Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

One of Europe`s great Alpine mountain walks in a one week holiday

9

days

Trek

From $1,620 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Trekking the Alps from Chamonix to Zermatt
  • The Walker`s Haute Route from France to Switzerland
  • Trek between the iconic peaks of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn
  • A classic Alpine trekking holiday in just 9 days

A classic one week walking holiday adventure in the Alps from Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland. Continuing our theme of 'The Best Of' Alpine walking routes, we now offer the classic walker's route from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn within a 9-day holiday. Using short transfers to by-pass the least interesting sections of this classic route and by avoiding the technical section of the Europaveg, we have made this classic 'Walker's Haute Route' available to non-alpinists who wish to trek amongst incredibly beautiful Alpine scenery within a week's leave. This superb alpine trekking holiday takes a linear route across the spine of the European Alps and links together the famous mountaineering towns of Chamonix and Zermatt. Trekking from France into the beautiful Swiss canton of Valais, passing spectacularly beneath 10 of the 12 highest peaks in the Alps, we are treated to amazing views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Traversing several high and challenging passes, we enjoy mountain walking in the Alps at its most delightful. Lower down, we pass through verdant Alpine valleys with cascading streams, pretty hamlets and flower-strewn meadows. Overnight accommodation on this great trekking holiday adventure in the Alps is provided in a variety of small hotels, atmospheric gites and spectacularly located Alpine mountain refuges. Led by English guides and fully supported, with access to luggage on all but 2 nights, this holiday offers nothing less than the best of the best in the Alps.

Is this holiday for you?

This is a classic Alpine walking route on good trails. The average distance covered each day is around 16 kilometres and there is a considerable amount of ascent and descent, with several passes close to 3000 metres. Regular hillwalkers will find this trek to be well within their capabilities. This holiday is fully supported and clients will not be required to carry sleeping bags or significant amounts of personal gear other than what is required for the day's hike. There are 2 nights in mountain huts and on these nights there is no access to trek bags. Otherwise, group members will have access to their main luggage each evening.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group chalet in Argentiere (1240m) in the Chamonix Valley.
  • Walk via Le Tour and cross the Col du Balme (2186m) to Trient in Switzerland.
  • Cross the Col de Forclaz and walk to Champex, then transfer and cable car to the Mont Fort Refuge.
  • Walk across 3 high cols including the Col de Prafleuri (2987m). Overnight at the Cabane de Prafleuri.
  • Walk via the Lac de Dix and the Col de Riedmatten (2919m) to Arolla. Transfer to La Sage.
  • Cross the Col de Torrent and the Col de Sorebois and make the steep descent to Zinal.
  • Walk via the Col de la Forcletta (2874m) and the alp of Chalte Berg to Gruben.
  • Cross the Augstbordpass (2894m) and descend to St. Niklaus. Transfer to Zermatt.
  • Departure day.
2016
Sat 16 Jul - Sun 24 Jul Code BMM /01/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Limited Availability Book now
More information
  • Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is BMM /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 16 Jul and departs on Sun 24 Jul
  • This departure has limited availability and departs within weeks. Secure your place today with full payment
Sat 20 Aug - Sun 28 Aug Code BMM /03/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Sold Out Call Us
More information
  • Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is BMM /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 20 Aug and departs on Sun 28 Aug
Sat 10 Sep - Sun 18 Sep Code BMM /05/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is BMM /05/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 10 Sep and departs on Sun 18 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
2017
Sat 08 Jul - Sun 16 Jul Code BMM /01/17/ Adult$1,700 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is BMM /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 08 Jul and departs on Sun 16 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Sat 29 Jul - Sun 06 Aug Code BMM /02/17/ Adult$1,700 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is BMM /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 29 Jul and departs on Sun 06 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Sat 12 Aug - Sun 20 Aug Code BMM /03/17/ Adult$1,700 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is BMM /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 12 Aug and departs on Sun 20 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Sat 09 Sep - Sun 17 Sep Code BMM /04/17/ Adult$1,700 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is BMM /04/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 09 Sep and departs on Sun 17 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Geneva Airport which is approximately an hour's drive from Chamonix and three hours by train from Zermatt. Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Geneva. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester, Liverpool & Glasgow and Jet 2 who have flights from Manchester, Leeds Bradford & Belfast. Other airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

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Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group chalet in Argentiere (1240m) in the Chamonix Valley.

    Meet at the group chalet in Argentiere (1240m), just above Chamonix. Lying beneath the stunning north face of Mont Blanc, the views are awesome from the start!. Before dinner, you will meet your trip leader to have an informal chat about the days ahead and have the chance to check out your clothing and gear and to decide if you will need to pick up any further items of equipment, before setting out in the morning. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal.

    • Accommodation Chalet

    • Meals d

  • Walk via Le Tour and cross the Col du Balme (2186m) to Trient in Switzerland.

    After breakfast at our chalet, our trek starts straight from the front door with a walk along the Petit Balcon Nord, to Le Tour at the top end of the valley. From here, we start our ascent to the Col du Balme (2186m) before heading down through the meadows of Tseppes into Switzerland and the Trient Valley where we check into our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1450m

    • Distance 17km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1100m

    • Time 7 - 8 hours walking

  • Cross the Col de Forclaz and walk to Champex, then transfer and cable car to the Mont Fort Refuge.

