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Haute Route Highlights

Matterhorn, Chamonix to Zermatt, Haute Route

The Matterhorn

Walk the world famous hikers 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.

  • 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

THANK YOU ERIC CHANG FOR SHARING YOUR FILM "SWEET LIKE SWISS CHOCOLATE" MADE DURING OUR TRIP TO SWITZERLAND FEATURING THE WONDERFUL ZERMATT!

 

Departures

Trip Departure date End date Price Status
HRH1 17 Sat 8 July 17 Sun 16 July 17 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking
HRH2 17 Sat 15 July 17 Sun 23 July 17 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking
HRH3 17 Sat 5 August 17 Sun 13 August 17 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking
HRH4 17 Sat 19 August 17 Sun 27 August 17 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking
HRH5 17 Sat 2 September 17 Sun 10 September 17 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking
HRH6 17 Sat 16 September 17 Sun 24 September 17 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking

Dates do not suit you? 

All our trips are available for private groups. If you would like to travel on different dates, or with family or friends on a bespoke trip, then please get in touch giving your preferred dates and itinerary.

Itinerary

We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your destination based on those conditions.

Day 1 Arrival in Chamonix, France

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.

Day 2 Aiguillette des Posettes to Trient

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 which is round to Les Tseppes, which in our view offers the best views possible of Switzerland, and the glacier of Trient. 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.

Day 3 Col de la Forclaz to Lac de Louvie

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 and the start of the stunning trail which takes us back into the mountains to 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 approximately 750 metres to the Cabane, but you will be distracted from the rigors of the climb by the absolutely stunning views, and a welcome drink at the top. One of our favourite trails, that's for sure, and offering super views across to the Mont Blanc Massif and to the Grand Combin. Distance: 18km. Ascent: 1250m. Descent: 550m. Approx. 7-9 hours. Note: no access to luggage.

Day 4 Cabane de Louvie to the Cabane de Prafleuri

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 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.

Day 5 Lac de Dix to La Sage

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.

Day 6 La Sage to Zinal

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 is easy walking and quickly gained. We descend to the Lac de Moiry, and its green waters, and often take lunch near the cafe at the dam, which makes an ideal stop and a chance 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. Distance: 24.5km. Ascent: 2000m. Descent: 1850m. Approx. 8- 9 hours.

Day 7 Zinal to Gruben

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.

Day 8 Gruben to Zermatt

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 aperetif 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, 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 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.

Day 9

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.

Price

Included: Fees of a professional International Mountain Leader. Hotel or gite accommodation for 6 nights (based on twin rooms sometimes with a shared bathroom) and mountain refuge accommodation for 2 nights, it includes all breakfasts and dinners. Transfer of luggage between overnight accommodation (except for 2 nights spent in mountain huts), the group taxi transfer from Champex to Fionnay, train or taxi to Zermatt and transfer from Arolla to La Sage are also included in the trip cost.

Not included: Travel Insurance, airport transfers, lunch snacks, and miscellaneous personal expenses – drinks, souvenirs etc. We are happy to advise on the best options for airport transfers and flights.

Accommodation

During this trip the group will spend 6 nights in comfortable hotels, chalets or gîtes, with good facilities (showers, restaurant, bar etc.), with 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 two 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 feel free to ask and we can advise on availability. In this case a single supplement would apply.

Weather

In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. Temperatures can reach over 30°c in the height of the summer (July/August), but can be as low as 5°c on the passes. It is often sunny with good clear days, but it can rain and snow (even in July or August) so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°c in the valleys and 5-15°c on the passes.

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.

Luggage

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'.

Spending money

The package price includes all accommodation, guiding and all breakfasts and evening meals. You should make an allowance for drinks, lunch snacks, including bottled water. Note: bottled water, if bought in the huts, is very expensive. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. Please note that almost all of the route is in Switzerland and you should take most of your money in the form of Swiss Francs. You will need some Euros for the time that you spend in France. There are cash point facilities in Chamonix (France), Champex and in Zermatt.

Minimum numbers

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.

Insurance

Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for walking in the alps. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this please be sure you have read the insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.

Further Information

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

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the Haute Route are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. Tracks and Trails in these instances may, in collaborating with our associates, make use of their guiding services. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us.


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