News & Inspiration

Inspiration and Advice for Walking in Europe Information, reviews and advice on Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk in England. Amalfi, Cilento, Tuscany, food and more Sherpa travellers share their reviews and experiences. Information, reviews and advice on Madeira walking holidays Information, reviews and advice on walks in the Cotswolds
rss

UK & European Holiday News

The latest travel news, interviews, traveller reviews, inspiration & advice on cycling and walking holidays in the UK and Europe..
Return to Blog Home >>

 

Seven of the Best Mountain Walks for 2019

There’s nothing quite like walking in the mountains to reconnect yourself with nature. The majesty and vastness of a mountain landscape helps to remind us of our place in the world, and many people who spend a holiday amongst the magnificent peaks often describe it as a life-changing experience. 

Although some mountain walking routes sit towards the challenging end of the spectrum, you certainly don’t need to be a mountaineer to take them on. 

 

Here are a few of our favourite mountain walks for 2019.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

The region around Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe (4,810m/15,780ft), is home to some of the best alpine walking and trekking in Europe, providing walkers with an opportunity to sample the culture and flavour of the three different countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. Our trekking holidays around Mont Blanc are dominated throughout by views of the highest peaks in the Alps. The traverse of the high passes takes you beneath spectacular glaciers and at other times you pass through picture-perfect Alpine villages and summer meadows. 

 

Tour du Mont Blanc


Read more about the Tour du Mont Blanc.


You may also like: The Alpine Pass Route, The Wildstrubel Circuit, The Bernese Oberland & Reichenbach Falls, The Haute Route.

 

Walking in the Dolomites

The Dolomites are like no other mountains in Europe. The Dolomite peaks are gigantic, chiselled monuments to the powerful forces of glacial erosion. Continuous sheer cliffs flank most of the peaks. Although not exceptionally high (the highest peak is Marmolada at 3,342m), they are amongst the most striking of all European mountains, coloured in weathered hues of rose, yellow, white and grey and rising in steep spires of fantastic form. Below lie bright green meadows alive with wild flowers all summer.

 

Walking in the Dolomites


Read more about Walking in the Dolomites.


You may also like: Dolomites Guided Walk

 

Corsica: Mountains & Sea

The mountains form the backbone of this rugged island. Interesting and varied long distance footpaths cross the mountains from east to west. Based on old mule tracks and ancient routes of transhumance, these routes traditionally connected mountain villages with each other and with high level pastures. Crossing intermediate ridges and following forested valleys, they take the walker into the heart of the mountains, past tumbling rivers, mixed woodland and through attractive villages.

 

Corsica


Read more about Corsica: Mountains & Sea


You may also like: A Saunter in Sardinia


Alto Aragon: The Spanish Pyrenees

This tour is a good choice for a summer hike, in a fascinating and generally quiet mountain region that is well off the beaten tracks of the higher Pyrenees. The route is truly spectacular in places, taking in some of the finest landscapes in Spain on the fringes of the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park. You cross two passes of over 2,000m, which are normally free of snow by mid-June. On the way are forests, plateaus, terraced hillsides, charming villages, deep canyons and broad valleys. 

 

Alto Aragon - The Spanish Pyrenees


Read more about Alto Aragon: The Spanish Pyrenees


You may also like: Mountains to the Mediterranean

 

The Troodos Mountains and Akamas

Cyprus is an island of natural beauty in a region with an abundance of ancient and modern civilisations and cultures. Away from the cosmopolitan towns and beach resorts you will find large areas of natural, unspoilt countryside. Rugged, conifer-clad mountains, woodland, orchards and vineyards are interspersed with tranquil, timeless villages. The Troodos Mountains cover much of the southern and western part of the country and this walk takes you from walking in the high mountains down to the coast, starting from an altitude of about 1,100m. 

 

Cyprus


Read more about The Troodos Mountains and Akamas – available as an 8-day or 11-day trip


You may also like: Zagoria – The Secret Villages

 

West Highland Way

Claimed by some to be the most popular long distance trail in the British Isles, The West Highland Way follows a national trail through some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes. Starting at the village of Drymen just outside Glasgow, it includes Loch Lomond, valley routes through the mountains round Crianlarich and open heather moorland across the Rannoch Moor wilderness area. It passes close to somber Glencoe, and finishes at Fort William near the foot of Ben Nevis (Britain's highest peak, which can be readily ascended by experienced clients if they choose to spend an extra day).

