EUROPEAN ALPS | MATTERHORN TO MONT BLANC

Our European Alps | Matterhorn to Mont Blanc Adventure will immerse you deep within European culture as you travel to iconic alpine villages throughout the Alps of Switzerland, France, and Italy. This Adventure features captivating views of glaciers, crystal lakes, waterfalls, steep valleys, and pristine mountains. From lift assisted scenic hikes and bread making in a local village to spending your nights in traditional European mountain villages, you will feel as though you are truly in a fairy tale throughout your journey. Allow yourself to be challenged with longer hikes or simply relax and explore the village in which we are staying as you encounter Europe’s alpine heart on this unique, once in a lifetime adventure!

SUMMARY

TRIP TYPE: Adventure

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy/Moderate

TRIP LENGTH: 11 days/10 nights

SPACES AVAILABLE: 8 – 24

TRIP COST: From

Double Occupancy

$ 5,600

per person

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy day hikes in one of the most iconic trekking locations in history
  • Escape crowds as you explore beautiful Alpine villages and scenic woodlands
  • Explore glaciers and enjoy riding cable cars through the Alps
  • Enjoy culturally rich experiences and classes

VIDEOS

TEASER VIDEO:

TREK TIPS:

MAP

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival day | Zurich, Switzerland

  • Arrival in Zurich, Switzerland
  • Meet your WWTrek representative at the airport for the transfer by private coach to Zermatt, Switzerland (2 hours).
  • Check-in at the hotel and attend an orientation about your upcoming adventure of the Mont Blanc region.
  • Welcome dinner
  • Overnight: Zermatt Hotel or comparable | Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Meals included: D

Day 2: Zermatt, Switzerland | Zermatt Day Hike

  • Enjoy an early morning breakfast before you depart for your day
  • The vast number of scenic and lift assisted hikes near Zermatt, will allow your guide to select a hike tailored to suit your group’s preferences and abilities. From the famous 5 – Seenweg to the Matterhorn Glacier Trail, the possibilities are endless! Regardless of the hike you choose to go on this day, you are sure to be surrounded by alpine beauty with endless views of the iconic Matterhorn

  • Alternatively, if you do not wish to participate in the lift-assisted hike, the day is yours to explore. Wander around Zermatt, in all of its charm, at your leisure, or take an exciting ride up to Gornergrat to get a closer look at the Matterhorn

  • Overnight: Zermatt Hotel or comparable | Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 3: Zermatt, Switzerland | Champex Lac, Switzerland

  • After breakfast, enjoy a scenic one hour drive from Zermatt to Champex Lac.
  • Upon arrival, set out for a day hike along a portion of the renowned Tour du Mont Blanc trail where you will pass through alpine meadows and marvel at the views surrounding you on all sides.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch in the Alps before hiking back to Champex Lac.
  • If you would prefer an alternative to hiking, a visit to the Alpine botanical garden or the Artillery Fort are sure to be a highlight of your stay! Champex Lac also offers activities such as paddle boating, and lakeside walks, and is a quaint village to explore.
  • Overnight: Champex Lac Hotel | Champex Lac, Switzerland
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 4: Champex Lac, Switzerland | St. Bernard Pass, Switzerland | Aosta, Italy | Cogne, Italy

  • Today’s journey will begin with a trip through St. Bernard’s Pass where you will stop for a captivating tour of the legendary Great St. Bernard Hospice. The Hospice, a shelter founded in the Middle Ages by Augustinian monks who were renowned for their hospitality. This Hospice is where the Saint Bernard dog was first bred. Initially used to carry loads, this magnificent dog was later trained as an avalanche search dog. The most famous of these dogs, Barry, is touted as having saved the lives of over 40 people.
  • Upon completion of your tour of the Great St. Bernard Hospice, you will be transferred to the village of Aosta for a fascinating walking tour.
  • Enjoy lunch at a local cafe.
  • Transfer to the village of Cogne, Italy to enjoy an evening of well deserved rest and relaxation at your hotel.
  • Overnight: Hotel Du Grand Paradis or comparable | Cogne, Italy
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 5: Cogne, Italy | Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy

