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2021 DATES AVAILABLE NOW
Price
€1690.- per person
Duration
10 days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
4 - 10
4 Reviews
5 out of 5

A TREK THROUGH THE HEART OF THE ALPS Explore the Swiss Alps

The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is a classic and challenging long distance hike crossing the heart of the Alps. Connecting two of the most famous mountains in the Alps the Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, this trip is prominently ranging in the top 10 long-distance hikes in the world! You’ll hike through rugged alpine terrain surrounded by beautiful and impressive mountain peaks.
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  • Itinerary
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  • Additional Info
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What's included

Destination
Chamonix Valley , Valais (Switzerland) Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Main Train Station, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France
Return Location
Main Train Station, Zermatt, Switzerland
Tour Start Date & Time
04/07/2021 08:00 View other Times
  • 01/08/2021 08:00
  • 22/08/2021 08:00
  • 12/09/2021 08:00
Price includes
  • A rich and healthy lunch pack on each stage
  • Accommodation (shared bedroom / dormitory)
  • All planned transportation according to the itinerary
  • Full qualified international mountain leader (IML)
  • Half-Board (breakfast, 3 course dinner)
  • Private Accommodation (twin / double)
Price does not include
  • Airport transfers
  • Equipment rental
  • Luggage Transfer (max. 15kg per unit)
  • Pre- / post-trek accommodation
  • Private expenses (souvenirs, drinks, etc.)
Complementaries
Luggage Transfer: 1 bag per person (max. 15kg) direct from Chamonix to Zermatt
Additional Prices
Private accommodation (single supplement): € 35.- per person and per day Luggage Transfer: on request Transfer from Zermatt to Chamonix or Geneva Airport: on request
Aiguille de la Tsa above Arolla

The Ultimate Challenge

The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is one of the most impressive multi-day tours in the Alps. The route is characterized by the rugged alpine terrain and the great diversion of every Swiss mountain valley which you’ll pass. Culturally the route has many highlights to offer and you can find out many interesting facts about the people and their stories.

Ranging in the top 10 hikes of the world, the route is the perfect choice for experienced and physically fit hikers who are looking to challenge theirselves on this epic tour through the heart of the Swiss Alps. The route crosses over more than 11 high alpine passes close to 3000m above sea level. According to the Swiss Federal Office for Topography the route is situated in the wildest and remotest area of Switzerland, far away from crowded cities and noisy roads. The Haute Route offers quality time in unspoiled and authentic nature. En route you’ll pass by so many magnificent mountain lakes, you’ll spot many different animals such as ibex, marmots and of course you’ll get an insight in the simple but beautiful life of the local people. Of course you won’t miss out on culinary specialties. Switzerland is more than just cheese! You’ll try local dishes, beautiful locally grown and produced wine and maybe there is the chance to try the world famous saffron of the small Valaisan village Mund!

grenzgltscher glacier from gorngrat
Haute Route
Chalte berg field break to admire mts., sarah and sarah

The Tour

The Haute Route, is the name given to an epic route (with several possible variations) undertaken on foot between Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland.

First charted as a summer mountaineering route by members of the English Alpine Club in the mid-19th century, the route takes between 8 – 12 days walking for the 180 km from the Chamonix valley, home of Mont Blanc, to Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn. Originally dubbed “The High Level Route” in English by members of the hiking club, the term was translated into French when first successfully undertaken on skis in 1911. Since then the French term has prevailed. While the term haute route has become somewhat generalized for any of the many multi-day, hut-to-hut alpine tours, the “Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route” remains the original.

Besides the high-mountain Haute Route, there is nowadays also a “Walker’s” Haute Route, which is an alpine hiking trail that follows a network of paths across the canton of Valais. The “Walker’s” route stays below 3000 meters and takes advantage of the popular mountain huts and small inns and hotels in the villages along the way. In the summer and early-autumn, this route is safe, entirely non technical (requires no ropes, crampons, or protection devices, unlike the high-mountain Haute Route) and while challenging because of its daily elevation gains and distances, is achievable by any experienced hiker in very good physical condition.

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What to expect

The Haute Route is one of the top 10 multi-day tours in the Alps and is full of highlights:

  • Trek through France and Switzerland
  • Get the best views on the Mont Blanc
  • Get those award winning photos of the famous Matterhorn
  • Enjoy Swiss perfection on the entire tour
  • Taste some real Swiss chocolate or a traditional fondue en route
  • Swim in crystal clear mountain lakes
  • Accept the challenge and cover more than 180km by foot across the Alps
  • YOUR ITINERARY
YOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1

Chamonix Highlights

Chamonix (Le Tour) > Trient

Your adventure through the heart of the Alps starts with a pick up at your hotel by your guide. Together with the rest of the group, you’ll take a short transfer to the departure point from where you’ll start the hike and your Haute Route trekking.

