Vanoise, French alps

Below you'll find links to our independent and guided walking holidays in the Vanoise, after which follows further detailed information about this unique alpine region of France

INDEPENDENT TREKKING HOLIDAY

 

Trekking Tour of the Vanoise

grade challenging alpine trekking holiday in Vanoise

7 nights - £615/€665 - 6 days trekking with back-pack between mountain huts

The tour of the Vanoise is a circular trek which allows you to be at close quarters with elegant high mountain peaks and stunning alpine glaciers. Designated a National Park, the Vanoise offers an ideal natural, unspoilt wilderness for walking and trekking holidays where souring alpine peaks with pristine glaciers rise majestically above wild, remote valleys. More holiday details

independent trekking holiday in Vanoise, French Alps walking between mountain huts

GUIDED WALKING HOLIDAYS

 

Alpine Discovery-Vanoise National Park

Grade moderate challenging Vanoise guided walking French Alps France

7 nights - Single Centre based, day walks - Contact us for a quote

A real alpine week in this stunning part of France, with amazing guided walks, which despite their moderate altitude, provide a high mountain feel. An unspoilt wilderness with souring alpine peaks rising majestically above remote valleys.

Vanoise National Park in the heart of the French Alps on this guided walking holiday

Trekking Tour of the Vanoise

grade challenging alpine trekking holiday in Vanoise

7 nights - From £780/€840 Back-packing trekking tour of the Vanoise, staying in 5 mountain huts

The tour of the Vanoise is a circular trek which allows you to be at close quarters with elegant high mountain peaks and stunning alpine glaciers. Designated a National Park, the Vanoise offers an ideal natural, unspoilt wilderness for trekking holidays where souring alpine peaks with pristine glaciers rise majestically above wild, remote valleys.

Vanoise National Park in the heart of the French Alps on this guided walking holiday

SELF CATERING INDEPENDENT WALKING HOLIDAY

 

Alpine discovery: Vanoise à la Carte

grade moderate challenging vanoise independent walking in French Alps

One week, mid June - end of September

A choice of self catering rental accommodation in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, the gateway to the Vanoise National Park in the French Alps. Good trails give relatively easy access to a number of day walks exploring an unspoilt wilderness with souring alpine peaks rising majestically above beautiful valleys. More holiday details

 

independent alpine walking holiday with self catering in Vanoise, part of French Alps

Vanoise National Park, France

Our walking holidays in the Vanoise region of the French Alps are real alpine weeks with stunning walks, which, despite their moderate altitudes, provide a high mountain feel. Less frequented than the Mont Blanc range, this stunning alpine range offers a quieter but no less spectacular alternative. Designated  a National Park, the Vanoise offers an ideal natural, unspoilt wilderness for walking where souring alpine peaks with pristine  glaciers rise majestically above wild, remote valleys.

The park is home to a great many alpine peaks over 3400m including a few that rise above the Vanoise glacier, the  largest glacial plateau in western Europe. A variety of walks will allow us to flirt with some outstanding mountain scenery, including the sheer Aguille de Vanoise, the Grande Casse, and Mont Pourri. The highest point of the Vanoise National Park is the resplendent Grande Casse which sits at the head of the valley from Pralognan, our base for part of the week. It’s an amazing location surrounded by immense rock walls which glow pink in the evening sun. We’ll also stay in Champagny, which like Pralognan is a traditional alpine village.

Don’t forget your binoculars, as there are a host of protected species including ibex, chamois, the famous alpine bouquetin and the golden eagle. Among the nationally protected plants, there are about ten species of androsace, the Alpine aquilegia, different sedges,  Alpine Bells, Queen of the Alps, various mountain primroses and the last French stronghold of the twinflower. Find out more information on the alpine wildlife of the Vanoise.

The Vanoise National Park was created on 6 July 1963 - the first French national park. It has a common border with the Italian Gran Paradiso National Park. Twinned since 1972, together they cover 1250km2 and constitute the largest protected site in Western Europe.

Its purpose is to develop tourism, culture and the economy around local resources and to encourage respect for the environment and the cultural heritage of the area. More than 600 km of marked trails criss-cross the Park’s mountains.

The Vanoise is the third massif of the French Alps after Mont Blanc massif and Ecrins massif and lies roughly between the two. It contains a large number of high alpine peaks including the Grande Casse (3885m) rising above the Col de la Vanoise, Mont Pourri (3779m), Dent Parrachée (3697m) and Grande Motte (3653m). There are alpine mountains of all shapes and forms shaped by the interaction of glaciers with the geology of the area. The largest glacial plateau in the Western Alps is found in the centre of the Vanoise National Park.

The Alpine Flora varies according to altitude. Above the villages at between 2000m and 1500m in the sub-alpine level  there is heathland territory upon which rhododendrons, blueberries, junipers and other shrubs, such as green alders, grow. These heathlands stretch down to coniferous forests where larches, Arolla and mountain pines thrive. Spruces remain confined to lower altitudes. Between 2000m and 3000m in the alpine zone the snow that falls in the winter lingers on through part of the summer in the shape of névés at the bottom of snowy combs. The zone is made up of rock where only lichens and a few sparse plants are able to subsist. Vast alpine meadows with many flowers in the summer also occupy this zone. Among the nationally protected species, there are about ten androsace species, the Alpine aquilegia, different sedges (among which the Two-Coloured Sedge), Alpine Bells, Queen of the Alps, various mountain primroses (the Piemont Primrose) and saxifrages. The Vanoise National Park is also the last French stronghold of the twinflower.
Above lie glaciers, rocks and semi-permanent snows.


The Vanoise Park in the French Alps also has a rich and varied fauna. The Vanoise Park has the largest population of Alpine ibex in France with 2000 individuals, a third of the total French population. There are even more chamois - about 5500. Among the smaller mammals, there are the rodents, such as the Alpine hare, with its white winter coat, the marmot, living in alpine meadows, several voles, including the snow vole, and the yellow-necked fieldmouse. Among the birds, there are golden eagles, (20 pairs), the ptarmigan, the black grouse, rock partridges, eagle owls, Tengmalm's owls, black woodpeckers, three-toed woodpeckers (in France, present only in Savoie and Haute-Savoie), the rock thrush, pied flycatchers, wall creepers, crossbills, rock sparrows and nutcrackers. A total of 120 bird species breed in the Vanoise. The bearded vulture is increasingly present in the Vanoise Park.

Our guided walking holidays in the Vanoise are designed to see and experience many of the features described above which make this part of the French Alps a beautiful and fascinating region to visit.

View our Vanoise photo slide-show

View our photos from our 2009 guided walking holiday

 

Location Vanoise French Alps France

Grand casse Vanoise National Park French Alps

Alpine treks in the Vanoise national park France french alps guided walking holidays

Aiguille de la Vanoise, Vanoise National Park France French Alps Guided walking holidays

Flora Vanoise National Park French Alps guided walking holiday

Vanoise glacial plateau Vanoise National Park France French Alps guided walking holidays

Aiguille de la Vanoise, Vanoise National Park France French Alps guided walking holidays

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