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|Guided Trekking Holiday||
Alpine Trekking Adventure:
Peak Bagging in the French & Italian Alps
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included|
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Locality & Walks
Alpine Trekking Adventure - Peak bagging in the French & Italian Alps
Summiting five alpine peaks over 3000m in a week in the shadow of Mont Viso, this guided trekking holiday is ideal for anyone looking for a unique and exciting alpine challenge. The holiday takes place in the Queyras in the Southern Alps on the border between Italy and France. The trek passes close to Mont Viso which at 3845m is a prominent and spectacular landmark. Situated in Italy, Mont Viso dominates the surrounding three valleys of Guil in the Queyras, the Pô Valley to the north in Italy and the Varaita to the South. It was long considered one of the highest peaks in the Alps largely due to its position making it visible from all of the Piémont plain in Italy.
The trekking tour traverses part of the amazing and relatively undiscovered Queyras Regional Park. This hidden corner of the French Alps is relatively difficult to access, meaning that the trails of the Queyras are relatively quiet, especially when you consider its range of accessible high cols and summits. The Queyras and the Mont Viso area are a paradise for walkers and trekkers alike. If you are looking for a real high alpine experience, taking in several amazing peaks over 3000m with breathtaking views, then this is the holiday for you. In addition, its location in the Southern Alps on the border with Italy means it enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year.
Besides the rocky summits and cols, the trek passes through a range of varied landscapes: with mountain torrents snaking down deep gorges lined by lush forests. Above, alpine meadows merge with astonishing rocky deserts and mountain cliffs, capped by a succession of stunning mountain ridges and peaks. Its fauna and flora is exceptional with chamois, ibex, marmots, golden eagle and a vast array of rare wild flowers.
The region also has a rich architectural heritage which is encapsulated by the pretty alpine village of St Veran, at 2042m, the highest village in Europe.
This is a challenging trek in mountainous terrain in the Alps. The daily walks are long and involve considerable ascents and descents. Average days are 6 - 8 hours trekking with about 1150m of ascent and descent each day. One day is particularly long and if the alpine ascent is included would amount to over 1700m of ascension in the day. The paths vary from good wide tracks to rocky and sometimes unstable or ill-defined trails leading to airy summits. In some places the summit paths require the use of hands for stability, i.e. easy scrambling
This holiday would be suitable for people who are fit and experienced hill walkers, used to easy scrambling on steepish slopes and some exposure due to drops.
In addition much of the trek takes places between 2000 and 3000m, where the effects of altitude can be felt. Depending on weather conditions there is the possibility of going to five alpine summits above 3000m. The highest summit of the week is the Grand Glaiza which is at 3293m or 10,803ft.
Only limited backpacking is required. Overnight gear and spare clothes will need to be carried, but our main luggage will be transported between mountain huts and gites. Only on two nights will you not have access to your main luggage. This will help to reduce the difficulty and give you more energy to enjoy the trekking and peak bagging.
There is only likely to be small patches of snow at this time of year. Some northern slopes close to high passes or summits may have small banks of snow.
Alpine trekking Holiday
Day 1: Arrival,
Welcome, pick-up from Lyon airport or train station and drive to first guest house near the village of St Véran in the French Alps
Day 2: St Véran - Refuge Agnel (6hrs, +1050m, -450m)
Our first day's trek takes us from the highest village in Europe up over our first 3000m summit and down to the refuge Agnel. Our trail follows an old canal that was used originally for copper and silver mining. After an initial climb, the path is level for a long time, easing you gently into the week's trekking. After the Chapelle de Clausis the trek climbs to the Col de Saint-Véran on the border with Italy, with the pointed matterhorn-like peak of Tête de Toillies dominating our view. From the col there is nearly 200m ascent to the first of our 3000m peaks - the Pic de Caramantran (3025m) from where there are magnificent views. A fairly steep descent follows to get to our overnight mountain hut - the refuge Agnel. Enjoy a lovely high altitude evening in stunning surrounding watching the sun set.
Day 3: Summits from Refuge Agnel (7hrs, +1150m, -1150m)
Once you have booked on this guided trekking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. In addition, our travel shop has direct access to all the top walking and travel retailers. Please contact us if you need any further information.
Please Note: We will endeavour to keep to the trekking programme for this guided trekking or walking holiday as described above; however it is subject to change due to severe weather. In addition, in the event of poor weather it may not be wise to attempt some of the alpine peaks for safety reasons. Final decisions will be made by the leader during the trek based on the abilities of the group and the conditions. Thank you for your understanding.
This guided trekking holiday is designed for fit mountain walkers looking for a challenge, competent on uneven ground and happy with exposure. For the saftey and enjoyement of the group please make sure you are able and fit enough before the start of the holiday.
Accommodation & Meals
This guided trekking holiday uses a mixture of accommodation. On the first and last night of your holiday we will use B&B or small hotel style guest houses where you'll have private rooms. They a friendly, family run establishments full of local character. The nights whilst on trek will be spent in more basic accommodation consisting of mountain gîtes and mountain refuges or huts. Accommodation is often in small dormitories with separate bathroom and toilet facilities. Sometimes the dormitories will be just for our party. However there is a convivial atmosphere and the surroundings are magical. Meals will be taken in your guest house and will be local specialities. All offer authentic accommodation where you'll receive a warm welcome. A few examples are listed below.
|Le Chalet Viso||B&B||Renovated farm house situated at 1700m with balconies with magnificent views||3 Corns|
|Refuge Agnel||Refuge||High mountain refuge with basic accommodation. Great setting and convivial atmosphere|
|7 Degrees Est||Gite||Gite in historic 17th century farm in the Guil Valley with comfortable dormitories and south facing terrace|
Transfers for alpine trekking adventure
Transfers for this tailor-made guided trekking holiday in the French Alps are from Lyon airport or train stations. Transfers can also be arranged from other airports or train stations.
Arrivals after 5pm are not practical.
The airlines Easy jet, BMI and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK to the Lyon airport.
Please visit our travel shop for links to some useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets for getting to the airport.
If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you. We would be happy to book travel arrangements to Lyon, France on your behalf.
Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London to Lyon Part Dieu changing at Lille. Please use Rail Europe's train finder to organise your train journey.
There is a practical train time leaving London at 9am and arriving in Lyon at 3pm. Please contact us before booking to check for other practical times.
Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways.
Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Lyon area takes about 7 hours (excluding long breaks).
Tolls amount to about 35 euros each way. Controlled parking is available at the airport for 50 euros. Other secure but non-surveilled parking is available free of charge.
Parking is available at the first guest houses if you wish to drive direct to the walking holiday destination in the French Alps. Please inform us of this at the time of booking so we can provide you with directions to the first guest house.