 

West Highland Way


Read more about The West Highland Way – available as an 8-day or 10-day trip


You may also like: The Great Glen Way, The Pennine Way

 

Austrian Lake District & Dachstein Alps

The beauty of the area embraced by the Dachstein Mountains and the Hallstattersee is truly inspirational - especially in the crisp, stable weather that this region often acquires during the period of this tour. There are people who claim that once you have walked here you will have experienced the best alpine hiking in Europe. The lower slopes of alpine pasture are dotted with picturesque lakes and villages including gorgeous Halstatt, whilst the high triangular mountaintops are smothered with glacial ice.

 

Austrian Lake District and Dachstein Alps


Read more about The Austrian Lake District & Dachstein Alps


You may also like: The Fjordland

How Fit Do I Need To Be? Part 2 - Europe

Following our guide to trips in the UK that are ideal for walkers with different fitness levels, now it’s the turn of Europe.

  

An important factor in the fitness levels required when choosing a walking holiday in Europe is the weather and the time of year. Although most of our European trips fall into the ‘moderate’ category, it obviously gets hotter as you head further south, and a trip in central or southern Europe is going to be more challenging in the height of summer than it is in spring or autumn.

 

This is just a small selection of the European trips that we offer. Just check out the suitability description on any of our trip pages to work out if it’s the right one for you.

GENTLE TRIPS FOR FIRST TIME WALKERS

Burgundy Vineyard Trails

This is a gentle walk that allows time to visit historic sites and vineyards along the route. Although the second half of the week provides a little more of a challenge as the distances and climbs increase slightly, it’s generally an extremely pleasant route that allows you to discover the landscape and savour some of the finest food and wine on offer anywhere in Europe. Travellers will discover a fabled land of mediaeval chateaux, ancient monasteries and fragrant breezes where the art of living is pursued to near perfection at a gentle unhurried pace. 

 

Read more


Burgundy

 

Vineyard Trails of the Loire

The Loire is also one of the major wine producing areas of France, and it also has the advantage of being a great centre for cuisine and historical monuments. The walking is hilly at times, but generally the mix of old pathways, farm and forest trails make for fairly gentle walking. The combination of walking, spectacular historical sites, the food and wines of the Loire, makes this walk full of interest and pleasure and an ideal place to start for those with a love of France or setting out on a walking holiday for the first time.

 

Read more


The Loire Valley

MODERATE TRIPS FOR THE MORE ACTIVE

Hiking the Vermillion Coast

Starting in France and ending in Spain, this walk follows the steep coastline where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean. With some days stretching for 22km and with ascents of up to 700m, you’ll certainly know that you’ve been working your legs hard by the end of the day! But this is generally a lovely walk that will pose no difficulties for someone with a decent level of fitness and experience of hill-walking. The walk includes visits to some charming fishing villages and you’ll be able to sample some lovely wines and delicious Catalan cuisine.

 

Read more


Vermillion Coast

 

Lake Como Rambling

This is a lovely walk, which includes some days that you can lengthen for a slightly bigger challenge if your legs allow it. The spectacular Lake Como, formed by glaciers during the last Ice Age, is lined by Roman Villas with beautiful gardens, and grand hotels built during the Victorian era for European and American tourists. You’ll also be able to savour some delicious Italian food and wine whilst enjoying some of the country’s most stunning views.

 

Read more

 

Lake Como

 

CHALLENGING TRIPS FOR MORE EXPERIENCED WALKERS

Alpine Pass Route

Our trip takes in the most impressive two-week section of the full classic Alpine Pass – it’s a route that takes you over many alpine passes, some a leisurely stroll, others a tougher proposition, but all offering their own spectacular visual rewards. There are some long days but lifts and cable cars can be used to shorten some of the walks and overnight locations can all be reached by public transport in case of bad weather. However, this trek is a definite challenge, which involves much daily uphill and downhill walking, and is only suitable for fit walkers who can readily manage days with more than 1000m ascent and descent. 

 

Read more


Alpine Pass Route

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

This classic alpine walk circumnavigates Western Europe’s highest mountain over passes and through the valleys of three contrasting countries. Walkers can savour the food and wine of France, Italy and Switzerland and enjoy some of the finest scenery in the world. There are no vertigo-inducing sections on this walk provided you stick to the itinerary as described in the route notes and defined on the maps; and avoid the ‘variations’. We make it clear in the notes which alternate routes in our opinion do require a ‘head for heights’. Some of the walks can be shortened if desired by the use of cable cars or (in Italy) a local bus service.