The first day is fairly easy and crosses from France into Switzerland. On a nice, gradually ascending trail you’ll climb up to the Aiguillette des Possettes, a peak high above the Chamonix valley which offers great views on the Mont Blanc and further over to the big Emosson lake on the Swiss side. From the summit an easy trail is leading over to the Col de Balme, the Franco-Swiss border. The hut on the pass is the perfect stop for a cold drink before you’ll tackle the descent to the small Swiss village Trient. The descent is fairly easy and brings you to the upper end of the village where you’ll spend the night in the company’s own refuge.

The dinner in the yurt with homemade drinks and food are an excellent finish for a first day full of good memories!

DAY 2

Mighty Glaciers

Trient > Champex-Lac (Verbier)

A challenging day is waiting for you! The second day of the Haute Route is the perfect test to see if you are ready for the next few days. You’ll ascend the Fenêtre d’Arpette a narrow mountain pass in the Trient valley.

After a rich breakfast you’ll take the easy road up to the Chalet du Glacier at the bottom of the big Trient glacier. Behind the chalet you can already spot the steep ascent through rugged terrain. Step by step you’ll make your way up to the notch. Shortly before the top the trail is very blocky and you’ll need to use your hands to get over the big boulders. From the top you’ll be able to enjoy nice views over the Trient glacier and with good weather conditions you can already have a first glance at the Matterhorn far in the distance! The descend into the lonely Arpette Valley is steep and difficult at first, but becomes easier the further down you go. At the end of the day you’ll get to the so called „Little Canada“, a small mountain resort (Champex-Lac). A refreshing swim in the crystal clear lake in the village center and an ice cream are a good finish for the second day. After a relaxing moment at the lake you’ll take a transfer to Verbier (or Le Châble) where you’ll spend the night.

DAY 3

Into the Wild

Verbier > Cabane Prafleuri / Hotel Barrage

After a good breakfast you’ll walk together with your guide through the town center of Verbier to reach the cable car station. You’ll the cable car up to La Chaux (or Col des Gentianes depending on weather and season) from where you’ll start the hike. The trail is rugged, steep, long and remote but a true adventure in the high mountains. First you’ll ascent the Col de la Chaux, a narrow notch just in between the Mont Fort and Bec des Rosses. From the Col you’ll descend for a little bit and you’ll reach the crystal clear Petit Mont Fort lake which offers great opportunities to take photos. After a short break at the lake you’ll take the next stretch and climb up to the Col de Louvie. Up there the first big portion of the day is done and you’ll enjoy your well deserved lunch. From the pass you’ll take a short but steep descent over some loose rocks to reach the so called “Grand Desert” (= great desert), a rocky moon-like landscape. From there you’ll see some last remaining patches of the Prafleuri glacier. Over the open desert you’ll take a nicely ascending trail to the Col de Prafleuri. Once you’ve reached the Col de Prafleuri pass you can already spot the mountain hut where you’ll spend the night. A short steep and technical descent brings you down to the Letio d’Allèves plateau from where you reach the Cabane du Prafleuri soon. At the hut you’ll enjoy an authentic experience in a cozy atmosphere. With a bit of luck you’ll see ibex just outside the hut once it gets dark.

DAY 4

Lakes, Glaciers, Ladders

Cabane Prafleuri / Hotel Barrage > Arolla

After a cozy night at the mountain hut another great day is waiting for you. From the Cabane du Prafleuri you’ll walk a short bit up to the Col des Roux. From the pass you’ll enjoy nice views over the famous Grand Dixence lake (dam). After a short descent you’ll walk on an easy trail along the lake until you reach its upper end. From there a nice trail climbs up to the lower end of the Dix glacier. The last part of the uphill is steep and difficult and the final meters are climbed over a ladder. Your guide will be there to help and assist and to create a safe environment. From the Pas des Chèvres (or Col de Riedmatten) a nice and easy trail is leading down to Arolla. In Arolla you’ll spend the night in a nice and comfy hotel.

DAY 5

Outdoor Spa🇨🇭style

Arolla > La Sage

It’s half-time and so there is some time to take it easy for a day after a few long days before. After a nice and long breakfast you’ll head off to one of the most beautiful mountain lakes on the entire tour. From Arolla a nice trail leads up through a fairytale forest to the Lac Bleu (blue lake). Around the lake there are plenty of good photography opportunities and if you are brave enough you can also dip into the cold water and have a swim! From the lake an easy trail is leading through traditional villages. On the tracks of the famous black cows (Reines d’Hérens) you’ll walk through Les Haudéres and finally up to La Sage, where you’ll reach the hotel in the early afternoon. If you are still energized a short hike to a nice chapel with a viewing point is possible. If you are more interested in culture and food, local made cheese and sausage can be tried in the local grocery store just behind your hotel.

