The High Alps Walk

From $1795 per person

****# (94%) Based on 30 customer reviews
  • Exciting high-level walking with easy-to-follow footpaths and excellent signposting
  • Superb views: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Dents du Midi, Swiss Alps
  • Spectacular Alpine flora: over 1,200 varieties of wildflowers
  • Charming mountain villages; comfortable valley hotels, one with pool, and great regional cuisine
  • Amazing birds and wildlife: ibex, chamois, mouflon, red deer, eagles

What's included?

  • 10 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 24 Jun '17 to 4 Sep '17
  • Continental breakfast and 8 evening meals
  • Managed locally by hotelier
  • Sustainability rating: 74%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers

Excellent for...

The High Alps Walk

This is a real Alpine walker's holiday, offering exciting self-guided walks at a safe altitude but with an 'Haute Montagne' feel, plus the luxury of comfortable hotel accommodation every night. En route you can conquer the two highest peaks in the Chablais (both 2432m and both wildlife reserves). The mountain scenery here is staggering with breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks in one wonderful geography lesson: Mont Blanc, the Dents du Midi, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, the central Swiss Alps and the Jura.

Amazingly, most of the Chablais is hardly frequented by walkers. the countryside is a mosaic of colourful Alpine meadows, mixed woodland and glacial tarns, crowned by dramatic rocky mountain peaks. Flora enthusiasts are well catered for - there are wildflowers everywhere: 1,200 species, including gentian, orchids and edelweiss, and plenty of Alpine wildlife too. The footpaths are easy to follow, with excellent signposting, and there is virtually no road walking. Part of your route follows the classic Alpine long distance footpath (GR5), and part follows old smugglers' trails high up along the Swiss border.

You stay in a mix of ** and *** family run chalet-style hotels and a traditional Chablais house; the hotels offer good regional cuisine, evenings at La Chapelle d'Abondance have been left free for you to choose from one of the restaurants available.

Read more about this holiday on the travel blog.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive at Les Gets

A taxi transfer from Geneva to Les Gets, then time to explore this charming alpine village or take a swim in the pool before enjoying M. Hominal's delicious cuisine.

Day 2 - Les Gets to Lac de Montriond 24km/15mi/7.5hr

A well-marked path takes you to the summit of Mont Chery (1826m) for fabulous views of the Les Gets valley. There's a fantastic panorama from the top, including Mont Blanc, before you descend through a flower-filled meadow to Col de l'Encrenaz. Skirt below the jagged peaks of the Pain de Sucre and the Pic de la Dollaz and descend to Montriond. Then it's a pretty riverside walk up to your chalet hotel beside the Lac de Montriond.

Day 3 - At Lac de Montriond

You have an excellent choice of local walks from a gentle stroll around the picturesque lake to an exhilarating ridge walk via the Ardent Waterfall up to the bustling village of Les Lindarets and then along the Super-Morzine ridge (offering fantastic 360° views). Full walking route notes are provided.

Day 4 - Lac de Montriond to Chatel 17km/11mi/6hr or 22km/14mi/9hr

The highlight of today's walk is the magnificent limestone pyramid of Mont de Grange (2432m), a wildlife reserve. Around 500 chamois live here, along with mouflons and red deer. From the summit you see a huge Alpine panorama as far as Italy and central Switzerland. Then it's down to Chatel for breathtaking views and excellent regional cuisine.

Day 5 - At Chatel

There's a large choice of well-signed footpaths in the mountains here, and only a short walk into Switzerland is the pretty village of Morgins. Perhaps stay in Chatel and potter round the village market.

Day 6 - Chatel to La Chapelle d'Abondance 17km/11mi/7hr

From Le Morclan (1970m) you feel you can reach out and touch the jagged teeth of the Dents du Midi, with Mont Blanc to the south and a sweeping view east of the Bernese Alps. You follow the old smugglers' route high up along the Swiss border, then it's down through lush Alpine meadows thick with campanula, daisies and gentian to the pretty village of La Chapelle d'Abondance with its famous onion-domed church.