  • Your day today will allow you to sample the very best activities that Cogne has to offer!
  • After breakfast, ride the Funivie Gran Paradiso cable car to 7,682’
  • Enjoy a lift assisted hike from Montseuc to Belvedere to Grand Crot Trail which offers stunning views of Gran Paradiso National Park and mountain, then return via cable car to Cogne.
  • Afternoon at leisure in Cogne to explore the villages pedestrian streets, hike to a nearby waterfall, or simply rest at your hotel.
  • Overnight: Hotel du Grand Paradis or comparable | Cogne, Italy
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 6: Cogne, Italy

  • Today you will partake in a leisurely hike up the river valley to the village of Valnontey, located entirely within the Gran Paradiso National Park! You may even get the opportunity to stop at a local bakery and learn to make bread!
  • If you do not wish to partake in the hike to Valnontey, there are many lovely activities within the village of Cogne such as the Paradisa botanical garden, rock exhibition, or the renowned butterfly garden.
  • Enjoy a delicious dinner at your hotel.
  • Overnight: Hotel du Grand Paradis or comparable | Cogne, Italy
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 7: Cogne, Italy | Courmayeur, Italy

  • Embark on a one hour drive to the Tour du Mont Blanc trailhead where you will hike to the stunning Elisabetta Refugio. Throughout your hike, you will be treated to larger than life glacial views and beautiful mountain meadows. This is truly one of the most spectacular and wild corners of the Mont Blanc.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the Alps before your return to the village for your transfer to the village of Courmayeur, Italy.
  • Overnight: Cresta et Duc or comparable | Courmayeur, Italy
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 8: Courmayeur, Italy

  •  Hike from your hotel to the Tour du Mont Blanc trail and up to the Bertone Refuge, gaining 2,500’ of elevation through the forest. Upon reaching the refuge, you will be greeted with stunning views of the Italian Mont Blanc and endless mountain vistas.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the Alps before your return to the village.
  • If the more strenuous hike to the Bertone Refuge does not appeal to you, endless opportunities await within the village of Courmayeur. Spend your day exploring the plethora of charming boutiques or ride the Mont Blanc Skyway cable car for a guided walk across the Mont Blanc Glacier.
  • Afternoon at leisure exploring the village.
  • Overnight: Cresta et Duc or comparable | Courmayeur, Italy
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 9: Courmayeur, Italy | Chamonix, France

  • Today you will begin your journey by driving through the Mt. Blanc Tunnel to Chamonix. This architectural wonder links Courmayeur to Chamonix and at the midpoint, the rock above the tunnel is nearly two miles thick!
  • Upon arrival in Chamonix, board the Montenvers Train for your journey to Mer de Glace, France’s largest glacier. This old funicular climbs a steep track to a stunning vantage point above the Mer de Glace. From here, you will be able to explore ice caves containing ice sculptures beneath the glacier, the Gallery of Crystals, the Glaciorium – an entire exhibition dedicated to glaciology, with interactive and educational presentations all about the glaciers, how they form, and their history.
  • Return to Chamonix via your choice of a lift assisted hike or the Montenvers Train.
  • Overnight: Hotel Gourmet et Italy or comparable| Chamonix, France
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 10: Chamonix, France | Aiguille de Midi

  • After breakfast, you will depart for what is sure to be one of the most memorable days of your adventure. From Chamonix, you board the first of two cable cars and soar over the forest to reach the Plan de l’Aiguille before boarding a second cable car that takes you to an altitude of 12,392 feet, placing you above the Pelerins glacier and the hanging glaciers on the north face of the Aiguile du Midi. Once at the top, you will be able to walk through the terminus and explore the various exhibitions, displays, and viewing platforms. You will truly feel as though you’re at the epicenter of the Alps with enormous peaks spilling in all directions and punctuating the horizon as far as the eye can see.
  • For your return to Chamonix, you can hike down from the mid-station or take the cable car.
  • Afternoon at leisure to explore the many shops along the pedestrianized center in Chamonix or perhaps visit the alpine museum.
  • Farewell celebration dinner
  • Overnight: Hotel Gourmet et Italy or comparable | Chamonix, France
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 11: International Departures

  • After breakfast, transfer by private coach to Geneva Airport to catch your flight home
  • Meals included: B

HUMAN OUTREACH PROJECT

One of World Wide Trekking’s founding principles is giving back to the places we travel. Through our sister non-profit, Human Outreach Project, we are making a difference in lives around the globe, and connecting trekkers with voluntourism opportunities in local communities.

