French Alps - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn

13 Days

Price from: £1295.00

Ref No: Activus 026

Summer Activity

The 'Walkers' Lower Level Haute Route...

An exceptional trekking experience requiring a high level of fitness that offers a demanding challenge although it is not as strenous as the Classic Haute Route.

  • French Alps - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn  image
  • Highlights
  • Beautiful alpine scenery
  • Superb vistas
  • High level passes
  • Alpine valleys and villages
  • Overnight in mountain hut
This walk is demanding and significantly more arduous than the Tour Du Mont Blanc. It is widely recognised as the 'Walkers' Haute Route crossing the spine of the Alps and linking together the famous alpine towns of Arolla, Chamonix and Zermatt. It is an easier alternative to the Classic Haute Route and allows you to walk amidst beautiful alpine scenery taking in superb vistas of 10 of the 12 highest alpine peaks with exceptional views of Mont Blanc. The walk includes high level passes and beautiful alpine valleys and the final 2 days are on the newly opened 'Europaweg' with magnificent views toward the Matterhorn.

Starting in France we immediately begin the long climb out of the Chamonix Valley over the Col de Balme and into Switzerland. Traversing the Canton of Valais, the route crosses the high ridges and deep gorges of the Pennine Alps, travelling across the grain of the land. Many of the passes we encounter involve ascents of over 1000 metres through rough and relatively remote terrain, making this a tour for the fit walker, but it has its rewards with a succession of overnight stops in spectacular mountain huts and beautiful alpine villages.

Our route links the two largest mountaineering centres in the Alps - Chamonix and Zermatt - and the two most famous mountains in the Alps - Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. During the course of our walk you will see many famous peaks including the Weisshorn (4505m), the Zinal Rothorn (4221m) and the Dom (4545m). Eventually we reach the charming village of St. Nicklaus in the Mattertal Valley. From here we take the Europaweg to our final destination at Zermatt, where we finally come face to face with the Matterhorn, first climbed in 1865 by Edward Whymper and perhaps the most iconic mountain view in the world.

Activity Information

Duration: 12 days / 11 days trekking
Maximum altitude: 3000m
Group size: 6-12


Combination of rural gite accommodation, overnight stays in mountain refuges and hotel accommodation in local towns/villages.


Day 1

Fly to Geneva and onward transfer to your accommodation in Chamonix, followed by trip briefing and an evening meal.

Day 2

We walk to Le Tour at the head of the valley before ascending to the Col du Balme (2185m) and descending to Trient in Switzerland (1300m). Overnight stay in a gite.

Day 3

Trekking alongside the Trient Glacier, we then have a long ascent to the Fenetre d'Arpette (2670m) followed by a steep descent to Champex. Overnight stay in a gite.

Day 4

From Champex we descend into the Val des Bagnes and then transfer by cable-car up to Verbier before finishing with a short walk to the Mont Fort Refuge (2457m) where we will stay overnight.

Day 5

Traversing 3 high cols we have spectacular views all day finishing on the highest Col de Prafleuri (2987m) before descending to the Cabane de Prafleuri (2624m) for a second nights mountain hut accommodation.

Day 6

Crossing the Col de Roux on the way to Lac de Dix we then follow a steep ascent route to the Col de Riedmatten, before descending to Arolla. Overnight stay in a gite or hotel.

Day 7

A fairly easy day traversing to Lac Bleu followed by a steady descent through wooded alpine gorges to Les Hauderes before the final climb to the hamlet of La Sage. Overnight stay in a gite or hotel.

Day 8

The day starts with a long climb to the Col de Torrent (2911m) before traversing the Col de Sorebois with its spectacular views before our steep descent to Zinal where we will stay in the hostel there.

Day 9

A steep and enjoyable ascent along forest trails leads us to the col at Meidpass (2789m), before our steep descent to the lovely alpine village of Gruben. Overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 10

Today is a real highlight of your trip taking in some of the most spectacular views in the Swiss Alps as we cross the Augstbordpass (2896m) before descending steeply through Jungu to St. Niklaus. Overnight stay in a gite.

Day 11

Our final 2 days follow the 'Europaweg', an excellent new trail above the Mattertal Valley and we conclude this first leg at the Europahutte, a newly opened mountain refuge.

Day 12

We set out on our final day towards Zermatt where we walk beneath the mighty Dom and Taschhorn, with superb views towards the Matterhorn. On arrival at Zermatt we check into our hotel before our final evening meal.

Day 13

Breakfast and onward transfer to Geneva and your flight home.

Dates and Prices Info

Available in June, July, August and September - Minimum group size 6 people

What's Included?

  • Full event planning and client liaison
  • Experienced International Mountain Leader
  • 12 nights dormitory gite or mountain hut accommodation or twin-share hotel (breakfast and dinner)
  • Local buses to start and finish walks
  • Daily baggage drop off except for 3 nights of mountain hut accommodation (day 4, day 5, day 11)
  • Discount outdoor clothing voucher for Cotswold Outdoor and Montane

Not Included

  • Return flights and airport transfers from UK to Geneva
  • Land transfers from Geneva to Chamonix (approx 1 hour journey)
  • Land transfers from Zermatt to Chamonix/Geneva
  • Personal expenses
  • Lunches, daytime snacks and drinks
  • Baggage transfer to Chamonix/Geneva at end of trip
  • Travel insurance


These trips are scheduled upon demand and there are currently no dates planned for 2011. For latest availability and prices please contact us.

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