- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Self-Catering walking holiday||
|What's not included|
Locality & Walks
This independent walking holiday in the beautiful Vanoise National Park of the French Alps allows you to explore this unspoilt region at your own leisure. Our unique walking notes provide you with the choice of a number of day walks at different grades allowing 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 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 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. A variety of guided 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 this part of the Alps is the resplendent Grande Casse which sits at the head of the valley from Pralognan, the chosen base for our self-catering walking holidays. As well as being a pretty alpine village, unspoilt by modern development, it’s also in 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.
This holiday is ideal for those with some mountain walking experience, with at least one person in the party who is comfortable following maps and walking notes in mountainous areas. The choice of walks are designed to allow you to discover the best of the Vanoise National Park. Many start directly from Pralognan, whilst others start from further afield so that you can get to see more of the region. The walking grades vary from moderate to challeging. An average walk could include ascents and descents of 900m and include about 6 hours walking. If you are keen on wildlife, you may wish to consider the idea of staying in a mountain hut for one night in order to be able to get up early in the next morning to see the alpine Ibex. We have included hut details and suggested treks.
The paths are generally good although they are mountainous in nature and often exposed. Some paths include difficult passages which involve steep or rocky terrain. Our suggested walks will be graded so that you can choose to avoid walks that include such paths.
Our holidays start in mid June, although at this period you may come across snow on paths above about 2400m. There is always a risk of snow remaining in certain pockets, although snow on paths is less common from July to mid September. A couple of examples of walking circuits are described below.
Walking tour examples
We have outlined a couple of examples of the type of walks that are included in our notes.
Tour of the Aiguille de la Vanoise
This is an ideal warm-up to the week and a great introduction to the Vanoise region. You can catch the cable car if you wish up to Mont Bocher (2023m) reducing your ascent by 600m. You then follow an ancient path that traverses the Vanoise formerly used down the centuries to transport salt. The trail then crosses the beautiful Lac Vache by a series of stepping stones before 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), you’ll come face to face with the Grande Casse, a true giant of the French Alps, with its gleaming tongue of ice lapping at the crystal lake at its base. Your return walk passes beneath gleaming limestone cliffs decorated with amazing waterfalls before following a mountainous stream.
Petit Mont Blanc (2677m)
Accommodation & Meals
Below you'll find a range of self catering rental properties of different sizes and styles, ranging from one bedroom appartments to five bedroom chalets. They are all within or in close proximity to the pretty alpine village of Pralognan: the gateway to the Vanoise National Park in the French Alps.
Follow the links to find out more about the self catering rental properties. Some of these rental properties are very popular so book early to avoid disappointment. Please contact us if you would like to check availability before booking.
This page provides some useful information and links about how to get to your self-catering rental accommodation in the Vanoise mountains in Savoie, France. Please contact us if you would like help in organising your travel arrangements. Information concerning the precise location of your holiday property will be sent to you following your booking.
Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including:
Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Beaujolais area takes about 7 hours (excluding long breaks). Tolls amount to about 35 euros each way.
The nearest airports to your self catering property is Lyon Saint Exupery airport. A number of airlines fly from the UK to these airports, including Easyjet, BMI and British Airways.
All the main car hire firms are available at both airports including:
Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London St Pancras to Lyon Part dieu changing at Lille. Please use Rail Europe's train finder to organise your train journey.
For more photos of our walking holidays in the Vanoise National Park, French Alps, please visit our slide-show