Although we don’t have projects in this part of the world, there are always opportunities to get involved and find a meaningful way to engage with the local community. We would love to talk to you about custom voluntourism and humanitarian opportunities that you can incorporate into your WWTrek trip. The find out more, go to HumanOutreachProject.org or contact us.

TRAVEL NOTES

Best Time of Year to Visit:

Our favorite times to visit are from early July through mid-October, when the warmest with the least rain. The days are long, but this timing avoids the intense snowmelt season.  The trails will be buzzing with life and the views will be full of beautiful vegetation.

Arrivals & Departures:

This trip begins in Zurich, Switzerland, you will fly into the Zurich Airport (ZRH). The trip will end in Geneva, Switzerland, where you will fly out of Geneva Airport (GVA).

*Many guests prefer to arrive before, or leave after, the scheduled itinerary. We can help you make arrangements. Additional charges for early arrival, transportation, lodging, meals, and activities will apply.

Recommended Flights:

There are many flight options from global airports to Geneva Airport (GVA). Our travel expert, Danny Genung at Harr Travel is more than happy to review the many flight options from the U.S. to Geneva. You can reach him at danny@harrtravel.com or 909.266.0117.

The benefit of using a travel agent is in the event of itinerary changes, the travel agent will find the best flight connections, and land arrangements, for you. Though third-party travel websites are convenient, they are not recommended, due to instability in the itineraries. We also recommend that you protect your flight with travel insurance and a refundable ticket.

Customs, Visas, & Immigration:

You will need a passport valid for more than six months after your trip. Make two copies of your passport. Leave one at home and bring the other with you to Europe in case of an emergency. Ensure you provide a color copy of your passport to WWTrek 90-days prior to your departure date. Carry two extra passport photos when you travel.

Travel Insurance:

We recommend purchasing travel insurance, which will protect you in the event of an unanticipated cancellation of your trip, and depending on the plan you choose, can refund all the costs already paid (including flights, trip costs, and your payment to us). Please note: you must purchase this plan within 14 days of your deposit payment. There are three plans that we recommend choosing from: Cavalry, Rip Cord or Harbor. Please send us a copy of your plan if you choose to purchase one.

Health & Safety:

Our stringent commitment to safety means you have access to our medically certified Professional Western Guide(s) before and throughout your trip. Our staff also carries emergency medical equipment such as satellite phones and medical kits.

In addition, we recommend visiting your local travel vaccination clinic one month before your trip. For more information, feel free to contact Dr. Levy, our medical advisor, at 801-943-0264

Our Team:

Once you sign on with WWTrekking, we are here for you every step of the way! You will be assigned an adventure specialist who will help you prepare for your trip. Whether your questions or needs are regarding flights, packing, early arrivals, departures, accommodations or anything else, your adventure specialist is only a phone call away!

Once your trip begins, World Wide Trekking boasts an extensive support crew on all trips of 8 people or more. We provide medically certified, Professional Western guide(s) for all adventures of 8+ passengers as well as a plethora of local professionals to aid the group during the adventure. Additionally, you have access to a Local Operations Manager throughout your adventure.

Currency Exchange:

We recommend exchanging money at the airport as soon as you clear customs. We will offer additional exchange opportunities, but typically you will receive the best rates at the airport. Exchanging $100 should suit your needs for the trek. We always recommend bringing $500 cash with you on your trip for incidentals.

Gratuities:

In many parts of the world, gratuities are given in appreciation for a job well done. Our guides will take care of tipping service personnel along the way so that you don’t have to think about it.

