Mountain hut · Guesthouse
With high peaks, deep mountain valleys and 15-20km a day to cover, you’ll need to be an experienced hiker with a good level of fitness.
Take on one of Europe’s toughest and most prestigious long-distance trails
Experience the remote wonders of the Alps as you trek to epic viewpoints and traditional mountain villages
Get a picture-perfect view of the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic mountains on the continent
Trek to Trient
Leave any luggage not needed during the trek at your hotel and make your way to Chamonix Sud main bus terminal to meet your host at 08:30 (you'll be reunited with your left luggage in Zermatt at the end of the trek). Head to Argentière and tackle a gradual ascent to the summit of L'Aiguillette des Possettes above the Chamonix valley. Take in the epic views and get your first glimpse of mighty Mont Blanc in the distance. Head towards the Col de Balme, which straddles the French-Swiss border, and then descend to the picturesque village of Trient, where you’ll bed down for the night in an Alpine mountain refuge.
The wild pass of Fenêtre d'Arpette
Follow a rugged trail and scramble over the boulder-strewn terrain to reach the Fenêtre d'Arpette, a wild and narrow mountain pass known for its untouched beauty - eyes peeled for a glimpse of the Matterhorn. Cross through the steep Arpette Valley and spend the night in the small Swiss mountain resort of Champex-lac.
Col de Prafleuri
Transfer to Verbier to catch the cable car to La Chaux, picking up a rugged trail through the remote peaks. After a couple of climbs separated by the crystal clear Petit Mont Fort Lake, reach Col de Louvie in time for lunch. Descend steeply and cross the otherworldly rocks of the 'Grand Desert', gradually ascending to Col de Prafleuri. Spot tonight's cosy hut (Cabane de Prafleuri) on the Letio d’Allèves Plateau below, reached via a short but steep technical descent.
Pas des Chèvres
Hike to Col des Roux for views over the impressive Grand Dixence Dam and descend to follow an easy trail along the lakeshore. Climb to the lower end of the Dix Glacier, where the final section demands careful navigation over the steep gradient and a ladder to traverse the final few meters. Follow a gentle trail from Pas des Chèvres down to Arolla. Time to rest up and recover at a nice mountain guesthouse.
An easier day to mark the halfway point. After a leisurely start and a relatively gentle forest stroll, there's a chance for the brave to take a dip in the pristine mountain waters of Lac Bleu. Continue through villages and farmland, along tracks of the famous black cows (Reines d’Hérens), passing through Les Haudéres to reach La Sage in the early afternoon.
The big 4000s
Set off on one of the toughest days so far as you hike toward the high point at Col de Torrent, with spectacular views over the 4000m peaks of the Alps. Descend to the Val de Moiry, passing the Lac de Moiry, where you'll stop for a well-deserved rest before continuing down the track to the Col de Sorebois. From there, take the gondola down to Zinal, where you’ll lay your head for the night.
Col de Forcletta
Meander through farms and meadows on a gentle trail overlooking neighbouring villages, before ascending the Forcletta Pass (the boundary between the French-speaking and the Swiss-German speaking parts of this area). Descend into the rural Meid-Valley on an isolated path which leads to a guesthouse in the village of Gruben.
The Augstbord Pass
Time for one of the most epic sections of the entire trip as you enter the Matterhorn Valley. Climb through sparse forest to the Augstbord Pass before descending into the Augstbordtal. Traverse a rugged trail built into a steep slope to the Jungtal. Ride the cable car from Jungu to reach the quintessentially Alpine village of St. Niklaus, where you'll check into a warm and cosy guesthouse.
Hike the Europaweg
Hike through traditional Swiss hamlets to Randa, then traverse high above the Matterhorn Valley on the switchbacks of the famous Europaweg trail. Continue on for a short distance to reach the Europahütte mountain refuge, known for its incredible views of the Matterhorn Valley and of the Weisshorn.
Trek to Zermatt
Cross the world's longest suspension bridge (the Charles Kuonen Bridge), which spans almost 500m. Spot famous peaks such as the Weisshorn, the Dom and the unmistakable Matterhorn as you continue along the Europaweg and trek right into your final destination of the trek, the lovely mountain village of Zermatt. Celebrate - you’ve earned it.
Professional, experienced and friendly English-speaking IML certified guides
9 nights in guesthouses, B&Bs and mountain huts
Munch on tasty food throughout
Pillows and blankets are provided at the refuges. Trekking poles are available for hire.
Travel to and from the start point
Visas where required
Flights to and from the meeting point
Day 4 – Day 8
What is the food like?
Breakfasts and dinners will be served at the refuges. Breakfasts always include coffee, bread, jam and butter. Depending on the refuge, they may also include orange juice, cereal, yoghurt, fruit, cheese and meats. Dinners are hearty and served in large portions – just what a hungry hiker needs! Typical meals include a soup starter, a main course of meat and veggies with a side of grains or pasta, and a dessert like vanilla pudding or creme brûlée. Picnic lunches will be provided each day, featuring a large main item like a sandwich or wrap, a salad, and a selection of fruit, muesli bars, chocolate, nuts, etc.