 

Read more

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

10 Reasons to do the Tour du Mont Blanc with Sherpa Expeditions

Our 2019 dates have been announced for the Tour du Mont Blanc – so now is the time to secure your place on one of the classic alpine walking tours. Here are just some of the reasons why we think you should book this spectacular trip…

 

Tour du Mont Blanc  

 

1. EIGHT fixed departure days for summer 2019

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a self guided walking holiday – but due to the logistics of baggage transfer, the trip departs on fixed dates throughout the summer season. Our 8 departure dates, spanning the entire summer, give you plenty of options for when to do the trip.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

2. Support from our friendly, knowledgeable team in London

Our London office is staffed by people with plenty of walking experience, and an in-depth knowledge of our holidays. They can provide you with all the information you need and answer all of your questions, providing support both before and during your trip.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

3. Walk independently, but at the same time as other Sherpa travellers

Although the Tour du Mont Blanc is a self guided holiday, the fact that the trip departs on fixed dates means there will always be a small number of other Sherpa walkers doing the tour at the same time. So you can be as sociable or independent as you like – it’s the best of both worlds!

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

4. Enjoy the benefits of support from our team members who live in the area

Our friendly local staff who take care of your baggage transfers also act as your contacts in case of any problems, or simply to offer advice and information.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

5. Our route notes are second to none

When you book with Sherpa you’ll receive a pack including detailed route notes, maps and information on local points of interest and attractions. The notes have been prepared by experts with intimate knowledge of the area, and also include details of alternative routes for certain parts of the tour.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

6. Enjoy a meet & greet on your first night

The evening before you set off from Les Houches for your first day’s walking, our ground support staff will hold a briefing to give you all the information you need and to ask any questions you might have. It also gives you the opportunity to meet the other Sherpa travellers who’ll be doing the walk at the same time as you.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

7. Solo travellers can avoid paying a single supplement

If you’re a solo traveller and are happy to share a room with another traveller (of the same gender), you won’t have to pay a single supplement - as long as we can pair you up. (NB: there are no single rooms available in Les Chapieux, on the 3rd night of the tour, and if not paired up single travellers will have to stay in a small dormitory at Refuge Les Mottets, which is 7km further up on the route).

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

8. First-timer on a self guided walk? No problem!

Although the Tour du Mont Blanc provides views of breath-taking alpine scenery, the walk itself is graded as ‘moderate to challenging’ and requires no mountaineering experience. This means that anyone with the level of fitness required to walk for 6 to 7 hours a day on uneven ground should find it within their capabilities. Some of the walks can be shortened by the use of cable cars or local bus services.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

9. Enjoy the culture of 3 different countries

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Tour du Mont Blanc is that you’ll pass through France, Italy and Switzerland, each with its own culture, customers and delicious food and wine. A true European adventure awaits you.

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

 

10. Rest days, or extra walking days - the choice is yours

The itinerary includes 3 ‘rest’ days when you can take it easy – but there’s certainly no need to rest if you’re feeling energetic! There’s plenty to explore in all of the areas (the route notes will provide information), or you can choose to do some extra walking if you prefer.

 

A Mont Blanc Marmotte!

Find more details, dates and book online, for the Tour du Mont Blanc Self Guided Walk.


Trekking Around Mont Blanc with Sherpa Expeditions

The highlights of a Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) walking holiday are without a doubt the excellent views of Mt Blanc itself and of the snow-clad alpine peaks of the Wildstrubel, Valais and Bernese Oberland, plus plenty of impressive glaciers. For others, magnets can also be the fresh cheeses & local wines, classic mountain cottages, or the fact that you’re circumnavigating an entire peak, in this case western Europe’s highest one!

 

Tour du Mont Blanc walking holiday - Sherpa Expeditions

 

But why go trekking around Mont Blanc with Sherpa Expeditions? To give you a better idea of how our Tour du Mont Blanc walking holiday stands out, we made this short overview that helps explain how our trip works:

 

  • 10 fixed departure days in this summer’s season
  • Walk independently, but at the same time as a small number of other Sherpa travellers
  • Enjoy the benefits of support from our team members who live in the area
  • Stay in good value for money accommodation while trekking around Mont Blanc
  • Receive maps and very detailed route notes that include options to walk different trails
  • Lots of background information and tips for local establishments
  • Complete circumnavigation of Mont Blanc; from Les Houches to Les Houches
  • Meet & greet at the start of the Tour du Mont Blanc
  • Are you a single traveller? Make use of the option to share a room with another single traveller of the same gender and avoid paying a single supplement
  • A suitable choice for first-timers on a self guided walk
  • En-suite facilities in the accommodation we selected for you (except for the nights in a guesthouse & auberge)
  • Days at leisure on which you can choose to rest, explore museums, go shopping or undertake more walks
  • The personal support of our friendly team in London, before, during and after your trip

 

 

Have you got any questions on this? Do feel free to contact our friendly team in London via phone, email or drop by if you are in the area.