For any additional services outside of our itinerary, plan to tip 10% (transport, restaurants, baggage, lodges, etc). We will provide you a tipping guide once you sign up for a trip.

At the trails end you will have the opportunity to contribute to a group tipping pool that will be presented to your WWTrekking guides and trekking staff as we say our goodbyes.

Fitness & Nutrition Training:

We provide a complimentary 6-week extensive fitness and nutrition program to help our guests prepare for their journey ahead. The program is tailored specifically for our trips and includes virtual 1 on 1 coaching sessions with our Fitness and Nutrition Specialist.

Learn more here!

VILLAGE OVERVIEWS

Zermatt, Switzerland:

Perched on a sunny plateau in the heart of the mountains, with its slate-roofed chalets, the car-free village of Zermatt has carefully maintained its charm as an alpine village. Often touted as one of the most beautiful villages in the Alps, Zermatt is the ideal place for your first stop on your journey.

 

Champex Lac, Switzerland:

Located high within the Swiss Alps, Champex Lac is a picturesque village set by a breathtaking alpine lake. Champex Lac, along with being the ultimate hiker’s paradise and a central stop along the Tour du Mont Blanc, offers something for everyone to choose from with a large range of leisure and sports activities.

Aosta, Italy:

Lying between two rivers and surrounded by majestic mountains, the city of Aosta is a concentration of history and picturesque traditions. While walking around Aosta, it is evident the town is of Roman origins. It is possible to notice traces of the original town as well as many Roman monuments, such as the Arch of Augustus, the Porta Pretoria, the theatre, and the city walls, almost all perfectly preserved.

Cogne, Italy:

Cogne is ideally situated at the heart of the Gran Pardiso National park and boasts a rich historical, cultural, and traditional heritage as well as beautiful alpine meadows and scenic vistas. Just south of the town center lies the St. Ursus Meadow, the municipal statue forbids any construction work on this meadow, which has received recognition as a “Wonder of Italy”.

Courmayeur, Italy:

Courmayeur is a traditional Italian village full of character and surrounded by spectacular scenery. The center of the village is car-free with plenty of shops and quaint streets to peruse.

Chamonix, France:

Chamonix sits between the towering peaks of Aiguilles Rouges and Aiguille du Midi. Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and is the sight of the first winter Olympics in 1924. From the streets of this mountain town, you will find yourself gazing in awe at the Peaks towering above you.

GENERAL COUNTRY INFORMATION

Switzerland:

Population:  ~8.3 million
Capital City: Bern
Currency: Swiss Franc
Overview: 
Switzerland is a landlocked country in central Europe sharing borders with five countries; France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein. From the influence of these neighboring countries, Switzerland claims four official languages; German, French, Italian, and Romansh. This peaceful and prosperous country possesses one of the most stable economies in the developed world. Switzerland has a large diversity of landscapes for its size, with beautiful valleys separated by large mountain ranges. The Swiss Alps cover 60% of the country, where glaciers speckle the area. In contrast to this climate, a Mediterranean climate can also be found in Switzerland, just south of the Alps.

France:

Population:  ~66 million
Capital City: Paris
Currency: Euro
Overview: 
Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, France is comprised of plains and rolling hills in the north and west and numerous impressive mountain ranges in the south and east, including the Alps and Pyrenees. France is among the globes oldest nations. It is historically and culturally one of the most influential nations in the western world, due to its colonial era which brought French colonies to every corner of the globe.  With picturesque villages, world famous gastronomy, an art scene that continues to thrive, beautiful coastlines, and awe-inspiring mountain ranges, its no wonder that France is the world’s most popular tourist destination.

Italy:

Population: ~62 million
Capital City: Rome
Currency: Euro
Overview:
Starting with the awe-inspiring Italian Alps in the north, Italy cuts deep into the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Italy has a very rich culture and history. Considered the birthplace of western civilization, the starting point of the roman empire, and the Renaissance, Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world. There is no shortage of impressive architecture, art, cuisine, and vistas throughout the country. With the Vatican City nestled in the heart of Rome, it is no surprise that the majority of Italians belong to the Roman Catholic church.