DAY 6

Over High Alpine Passes

La Sage > Zinal

A long and challenging day is waiting for you. From La Sage a nice trail over open meadows is leading up to the Col de Torrent. Along the way up you’ll have magnificent views over many 4000 meter peaks. From time to time you’ll pass by an old farm building which are still used by the local farmers. The nicely maintained trail climbs gradually up to the mountain pass which is already visible from the bottom. Shortly before you reach the top, the trail gets quite steep.

At the top of Col de Torrent you’ll be rewarded with a nice panorama and good views of the Moiry lake. A nice trail is leading down to the Barrage de Moiry the next waypoint of your tour. Half-way down you’ll pass by the Lac des Autannes, another mountain lake where you can enjoy an ice cold swim. Once you reach the Lac de Moiry, you’ll cross its magnificent dam. At the other end there is a small restaurant where you can stop for nice and refreshing drink. 

From the barrage another short but challenging climb up to the Col de Sorebois is waiting. Energized you’ll take the trail which ascends in many serpentines the top of the Col de Sorebois. A short descent brings you to the mid-station of the Zinal ski resort from where you will take cable car to Zinal. In Zinal you’ll have some time before dinner to check out the cute town center.

DAY 7

“Gütun Tag!“

Zinal > Gruben

Day 7 of the Haute Route adventure brings you over the Col de Forcletta from the French speaking part of the canton of Valais to the Swiss-German speaking part. That means from now on you won’t be greeting with the French “Bonjour!” anymore but in the Valaisan dialect “Gütun Tag!”.

From Zinal a short but steep ascent brings you up to a nice traversing trail towards the Barneuza farm. This first part of the hike is easy and you’ll walk through alpine meadows with great views over to the neighboring villages such as Grimentz or St-Jean. After a relaxing stroll you’ll tackle the gradually ascending trail to the Forcletta pass. From the top of the Col de Forcletta a remote and lonely descent brings you into the rural Meid-Valley and the village Gruben. In Gruben you’ll spend the night in the one only hotel Hotel Schwarzhorn. Their nice terrace is inviting for a nice glass of Swiss wine or a refreshing Frappé.

DAY 8

Picturesque Hamlets

Gruben > St. Niklaus

A spectacular day is waiting for you and finally you’ll be reaching the Matterhorn Valley. You’ll start your day directly behind the accommodation and take the nice trail through the light forest towards the Augstbordpass. The sleepy Gruben valley has a magnificent atmosphere and you’ll enjoy the first sun rays of the day whilst your ascending further up to the pass. From the Augstbordpass you’ll descend on a nice trail into the Augstbordtal. After a nice lunch break you’ll take a blocky traverse over a magnificent trail built into a steep slope over to the Jungtal. The last part of the hike follows along an interesting nature trail with many information about the local flora and fauna. Happy but tired you’ll reach the small alpine village Jungu from where you’ll take the cable car down to St. Niklaus. From the bottom a short walk through the village brings you to your accommodation for the night.

DAY 9

The Matterhorn Valley

St. Niklaus > Europahütte

After more than a week of hard work, it’s time for a little bit an easier day so that you’ll have enough energy reserves for the last and final day. It is time to finally hike the famous Europaweg which traverses high above the Matterhorn Valley into Zermatt. The first part of the hike from Grächen is not doable anymore, because the trail traverses some dangerous slopes where many landslides and rockfalls happened in the past. Instead of getting into trouble you’ll take the nice valley hike from St. Niklaus to Randa. Along the way you get to see some traditional Swiss villages and many animals. In Randa you can stop for a coffee and a snack in a local bar before you take the steep zig-zag trail to the Europaweg. On your way up you can already take a glance at the famous Europa-Bridge which you’ll be crossing the following day. 

The nice trail leaves Randa and brings you up to Chüebodmen (a small hamlet) and later to the Europaweg. Once you’ve reached the Europaweg you’ll take a short traverse to reach the Europahütte where you’ll spend the night. The Europahütte, a basic hut for hikers and mountaineers high up on the trails with amazing views on all the 4000m peaks and especially the Weisshorn. If you’re lucky you can see some ibex right on the terrace of the hut in the evening, so make sure your camera is ready!

DAY 10

The Matterhorn is calling!

Europahütte > Zermatt

The last day of the Haute Route trip is filled with highlights. On this stage you’ll walk over the longest suspension bridge (almost 500m long) in the world, you’ll see many famous peaks such as the Weisshorn, the Dom and finally the Matterhorn. After the breakfast you’ll take a short descent to the bridge. The Charles Kuonen Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world and the crossing will definitely raise your heartbeat. After crossing the bridge you’ll walk along the Europaweg to the Täschalp. Along the way you’ll have magnificent views on the famous Matterhorn, which will get closer with every step you’ll do! At the Alp you’ll stop by the Europaweghütte for lunch. Don’t forget to try some of their cake! Energized you’ll takle the last part of your Haute Route adventure. Depending on the weather conditions your guide will choose one of the many trails into Zermatt.