Day 7 - At La Chapelle d'Abondance

If you're up to the challenge, the Cornettes de Bise is a must. As high as the Mont de Grange (2432m), this is one of France's few ibex reserves, with 400 in the area at the last census. Or perhaps just go as far as the beautifully secluded Lac d'Arvouin; you'll still be rewarded by spectacular views.

Day 8 - La Chapelle d'Abondance to Abondance 14km/9.5mi/5hr or 16km/10mi/6.5hr

From the Pointe de Lachau (1962m) you can see the Matterhorn, 80km away! Go down to the gorgeous hamlet of Ubine, where old chalets huddle round a tiny C17 chapel under the sheer wall of Mont Chauffe. The afternoon's almost all downhill, and you're soon relaxing in the hotel's private sauna and jacuzzi.

Day 9 - At Abondance

Opposite the hotel is the C12 Abbaye de l'Assomption. the church is impressive, but it's the C14 Gothic cloister with C15 murals by Giacomo Jaquerio which is the real highlight. You could also take a day trip to the lakeside town of Thonon or a boat ride on Lake Geneva.

Day 10 - Abondance to St Jean d'Aulps 14km/9mi/5hr or 17km/11mi/5hr

You have a choice of two very different walks today. The less energetic takes you to the Pointe des Follys, a great picnic spot for a relaxed end to your holiday. Or, weather permitting, you could climb to the wonderfully isolated tarn, Lac de Tavaneuse, with magnificent views as you go over the Col de Tavaneuse at 2000m. We meet you in St-Jean-d'Aulps for a ride back to Les Gets.

Day 11 - Leave Les Gets

Note: The last weekend of June is the annual Portes du Soleil Mountain Bike Tour. Come and enjoy the event or visit at a quieter time.

Walking information

This is one of the most demanding walks that we offer, with some strenuous climbs and descents each day. You'll need to be a regular walker and reasonably fit. Walking boots are essential and, given that mountain weather can change rapidly, waterproofs should always be carried.

Walking information

This is one of the most demanding walks that we offer, with some strenuous climbs and descents each day. You'll need to be a regular walker and reasonably fit. Walking boots are essential and, given that mountain weather can change rapidly, waterproofs should always be carried.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Hotel Alpina, Les Gets   (3 Star)

Hotel Alpina, Les Gets

Hotel Alpina is our base hotel for the High Alps Walk. M Hominal and his team will make you feel very welcome in this chalet style hotel.

The rooms are beautifully furnished with intricately carved wooden panelling. Most rooms have balconies.

The hotel has excellent facilities with a covered, heated pool, jacuzzi and sauna.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Safe

Hotel Les Sapins, Montriond   (2 Star)

Hotel Les Sapins, Montriond

This hotel is situated about 3km from the village in a particularly quiet and charming location.

All 18 rooms are equipped with private bathroom, toilet, television and telephone.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed

Hotel Le Renard, Châtel   (2 Star)

Hotel Le Renard, Châtel

Situated just below the main part of town, you stay as the guests of the affable Robert Brown at his comfortable 8 room 'Hôtel Le Renard'.

The rooms are nicely furnished in a modern style, with tea and coffee making facilities.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Tea/coffee facilities

La Ferme du Chateau, La Chapelle d'Abondance   (3 Acorn)

Ferme du Chateau

La Ferme du Chateau offers quiet, comfortable rooms. Most are south facing with a balcony overlooking the garden and Mont de Grange reserve. The building is an old Savoyard farmhouse that dates back to 1680.

There is a cosy living room and a sunken jacuzzi on the balcony.

Evenings have been left free for you to choose from a selection of restaurants in the town.

Independent hotel reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot

Hotel de l’Abbaye, Abondance   (3 Star)

Hotel de l'Abbaye, Abondance

The Hotel de l'Abbaye is a fine traditional Chablais town house right in the centre of the village.