    From Trient we have a 30-minute climb to the Col du Forclaz and from here we walk to the pretty Swiss ski resort of Champex via the Bovine Route which leads through a mix of woodland and more open Alpine pastures, one of which is known as the Bovine Alp – hence the name. This is a very pleasant walk and tops out at around 2040 metres. There are views down to Martigny in the Rhône Valley, as well as views of the Bernese Alps, before we negotiate the final, steep and quite rocky descent to Champex. From here, we have a short vehicle transfer to Verbier and a cable car up to the spectacularly situated Cabane du Mont Fort, our destination for the evening. Superb views across to the Mont Blanc Massif and to the Grand Combin.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1050m

    • Distance 14km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1100m

    • Time 4 - 5 hours walking

  • Walk across 3 high cols including the Col de Prafleuri (2987m). Overnight at the Cabane de Prafleuri.

    This is one of the most spectacular days of the trek, traversing 3 high cols, with dramatic views throughout. At the start, the path winds along under dwarfing cliffs, with views of the Grand Combin and Mont Fort, en route to Col Termin, the first col of the day. A dramatic path then takes us to the Col de Louvie (2921m), before we make the steep descent onto the edge of the Grand Desert Glacier. Finally, we cross the Col de Prafleuri (2987m) and descend to the Cabane de Prafleuri (2624m) for the evening.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1150m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 900m

    • Time 6 - 7hours walking

  • Walk via the Lac de Dix and the Col de Riedmatten (2919m) to Arolla. Transfer to La Sage.

    A short and very steep climb greets us today as we quickly gain the Col de Roux, overlooking the milky waters of the Lac de Dix. A gentle descent then takes us to the lakeshore which we follow to its end, admiring the great views of Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the Pigne D'Arolla. We then make the steep ascent over the Col de Riedmatten. There are more spectacular views of the Glacier de Dix and the imposing pyramids of Mont Blanc de Chelion and the Pigne D’Arolla, then it is all descent to Arolla. From here, we have a short vehicle transfer to the small farming hamlet of La Sage and our bed for the night.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Ascent 1050m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1700m

    • Time 8 hours walking

  • Cross the Col de Torrent and the Col de Sorebois and make the steep descent to Zinal.

    No rest day today! We have an early start as today’s walk involves crossing two high cols. The first ascent to the higher of the two, the Col de Torrent (2912m), is long but not difficult due to the good underfoot conditions. We descend to the milky waters of Lac Moiry, that makes a good lunch stop. Ahead we can see some of the giant peaks of the Pennine Alps, including the Dent Blanche. Of more concern will be the imposing Col de Sorebois, a climb which is shorter but steeper than the ascent to the Torrent, but again presents no real problems. From here, we have spectacular views of the Weisshorn, Dent Blanche and Zinal Rothorn. Although it’s steeply downhill from here, the hotel at Zinal is at least a further 2 hours away and makes a welcome sight after the hardest day of the trip so far.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1900m

    • Distance 17km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1150m

    • Time 7 hours walking

  • Walk via the Col de la Forcletta (2874m) and the alp of Chalte Berg to Gruben.

    A steep but pleasant ascent on forest trails for around 1 hour leads to a more gentle rising traverse which emerges on a grassy plateauand and then proceeds through Alpine pastures with excellent views out over the valley. The trail continues upward passing several alpages and trail junctions to a final rocky climb up to the saddle of the Col de la Forcletta (2874m) which we should reach in under 4 hours from leaving Zinal. From the pass there is an extensive panorama of peaks and glaciers. Views become even more extensive as we descend from the pass with the peaks of the Stellihorn, Weisshorn, Bishorn, Barrhorn and Bruneggghorn all coming into view. We pass through a group of herders stone huts in the alp of Chalte Berg (2488m) and drop down through pine forest to the valley of the Turtmanna and on to the pretty village of Gruben. We stay overnight in a hotel here.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1500m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1300m

    • Time 7 hours walking

  • Cross the Augstbordpass (2894m) and descend to St. Niklaus. Transfer to Zermatt.

    A superb trek today, as we start out through open woodland, then high pastures and rocky upland wilderness. The trek soon opens up to some of the most spectacular views in the Swiss Alps. Our final pass is the Augstbordpass (2894m), beyond which we descend steeply to the pretty hamlet of Jungu and on again into the Mattertal and the town of St. Niklaus. From here, we transfer by minibus to Zermatt, where we can reflect on the trek that we have just completed, whilst enjoying a drink and the impressive sight of the majestic Matterhorn. After checking into our hotel there is time to look around Zermatt before we go out for a celebratory meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1240m

    • Distance 19km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1950m

    • Time 8 hours walking

  • Departure day.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional guide
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Transfer of luggage between overnight accommodation (except for 2 nights spent in mountain huts)
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All necessary vehicle transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses

As might be expected, the food available in restaurants and hotels in France and Switzerland is excellent. Continental breakfasts and full 3-course evening meals are included every day. A simple packed lunch is also provided.