 

 

You May Be Interested in This Too

 

hiking to La Fouly on Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour de France 2018 Dates: When to Be Where

Tour de France 2018 dates are slowly approaching and before you know, the official start from Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile (just off the coast of the Vendee) on July 7th will be here! It’s a unique opportunity to watch the Tour de France live in one of France’s charming towns. Spending some time with similar tour enthusiasts in high anticipation of the cyclists and then witnessing their speed and recognising famous participants will make for a lifetime memory.

 

follow tour de france 2018 - sherpa expeditions cycling holidays

 

This year, why not plan your summer holiday around the Tour de France dates and combine an active holiday in France with witnessing Le Tour for real? Whether you want to walk between vineyards in the Loire Valley, get lost in the Pyrenees – once a hideout for the Cathars, outperform yourself on Mont Blanc or traverse the remote countryside of Cevennes, below are six of the very best trips to combine with the Tour de France this year.

 

10 July: La Baule – Sarzeau >> Loire Valley

The ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc was one of the very first fine wines to be commercially bottled with a screw cap and the Loire Valley is known to be producing some excellent delicate varietals – especially the Upper Loire areas of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pick a nice terrace in the shade and with a cool glass of white in your hand, watch the Tour de France cyclists pass by on one of the first stages between La Baule and Sarzeau.

Travel on the Vineyard Trails of the Loire and watch the Tour de France live >>

 

17-19 July: Annecy – Alp d’Huez >> Mont Blanc Region

This extended itinerary circumnavigates Mont Blanc and explores the surrounding alpine region. Faced with picture postcard vistas from every vantage point, this trek affords unsurpassed views of the different faces of the Mont Blanc massif, as well as the highest point on the Tour of Mont Blanc, the Grand Col Ferret at 2,537m. Take in glittering glaciers and spectacular mountainscapes – your bags and supplies will be transported for you, allowing for plenty of time to explore en route. Add some extra days to see the Tour cyclists climb some of France’s highest mountains.

Travel on the Tour de Mont Blanc and watch the Tour de France live >>

 

21 July: Saint-Paul Trois-Chateaux – Mende >> Cevennes

In the autumn of 1878 Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, set out to walk across the Cevennes accompanied by “a small grey donkey called Modestine”. His journey inspired Travel with a donkey in the Cévennes, which has since become a travel classic. Starting in the Auvergne, this trip follows a winding route across a region that boasts great natural beauty, sad romantic ruins and is almost totally unspoilt. Ahead or after your walking holiday, visit Mende to watch the tour de France live.

Follow Louis Stevenson’s Trail and watch the Tour de France in Cevennes >>

 

24 July: Carcassonne – Bagneres-de-Luchon >> Crusaders Cathar Castles

Joining in Toulouse, this walking quest in the foothills of the Pyrenees delves into the rich history of the Cathar Country of the Foix, Aude Valley and Corbières areas of Southern France. The trip follows the tragic fate of the Cathar heretics, whose parfaits or priests were burned at the stake or driven into hiding. As well as its rich and evocative historical heritage, the area offers outstanding scenery of wild flowers and fine local dishes and will make for a mountainous stage 16 of this year’s Tour.

Trace the footsteps of the Crusaders’ Cathar Castles and watch the Tour de France >>

 

24-26 July: Bagneres-de-Luchon – Pau >> Tarn & Aveyron

Our walking route winds between the ‘Bastides’ (fortified towns) that sprung up during the Wars of Religion: rich in history and situated in spectacular settings on rocky promontories, here every stop has a tangle of narrow medieval streets to wander and sweeping views from the rocky hilltops or ancient walls. The start and end point of this circular walking tour, through the departments of Tarn and Aveyron, is Cordes-sur-Ciel, the first and most important of the ‘Bastides’, founded in 1222.