This hotel boasts 14 well renovated rooms, all of which are en suite with televisions and balconies.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Television

Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel St Louis, St Omer   (2 Star)

Hotel St Louis, St Omer

A traditional hotel in the town centre - very convenient for the channel ports and also for exploring St Omer itself - an aristocratic town that boasts the finest Cathedral in Northern France.

The hotel has two restaurants. One of these has an airy modern feel, the other is more intimate with low lighting and a brick 'cellar' feel. There is also a residents' bar: le Flo.

The rooms are furnished in a simple but appealing style and all have an en suite bathrooms.

The hotel also has private parking for its guests.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfers included from Geneva airport at 12:35, and back to Geneva airport at 10:15.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Ms Briscoe on 01/09/2016

An excellent experience, with breath taking views. The welcome by hoteliers was second to none and the food excellent. the region was very peaceful and not overly busy, but beware of mountain bikes!!!! Walking was demanding, but suitable for experience walkers, despite being a lot of up and even more down - remember your walking poles. Thanks for a wonderful experience.

Reviewed by Mr Barr on 29/08/2016

We thought about doing a holiday like this before, but hadn't quite got round to it, so we jumped in at the deep end not really knowing what to expect. The country side is stunning and the views from the top we well worth the climb up. The organisation was perfect, the accommodation great, the food fantastic, and all the hotleliers were very friendly, just make sure you take a good pair of boots to avoid Hobbit foot. We will definitely do another of these trip through Headwater and would thoroughly recommend them to others.

Reviewed by Mrs Humphries on 20/08/2016

An excellent holiday. Well organised and great hotels. The walks were fantastic with clear instructions. We took the telecabine to gain some height where we could and I would recommend that particularly on days 2 and 6. The grading of the walks is accurate.

Reviewed by Mr Lewis on 11/08/2016

For us in our seventies, this three boot walk presented a serious challenge, especially as the weather was unsettled and thundery. Hence the fact that we did indeed complete the basic circular walk without using local transport (except for a few ski-lifts), and without mishap, was a matter of great satisfaction to us. When the clouds cleared, the views were magnificent, and when they didn't clear, the views were still pretty good. The hotels and their locations were nearly all ideal places to recover between assaults on the sensational hills. This is definitely one for the serious walker who is in practice. However, should the body or spirit fail (and ours did not), there are more options for ducking out than we had been led to believe; plenty of local buses, for example.

Reviewed by Dr Paget on 10/08/2016

High Alps walking tour is strenuous but rewarding. Certainly challenging in places. Well worth experiencing.

Reviewed by Mr Shoesmith on 25/07/2016

Loved the holiday. Challenging walking but great views . Good variety of hotels, all with own charm.

Reviewed by Mrs Smith on 21/07/2016

The scenery in the Alps is stunning especially when the flowers are in bloom but the walking is quite strenuous so you need to be reasonably fit and well equipped.

Reviewed by Mrs Hills on 19/07/2016

Brilliant holiday, fantastic views and flower meadows. Luggage transfers etc went smoothly and our hosts were welcoming especially at Les Sapins and hotel Renard. The walk is definitely tough especially if doing extensions and rest day walks, I found walking poles essential my husband managed without! Route descriptions re ridges for those worried about heights were accurate. Mont de Grange was very steep but worth the effort we were fortunate in having great weather for this day but still needed a fleece at the summit due to snow field. The food was generally good, we opted to buy our own lunch at the local bakers and grocers shops which worked well - note the supermarket described in our notes in Chapelle d'Abondance closed in March we couldn't find another but bought an excellent quiche at the boulangerie, and fruit from grocers just past the tourist info office. The Chalets du Mouet on the walk from Chatel to Chapelle d'Abondance was charming they do a lovely salad. Also the mountain refuge at Ubine is ideally placed for a stop, the food looked great, we took shelter and advantage of a hot chocolate which was very welcome on a wet and chilly day. We would recommend this holiday if you're fit but be aware that the temperatures vary considerably, we started at 28c and had 3 days at 9c! Being non skiers it was great to witness the alpine scenery.