More about Chamonix Valley

The Haute Savoie is a department in the Rhône Alps, which is located in the south east of France. The Haute Savoie is border to both countries - Italy and Switzerland. The capitol of the department is Annecy, a town with a beautiful lake and a historical old-town. It is also nicknamed “The Venice of the Alps”. The breathtaking mountains in the entire region and especially in the Mont Blanc range, attract thousands of tourists every year. Many ambitious alpinists challenge their selves by climbing the roof of Europe - the famous Mont Blanc with an altitude of 4810 meters above sea level. The Mont Blanc Valley Chamonix is known as Europes outdoor capitol. Each year, it attracts thousands of extreme mountaineers and skiers from all over the world. Via the Aiguille Midi cable car, one can access the world’s most famous off-piste run, the Vallée Blanche. The run starts at 3842 meters above sea level and ends down in the center of Chamonix. The Mer de Glace is the biggest glacier in France and one of the biggest in Europe. You can visit a real ice cave which is underneath the glacier.Chamonix is also the town of the first winter Olympics ever held in 1924. In 1741, the two young English aristocrats, William Windham and Richard Pocock, visited the Mer de Glace above Chamonix. They had no idea that the recital of their visit to this small mountain village and its glaciers had such an impact on the whole of Europe. The first hotel opened in 1770 and marked the early development of the hotel trade and the first mountaineering exploits. The Mont Blanc was first climbed in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and the doctor Michel Paccard. The ascent had a great impact on Chamonix to become a popular mountaineering destination. In 1821, the Compagnie des Guides was created and tourism increased immensely. Only six years later there were already 39 hotels in Chamonix. Chamonix is surrounded by impressive peaks. The Aiguille Rouges on the north-west side and the MontBlanc massif with the famous Aiguille du Midi on the southeast side. Check our article about Chamonix for more information!

More about Valais (Switzerland)

The canton of Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland. It is the canton of the giant mountains. There are 41 peaks above 4000 meter located in the Valais whilst there are only 82 in the entire Alps. The canton of Valais is widely known for the Matterhorn and resort towns such as Crans-Montana, Saas Fee, Verbier and Zermatt. It is composed of 13 districts (hence the 13 stars on the flag). The canton is simultaneously one of the driest regions of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley and among the wettest, having large amounts of snow and rain up on the highest peaks found in Switzerland. The Rhône valley is famous for its numerous vineyards and apricot trees. Many of the towns, down in the valley, such as Martigny, Visp or Leuk, where once settled by the Romans.

Trient

Trient is located on the foot of an impressive glacier. In the 19th century huge ice blocks where transported by train and soled expensive in the big cities such as Paris. One of the steepest cog rail trains (87%) leads up to the Emosson dam. The water is used to produce electricity for the Swiss railway. Trient has a bright pink church and is also home for Raphael and Anja from Happy Tracks.

Champex

Champex has a beautiful alpine botanic garden which is located on the south slopes of Mont Catogne. There is also an underground fortress which has been used by the Swiss army during the second world war in case of an attack of the Italian troops coming over the Grand Saint Bernard pass. It is possible to visit the fortress. You can also swim in the cold mountain lake, go fishing or hire a paddle boat.

Verbier

Verbier is a village located in south-western Switzerland in the canton of Valais. It is a holiday resort and ski area in the Swiss Alps and is recognised as one of the premiere backcountry ski resorts in the world. Some areas are covered with snow all year. Skiers have settled in the Verbier area in order to take advantage of the steep slopes, varied conditions, and resort culture. Verbier is located in the municipality of Bagnes, in the Swiss canton of Valais. The village lies on a south oriented terrace at around 1,500 metres facing the Grand Combin massif. The terrace lies on the east side of the Val de Bagnes, a valley located south of Martigny. Verbier had 2767 permanent residents in 2006. The number of residents can rise to 35,000 in the winter season. There is a noticeable population of Scandinavian and British residents In the summertime, there are 400 km of hiking trails and hikers can follow the tracks of the chamois and ibex through the mountains, some of them covered with snow all year round. There are 200 km of mountain bike piste. Other activities include climbing, paragliding, swimming, golf, badminton, Ice karting, trips aboard the mountain railways in the area, and an annual music festival.

Grand Dixence Dam

The Grande Dixence Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Dixence at the head of the Val d’Hérémence in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. At 285 m (935 ft) high, it is the tallest gravity dam in the world, fifth tallest dam overall, and the tallest dam in Europe. It is part of the Cleuson-Dixence Complex. With the primary purpose of hydroelectric power generation, the dam fuels four power stations, totaling the installed capacity to 2,069 MW, generating approximately 2,000 GWh annually, enough to power 400,000 Swiss households.