Travel on the Medieval France: Tarn & Aveyron trip and watch the Tour de France >>

 

27 July: Lourdes – Laruns >> Pyrenees

When the Greenwich Meridian was agreed upon as the international standard, the fact that it was passing through some of the most spectacular corners of the High Pyrénées was probably not a major consideration. Trip highlights on include the dramatic, natural ‘amphitheatre’ of Cirque de Gavarnie and the famous Brêche de Roland, a natural rock doorway into Spain. The latter location is closer to the 25 July stage of the Tour de France that finishes in Saint-Lary-Soulan.

Travel on The Meridian Way: Heart of the Pyrenees and watch the Tour de France >>

 

If you are curious to find the exact schedule and Tour de France dates for 2018, below map may give you some support:

tour de france dates 2018 (c)LeTourdeFrance.fr

 

For more information and booking details, please contact our team of travel experts via email, phone or drop into our office in London.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Le Tour de France 

 

 

 

 

Grande Randonnées & Other French Long-Distance Footpaths

There is an elaborate network of grande randonnées in France (literally "big hikes") that form part of the European long-distance footpaths. In the country alone, there is already a network of 60,000km of GR trail to discover. If that’s not enough, France has many other interesting long-distance footpaths that offer fabulous walking conditions.

Below, we selected five French long distance footpaths for you. No matter if you like to complete them in one go, like to break them up in separate sections, or just cover the best parts, as usual, our team in London can assist with your wishes.

 

Way of St James

Full Length: 1500km / 935 miles

 

French long distance footpath_Way of St James_Sherpa Expeditions

 

Rustic and charming, this is one of our most popular trips, ideal for anyone who wishes to explore some of the more unusual, less visited landscapes of rural France, coupled with a flavour of the past and a dose of religious history. It covers a large swathe of the uplands of the Massif Central, taking a path that the early pilgrims walked to reach Santiago de Compostela about 1500 kilometres later.

               >> See More & Walk this Long-Distance Footpath

 

GR20

Full Length: 180km / 112 miles

 

Walk the grande randonnee GR20 in France's Corsica with Sherpa walking holidays

 

Dense maquis, mountain ridges and granite peaks that soar to 2,700m create a rugged terrain that is tempered by deeply wooded valleys, pine forest and cascading streams. This toughest of all grande randonnées in France starts in Corte’s old town, which clings to the steep slope below its majestic citadel. It then leads from the heart of the mountains across the north-south watershed to the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way you will pass ancient villages that preserve century-old traditions and visit iconic rock formations such as Les Calanches.

>> See More & Walk this Grande Randonnée

 

Tour de Mont Blanc

Full Length: 170km / 106 miles

 

Mont Blanc walking holidays with Sherpa Expeditions

 

This self-guided, extended itinerary circumnavigates Mont Blanc via a network of footpaths to explore the surrounding alpine region. Faced with picture postcard vistas from every vantage point, on a two week trek you can enjoy unsurpassed views of the different faces of the Mont Blanc massif. The trails also lead you to the highest point on the Tour of Mont Blanc, the Grand Col Ferret at 2,537m.

>> See More & Walk this Long-Distance Footpath

 

GR70 | Stevenson’s Trail

Full Length: 274km / 170 miles

 

Walk in Cevennes - GR70 - grande randonnee walks with Sherpa Expeditions

 

In the autumn of 1878 Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, author of the book Treasure Island, set out to walk across the Cevennes region of France accompanied by “a small grey donkey called Modestine”. His journey inspired Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, which has since become a classic travel book. Starting in the Auvergne, this French long distance footpath follows a winding route across a region that boasts great natural beauty, sad romantic ruins and is almost totally unspoilt. Today it is known as the Stevenson’s Trail or Chemin Stevenson.

>> See More & Walk this Grande Randonnée

 

GR10 | The Meridian Way

Full Length: 866km / 538 miles

 

French long distance footpaths - Meridian Way - Sherpa walking holidays

 

When the Greenwich Meridian was agreed upon as the international standard in 1884, the fact that it was passing through some of the most spectacular corners of the High Pyrenees was probably not a major consideration. Today, the line forms part of the grande randonnée GR10 that goes through the Haute Pyrenees. Highlights of the route include: the dramatic Cirque de Gavarnie, a natural amphitheatre 1,400m high; the spectacular Grande Cascade, whose 423m drop makes it the longest in Europe; and the famous Brêche de Roland, a natural rock ‘doorway’ into Spain.

>> See More & Walk this Grande Randonnée

 

 

You can find more information in the trip notes, which you can download via the blue button on each trip’s page. Or for other details and booking information, please do contact our team of travel experts by phone or email. 

