France | French Alps: Chamonix- Mont Blanc to Val d’Isère

Hike from Chamonix to Val d’Isère with views of iconic Mont Blanc.

France flag
  • Chamonix, France
  • French town in the alps
  • Chamonix mountains and lake
  • Mountain peak
  • trail overlooking Chamonix, France
  • French alps
  • "It was fun because even though it wasn't a private tour, it ended up just being my family/friends on the trip so 6 of us. Nikola was able to adjust the hike based on what we were able to do or wanted to do which was awesome. I liked the amount of time we stayed at each hotel, we didn't really have to choose where we would eat for dinner- it was all done for us. It was so awesome! We had a lot of really amazing sites while we were there. It was my favorite trip ever."- Sunnie K.

Trip Highlights:

  • Hike from the world-renowned ski resort town of Chamonix-Mont Blanc.
  • Visit the Eglise St. Michel on the hill above Le Châtelard.
  • Enjoy two nights in the famous village of Val d’Isère.

Mont Blanc is an icon; much more than a mountain. Huge enough and complex enough to always have something to offer cutting edge alpinists since the 1700s. And lucky for the rest of us it is so big and strategically placed on the French, Italian and Swiss borders that it is visible from the higher peaks of every Alpine country in Western Europe, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. Actually, on a clear day you can even see it from the higher peaks in Slovenia!

Unlike the highlands of the Haute Savoie on the flanks of Mont Blanc, the terrain along the banks of the Isère River offers simply fantastic walking through truly antique and perfectly preserved hamlets in astonishingly remote locations.

Arriving in the world-renowned ski resort town of Chamonix, our trip hikes us through the Tarentaise Mountains allowing us to explore the fascinating valleys virtually alone and at a relaxed pace. We connect the villages of Chamonix, Les Contamines, Séez, Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, and the bustling winter hotspot of Val d’Isère.

The Isère Valley is as well known for its cuisine as for its mountains, and we explore the finest of the finest that each village has to offer. Hiking days are gentle to moderate and we change villages every two or three days to further relax the pace.

Trip Itinerary

Travel from Geneva by shuttle to Chamonix. Meet the group for welcome drinks and dinner at 7:00 pm.

Today’s outing offers extensive views of the Mt. Blanc massif and fabulous north face of the Dômes de Miage and the opportunity visit the lovely little hamlet of the Chalets de Miage. Starting from nearby Les Houches, this hike is an excellent moderate excursion.

Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2640/4000 ft.

This is a fascinating and historic hike to the remote Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. Exit Contamines to the south on an old Roman thoroughfare past the famous Notre Dame de la Gorge. Ascend through farms to the atmospheric Col du Bonhomme. We will pass the venerable Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and transfer from la Ville des Glaciers through Bourg St. Maurice and up the Petit San Bernard pass to our hotel. 

Distance: 12.2 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 4200/3150 ft.

From our hotel we begin hiking through high pastures and tiny villages on the north side of the valley. Our trail leads past the wonderfully situated church of  Saint Michel with its astonishing views over the Mont Pourri, the Mount Blanc of the Tarantaise mountains. After a picnic at Le Falconnier we descend to Sainte Foy. 

Distance: 6.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1200/2500 ft.

A fabulous day hike in the valley takes us to the Refuge de l’Archeboc, weaving our way up through more high alpine pastures and sparkling lakes. The views get better and better as we climb higher, until we find ourselves just under the Italian border. Retun to our our Sainte-Foy hotel.

Distance: 8.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2500/3800 ft.

Today’s hike begins through the village of Le Monal which is classified as a cultural heritage site in France and considered one of the best representations of traditional farming life. We continue into open county following ancient paths high above the main valley. A picnic in the panoramic hamlet of Nantcruet will be a highlight. After lunch in the village we continue to Lac du Chevril and transfer to Val d’Isère.

Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2600/1800 ft.

Our final day begins with a short transfer to our trailhead at the entrance of the Reserve Naturelle de la Grande Sassiere. A perfect hour long warm up brings us to the high and wildly scenic Lac de la Sassiere  before our final ascent to the Col de la Bailletta. We picnic at the high point taking in the most sweeping views of the Isere valley before hiking back to our Val d’Isère hotel.

Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1800/3300 ft.

French Alps: Chamonix- Mont Blanc to Val d’Isère | France

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