Arolla

Arolla is a village in the municipality of Evolène in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is situated at the end of the Val d’Hérens south of Sion at 1998m altitude in the Pennine Alps. It is situated at the foot of Mont Collon and is a popular start point for mountain expeditions. The village is a popular stop-off point on the Haute Route, a classic high-altitude mountain trek between Chamonix and Zermatt. The expedition can be tackled either by foot in the summer or by skis in the winter and spring. It is also on the itinerary of the Patrouille des Glaciers.

La Sage (Évolène)

The prehistoric rock carvings at Alpage De Cotter and the Maison d’habitation in Les Haudères are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. Evolène is first mentioned in 1250 as Ewelina. In 1444 it was mentioned as in loco de Evolena. The municipality was formed in 1882 by division of Hérens municipality into Evolène and Saint-Martin. On February 1999, Evolène was the place of a number of fatal avalanches that caused the deaths of 12 people. This was due to a substantial amount of snow which fell on the Alps during the winter of 1999.

Zinal

Zinal is a village in Switzerland, located in the municipality of Anniviers in the canton of Valais. It lies at an elevation of 1,675 metres (5,495 ft) above sea level in the Swiss Alps in the Val de Zinal, a valley running from the Zinal Glacier, north of Dent Blanche to the village of Ayer, part of the Val d’Anniviers. With the Dent Blanche, four additional 4,000-metre (13,120 ft) peaks are located around the valley: Bishorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, and Ober Gabelhorn. The village is a typical Swiss ski resort with 120 km (75 mi) (linked with Grimentz since 2013 to form a greater skiing area) of ski slopes and 19.5 km (12.1 mi) of cross-country skiing. In summer the area has 300 km (190 mi) of marked trails and some mountain huts such as the Grand Mountet Hut in the middle of glaciers.

Gruben

The Forcletta pass connecting the Val d`Annivers with the Turtmann valley it the language border between French and Swiss German Gruben is only inhabited in the summer and it will give you the feeling that time has stopped long time ago. The untouched Turtmann valley has the highest tree line in Europe and some old “Stafel” (cattle barns) were transformed into weekend chalets.

Jungu (Jungen)

Located on a rocky plateau above Saint Niklaus and the Matter valley you will discover the small settlement Jungu. A small church with a lake some old farm houses and a little restaurant form the village. The inhabitants still use horses to carry heavy goods from the cable car station to the alpages. The small four-person cable car is open all year and especially the children of Jungu will use it to go to school in Saint Niklaus.

Matterhorn Valley

The Matter valley is a side valley of the Rhône valley and start in the town Visp and ends in Zermatt. Since the end of the nineteenth century Zermatt can be accessed by the Matterhorn Gotthard train from Visp. A highlight is also the panoramic Glacier Express train connecting Saint Moritz and Zermatt on a spectacular route. The road between Täsch and Zermatt closed is not accessibly by car (only with special permit). This is why Täsch provides for several car parks and taxi shuttle companies.

Zermatt

Zermatt is a world-famous summer and winter resort. While it is located on the foot of the world`s most photographed mountain – the Matterhorn, there are 38 4000 meter peaks accessible from the village. The village is only accessible by a shuttle train from Täsch or by foot. Electric cars replaced horse carriages and are the principal mean of transportation. The Bahnhofsstrasse is the most important street passing several restaurants, bars and shops. To keep the street traditionally the inhabitants are only allowed to plant red and white geranium flowers on their balconies.The Gornergrat train is a cog railway leading up to an altitude of 3089 meter. The summit offers spectacular views over the Monte Rosa massif. The Klein Matterhorn cable car top station is the highest cable car in Europe (40 meter higher than the Aiguille du Midi). The platform at 3883 meter offers panoramic views of the Matterhorn and summits of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps.

More about this tour

Luggage Transfer
The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is an epic hiking adventure crossing the heart of the Alps. A direct luggage transfer from Chamonix to Zermatt with all the items you don't need during the trek is included on this tour. Due to the geographical situation we do not offer a day to day luggage transfer on this itinerary, to save our planet and to reduce the CO2 emissions.

In the case you are inquiring for a entire group or if luggage transfer is an absolute must for you, please get in touch with us directly to find out about the possible options.

A general note about the accommodation

On a long distance trekking you will experience the mountain lifestyle and sleep in authentic places. Mostly you will be staying in hotels (private rooms) and twice in a mountain hut (dormitory room, unavoidable). The accommodation along the way offers a charming and friendly atmosphere in a mountainous atmosphere. You will experience both: accommodation high up in the mountains far away from civilization or located in a typical mountain village or even a small town. The accommodation offers many services such as a hot shower and running water (private en-suite where possible otherwise shared bathroom on the floor). Also, towels are usually not provided so please bring your own towel (if possible fast drying). A single supplement might be charged, depending on group size and room availability.

For the nights in the mountain huts you’ll stay in bunk beds with pillows and blankets (a thin and light sleeping bag liner is mandatory for hygienic reasons), In every place there is electricity to charge your batteries and in the villages Wi-Fi for free.

