedrooms available and if you book very early and are willing to pay a supplement it may be that we can secure one of these rooms for two people. In the dorms you will stay in one of the four themed dormitories with your sleeping place marked by the names of writers, musicians, painters, and philosophers.

Cabane de Pra Fleuri

Refuge

Perched at 2662m (8731ft) on the stage between Verbier and Arolla, we normally arrive at the Cabane de Prafleuri having wandered past Edelweiss and ibex! The hut is run by Estelle and Antoine, and often they will also have staff from around the world all keen to spend a summer working in a high mountain hut. We aim to secure a small dormitory for our own group. Breakfasts are good, and exceptionally for a 'hut' they even serve crepes! The hut does have showers and toilets however with the increasing effects of global warming has meant that there isn't enough water for showers anymore at this hut. It is however possible for fresh air wash with glacial water if needed.

 

Hotel de la Sage, La Sage

Hotel

The family run Hotel de la Sage is one of the most beautiful places to stay on this trip. It is very traditional in terms of style, and is situated on the mountain with magnificent views across the valley. It is run by Joris and Laetitia who since taking over the hotel a few years ago have maintained its style and standards. The bedrooms are mostly en suite, and there is a lovely lounge and reading room. 

We find the food at the Hotel de la Sage to be extremely good, and breakfast will feature home-made jams and breads. There is a gorgeous sun terrace where you can watch the sunset over the mountains. 

Hotel Le Besso, Zinal

Hotel

The hotel was built in 1893 and is one of the oldest hotels in the small alpine town of Zinal. The hotel has a cosy bar area, and a sun terrace. Dinner will often feature local dishes, and breakfast is a substantial buffet. The rooms all have en suite facilities.

 

Hotel Schwarzhorn, Gruben

Hotel

The Hotel Schwarzhorn is an interesting one! It is situated in a remote valley which literally empties of inhabitants in the winter months. For many generations the hotel has welcomed climbers and mountaineers heading to the snowy peaks at the end of the Turtmann Valley. The building itself appears somewhat austere, but inside there is a warm welcome. 

The rooms mostly have a wash-basin, but showers and toilets are shared on the same floor. There are also dormitories on the upper floors. We always aim to book bedrooms but this relies on early booking, and is not always possible. If you wish to check if your booking will ensure bedrooms then do contact us.

Hotel Tannenhof, Zermatt

Hotel

The Hotel Tannenhof is in a great position in Zermatt. It is right in the middle of town, but set back from the main street and away from the hustle and bustle. The rooms are very comfortable, and offer en suite facilities, with free wi-fi, USB/USB-C plugs, and tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel was fully renovated and re-opened in 2022 with a new restaurant the Golden Lokdown, which features a full-size gold plated train engine from the Gornergrat, which was originally put into operation in 1898.


  • Arrival

    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.

    Departure

    Services end after breakfast on Day 9 of the trip.  With the trip finishing in Zermatt, you can easily take a train or coach back to any major European city to continue your holiday, or return home if living in Europe or the UK.  You can use RailEurope or Trainline for information on train travel, and Flixbus for coach travel.

    The most convenient way of returning from Zermatt to Geneva airport is by train. To make a booking with Swiss Federal Railways click here. There is a railway station in Geneva Airport and there are several connections throughout the day. Other airports and designations are very easy to reach from Zermatt due to the incredibly efficient Swiss rail network.

    Please note that 1/2 price fares are only available to those with the appropriate 1/2 price reduction card. If you have heavy luggage then we would advise you to arrange for your hotel in Zermatt to transfer your luggage to the railway station in Zermatt on your departure day. Please note this cost is not included in your trip fee.

     

    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.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    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.

  • Summer mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    However, in the summer months it is generally good in the Alps, 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, as with all mountain journeys, 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.

    Even in mid-summer we can be faced with overnight snow especially when we have spent the night in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut at higher altitude. 

  • 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.

    Equipment

    • Walking boots - comfortable & waterproof, with a good tread. We have no objection to ‘low cut mountain walking shoes’ if they have a stiff sole for rough terrain. Be aware that early season snow can remain on the high passes and boots may be necessary!
    • Walking Poles – optional, but highly recommended
    • Rucksack – 30-35 litres, ideally with a chest and waist strap, try using it loaded before your trip
    • Rucksack liner or cover - to keep the contents of your rucksack dry
    • Water container - 1 to 1.5 litres, or hydration system
    • Short gaiters – useful, but not essential
    • Umbrella - useful for shade on very hot days/rain showers