 

Picture This! A Vision of Mont Blanc

Being one of Europe’s most impressive mountain regions, extraordinary Mont Blanc is hard to grasp in words. A diverse flora and fauna, ever changing scenery, charming settlements, and a plethora of tracks and trails all make up the mountain area that covers France, Italy and Switzerland.

 

To give you an idea what you may expect on one of our walking holidays circumnavigating the peak, check out this overview of Mont Blanc images and be awed.

 

Tracks & Trails

mont-blanc-images_follow-a-mountain-stream_sherpa-expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_scenery-of-forest_sherpa-expeditions 

mont-blanc-images_break-from-walking_sherpa-expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_walking-up_sherpa-expeditions

 

Mont Blanc way markers - Sherpa Walking Holidays 

Flora & Fauna

Deer in the Mont Blanc region - Sherpa Expeditions

 

bird Mont Blanc - Sherpa walking holidays

 

mountain flowers of Mont Blanc - Sherpa Expeditions

 

cute marmot, Mont Blanc, Sherpa Expeditions

 

butterflies, Mont Blanc, Sherpa walking holidays

 

animals around Mont Blanc - Sherpa Expeditions 

marmot, mont blanc, sherpa expeditions

 

Scenic Mont Blanc Region

mont-blanc-images_look-into-the-valley_sherpa-expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_mountain-peaks_sherpa-expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_swiss-cows_sherpa-expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_glacier_sherpa-expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_mont-blanc-sign_sherpa-expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_mountain-views_sherpa-expeditions

 

Alpine Mountain Hamlets

settlement of Mont Blanc - Sherpa Expeditions

 

mont-blanc-images_mountain-art_sherpa-expeditions

 

room with a view - mont blanc images - Sherpa 

village life of Mont Blanc - Sherpa walking holidays

 

mont-blanc-images_lake-boats_sherpa-expeditions

 

amazing setting on Mont Blanc, imagine yourself here

 

 

Inspired?

Do you, after seeing these fantastic Mont Blanc images, like to experience this part of France, Italy and Switzerland for yourself? You can on one of our Mont Blanc walking holidays:

Tour du Mont Blanc – 14 Days >> An extended self guided circumnavigation around the highest mountain in Western Europe, through the meadows and mountain passes of Mont Blanc in France, Italy and Switzerland.

               Show me more >>

Tour du Mont Blanc – 11 Days >> A classic alpine walk that starts in Les Houches and finishes in Chamonix walking around Western Europe’s highest mountain through the valleys of three contrasting countries.

               Show me more >>

Mont Blanc Classic Walk – 8 Days >> Discover the highlights of the Mont Blanc region on this self guided walk through France, Switzerland and Italy.

               Show me more >>

Mont Blanc Guided Walk – 8 Days >> An exhilarating hike around Mont Blanc taking in sweeping vistas of famous peaks and glaciers.

               Show me more >>

Mont Blanc Family Adventure – 7 Days >> A special family walking adventure through the Alps to view the Mont Blanc regions famous peaks and glaciers.

               Show me more >>

Mont Blanc in Comfort – 6 Days >> An exhilarating guided horseshoe circuit hike around Mont Blanc staying in private rooms instead of dorms.

               Show me more >> 


 

Walking in the Alps: The Alpine Pass Route vs the Tour du Mont Blanc

Travellers who are looking to go walking in the Alps often ask us, 'Which is better, the Tour de Mont Blanc (TMB) or The Alpine Pass Route?' We believe that’s a pretty tricky question: both are 2-week long challenging walks threading their way through some of the finest alpine scenery one could find in Europe.

A number of travellers who have walked both routes judge The Alpine Pass to be top of the list, however the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the world’s most popular mountain walks. This spurred us on to compare the two walks to try and explain popularity of the alpine walking holidays.

 

walking in the alps - Sherpa Expeditions walking holidays

 

Scenic Variety of Europe’s Alps

The Alpine Pass Route is said to have more scenic variety and is claimed to be more spectacular with more sheer-sided peaks flanking the route. The Tour de Mont Blanc concentrates quite naturally on the majestic domed top of the highest mountain in Western Europe that seems to draw walkers like a magnet to the Mont Blanc Massif. Here, the impressive sideshows along the way include the Dent Blanche and Aiguille Vert. In contrast, the Alpine Pass Route has a whole procession of beautifully different mountains including the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, Titlus, Wellhorn, Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Breithorn, Gspaltenhorn, Blumlisalpernhorn, Doldenhorn and Wildstrubel.