Food

During the trekking, you will have the chance to taste the great variety of local specialities. The accommodations offer always half-board with your stay which includes a breakfast and a three-course dinner. The breakfast contains always coffee / tea, bread, butter and jam. Depending on the location of the accommodation there is also orange-juice, cereals, yoghurt, fruits, cheese and meat available for breakfast.  The three-course dinner in the evening is hearty and the plates are quite big. A typical menu could be a soup for the starter, a main course with meat, vegetables and a side dish (rice, polenta, pasta) and a dessert which can be for example vanilla pudding, crème brulée or fruit salad. For the dinner only tap water is included, soft drinks such as wine or beer are on your own charge.

During the day we provide a rich, healthy and daily fresh prepared lunch-pack for you. We try to offer you a big variety of lunch packs so that it does not get boring after 10 days. Our lunch packs consist usually one big unit such as a sandwich, a wrap, a salad and of course a selection of fresh fruits, muesli bars, chocolate, nuts, dried fruits, juice, crackers, cakes etc. If you have any food restriction (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc.) please let us know as soon as possible. It is no problem to arrange the meals and lunch packs according to your preference when we know this in advance.

Water

To do a long distance trekking is a great challenge and a good physical workout. During the summer it can be quite warm in the Alps so it is important to carry enough water. We strongly recommend to take between two and three liters of water on such a trekking. We recommend taking at least two one-litre bottles (plastic or aluminium) or a camel bag (water bladder). The tap water is usually drinkable, but there are limited resources on the trails to fill up your bottle. Your guide will give you an advice for each day.

Weather

During the summer in the Alps (June – September) we experience usually fair and quite warm weather. It is often sunny and the temperatures can reach up to 30° Celsius, although it is a dry heat. The weather in the mountains can be sometimes quite unpredictable and meteorological situations can change very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to be always prepared for such a change. Another fact is that you will be hiking in different altitude levels, so there will be a significant change between the valley ground and the high mountain passes. On a rainy day temperatures can drop quite low and it is necessary to have a good rain jacket and depending on the season even a hat and a pair of gloves. If you stick to our equipment list, you will be ready for any weather situation. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about this topic.

Trail / Conditions

From the moment you start the trekking we highly recommend you to have a valid travel, medical & mountain evacuation insurance, which is a very important factor in case of an accident. You will need full travel & holiday insurance suitable for a trekking holiday. This will need to be organized by you before the trek starts. It is essential that you have the correct insurance in case of a medical emergency on the mountain, as rescue can be costly. Rescue in France & Italy is usually not charged, depending on the circumstances. In Switzerland however you will always be asked to pay and this could be several thousand Swiss francs, especially if a helicopter rescue is necessary. The cost of hospitalization and subsequent care is normally the most expensive part of any accident if you do not have the correct cover and are hospitalized without insurance. The cost could easily reach an immense level. It is your responsibility to take out the correct level of insurance and we accept no responsibility for any costs that occur as a result of inadequate insurance. If you have any questions about this topic please do not hesitate to contact us.

Currency

Along the Haute Route you will travel through France (1 day) and Switzerland (9 days). It is always worth to have some Euros (EUR) and some Swiss Francs (CHF) in cash with you, if you would like to buy some drinks and souvenirs along the way. All of the places in Switzerland accept Euros but it is sometimes better to have some Swiss Francs as the conversion rate at the shops is quite bad. In the bigger villages (Chamonix, Champex, Verbier, Arolla, Zinal, St. Niklaus, Zermatt) there are also ATM cash machines. Most of the places also accept the most common credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, American Express), but please bear in mind that there might be a small commission fee or a minimum amount.

Trip Data

Day Distance Ascent Descent
Day 1 13.80 km 668 m 1344 m
Day 2 20.70 km 1650 m 1073 m
Day 3 12.00 km 828 m 460 m
Day 4 12.70 km 492 m 1274 m
Day 5 17.20 km 1194 m 641 m
Day 6 14.40 km 773 m 957 m
Day 7 14.80 km 473 m 608 m
Day 8 16.90 km 764 m 1036 m
Day 9 16.40 km 1134 m 1157 m
Day 10 15.90 km 1111 m 1313 m

 

Fitness

Do I need hiking / trekking experience?

The Haute Route is suitable for very fit and experienced hikers who exercise on a regular basis. Previous trekking / multi-day hiking experience is not a must, but a huge advantage. You should be able to hike up to 1800m of ascent and 20km distance per day on rough, rugged mountainous terrain. Count in that you will hike with your backpack (incl. full kit for the tour).

Fitness

How fit do I need to be for this tour?

You must be physically fit and in very good shape. Regular exercise is not foreign to you and you have been hiking regularly. You should be able to hike at least 20km and climb up to 1800m per day, for a few days in a row!

Fitness

How can I get prepared?

