Les Houches, CHamonix
Our Alps Hiking Week is based in France’s Chamonix Valley, with its spectacular backdrop of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain and is the perfect location for our week long hiking trip.
Our accommodation is a comfortable chalet in the centre of the village of Les Houches, giving easy access to some of the best hiking in the alps and will ensure that you get the most out of your week.
Kevin is a fully qualified International Mountain Leader and member of BAIML and is your walk leader for the week and he will lead you on all the scenic day hikes along famous Alpine trails.
Les Houches is in the middle of the Chamonix valley and just a few miles from Chamonix itself. It is quieter and has more of a village feel to it and yet Chamonix centre is just a short bus ride away. It has great views to Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains and we are close to the lifts in the village, which gives more immediate access to some of the hiking trails we will be using.
The Alps Hiking Week would be a great trip for those who have thought about doing a trek in the Alps, but are not sure about committing to a multi-day hike. We therefore have the best of both worlds, the security of a base, while getting out for a fully guided hike each day to enjoy the amazing scenery.
Alps Hiking Week – Walking
We have planned a full days hike for each day, but there is always the option of taking a day off to explore Chamonix on your own, or to relax mid-week if you prefer.
The Chamonix valley is surrounded by spectacular high peaks and amazing glaciers, so we also aim to hike up to the glaciers and get a closer view of the Argentiere Glacier, or Mer De Glace for example.
On a typical day, we would aim to be up for breakfast around 7:30am and then leave about 8:30am for a day hike directly from the chalet, or to catch a bus or train ride to the start of our hike. We will then be out for about an 8 to 10 mile hike each day, before returning at around 4pm. We can then relax before dinner which will be about 7pm each evening.
Alps Hiking Week – Fitness and Preparation
A good level of hiking fitness is required, so you should be a regular hiker and have some experience of mountain walking in order to fully enjoy the Alps hiking week.
You will be carrying a day sack each day, over varied and sometimes rocky terrain, with some long and steep ascents, or descents.
We will issue a recommended kit list in good time before we travel.
Our accommodation is a stunning, traditional Savoyard chalet which has been lovingly restored to combine original features with the demands of modern living. It’s ideally placed in the heart of Les Houches, just 200 metres from the main lift, shops, bars and restaurants.
Inside, the chalet is packed full of character with original wooden beams and a double height living room with a wood burning stove. There are personal touches everywhere, making the chalet feel homely and inviting as well as luxurious. Outside there is a garden with views of the Aiguille du Midi, mountain ranges and the beautiful St Marie aqueduct.
The Farmhouse has six twin (or double) bedrooms and a bunk room, all with en-suites.
From the first floor living area, French doors open onto a large terrace with spectacular views of the Aiguille du Midi – Europe’s highest cable car – along with an amazing panorama of the Alps. The chalet boasts an indoor sauna on the mezzanine level, two living rooms, a first floor kitchenette and a fully equipped ground floor kitchen.
We have access to wifi, a flat screen television and a DVD player. There is also an array of books, games, films and magazines for your indoor entertainment. Outside there is a large hot tub with breathtaking views across the valley – the perfect place to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbles and enjoy the high life!
There is also a locked and heated boot room and private parking for up to three cars.
– Hot tub
– Log fire
– TV lounge with flatscreen TV and DVD player
– Free WIFI
– Stereo system with iPod docking
– A selection of board games, books, DVDs and sledges
– Heated boot room
– Terrace Private off street parking
We will be walking about 10 miles per day, on generally good paths and tracks, but with some rocky, or uneven sections. We would also expect some days to be climbing, or descending steeply up to about 1000m, so a good level of fitness and experience at hillwalking is required.
Below is an example walks schedule, so the actual hikes on each day may vary. Walks are also weather dependent, so we will not choose high level routes on cloudy, or even wet days.
