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5
challenging

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights in 2-3 * hotels
  • 1 night in mountain refuges
  • 1 night in a mountain hotel
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days£1650GBP

Overview

Trip Code: JHR

The Haute Route Trip highlights


  • Swiss hiking holiday for the experienced walker
  • Challenging Alpine hiking in the Valais canton
  • A classic itinerary making an ideal walking holiday
  • Stay in a mix of high mountain & low valley accommodations
  • Explore remote districts that are little visited
  • Follow sections of the well-known Haute Route
  • Excellent variety of alpine flowers & animals
  • Hotel-based Swiss Alps hiking holiday

The scenic Swiss canton of Valais is one of the most magnificent mountain regions in Europe. It is an alpine network of valleys that lead off into beautiful and little-visited areas, some of which rarely see a tourist.

This 9-day hotel-based Swiss Valais trek, following part of the well-known Haute Route, visits these remote districts. Here, the walking is of true alpine character and charming villages lie in lush, green meadows, dominated by rugged and dramatic mountain scenery. There is some very dramatic scenery on offer, Mount Colon, the Pigne de Arolla, the Dent Blanche, Weisshorn and Dom, not mentioning a huge range of peaks at the head of the Mittertal Valley including the Matterhorn, and Briethorn.

Although the Haute Route is popular, you will find that, compared to many other areas in Switzerland, most of the paths on this section are little trodden. This gives rise to an excellent variety of alpine flowers and frequent sightings of alpine animals. As you cross the linguistic frontier from French-speaking to German-speaking Switzerland you have a chance to practice both languages. Many people praise their stay on this tour at a rather eccentric Victorian hotel with some of the Alps’ finest views.

Countries:

Switzerland

Starting Point:

Arolla

Finishing Point:

Zermatt


Make your own way to the famous climbing village of Arolla (1998m). It is a tiny place with a small supermarket, a post office and a couple of hotels. At this altitude, you are already almost up among the glaciers and if there is time you could walk up the valley for a bit from the hotel towards the glaciers of Mount Colon. Accommodation: Hotel du Glacier is a 2* hotel in Arolla and is located on the edge of this small village. It offers wonderful views from its terrace.

Meals:  D

The famous peaks of Pigne d’Arolla, Mont Colon and Aiguille de la Tsa dominate the morning views as you begin your walk from Arolla along the Val d’Arolla. You follow a contouring path just above the treeline to the beautiful Lac Bleu (2090m). From here you can decide whether you want to extend the route for another couple of hours or to descend through meadows and farmsteads to Les Hauderes and our hotel. The higher option is possible from Lac Bleu which will take you high into the alpage under the peak of L’Etoile, before a steep descent into Les Hauderes. 15 km/9.3 miles, 7 h. Ascend 150m / Descend 690m / Maximum height 2090m. Accommodation: Hotel Melezes is our 3* hotel and is located at the entrance of the village and is close to all amenities.

Meals:  B,D

A longer, but rewarding day takes you over the Col de Torrent (2918m). Walk or bus up to the village of Villaz, then it is steep into the pastures where many bird species can be seen. From the pass you can see the interesting expanse of glacial water backed up by the Barrage de Moiry. You can also see a beautiful tarn called Lac des Autannes, which would be an ideal stop for lunch. Descend with views south of the Moiry glacier. From the dam you descend to the picture-postcard village of Grimentz below the Lac de Moiry. Ascend 1475m / Descend 1357m / Maximum height 2918m. Accommodation: The 3* Hotel de Moiry is our stop for the next two nights and is in the heart of the old village.

Meals:  B,D

Grimentz is an excellent base from which to explore the upper reaches of the Moiry valley, using the public bus to save time. The tumbling iceblocks of the Moiry glacier present a stunning spectacle from the terrace of the Cabane Moiry (2825m). Another equally impressive walk crosses the Col de Sorebois (2896m) to Zinal, with fine views of the Weisshorn and Zinal Rothorn. Return from Zinal to Grimentz by bus or walk along forest tracks. There are other walks that you can take by taking the Gondola above the village.

Meals:  B

Contour through pleasant forest to Mottec (1556m) in the Zinal valley to begin your ascent to the Hotel Weisshorn (2337m). Ascend 900m / Desend 100m / Maximum height 2430m. Accommodation: The Hotel Weisshorn is in a prime position to offer stunning views. This Victorian hotel has a wonderful view from its restaurant. Its basic services are redeemed by superb views and excellent cuisine. Private rooms, some en-suite (if you request an upgrade) but most with shared facilities. *Today your luggage will be send on to Gruben, so you'll need to carry what you require for 1 nights stay at Hotel de Weisshorn.