Reviewed by Mr Tucker on 18/07/2016

The walks were challenging but very enjoyable and views / scenery were amazing.

Reviewed by Mr Bramhall on 16/07/2016

Great walks every day with spectacular scenery in the high Alps. You need to be pretty fit to do the climbs every morning but they are well worth it when you hit the summits. Accommodation was generally very good with superb evening meals at Hotel Reynard and L'Abbaye in particular. We would advise doing the holiday in July or August - everything, including bars, mountain top cafés, shops and chair lifts, is closed during the last couple of weeks in June - this would appear to be out of season. A couple of very cloudy days with rain and drizzle spoilt the opportunity to take on an optional 3hr summit extension at Mont du Grange but for the most part the weather was glorious.

Reviewed by Mr Parker on 12/07/2016

Tough walk but very stimulating

Reviewed by Mr Knowles on 23/09/2015

Very well planned and organised. We made a change to our itinerary which Headwater took in their stride. Very impressed with the hotels which were exactly to our taste, not too posh for walkers!

Reviewed by Mr Versteeg on 30/08/2015

We really enjoyed ourselves on the High Alps Walk. We were very pleased that we had built in additional days (taking the holiday to twelve) to provide variety and be 'tourists' We really enjoyed 'Belle Dimanche' - the annual Fair high above Chatel. (next year it's on weekend around 21st August) Cloisters at Abondance very interesting. In twelve days we had two dull and one very wet day(be prepared); rest of the time very good. Can be hot.

Reviewed by Mrs Hine on 30/08/2015

A good holiday. The weather was not kind to us, but the hotels were very helpful about this, offering drying room services. The notes were very helpful. Accuracy was a problem in only one area where substantial redevelopment work was being done on the tracks. The fact we had a good map (supplied by Headwater) with us, meant this was not a major issue. One of the hoteliers summed up the area as being good for cows and cheese! The walking is therefore mainly through pasture (often quite high), but which was very pretty, if a little muddy in the rain. Some of the views (when it was not raining) were magnificent. Overall, despite the rain, we had a relaxing break.

Reviewed by Mrs Dentith on 26/07/2015

This is a true three booter there isn't a lot of level walking , have good comfortable boots and poles ,I think, are essential. Do use the lifts if they are working ,it's no fun walking up those gradients with a working chair lift over your heads. The views from the tops are dramatic on clear days. The walk timings are pretty accurate.

Reviewed by Ms Rose on 16/07/2015

We had a fabulous time, beautiful weather, gorgeous alpine flowers and a hard enough walk to feel we had earned our delicious evening meals.

Reviewed by Mrs Glover on 15/07/2015

Well organised trip that met all our expectations. New walking guides provided during trip as a result of changes to routes.

Reviewed by Ms Steenman-Clark on 13/07/2015

The Chablais region is certainly very beautiful but with the excellent hotels in the valleys a lot of the walking was up and down farm/ski/access tracks or roads to the higher level, flower strewn, paths with the fantastic views. These tracks, especially in the heat we experienced, were quite brutal and did detract somewhat from the overall pleasure of the walks.

Reviewed by Mrs Pogson on 17/09/2014

This was a fantastic holiday - all the walks are interesting & varied with spectacular views. We were very lucky to have good weather everyday. The accommodation was excellent throughout - can't fault a thing.

Reviewed by Mrs Henry on 02/09/2014

This holiday was one of the best holidays I have ever had, the scenery was absolutely wonderful once you were up the top of the mountains, and so peaceful, you need to be very fit to do this holiday, but the views and tranquillity was worth all the hard work.

Reviewed by Mr Graham on 23/07/2014

Sensible daily itineraries; good, comfortable hotels; efficient transfers, accurate guide notes; good value for money.