To get prepared for a hiking adventure like the Haute Route any endurance training is suitable. Exercises like running, walking, cycling etc. are good. It is also important to get used to your hiking boots and to your backpack (with weight!). Try to break them in and to get a comfortable feeling. Even a round in the park every now and then helps to find out if your boots or pack are comfortable.

Gear

What do I need to bring?

You can download our packing list here. Depending on the time of the year of your journey some items might not be necessary (beanie, gloves etc.). If you strictly follow the packing list, you’ll be prepared for every situation and your backpack won’t get too heavy. You should aim for no more than 10kg on your back, otherwise it will get tough! We have also created a blog post, to explain a few tips & tricks.

Gear

Do I need walking poles?

Walking poles are not mandatory but strongly recommended. The right use of hiking poles has many benefits. The uphills are easier and on the downhill you can take weight off your knees. Generally spoken hiking poles help to prevent knee and ankle injuries. We know that traveling (especially by airplane) can be tricky with hiking poles in your luggage, that’s why we rent hiking poles to our clients on demand.

Gear

Do I really need hiking boots?

We recommend to bring a lightweight pair of hiking boots (GoreTex, Leather or similar) which cover your ankles. The Haute Route is an alpine hiking tour and you’ll be hiking on difficult and rocky terrain. With hiking boots you are perfectly prepared to walk sure footed and injury free on any terrain, especially at the beginning / end of the season where you might have to cross some last snow fields from the winter. We recommend to bring a light pair of sneakers as a second pair of shoes in your backpack for the evenings or for an easy stage to give your feet a rest.

Food

Whats the food like?

The food on the Haute Route offers a great variety. Meals are hearty and usually consist big portions. You’ll be able to taste the different specialties from Switzerland. Mountain food contains often dairy and wheat products as well as meat.

Food

Can my dietary requirements be catered for?

Yes! If you have any food restriction (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc.) or if you follow a special diet please let us know as soon as possible. It is no problem to arrange the meals and lunch packs according to your requirements when we know this in advance, however we do not have any influence on what options will be served by the accommodations as it is usually a set menu.

Food

What beverages are included?

Tap water is always available and free of charge. The tap water is usually drinkable if not elsewhere mentioned or announced by your guide. Alcoholic drinks and soft drinks are not included and on your own charge.

Exception: In the Cabane de Prafleuri the tap water is not drinkable and must be bought.

Tech

Can I use my mobile phone?

The mobile phone coverage is very weak on the Haute Route. Most of the days you won’t have mobile phone signal during the day, however in a few locations close to villages you’ll have fairly good signal. In the villages where you’ll stay overnight the network coverage is good. As you will be traveling mostly through Switzerland it might be worth to check with your provider what costs for roaming will apply, as it could be quite costly to use mobile data outside your country.

Tech

Is WiFi available?

Free WiFi is available in all the villages but not in the mountain huts. It might not be the fastest or most stable connection but enough to send some photos to your people back home, to send some emails and check the news.

Tech

Can I charge my electronical devices?

In every place there are electricity (in a very few places only USB outlets) outlets available to charge your electric devices. Please bear in mind to bring a suitable adapter for your plugs. You will need a EU plug for France and a CH plug for Switzerland. The standard bi-pol plugs which are often used for smartphone chargers often work in both of the countries.

Misc

What happens if I can’t complete a stage / the tour?

If you are feeling unwell / unable to complete a stage of your tour, you will have to rely on public or private transportation to get to the next stage. On some stages it is quite easy to “skip the day”, on others it can be quite a mission. Your guide and the Happy Tracks team will assist you in finding a suitable solution. Please bear in mind that any extra cost which will occur are on your own charge.

In the case you cannot finish the trek, your guide and the Happy tracks team will assist you in finding a suitable solution, to get you back to the start respectively end point of the hike. Unfortunately we cannot offer you a pro-rata refund for not used services such as guiding, accommodation etc. of the remaining days.

Misc

I have more questions!

If you have any other questions or require more specific information on a certain topic, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail or simply give us a call!

DAY 1

The Matterhorn Valley

Arrival in Geneva, Transfer to Randa, Randa > Europahütte

You will be picked up from Geneva International Airport (arrivals no later than 09:30h, departure from the airport at 11:00h) and driven to the Matterhorn valley where you’ll spend your long-weekend adventure. The transfer from Geneva up to Randa, the location from where you’ll start your adventure takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes. After a quick gear check you’ll tackle the steep and rugged trail up to the Europa trail. The trail brings you up to the so called Chüebodmen, a nice alpine meadow with magnificent views on the Weisshorn peak and the massive landslide from the 90’s. After a nice break and the possibility to refill your water reserves, you’ll take the second stretch of the day and enter the alpine world. The trail gets steeper and rocky. On the way up you’ll admire noisy waterfalls and glacier streams. Once you get above the tree line its not far anymore to join the traversing Europa trail. You’ll be following it to reach the location for the overnight stay the famous Europahut. The hike will take around 3 hours to get there so you’ll reach the location just before dinner is served. After a nice and hearty meal you’ll spend the night in a cosy dormitory on over 2000 meters above sea level and don’t forget to bring your camera to take a few pictures of the ibex behind the hut!

