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Summary

Spectacular French Alps walking holiday based in Morzine with unforgettable views of Mont Blanc. Morzine in the French Alps is much more than just a ski resort. It provides the perfect base for self guided walking with excellent links to lifts to whisk you up the mountain in no time at all. We give you flexible easy-moderate options tailored to individual needs.

Stay: Chalet

Grade: Moderate

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Information

Spectacular French Alps walking holiday based in Morzine under Mont Blanc.  Morzine is much more than just a ski resort. It provides the perfect base for self guided walking with excellent links to lifts to whisk you up the mountain in no time at all. We provide tailored easy-moderate options to suit your individual needs.

Enjoy

  • Magnificent high altitude walking at a safe altitude
  • Spectacular alpine peaks, including Mont Blanc, the Dents du Midi and the Swiss Alps
  • A mosaic of colourful mountain meadows populated only by cows with tinkling cowbells
  • Scented pine forests, sparkling rivers, mountain tarns and tumbling waterfalls
  • 1200 varieties of Alpine flora including Gentian, Edelweiss and Orchids
  • Excellent bird life, marmots, ibex
  • Footpaths that are easy to follow and are well signposted
  • Dinner, bed and breakfast at the luxurious family-owned Chalet Catherine
  • Excellent regional food and wine
  • Thrilling rides by cable car and chair lift
  • Welcoming alpine refuges for lunch breaks
  • Detailed route notes and accompanying commentaries
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Itinerary

Day One - Arrival

Minibus transfer from the airport to your chalet. Settle in and meet fellow guests at dinner

Day Two - Morzine

A gentle walk today to familiarise yourself with Morzine, your chalet and its impressive surroundings. Your walk starts from the chalet and takes you along the picturesque River Dranse. Then from the Sentier du Renard you’ll encounter the dramatic Nyon waterfall. Here you can watch (or join!) brave souls canyoning down into the rapids below. Lunch at an alpine chalet, soaking up the sun or enjoy a picnic surrounded by mountain peaks. Finally your route back to your chalet takes you across wide green meadows and a section of the route of the Tour de France. On the way learning a little of Morzine’s history from your notes.  (Grade easy: 4 miles/6.4 km)

Day Three - Avoriaz & Le Lac Vert

Today’s walk is at high altitude and a little more demanding. Take the cablecar up to beautiful alpine meadows where, continuing to ascend gently, you reach finally reach Switzerland at 2277 metres above sea level. We recommend a coffee stop at the Refuge de l’Abricotine beside the Swiss customs post. Back on the path you’ll reach for your camera as you stop to admire the Dents Blanches at 2576 metres and the Dents du Midi at 3,257 metres. Then there’s Lac Vert, a particularly scenic mountain tarn just over the border. Lunch at Col de Chéséry is always a treat, whether you take a picnic or indulge in a fondu. This is idyllic: breathing fresh mountain air and enjoying the peace and quiet of the mountains, surrounded by spectacular mountain views. A stretch of Grande Rondonée 5 takes you back down to the valley via the Chaux Fleurie lift and Lindarets Express. Finally, reflect on an exhilarating day’s walking in magnificent alpine scenery. (Grade: moderate. 5 miles/8 km; 4-5 hours. A number of ascents and descents).

Day Four - Le Pleney & Les Gets

A shorter day today with a number of scenic ups and downs. Beginning at the top station of the Pléney lift, you’ll look down on magnificent views to Morzine, the Vallee des l’Ardoisières, the Pointe de Ressachaux at 2173 metres and the limestone massif of Dents Blanches. Your walk takes you easily to the idyllically-situated Vaffier Restaurant. Here, admire fantastic vistas of Mont Blanc as you sip your coffee. There are two options for the descent to Les Gets; either walk steeply down through the meadows or take the chairlift from Les Chavannes. There are also options for lunch, either by the mountain lake or in Les Gets itself. You may wish to visit the Mechanical Music Museum (Le Musee de la Musique Mechanique) - about an hour is recommended. The museum is open daily from 10.15am - 7.15pm in July and August. Free entry with your MultiPass. (Grade: moderate. 4 miles/6.4 km; 3 hours. A number of ascents and descents today).

