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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance

Guided trekking holiday
  • Trekking Tour of the Vanoise

Dates 2020
  • From July to mid September for groups of 4 or more
  • Please contact us for a quote for your group
  • challenging walking in the Mercantour France+
  • 6 day's guided trekking holiday carrying own back pack, staying in high mountain huts, walking around the Vanoise National Park in French Alps
  • Trekking through the amazing mountains of the Vanoise National Park in the French Alps (created in 1963)
  • Exciting walking between amazing alpine peaks with pristine glaciers rising majestically above wild, remote valleys
  • The Vanoise National Park has a rich fauna and flora including the largest population of Alpine Ibex (bouquetin) in France 
  • A relatively quiet and unspoilt region of the French Alps
  • Stunning limestone peaks, sculpted by ice creating a landscape of amazing natural beauty.
  • A real alpine trekking experience taking in a number of high cols and 5 nights in high mountain huts (refuges)
  • See our photo slideshow from the Vanoise
Accommodation and Meals
  • Two nights in comfortable two star hotel before and after the trek and 5 nights in high mountain huts (dormitory style accommodation)
What's included
  1. 6 days guided trekking, full board accommodation in mountain huts whilst on trek, 5 lunches, 2 nights half-board in 3 star hotel at the start of the holiday, transfer between Lyon and Pralognan before and after the trekking holiday.
What's not included
  1. Drinks with meals, lunch on arrival and departure days plus during the first day's trekking, travel insurance, any extra services at huts.

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

Walking profile

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)

Our day's walk leaves the Col de la Vanoise and after passing a couple of lakes descends the narrow Valley de la Vanoise. The trek then contours scree slopes below the Pointe de la Rechasse before following the western valley sides of the Doron de Termignon with glaciers above. The landscapes are dramatic and beautiful. After reaching the hut, we can follow a trail from the hut to the lac d'Arpont for close up views of the glacier coming down from the plateau. (minimum +300m, -450m, 5.5hrs)

Day 4: Refuge de l'Arpont - Refuge de la Dent Parrachée

Our day's trek follows alpine meadows covered in wild flowers and rocky slopes below the impressive peak - La Dent Parachée. Keep your eyes open for ibex and marmots. We'll cross numerous streams and small valleys as the path ascends and descends in turn before the trail heads north above the reservoirs Plan d'Amont and Plan d'Aval. From here it is possible to extend the day (without pack) by climbing to Lac Genepy. It is also possible to do this optional ascent first thing in the morning. (+770m, -585m, 6hrs)

Day 5: Refuge de la Dent Parrachée - Refuge de l'Orgère

Today's trek is a relatively easy day and takes a balcony route traversing the mountain sides. Our trek starts by traversing above the reservoirs Plan d'Amont and Plan d'Aval before reaching the Col du Barbier. A small descent takes you through high sloping pasture and brings you into forested slopes before reaching your characterful mountain refuge, located below the Aiguille Doran. (+350m, -860m, 5hrs)

Day 6: Refuge de l'Orgère - Refuge de Peclet Polset

At almost 2800m the Col Chavière is the highest mountain pass on the circuit and often has snow on its slopes. After climbing through forest, the route ascends to the right of the Tete Noire. Once reached, the col offers great views across the Vanoise peaks as well as the other great alpine ranges. Our route descends to the refuge through screes and small pools. At the Peclet Polset you can enjoy a short excursion to the beautiful Lac Blanc located in a wonderful setting below the Col du Souffre. The mountain hut is in a lovely spot surrounded by beautiful alpine peaks rising on all sides. (+900m, -300m, 5hrs)

Day 7: Refuge de Peclet Polset - Pralognan la Vanoise

Our final day's walking descends a lovely valley below the imposing mountain walls of the Pointe de l'Echelle, Point de l'Observatoire and later the Roc de la Valette. We'll pass through alpine meadows as you descend. Optional ascent to the Col du Souffre in the morning or take in the beautiful summit of the Petit Mont Blanc on our way back towards Pralognan. (min descent 1100m, 5hrs)

Day 8: Departure

Transfer to Lyon after breakfast


location map vanoise french alps

lac des vaches trekking tour vanoise alps

lac blanc vanoise national park france

guided trekking holiday alpine walking

view in vanoise guided walking holiday france

alpine ibex vanoise trekking tour

mountain peaks trekking vanoise alps



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.

Name Type Details Rating  
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 hotel epicea trekking tour of Vanoise walking French Alps
Refuge du Col de la Vanoise Mountain refuge Typical mountain hut with dormitory style sleeping arrangements    
Travel Options

Travel Options

By Air

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.

By Train

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.

Self Drive

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.




View of Grande Casse from petit Mont Blanc Vanoise National Park alps France guided walking holidayPoint echelle and lac blanc Vanoise National Park alps France guided walking holidayCol du Souffre Vanoise National Park alps France guided walking holidayTour of Vallaisonnay Vanoise National Park alpsVanoise National Park alpsVanoise National Park AlpsCol de la Grassaz Vanoise National Park Alps
Vanoise National Park Alps
Vanoise National Park Alps