Sun 07/08 – Our first day takes us on the Tour du Mont Blanc route from Plan Praz at 2000m to Les Houches via the col du Brevent, Brevent 2525m. Truly stunning views are to be had all day long, as we head through the Aiguille Rouges nature reserve to the Aiguillette des Houches and finally descend back to Les Houches.
Mon 08/08 – We will take a short journey up the valley to start our walk from Argentiere through forest to reach the amazing rock outcrop of Aiguillette D’Argentiere. We then join the main trail through the stunning Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve to Lac Blanc 2352m. From this position we gain spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif from the opposite side and high above the Chamonix valley.
Tue 09/08 – Today we will catch the spectacular Aiguille Du Midi cable car to the top station for truly amazing views of Mont Blanc itself and the top of the Vallee Blanche. When we have had our fill of the views from here, we descend to the lower station and walk the Grand Balcon route to view the Mer du Glace Glacier at close hand, before making our descent back to Chamonix.
Wed 10/08 – Our route today takes up the nearby Bellevue lift, where we then hike to the summit of the Prarion giving wonderful views up the entire valley. From here we take a long decent through Alpine forest and some pretty little villages back to our accommodation.
Thu 11/08 – We take a short bus ride to Le Tour, the next village up the valley and then climb steadily up to the summit of the beautiful Aiguillette des Posettes with stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif and the Chamonix valley. From here we descend to the Col des Posettes 2201m, and on to the Col du Balme before returning down the valley to our Gite.
Fri 12/08 – On our final day we complete our circuit of the Chamonix valley, by continuing further along the Eastern side to get up close to the Glacier D’Argentiere from the spectacular viewpoint known as the point de vue.
Cost & Booking
Total Cost £575
To book, click RSVP now and pay your paypal deposit of £175.
The remaining balance is due by bank transfer 3 months before departure and should be made by bank transfer to:
Bank Account Mountain Hikes
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Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.
The final balance payment of £400 is due 3 months before departure and only full payment confirms your place
We pre-book and pay for all of the accommodation months in advance, so appreciate prompt payment of the deposit and balance.
- Guided walking throughout by Kevin Blissett who is a qualified International Mountain Leader
- all accommodation,
- all breakfasts and 5x dinners.
Does not include:
- Lunches – we can buy sandwiches /snacks at a local bakers in Les Houches each day,
- dinner on 2x nights but a group booking can be made at a nearby restaurant
- Any local transport costs for cable cars, buses and trains
- personal expenses
- transfers to and from Geneva airport to Les Houches
- Chamonix flights.
- Cable car pass for the week of 125 Euros
In order to maximise the time we spend walking higher up and reduce the time climbing or descending we use the cable car and lift system on most days. The cable cars can be expensive if bought individually, so we have found the most cost effective way of doing this is to buy a weekly pass. In 2016 the cost of this was 125 Euros each and we bought this on the first morning. This should therefore be factored into your costs when budgeting for this week.
Sat 05/08 – Fly out to Geneva, for evening rendezvous in Argentiere and brief.
Sun 07/08 to Fri 12/08 - Day hikes each day
Sat 12/09 – Depart, or explore Chamonix and then later departure
(check out time is 10am,but you can pack your luggage and store it away whilst you go and explore and collect your luggage later)
We would suggest flying out from the UK to Geneva – there are plenty of low cost airlines that fly out from various airports.
From Geneva, it is about an hour and 30 minutes transfer to chalet in Les Houches, in the Chamonix valley. Transfers from Chamonix to Les Houches can be booked through many companies, but three we have previously used and found to be reliable are at www.alpybus.com or www.chamexpress.com or www.mountaindropoffs.com – all offer a similar service in the region of approx €40-50. Alpybus may offer the most reasonable rates and easiest online booking but the choice is yours.
You should note that it is not possible to take walking poles in hand luggage. Therefore, to save everyone paying for checked in baggage, if anyone is travelling together, we would suggest you check in one piece of luggage.
Love yoga and the great outdoors. Fuelled by good food of course
Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.