    Clothing

    • Waterproof jacket - this MUST be waterproof. We can encounter heavy rain in the mountains and you need to be able to stay dry and warm
    • Waterproof over trousers - we consider these vital items for the reason given above. We reserve the right to ask you to purchase waterproof trousers if we deem them necessary, or to ask you to miss a day of the trip if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - comfortable walking trousers allowing free movement
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat
    • Warm hat
    • Hat - sunhat
    • Gloves x 2 - one thick, one thin
    • Base layer e.g. t-shirt, thermal tops
    • Fleece jacket/shirt
    • Socks - technical walking socks 2/3 pairs
    • Duvet jacket/second warm jacket
    • Thermal leggings - optional

    Comfort

    • Sunscreen
    • Lip salve
    • Sunglasses - eye protection is essential
    • Tissues
    • Antibacterial hand wash - small bottle
    • Swimwear - optional, we sometimes swim in lakes/rivers
    • Supplementary snack bars/chocolate/trail mix
    • Book/Kindle/Music

    Documentation

    • Passport, plus a paper copy
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance - compulsory
    • Travel Insurance
    • Credit Card
    • Cash - Euros/Swiss Francs
    • Waterproof bag for documents

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication - if required
    • Antiseptic cream/spray
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatories
    • Glucose tablets
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets – like Dioralyte
    • A few throat lozenges
    • Blister plasters 
    • Blister tape eg. Strappal
    • Bandaid plasters

    Items for the nights in mountain huts/refuges

    • Sheet sleeping bag 'liner' - lightweight ‘silk or cotton liner’ to be used under the blankets/duvet provided by the refuges/huts
    • Pack towel
    • Ear plugs - optional, but advised
    • Head torch - plus batteries
    • Teabags – optional, tea is expensive, whereas ordering hot water is less so
    • Toiletries – miniature soap/toothpaste etc 

    Additional Items

    • Camera
    • Slippers for use in refuges/accommodation 
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • AirTag or similar to track luggage
    • Travel Kettle - if required
    • Hair dryer - if required 
    • Padlock - for luggage being transferred
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • 1 Medium sized - kitbag/holdall/suitcase

    Your luggage will be moved each day by a taxi driver. The legal maximum weight limit is 15kg (33lbs) per person. If your luggage exceeds this limit it will not be collected. You can take only ONE luggage bag on the trip. Not all hotels have 'lifts' and you must be able to carry your luggage upstairs. 

    **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.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. The single supplement for this trip is £600.

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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.

  • On this point-to-point trip you will have luggage support on all but two of the nights, which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need carry a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. Please refer to the kit list for guidance on the size of rucksack required. On the nights you are in the mountain huts you will need to carry just a few extra items in your rucksack.

    As your luggage will be moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. This is a legal requirement and your bag will not be collected if it exceeds this weight limit. Also with regard to weight be aware that you may have to carry your luggage to your bedroom, which may involve climbing several flights of stairs as not all hotels have elevators. Luggage on wheels is generally a good idea.

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons, the most important of which is food waste. In general our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you purchase your own snacks rather than throw away items from the picnic lunch which we would supply.

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout the day. Buying snacks and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with local people and to practise your language skills.

    If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. Each evening you can order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market. In all cases we would ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks the evening before you depart, and not in the morning when there may be a queue.

  • 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: 

    Carte Nationale de la Suisse 5003: Mont Blanc Grand Combin 1:50,000

    Carte Nationale de la Suisse 5006: Matterhorn Mischabel 1:50,000

  • 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 often only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. 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 are vegetarian his 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 contact us

    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.

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut 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.

    Due to rising temperatures in the summer months some mountain huts are having to restrict water usage. Which may mean that you are unable to shower in some mountain refuges.

    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. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. 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 ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    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. 

  • We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. In this respect due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. All the trips being sold by Tracks and Trails are organised by Tracks and Trails, but you may find guests from other companies on your trip. Partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means 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. We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same price package. If you have any questions about this policy contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 


What's Included

  • Half board hotel/auberge accommodation for; breakfast and dinner, based on two people sharing a room
  • Two nights in Zermatt
  • Mountain refuge accommodation for two nights
  • Transfer of luggage between overnight accommodation, except for 2 nights in mountain huts
  • Professional International Mountain Leader
  • Group taxi transfer from Champex to Fionnay
  • Train or taxi to Zermatt
  • Transfer from Arolla to La Sage

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Picnic lunches
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Cablecars down to Zinal and St Niklaus if you choose to take them
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Grade: Advanced

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At a Glance

From Price £2675
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2921m (9580ft)
Countries Visited France, Switzerland
Meet In Chamonix, France
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Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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