- For active travellers with a love of exploring and having fun, but prefer creature comforts.
- Stunning views on hikes without big ascents and descents on rocky paths.
- The freedom and flexibility to join a hike if you want to, or explore a local wine bar or enjoy a spa if you choose.
- Two great cultures and countries, one big glacier – the trip covers France and Italy with a dip into Switzerland
- Superior Lodgings with spa facilities on site
Needle-sharp peaks soaring above flower-filled meadows. Storybook villages, forested foothills, pure blue lakes and welcoming rifugi. A pleasing mélange of rustic and chic. And majestic Mont Blanc, towering above it all. Join RAW Travel on its inaugural two – country journey to experience mountain life from two perspectives: Français and Italiano. Doubly sublime.
This new RAW Travel trip offers what we think is the right mix of being active, discovering new cultures and natural wonders, and having time to relax in comfort. This is a great trip designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion’s may differ somewhat from yours. So we can present alternatives each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Extend Your Holiday – City Breaks
Double your holiday experience by including a stopover on your journey! A city break is a great way to explore another place, indulge in some extra shopping, dining or sightseeing and is a great way to break up a long flight. Our fabulous array of RAW Travel city breaks can be tailor made to your requirements and usually include an arrival transfer, 2 nights accommodation and a city sightseeing tour.
Day 1: Arrive in Chamonix
The famed mountaineering center of Chamonix, beautifully situated in the French Alps is the starting point for this spectacular journey. Tucked in the Arve River Valley, Chamonix is surrounded by a spellbinding battlement of rocky spires, glaciers and saw‐edged peaks, most prominently the majestic Mont Blanc, which reigns as Western Europe’s highest mountain at a staggering 4,810 metres.
Today is arrival day, so there are no planned activities and you may arrive at any time throughout the day (please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2-3pm). Our hotel is in the heart of Chamonix, and offers a quiet garden, heated outdoor pool and fabulous spa facilities. Meet your guide and fellow travelling companions at a short meeting at 5pm this evening followed by our first opportunity to try some alpine specialties in a typical restaurant.
Day 2: Chamonix (12km)
Today we will head out in the Chamonix valley for our first hike. Enjoy an easy hike that offers ascents and descents gaining height gently on a narrow trail through larch woods and across mountain turf and rock. There are superb views across to the Mer de Glace, and the ground is relatively easy underfoot. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch before descending to Chamonix this afternoon via Le Lavancher and Les Tines.
Ascent 550m / Descent 550m
Meals: B L
Day 3: Chamonix (9-13km)
After breakfast, take a local bus to the village of Le Tour and Vallorcine, the starting point for the stunning cable car and lovely walk over rich alpine pastures to Chalet de Charamillon. We then ascend to the Col de Balme with its stone-built refuge which is a good walk with some uphill effort required. The views along the valley towards Chamonix are superb and you have the bonus of seeing some of Switzerland’s higher peaks. Along the way, don’t forget to have your photo taken with one foot in France and one in Switzerland as you straddle the boundary stone that marks the frontier. Return to Charamillon via Col des Posettes before taking the cable car back to le Tour. After returning to Chamonix via local bus, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
ascent 400-800m / descent 400-800m
Meals: B L
Day 4: Courmayeur (8-10km)
Today we go to Italy, or shall we say, Andiamo in Italia! Today we shuttle through the famed Mont Blanc tunnel, which was completed in 1965 and is one of the major trans‐alpine routes linking Chamonix, France to Courmayeur, Italy.
Our hike today is in Val Veny (Veny Valley) located at the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc, a spectacular Alpine valley located in the Aosta Valley region, very close to Courmayeur. Val Veny is divided into three main areas. The beginning of the valley is dominated by the beautiful nineteenth-century Notre-Dame de Guérison Sanctuary and by the lower part of Brenva Glacier, where wide meadows are crossed by Dora Baltea, a 170 kilometre long mountain river.