Reviewed by Mr Asteriades on 24/09/2013

The toughest Headwater walking holiday we have been on - particularly the first few days. Great walking routes, stunning views, good hotels. We particularly liked Le Renard with enormous portions of great food.

Reviewed by Mrs Hill on 17/07/2013

Excellent holiday that delivered exactly what was described - we had a wonderful time . Faultless organization with consistently high standards. Well worth the money

Reviewed by Mrs Frechette on 12/07/2013

We all had a great holiday. Having the extra day at each hotel gave us a chance to settle in and get a feel for the local area as well as relaxing if we wanted to.

Reviewed by Mrs Love-Fordham on 24/09/2012

The holiday was amazing! The countryside is pristine and absolutely beautiful! The walks were well planned to great destinations. We went at the end of the season which was good in that we rarely saw other hikers and no mountain bikers. BUT there were no ski lifts in operation and most restaurants and stores were closed. The closed businesses were not of concern to us since we don't shop for trinkets. BUT the closed ski lifts, in our opinion, makes this a much more difficult holiday than 3 boots because you start several mornings by climbing to the top of a ski lift for several hours. The Headwater notes suggest taking the ski lift cutting off hours of climbing - but this was not an option off season. It is doable (barely and you are exhausted by mid day). If the ski lifts had been operating, it would still have been a 3 boot holiday. Do not expect any flat walking paths. You are either ascending or descending. It is steep and often slippery. A great and fun challenge for those prepared. We would do it all again in an instant!!! Thank you Headwaters!!!

Reviewed by Mr Phillips on 13/09/2012

Excellent walking holiday with good accomodation in simple hotels.

Reviewed by Mr Baker on 05/09/2012

Definitely a "3 booter"!! Hard work but so rewarding with fabulous views, beautiful surroundings and lovely food. We're in our late fifties and only of average fitness so were glad of the options to use chair lifts and have relaxing days off - we would recommend others not to be put off by the ranking though day 1 threw us into the deep end!

Reviewed by Mr Neville on 07/08/2012

The overall organisation of the holiday was extremely good from the moment we arrived in Geneva where Marc met us and took us to Les Gets. On the whole we were very impressed with the hotels and it was amazing how our luggage was moved on so efficiently from one hotel to the next. The intinerary was excellent with only a few minor few errors due to local signs etc. changing and there was no problem route finding. We were very impressed by the amount of research and time that must have gone in to produce such excellent route notes.

Reviewed by Mrs Jamieson on 23/07/2012

Challenging, but quite satisfying. We felt that the 10 days could have been shrunk into 8. Some places we did not want to stay that long in.

Reviewed by Mrs Bedford on 30/06/2012

This is the best (of 4 Headwater holidays) holiday we have had

Departure dates & prices

June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 24$1860
Jun 26$1860
Jun 28$1860
Jun 30$1860
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$1860
Jul 4$1860
Jul 6$1860
Jul 8$1860
Jul 10$1935
Jul 12$1935
Jul 14$1935
Jul 16$1935
Jul 18$1935
Jul 20$1935
Jul 22$1935
Jul 24$1935
Jul 26$1935
Jul 28$1935
Jul 30$1935
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$1935
Aug 3$1935
Aug 5$1935
Aug 7$1935
Aug 9$1935
Aug 11$1935
Aug 13$1935
Aug 15$1935
Aug 17$1935
Aug 19$1935
Aug 21$1935
Aug 23$1935
Aug 25$1935
Aug 27$1860
Aug 29$1860
Aug 31$1860
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1795
Sep 4$1795

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by hotelier.


Every two days from 24 Jun '17 to 4 Sep '17, for 11 days (10 nights). We are able to offer non standard departures for this holiday. Please call for details.


Continental breakfast and 8 evening meals.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Geneva airport at 12:35, and back to Geneva airport at 10:15.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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