 

Walking the Alpine Pass Route - Sherpa walking holidays

 

walking the Tour du Mont Blanc - Sherpa walking holidays

 

Both tours stay at mountain inns in beautifully quiet locations. Both routes involve walking up a multitude of alpine valleys and over high passes. The Fenetre d’Arpette (2665m) is the highest one on the TMB but this is trounced by the Hohturli (2778m) on the Alpine Pass, an amazing gateway into the glacial scenery suspended above Kandersteg and the magnificent Oeschinensee glacial lake. The other two big passes on the Alpine Pass Route, Sefinenfurke (2,612m) and the Bundechrinde (2380m), have very different outlooks.

 

Circuit vs Linear Walks

The TMB is a circuit, the Alpine Pass a linear route – is there a preference? Is closing the loop preferable to completing A to B? The efficiency of the Swiss rail system certainly makes starting and ending in different places insignificant.

The route that you follow on the Alpine Pass walk with Sherpa Expeditions is the most spectacular half of a 4-week walk that crosses Alpine Switzerland. It’s holistic in its own right passing between the high Bernese Oberland peaks into the Valais and towards the Rhone Valley.

On the other hand, the TMB is a complete long distance walk. The Tour du Mont Blanc route certainly has more walkers, is best-known and has many articles on it appearing in magazines and books. Perhaps you can ‘dine out’ for longer with a Mont Blanc tour under your belt. The Alpine Pass Route has less press; perhaps this is one of the main reasons for the difference in popularity.

 

Alpine Highlights

There are highlights for mountain lovers on both alps walking holidays: particularly Grindelwald and Klein Scheidegg on the Alpine Pass Route, and Chamonix, Champex and Courmayeur on the Tour de Mont Blanc.

Walking in the Alps on both tours include 'rest days.' Although most people would use these for doing extra walks or variations, they are handy if you want to rest weary limbs or go sightseeing. On the 14-day Tour du Mont Blanc you have rest days in La Palud, Champex and Chamonix (on the 11-day option, we have removed these days and you can continue walking). On the Alpine Pass Route, you’ll have time at leisure in Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and Kandersteg. From Grindelwald you can join other visitors and take the train up the Eiger, while from Chamonix you take the cable cars up the Aiguille du Midi for equally spectacular views. 

 

Viewpoint when walking in the Alps - Sherpa Expeditions

 

TMB walking in the Alps - Sherpa Expeditions 

Borders of the Alps

Perhaps the TMB is popular because you get the chance to walk into three countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. This does mean that you have to remember changing your money into Swiss Francs and Euros. The Alpine Pass Route passes from the German speaking Oberland to the French speaking Valais, two areas with distinct cultures and traditions (and that have the Euro as their currency).

 

Getting Out of the Mountains

One concern when walking the Tour du Mont Blanc is what to do if you are unlucky and experience really bad weather or sprain an ankle or knee. Some of the sections do not have public transport to the next place, or if they do, it may take a lot of time. On the Alpine Pass Route, there are no such worries as all accommodation can be reached by rail and post bus combinations.

 

Alpine Pass Route, Switzerland walking holidays

 

Tour du Mont Blanc walking holidays in France

 

So, which is best?

We have to say it is hard to find a clear difference on these walking holidays in the Alps. Perhaps the Alpine Pass Route has the edge on scenery but the Tour De Mont Blanc has the recognition. Certainly, if you have already enjoyed a walking holiday on the TMB, we believe you should definitely consider the Alpine Pass Route for your next trip, and vice versa! Afterwards, do let us know which you preferred.

 

 

With Sherpa Expeditions, you can begin a self-guided Alpine Pass holiday on any day from mid July through to the end of September.

This season’s escorted departures for the Alpine Pass Route start on 3rd July and 14th August and there are just a few spots left.

 

Walk the Tour du Mont Blanc in either 11 days or go for the 14-day version that includes rest days.

 

If you are toying with the idea of walking in the Alps around France and Switzerland, besides considering the TMB don’t overlook the Alpine Pass Route as a great alternative. To discuss your options with one of our travel experts, please contact us by email or phone

 

2017 Guided Walks Now Live

Popular Guided Walking Holidays in Europe for 2017


The 2016 walking season may be close to an end, but we’ve already sold out on some of our guided walking holidays in 2017!

Dates for our guided walking holidays in the summer of 2017 are now live and bookable on our website. With new trips and extra departure dates, there is a fantastic pool of 5 different trips for you to choose from for next year! Make sure to be among the firsts to plan your walking holiday for next summer and book your place in order to join the dates you prefer.