Day Five:    Le Roc D’Enfer

A favourite walk in the heart of the Alps from Graydon to the hamlet of Col de l’Encrenaz. This is fairly strenuous and should only be attempted by confident walkers. Expect a number of gradients, including a rocky ascent, but nothing is technically difficult. Wild, high mountain terrain provides superb walking in this UNESCO protected region of the Chablis Alps. Listen out for Marmots in their rocky grassland home. Highlights include the distinctive Roc D’Enfer and alpine pastures where the famous Abundance cows with tinkling cowbells graze. The entire day you are surrounded by stunning mountain panoramas with the peaks of Mont Blanc a constant companion. Picnic lunch today at the Col Ratti. (Grade: moderate-strenuous. 5 miles/8 km; 4-5 hours. A number of ascents and descents today). If you prefer to exclude this walk, enjoy a more relaxing day visiting Chamonix by bus or taxi. Then take the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc Massif. Or if you prefer to walk, we suggest a walk beside the River Dranse to the beautiful lake at Montriond.

Day Six - Mont Chery & Le Mont Caly

Another easier day today beginning and ending in nearby Les Gets. From the Belvedere at the top of the lift admire magnificent views of Mont Blanc to the south and also of the famous Aguilles Rouges and Aguilles du Midi. These ‘needles’ are part of a crystalline mountainous massif of the French Pre-Alps opposite the Mont Blanc Massif. A splendid ridge walk follows before descending to the Refuge at Mont Caly. This is a lovely spot to stop for rest and refreshment or to enjoy your picnic. In complete contrast, after lunch take a delightful woodland path on soft pine needles before finally descending to the Les Gets and your bus back to Morzine. (Grade: easy. 4 miles/6.4 km; 3-4 hours. The cable car does the climbing today so the walk is relatively easy apart from a fairly steep descent to Le Mont Caly).

Day Seven - Lac de Mines D’Or & Col de Cou

A delightful, classic walk from the Lac de Mines D’Or. Set off from an azure lake nestling in a bowl in the mountains. Climb up through pine forests enjoying wonderful views of the Roc d’Enfer, the Valley de la Manche and the Pointe de Nyon. Finally reach the Col de Cou at 2,000 metres on the border between France and Switzerland. Once this was a well-known smugglers’ route between the two countries; now it is renowned for being one of the alpine passes through which thousands of migrating birds fly. You may even see a golden eagle! Meet GR5 again on the path to the Swiss border used by the French Resistance during World War II. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the border or, if there is time, possibly continue to the Col de Bretolet in Switzerland. At its ornithological observatory 10,000 birds are caught, identified, weighed and ringed. On your route back down, you can stop for refreshments at the Chalets de Fréterolle. (Grade: moderate. 5 miles/8.4 km; 5 hours. Sustained ascending for around one hour but no very steep inclines).

Day Eight - Farewell and Departure

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Hotels

Choose to stay at the luxurious Chalet Catherine or Chalet Savoy. They are both small, family owned chalets in the heart of the alpine resort of Morzine. The en-suite rooms are very comfortable and both chalets have a sauna and free wifi. Food is locally-sourced and service is excellent.

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Grade of the walks

Walks are suitable for any active, reasonably fit person able to walk for up to 5 hours with a break for lunch. This is alpine walking and therefore you should expect a number of ups and downs on uneven ground with long ascents and descents on some days. Longer walks are interspersed with shorter days.

There are no narrow ridges or steep drops and there is nothing that is technically difficult.

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Tour price and costs

£899 per person sharing a double or twin room; £39 per night single supplement for single occupancy of a double room

Price includes:

  • Minibus transfers
  • En-suite chalet accommodation
  • 3-course table dinners, including drinks wine and water and drinks before dinner
  • Afternoon tea with cake
  • Six walks
  • MultiPass for free access to leisure complex, chair lifts and cable cars and local bus services
  • Comprehensive walks pack containing detailed route directions and marked-up map and map case

Price excludes:

  • Flights:  A number of airlines fly to Geneva including EasyJet and British Airways
  • Lunches and one dinner when chalet is closed (recommendations supplied)
  • Items of a personal nature
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Flights

Nearest airport - Geneva. See www.skyscanner.net for details of airlines and flights.

Minibus transfers included from airport to Morzine. Once in resort, no car is necessary since there is an excellent system of public transport from buses to cable cars and chairlifts.

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