DAY 2

It’s Time for a World Record!

Europahütte > Täschalp

After an exciting first day in the Matterhorn valley, this day is loaded full of adventure. The amazing path from the Europahut to the Täschalp is a true adventure. The absolute highlight of the first part of the day is the Charles Kuonen suspension bridge. With a length of 500m it’s the longest suspension bridge in the world. After crossing the bridge the next highlight is following. You’ll ascend the steep and exposed trail up to the Kinhütte and there will be definitely some thrills and spills! Once you reach the hut you can enjoy fantastic views of the matterhorn and enjoy a cold drink on their terrace. From the Kinhut you’ll follow the Edelweiss trail to the Täschalp, which you’ll reach in the early afternoon. After some cake and coffee you can explore with your guide the local cheese farm or do an extra loop to one of the surrounding peaks.

You’ll spend the night in a cosy mountain hut surrounded by glaciers and 4000m peaks.

DAY 3

Summit Day!

Täschalp > Zermatt

Now it’s time for some more and serious adventure. The hike starts gently along the flat Täschalp towards the Pfulwe with its small glacier. The trail is rugged, rocky but simply beautiful. You’ll hike up to the Pfulwe pass with the option of climbing the summit of the Pfulwe on 3313 meters above sea level. From up there you can admire a perfect panorama on the Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa (highest mountain in Switzerland) and endless glaciers. On the way down you hike over the Fluealp down to Zermatt. You’ll pass the famous Stellisee, one of the most amazing locations to take pictures of the Matterhorn with a reflection in the lake and of course for a refreshing swim in the ice cold water. For those who feel tired there are quite a few options to take a cable car to shorten the downhill. You’ll spend the night in a cosy hostel in Zermatt and head out with your guide for a great and typical meal in the evening. Zermatt is a vibrant mountain resort with many shops and restaurants. There will be definitely some time to check it out.

DAY 4

The Toblerone Mountain

Round Trip in Zermatt, Transfer to Geneva Airport

Wake up bright and early after a cosy night in the Zermatt. Fuel yourself for the day ahead by indulging in a traditional Swiss breakfast; complete with local jams, marmalades, honey and cheeses. From the accommodation you’ll start a nice hike up to the Edelweiss traverse. The day will be full with amazing views and if you are lucky you can spot the famous black nose sheets. You’ll finish the hike with a walk through the impressive Corner gorge. After the day’s hike you’ll get back into Zermat again. Time to enjoy a nice drink out in the fresh air before piling back into the train and van and making your way to back Geneva Airport. If time allows you’ll have a couple free hours before your airport transfer is scheduled.

User Reviews & Comments

  • Angela
    5 out of 5

    Thank you Raphael. I have many fond memories of our trip with the girls. The crazy experiences, and the silly things that happened. I really enjoyed our chats about life, politics, and the world. Super choice of accommodation (most amazing with stunning views), restaurants, and lunches! A cutting board in your rucksack, really?! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening and supporting me during a super challenging time. I appreciate everything you did to ensure my safety, safety of the group, and truly trying to make my trip a super one. I also thank you for opening my eyes to the “Swiss efficiency.” Thanks for your patience! It’s mostly because of you that I didn’t “throw in the towel”. You’re truly a one of a kind bloke - an Ibex, a camel, MacGyver, and last but it’s least He-Man 🤣🤣🤣.

    Guide
     5 out of 5
    Facilities
     5 out of 5
    Price / Performance
     5 out of 5

    16/11/2020

    Reply

  • Hannah
    5 out of 5

    The trip was very well organised and a great challenge from start to finish. It was made a trip of a lifetime by our guide Joel who was top rate and made sure we got the absolute maximum from each day. The group size and mix were also perfect and I’ve made some great friends.

    Guide
     5 out of 5
    Facilities
     5 out of 5
    Price / Performance
     5 out of 5

    02/10/2019

    Reply

  • Ricardo
    5 out of 5

    An all-around brilliant trip, with excellent guidance and hospitality. Would recommend to people an experienced hiking background!

    Guide
     5 out of 5
    Facilities
     5 out of 5
    Price / Performance
     4 out of 5

    14/09/2019

    Reply

  • Natalie
    5 out of 5

    Our tour guide, the food, the accommodation were great (ESPECIALLY Refuge le Peuty which was just amazing).

    Guide
     5 out of 5
    Facilities
     5 out of 5
    Price / Performance
     5 out of 5

    30/06/2018

    Reply

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Haute Route: Chamonix - Zermatt

Price
€1690.- per person
Duration
10 days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
4 - 10

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