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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance

Independent Walking holiday
  • Vanoise Explorer

Dates 2022
  • From mid June to mid September
  • From £890 per person
  • From €1025 per person
  • hiking grade vanoise or challenging walking in the Mercantour France
  • 6 day's centre-based walking staying in 4-star accommodation in Pralognan-la-Vanosie, exploring the Vanoise National Park in French Alps
  • Hiking 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.
  • Comfortable accommodation in a pretty historic village.
  • See our photo slideshow from the Vanoise
Accommodation and Meals
  • 7 nights in a 4-star hotel in the village of Pralognan-la-Vanoise
What's included
  1. 7 nights accommodation on a half board basis, walking guide book, walking map. Prices are based on 2 people per room.
What's not included
  1. Drinks with meals, lunches, travel to and from Pralognan-la-Vanoise, travel insurance.

Vanoise & Walking Holiday

This self-guided walking holiday in the beautiful Vanoise National Park of the French Alps is a centre-based trip which allows you to combine the high mountains with the comfort of a 4-star hotel in the pretty village of Pralognan-la-Vanoise. The holiday includes walks of varying lengths and difficulties with the majority of hikes situated around grades 3 or 4 on a scale of 5. This equates to day walks with altitude gains of 500m - 1000m. As you are based in a hotel you can choose to have rest days when you wish.

This independent alpine walking holiday 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. The walks take you past some outstanding mountain scenery, including the sheer Aguille de Vanoise, the Grande Casse, and La Dent Parrachée. The highest mountain in 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

The majority of the walks on this walking holiday average between 500m to 1000m of ascent and about 5-6 hours of walking. There will also be the odd easier and harder walk in the guidebook to maximise the experience. The paths are generally good although they are mountainous in nature and sometimes exposed so you should have experience of walking in the mountains and be sure-footed. Early in the season there maybe snow left on some of the paths at altitude. The holiday would be ideal for those looking for a first alpine holiday, as well as those more experienced.

Day 1: Arrival,

Travel to Pralognan in the Vanoise. Warm welcome at your 4-star hotel.

Days 2-7: Choice of walking holidays

Below is a selection of the walks included in the walking guidebook

Col de la Vanoise & Grande Casse

Take the Mont Bochor cable car to 2000m before traversing below cliffs to Refuge des Barmettes. Re-join the GR55 following an ancient path that crosses the Vanoise, 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. Return by the same way or take a longer circular trail all the way down to Pralognan-la-Vanoise. +550m, 13.5km,-550m (or -1100m if walking back to Pralognan.

Lake Blanc

Take the shuttle bus to Les Prioux and climb to Refuge du Roc de la Peche before following a beautiful glaciated valley as the path slowly rises towards the high mountains. After passing the refuge Peclet Polcet, you’ll arrive at the stunning Lac Blanc with its turquoise blue waters. There are superb views of the surrounding mountains especially the peak de l’Echelle. Return by the same trail. +790m, 18.5km

Crete du Mont Charvet

Climbing to the west of Pralognan this walk takes you on a ridge walk through a fascinating landscape of sink holes and other bizarre geological forms. Exceptional views from the ridge. 14km, +1050m

Col de Naprement

Perched directly above Pralognan, this walk and summit offers magnificent views. The walk zig-zags up through wooded slopes before emerging onto a small summit at 2185m directly above cliffs plunging towards the resort. Your return trail takes you back to Pralognan via a different route. 8km, +740m

Petit Mont Blanc

The trail rises through rich alpine meadows before climbing onto the rounded summit of the Petit Mont Blanc, so called due to its white appearance due to the gypsum rocks that make up its summit. The views from the summit of the surrounding alpine peaks of the Vanoise are outstanding.10km,+940m

Chalets de Nants

Take the shuttle bus to Les Prioux. High altitude pastures in a decor of high mountains. Wonderful views of the Grande Casse and the roc de la Valette from the refuge de la Valette. Getting close to the hanging glaciers tumbling from the plateau. 5km, +490m You can extend your walk to reach Refuge de la Valette where you can get refreshment. The hut is situated in a superb location overlooking the Chaviere Valley.

Le Moriand

Take the cable car to Mont Bochor at 2000m before traversing below cliffs to Refuge des Barmettes. Then climb over the whale-backed summit of Le Moriand where you get close up views of the pointed summit of Aiguille de la Vanoise. Descend via the Cirque de l’Arcelin below huge cliffs. The last part of your walk passes under the spectacular Cascade de la Fraiche. 9km, +300m, -900m

Mont Chevrier

A beautiful itinerary, varied and little frequented, whose interest lies in its different experiences and views rather than a summit. The walk ends at a great viewpoint. 6km, +560m

Day 8: Departure

Walking holiday ends after breakfast

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Accommodation & Meals

In Pralognan la Vanoise you'll be staying in a very comfortable 4 star hotel.

Name Type Details Rating  
Hotel Edelweiss Hotel Stay in the welcoming comfortable 4-star Hotel Edelweiss in the heart of Pralognan. The hotel has 23 spacious rooms, a spa and terrace. Tasty traditional dishes. 4 stars  
Travel Options

Travel Options

By Air

There are scheduled flights to Geneva, Turin, Lyon, Chambery and Grenoble. Lyon, Geneva and Turin have the most regular services. The airlines Easy jet, Flybe and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Luton, Birmingham, Gatwick, Edinburgh and Heathrow - to Lyon St Exupery airport.

All have rail links with Modane and Moutiers via Chambery. There are bus services running from Moutiers to Pralognan la Vanoise. You will need to take a taxi from Modane to near the refuge Orgere if you wish to start the tour in the south.

By Train

Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London to Lyon Part Dieu direct and changing at Lille or Paris. Local services then run to Modane or Moutiers via Chambery. Please use Rail Europe's train finder in our travel store to organise your train journey. There are bus services running from Moutiers to Pralognan la Vanoise. We can organise a taxi for you from Moutiers, cost about 75 euros one way.

Self Drive

Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries & DFDS seaways. Crossings are also provided by train with Eurotunnel.

Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Vanoise area takes about 9 hours (excluding long breaks).

Tolls amount to about 55 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.




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