Meals:  B,D

Walk over the Meidpass (2790m), enjoying marvelous views of the Schwarzhorn, Gletschhorn and the Weisshorn. At the col, enter German-speaking Switzerland. The shore of the lovely alpine Meidsee Lake makes an excellent lunch spot. A long descent brings you to Gruben (1822m) in the peaceful, unspoilt Turtmanntal. Ascend 589m / Descend 1104m / Maximum height 2790m. Accommodation: Schwarzhorn Mountain Hut - There are a few twin-bedded rooms. If these are not available, dormitory-style accommodation is the only alternative. Mattresses, blankets and pillows are provided but you should have a sleeping bag liner. We will always book the basic twin rooms when possible.

Meals:  B,D

Take the track beside the hotel up to the Augstbordpass (2894m). It is a long path to the last col of the trek. The path from the pass contours along a rocky track with a further slight ascent and emerges above the Mittertal Valley to a viewpoint called Tara where one of the best panoramas in the Alps has been laid out. On a good day you can see as far as the Jungfrau to Lyskamm. The pleasant descent takes you down to Jungu, where the path turns the corner into the Mittertal valley. From Jungu (1955m) you can either walk or take the cable car down to St Niklaus (1116m). It is too far to walk on from St Niklaus to Zermatt today, so take the hourly train service or bus. Ascend 1072m / Descend 1767m / Maximum height 2894m. Accommodation: Two nights at our 3* Hotel Capricorn in Zermatt. This is a typical Swiss chalet-type building. This hotel is very comfortable, informal and family run. It has a pleasant terrace garden and a sauna as well as spacious rooms with private facilities. The excellent restaurant has views out to the Matterhorn and a nice bar.

Meals:  B

Various inspiring walks around Zermatt await you today, from easier to harder options and varying lengths taking in the classic sights of the valley from various vantage points. The only difficulty is deciding which to choose. Zermatt is electric vehicles only and is dominated by the imposing, distinctive shape of the Matterhorn. All around Zermatt there is a wonderful panorama of mountain peaks. For a less energetic day, you can take the exciting cable car ride to the top of the Kleine Matterhorn (3820m). This is one of the highest cable cars in the Alps. There are many more walks and activities to choose from in Zermatt to fill your day(s) and of cours , you can extend your stay there.

Meals:  B

Depart from Zermatt after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts, 5 dinners
  • 6 nights accommodation in 2-3 * hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities, 1 night in a mountain hotel and 1 night in mountain refuge
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag per person not weighing anymore than 20kg) except night 5
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX Files

  • 3 dinners, all lunches & beverages
  • Luggage transfer on night 5 where you carry overnight items
  • Train and bus transfers (see Swiss Card), allow approx 200 CHF for these (assuming you don’t have a Swiss Card)
  • Entry fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Excess Luggage

Accommodation


Suitability

challenging

5

This trip is ‘Challenging’, and is a trek, which involves much daily uphill and downhill walking. It is only suitable for fit walkers who can readily manage days with more than 1000m/3300 feet ascent and descent in a day. Those in good physical condition, who take regular exercise and who have recent hill-walking experience, will find this a trip whose exciting challenges are equally matched by its rewards. You will not be with your main luggage on Nights 5, you will therefore need to carry enough clothing for this night. On other days only a daypack need be carried. The highest point on this tour is the Col de Torrent (2918m) on Day 4. Almost as high is the Augstbordpass (2894m) on Day 7. General mountain walking skills are required; the route is not generally vertiginous, although there is a slightly exposed sections on Days 2 towards Lac Bleu and 7 heading on the trail around to a viewpoint called Twara.


Departure dates

Daily from 13 Jul to 14 Sep

Priceper person from

£1650GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Room SupplementGBP£260
  • Solo SupplementGBP£440
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

No if you are on the snow line you have gone too high!

This 9-day Haute Route hiking holiday covers slightly less than half the famous 'Walker's Haute Route.' You will have a two-night stay in both Grimentz and Zermatt to enjoy some of the other splendid walks in the area.

These are generally steep mountain trails, usually more grassy than rocky, going up over high passes, where the trails can become gravelly and loose, then descending across alpine scenery and through trees to beautiful Swiss villages.

Three of the hotels are 3 stars with comfortable rooms, sometimes with traditional features. There is a more basic Victorian-era mountain hotel with non en-suite rooms and another similar mountain hotel which may on occasion only offer dormitory accommodation. If that is the case, you will be informed and our team will discuss arrangements with you.

On this hotel-based trek, 4 dinners are included. You need to make allowances for the other dinners and for packed lunches. Other potential costs will be those of using transport options if you so choose to do some of the optional variants. These will usually involve taking postbuses or cable cars, which can add up so it is worth investigating buying a discount travel card or pass to make good savings.


The Haute Route Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

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