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 9. For lunch we provide a large sandwich and 2 trail bars. If you wish to take additional trail bars and snacks (not chocolate as it can melt) we recommend you bring these with you (or purchase them in local supermarkets) to keep in your trek bag as these can be expensive from hotels and refuges en-route.
The group will rendezvous at the Yeti Lodge in Argentiere on the evening of day 1 of the trip itinerary. For clients arriving by air, the easiest way to get to Argentiere is to fly to Geneva Airport and make use of an airport transfer service. We recommend mountaindropoffs.com. KE clients can get transfers from €27 each way by entering the promo code YETI. Please note that transfers are subject to availability and your flight details are required a minimum of 72 hours before your arrival in Geneva. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Returning from Zermatt
This trek ends in Zermatt. KE services end after breakfast on Day 9 of the trip. The most convenient way of returning from Zermatt to Geneva is by train. To make a booking with Swiss Federal Railways, go to their website at sbb.ch, or telephone on 00 41 900 300 300. There is a station in Geneva Airport and there are several connections throughout the day via Visp. The journey takes approximately 3.5 - 4 hours depending on connection times in Visp and the fare is approximately CHF 97. If you are returning to Chamonix at the end of the trip please contact the KE office.
During this trip the group will spend 6 nights in comfortable hotels, chalets or gites and 2 nights in mountain huts with good facilities (showers, restaurant, bar etc.), with all bedding provided. Where we can, we will book couples in twin rooms. Other travellers will be accommodated in same sex twin or triple rooms, which may be with shared bathrooms. Single rooms are not available. In the mountain huts the accommodation will be in non-segregated, dormitories. This type of shared accommodation is all part of the Alpine mountain experience.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

After breakfast at our overnight accommodation, we try to get a reasonably early start. We will stop off to eat a picnic lunch at an appropriate point in the day. We will generally walk for around six to seven hours each day. We attempt to reach our overnight stop by four or five pm, in time for a wash or shower before dinner. The pace of the trekking will allow us time to stop to admire the views and to take photographs.

The group will be led by an IML qualified mountain leader. There will also be a support vehicle for baggage transfer.

The package price includes all accommodation, guiding and all meals. You should make an allowance for additional snacks drinks etc. Note: bottled water, if bought in the huts, is very expensive. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. Please note that almost all of the route is in Switzerland. Approximately CHF100 Swiss francs plus around 50 Euros should adequately cover typical personal spending requirements. There are ATM's in Geneva airport where you can withdraw cash in either currency. There are also cash point facilities in Argentiere and in Zermatt. If you are intending to hire or purchase items of equipment, you should budget accordingly.

We request that you keep the weight of your main trek bag to no more than 15kgs. Your trek bag will be transported by vehicle during the trip. It is not normally possible to ride with the baggage transfer vehicle. You will have access to your main trek bag on all but two nights of the trip. For these two nights it will be necessary only to add a sheet sleeping bag and a basic wash-bag to your daypack.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)

  • Trekking trousers

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermal baselayer shirts (1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Warm hat

  • Sunhat

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Thermal gloves

  • Sunglasses

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2)

  • Daypack 40 litres should be sufficient

  • Waterproof daypack liner

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sheet sleeping bag (for use in huts)

  • Small trekking towel (for use in huts)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial hand wash

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment.

The following items are optional:

  • Gaiters

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Shirts (e.g. T shirts)

  • Trekking poles (highly recommended)

  • Insect repellant

  • Ear Plugs (especially if your are not the one snoring)

  • Camera

  • Travel clothes

  • Small padlock to lock trek bag

Notes:

  • We include 2 trail bars each day with your lunch pack. If you wish to take additional trail bars and snacks (not chocolate as it can melt) we recommend you bring these with you (or purchase them in local supermarkets) to keep in your trek bag as these can be expensive from hotels and refuges en-route.
  • We request that you keep the weight of your main baggage to less than 15kgs for the baggage transfers.
  • There are a total of two nights spent in mountain huts where there is no access to trek bags. Otherwise group members will have access to their main luggage on each evening. Sleeping bags are not required, as bedding is provided. However we recommend you bring a sheet sleeping bag for use in the mountain huts.
  • Please note that on this trip, there are a number of occasions when you will need to carry your KE bag for short distances. Some clients have found that a piece of luggage with wheels makes sense for this holiday.

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Europe

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

The unit of currency in Europe is the Euro.

The unit of currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Regular hiking is a great way to get fit and jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing better stamina. Before departure, make sure you fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will range from 10C / 50F to 25C/ 77F. At night it can be cool in the mountains, falling to within a few degrees of freezing. The weather is usually stable during July and August, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out. You should be prepared for all eventualities!

  • Chamonix to Zermatt.

  • The Walker's Haute Route. Kev Reynolds. Cicerone Press.

Swiss Survey Hiking Maps. 1: 50,000

Two sheets are required to cover the route: 5027T Grand St.Bernard - Combins Arolla. 5028T Monte Rosa Matterhorn.

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