 

overview of guided walking holidays for 2017:

 

Guided Walking in the Dolomites

Guided walking holidays europe - Dolomites with Sherpa Expeditions

Where? Italy, the Dolomites rugged mountains

What? Hiking beneath dramatic limestone peaks of the Dolomites, alpine pasteures & mountain passes, and the peaks of Tre Cime, Tofana and Sella mountains.

When? September 2017

Take me there >>

 

The Alpine Pass Route Guided Walking Holiday

Guided walking holidays europe - Alpine Pass Route, Switzerland, with Sherpa Expeditions

Where? Switzerland

What? Swiss alpine walking at its best, new views every day, a variety of passes to cross – from easy to challenging, comfortable accommodation.

When? July/August 2017

Take me there >>

 

The Bernese Oberland and Reichenbach Falls Guided Walk

Guided walking holidays europe - Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, with Sherpa Expeditions

Where? Switzerland, Bernese Oberland

What? A fantastic introduction to the delights of walking in the Swiss alps, trek around the famous peaks of Wetterhorn, Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau & Matterhorn, undertake a variety of walks and make use of the ubiquitous local transport.

When? August 2017

The Bernese Oberland and Reichenbach Falls 

 

Wainwright's Coast to Coast Guided Walk

Guided walking holidays europe - Lake District England, Coast to Coast with Sherpa Expeditions

Where? England, the Lake District

What? The dramatic landscapes of the Lake District with majestic lakes & rugged mountains, classic English rural countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, walk from the Irish Sea to the North Sea coast in 15 days.

When? June, July, August & September 2017  Note: the July trip has already sold out

Coast to Coast Classic Guided Walk - 15 Days

 

Coast to Coast Guided Rambler

Guided walking holidays europe - Wainwright's Coast to Coast with Sherpa Expeditions

Where? England, Lake District

What? Walk across England on Wainwright’s Walk on one of the world’s great walks and experience the English Lake District, Pennines & North York Moors in 18 days.

When? May, July/August 2017 Note: both trips are selling out fast!

Coast to Coast Guided Rambler - 18 Days

 

2017 dates and prices are now available on Sherpa Expeditions website! Browse around for the trips that you like and book early to avoid disappointment. Contact our team of travel experts today for any questions or trip details.


More Choice on Our Most Popular Mont Blanc Walking Holiday!

Mont Blanc Walking Holidays with Sherpa Expeditions

 

Over the past seasons our team in London has regularly been asked for a shorter version of our most popular Mont Blanc walking holiday, the 14-day Tour du Mont Blanc. As quite some of you want to keep walking once they’re on speed, we are now proud to announce a faster-paced 11-day version of the Tour du Mont Blanc!

 

On this brand new option you follow exactly the same route as on the 14-day Tour du Mont Blanc. We’ve obviously made sure that you can enjoy the exact same impressive scenery (some of the finest in the world), you cross the three contrasting countries of France, Italy & Switzerland, and of course that you will savour the delicious food and wine of this part of the alps.

 

Mont Blanc Walking Holiday_Sherpa Expeditions_walking around Mont Blanc in France

 

Mont Blanc Walking Holiday_Sherpa Expeditions_waymarks on Mont Blanc in France

 

So what are the differences and which Mont Blanc walking holiday suits me best?

  • on the new 11-day trip we took out all of the rest days, so that you have a continuous walk
  • an added advantage is that this requires you to take only 2 weeks off work
  • the level of the new 11-day Tour du Mont Blanc is challenging as you have back to back long walking days with an average of 7-8 hours walking per day
  • on this new Mont Blanc walking holiday you finish off in Chamonix to explore the picturesque mountain village on your last day
  • the walking days are exactly the same as on our classic Tour du Mont Blanc walk
  • on the new Mont Blanc walk, you’ll walk eight days in a row, while the 14-day walking holiday includes a rest day after the 3rd, 5th, and 8th day of walking
  • the shorter Tour du Mont Blanc trip finishes in Chamonix and so the last bit of the TMB (walking back to Les Houches) is not included
  • you still walk with a maximum of 15 people at the same time and have your luggage ready waiting for you at your hotel when you arrive.

For the new Tour du Mont Blanc walking holiday there are only four departure dates, and you can now be among the firsts to secure your spot on this trip!

If you like to receive more information or booking details, please have a look at the trip notes on this page, or of course get in touch with our team of travel experts directly.