- At a glance
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Your Holiday at a Glance
|Guided trekking holiday||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
Vanoise & Trek
This guided walking holiday in the beautiful Vanoise National Park of the French Alps is a trekking tour which circles the Glaciers de la Vanoise - hence its other name "Tour des Glaciers de la Vanoise". This walking tour start and finishes at Pralognan, the gateway to the Vanoise.
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. Less frequented than the Mont Blanc range, this stunning alpine region in the Savoie (Savoy) known as the Vanoise offers a quieter but no less spectacular alternative. 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.
The Vanoise National 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. Your week's trekking takes you past some outstanding mountain scenery, including the sheer Aguille de Vanoise, the Grande Casse, and La Dent Parrachée. The highest point of this part of the Alps is the resplendent Grande Casse which sits at the head of the valley from Pralognan, a traditional alpine village, unspoilt by modern development. It’s an amazing location surrounded by immense rock walls which glow pink in the evening sun.
Don’t forget your binoculars, as there are a host of protected species including the famous alpine bouquetin (ibex), chamoix, bearded vulture and the golden eagle. Among the nationally protected plants in the Vanoise National Park 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. More information on the wildlife in the Vanoise mountains.
Discover more about the Vanoise by visiting our info page
Each day's walking on this guided trekking holiday average between 500m to 1000m of ascent and about 6 hours of walking. The difficulty of this holiday is increased due to carrying your own luggage, which is why it is graded challenging. We will supply you with a kit list to ensure that you carry the bare minimum. The holiday is ideal for those with a good level of fitness with some mountain walking experience, and would suit both those looking for a first alpine holiday, as well as those more experienced.
The paths are generally good although they are mountainous in nature and often exposed. For example you will have to cross rocky streams where there are no bridges and you may encounter snow fields when crossing some of the higher cols.
Day 1: Arrival,
Transfer from Lyon to Pralognan en Vanoise. Night in hotel.
Day 2: Pralognan - Col de la Vanoise
This is a great first day's walk which starts by passing the impressive waterfall "Cascade de la Fraiche". Our route then climbs an ancient route used to carry salt, trekking around the base of the stunning rock spire Aiguille de la Vanoise sculpted and polished by ice. At the Col de la Vanoise (2517m), we’ll come face to face with the Grande Casse, a true giant of the French Alps, with its gleaming toungue of ice lapping at the crystal lake at its base. Here we'll find our first night's refuge. (+1100m, 4.5hrs)
Day 3: Col de la Vanoise - Refuge de l'Arpont (2677m)
Accommodation & Meals
In Pralognan la Vanoise you'll be staying in a comfortable 2 star hotel or equivalent. Whilst on trek you'll be staying overnight in high mountain refuges or huts. They provide basic accommodation, sleeping in dormitory style rooms. The rooms vary in size from just a few people up to 50. Blankets are provided (so you don't need to bring sleeping bags). Meals are taken in a large dining room where a great atmosphere prevails as walkers and mountaineers share their stories and experiences. An example of one of the mountain huts is listed below. More information on mountain huts can be found on our dedicated page.
|Hotel Epicea Lodge||Hotel||Small friendly hotel - typical alpine chalet style in a quiet sector of the pretty mountain resort of Pralognan-la-Vanoise, with swimming pool||3 stars|
|Refuge du Col de la Vanoise||Mountain refuge||Typical mountain hut with dormitory style sleeping arrangements|
Transfers between Lyon Airport or train station and the Vanoise in the Savoie are included in the price of your guided alpine walking holiday. The airlines Easy jet, BMI and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Stanstead, Manchester and Heathrow - to Lyon St Exupery airport.
Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets.
Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. In addition, please contact us before booking to ensure that your chosen flight time is practical for the holiday. 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.
Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London to Lyon Part Dieu changing at Lille or Paris. Please contact us before booking to check for practical times.
Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries, Eurotunnel and DFDS Seaways.
Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Vanoise area takes about 9 hours (excluding long breaks).
Tolls amount to about 45 euros each way. Free parking is available in Pralognan.
More information can be provided at the time of booking and we would be happy to help you make your travel arrangements.