After arriving to the charming Italian mountain town of Courmayeur, we check into our hotel, situated a short walk from the pedestrian quarter. Join your guide for an aperitivo of Italian wines before dinner at one of our favorite family‐run restaurants.
ascent 350m / descent 350m
Meals: B L D
Day 5: Courmayeur
Today is a free day for you to do as much or as little as you wish and guide is available to help you design your day. You may choose to stroll around town, or if you feel like discovering more of the d’Aosta Valley, why not travel to the day spa in Pré-Saint-Didier where you can bathe in the warm thermal waters and choose to take a sauna, a Turkish bath or simply to have a relaxing massage?
For the more adventurous, there is the option to take arguably the world’s most spectacular cable car – the Funivie Monte Bianco. This astounding piece of engineering reaches three-quarters of the way up Western Europe’s highest mountain before heading across multiple glaciers into France.
Day 6: Courmayeur (9-13km)
An early start this morning with a local bus journey to Planpincieux, located in the heart of the Val Ferret Valley and close to Courmayeur. We walk along a small trail that meets up with the famed Tour du Mont Blanc ridge trail. This beloved route circumnavigates the entire Mont Blanc massif and is considered one of the best hikes in the world. Walk along the path and marvel at the striking peaks that seem to stretch beyond your vision, and the valley below, peppered with alpine homes with slate rooftops and an crystalline blue river. Continue to the quaint Rifugio Bonatti, a mountain hut in a class of its own, where we stop to enjoy a classic Northern Italian pranzo (lunch). Then descend back into the Val Ferret on foot before returning to Courmayeur where the evening is at leisure.
ascent 500-600m / descent 500-600m
Meals: B L
Day 7: Chamonix (6-14km)
We bid arrivederci to Italy this morning after a hearty breakfast with an early bus back to Chamonix. After checking into our hotel, there is time for one final hike. We use a combination of walking and cable car to reach La Flegere and Le Brevent and will be rewarded with spectacular and incomparable views of the Mont Blanc. There is time this afternoon to explore more of Chamonix before freshening up for our delicious farewell dinner.
ascent 500-900m / descent 0-500m
Meals: B L D
Day 8: Depart Chamonix
If you just can’t resist one last look at Mont Blanc this morning, head out onto the trails for a final excursion at leisure. The tour concludes this morning after a leisurely breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotels used on this trip are comfortable 3 -4 star family-run accommodations located close to the centre of either Chamonix and Courmayeur. Hotels have private facilities and also spa/wellness facilities for some well-deserved pampering!
Transfers: Please note that transfers to/from each day’s hike are shared and will usually involve a local bus or a cable car. Your guide will be able to give you more information regarding schedules and timetables.
Itinerary: RAW Travel understands that you have your own idea of the “perfect” trip—the right mix of being active, discovering new cultures and natural wonders, and having time to relax. This trip is designed to be flexible, giving you the freedom to experience the best of the region the way you want. Feel like you’re ready to go, go, go? We can show you the way! Want some downtime or prefer to head out on your own? No problem! Your guide will make sure to tell you the best days to take time for yourself (if you want it) without feeling like you’re missing out.
Terrain: The terrain on this trip includes paved and gravel access roads, well-maintained dirt paths and rocky exposed trails. An alternative hiking option is available if any of the suggested hikes are not for you.
- 7 nights in superior spa hotels in Chamonix and Courmayeur with breakfast
- An experienced & qualified English speaking mountain leader
- Small group max 12 people
- 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 3 Dinners
- Wine tasting in Courmayeur on Day 4
- Local Transportation as per the itinerary
- Return luggage transportation between Chamonix – Courmayeur
- Guaranteed to depart with 4 people
- Travel insurance
- Single supplement AU $1170
- Optional activities on Day 5
- All items of a personal nature
“Mountain Drop Off’s” is our preferred partner and bookings can be made via their website: www.mountaindropoffs.com Choose the super saver option and use promo code ‘RAWTR’. This is pick up and drop off at the airport in Geneva to our base hotel in Chamonix.
Map & Guide
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