Vegetarian, vegan and most other dietary requirements (including gluten-free) can be catered for with advanced notice. Just let your host know when booking. Whilst dietary needs are sent to each refuge with the group reservations, please consider that the mountain refuges will have a limited range of choice to offer guests due to their remote locations. People with very specific dietary requirements typically choose to also bring some of their own snacks with them to ensure they have sufficient fuel for hiking up and down the beautiful mountain trails.
What is the accommodation like?
For the most part, you'll stay in simple guesthouses and B&Bs in twin-share rooms, except for in a couple of locations (Europahütte, Cabane du Prafleuri and occasionally in Trient) where you'll stay in remote mountain huts in multi-share dormitories.
Each accommodation is unique but you can usually expect it to be simple, clean and comfortable. In the mountain huts, groups typically sleep in mixed dormitory rooms of up to 20 persons, usually in bunk or single beds. They feature hot showers, running water, pillows and blankets, and a bar serving cold drinks. Most refuges also have outlets for charging your electronics, and some even have WiFi. Some refuges are more modern in style, others have a more traditional heritage, most are busy throughout the hiking season; it's the refuge's location and its remoteness that largely decides what comforts and conveniences are available. It's best to keep your expectations simple and enjoy the time on the trail to unplug from everyday life.
Unfortunately, single room upgrades aren't available on this trip as some of the hotels are very small and have a limited number of rooms.
Chamonix Sud Bus Terminal, France
08:30 on Day 1
Zermatt Train Station, Switzerland
17:00 on Day 10
Make your way to Chamonix Sud Bus Terminal for 08:30 on Day 1. You should arrive in Chamonix any time the day before the start date and book a hotel of your choice.
The trip ends at around 17:00 on Day 10 in Zermatt, Switzerland. Air travellers can take the train to the airport directly from Zermatt. We recommend you stay the night in Zermatt to celebrate the end of your trek (a completely car free town) or you can head straight to the airport for a late flight: it takes 3.5 hours to reach Zurich-Kloten and 4 hours to reach Geneva.
You can fly into Geneva Airport (GVA) which is approximately one hour from Chamonix. Alternatively, you can fly into Milan Airport (LIN) or Zurich Airport (ZRH) and travel on to Chamonix from there.
For those who wish to avoid flying, Chamonix is also accessible by train via the St. Gervais-les-Bains (Le Fayet) station at the base of the valley which connects to Chamonix Mont Blanc train station. For example, take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then connect to a number of direct lines or an overnight sleeper train from Paris to St. Gervais-les-Bains, then on to Chamonix Mont Blanc station.
You can also travel to Geneva by various train routes from other parts of Europe and travel on to Chamonix from there by bus. Geneva bus station is a 5 minute walk or short taxi ride from the central train station. There are various bus services from Geneva bus station to Chamonix, the quickest option taking 1 hour and 8 minutes. Your return leg at the end of the trip can begin at Zermatt train station for various onward train travel routes throughout Europe.
For those wanting to arrive a day early or extend their trip - your host is happy to help arrange pre or post trip accommodation on your behalf, with the price and style depending on availability and your budget. Your host will also be able to recommend an airport transfer company to get you to Chamonix.
Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear
In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.
What's available to hire?
- Trekking poles (see Optional Extras for prices)
What do I need to bring?
You'll be carrying all you need for the ten day trip on your back, so don't over pack but also don't skip the essentials. Hiking in the Alps even in the peak of summer you can have very mixed conditions, both hot and cold, especially when climbing over the high mountain passes.
- 30-50L backpack with waist belt (plus a rain cover)
- A Pack Liner or Dry Bag is also good protection in case of rain
- Sleeping bag liner (cotton or silk). This is very important as it's a mandatory requirement at the mountain refuges. Pillows and blankets are provided by the refuges.
- Sunglasses and Sunscreen (SPF 50+ recommended due to altitude)
- Hydration/Electrolyte tablets
- Preferred snacks for the trail
- 2L water bottle(s)
- Toiletries and personal first aid items
- Swim suit
- Earplugs and Eye Mask (recommended)
- Cash (CHF) for drinks, snacks along the trail, tips etc.
- Plug adaptor and/or battery pack to charge electrical devices (note Switzerland uses a different standard to the rest of Europe)
- Waterproof Jacket (with hood) and Trousers
- Primaloft or Down Jacket
- Fleece or merino pullover or sweater
- Synthetic or merino wool base layers
- Warm hat and gloves (really important in mixed weather conditions)
- Sunhat or cap
- Synthetic shirts and trousers (zip-off preferable) for hiking
- Comfortable shirt and trousers for the refuges
- 2+ pairs of hiking socks, wool or synthetic
- Sturdy hiking boots or shoes (worn in)
- Comfortable light shoes for around the refuge
Payable In Resort
A really fantastic trip. A great group with excellent guide. It was tough, 155km over some difficult and exposed terrain, spectacular views and experiences, a great adventure. Recommend it highly to any fit, confident folks who like a challenge!
A rewarding hike with beautiful views that change each day! It is demanding but manageable with previous hiking experience, an excellent guide (thank you Alessandra!) and a great group. Good food and accommodation. Fantastic trip!
A strenuous and technical traverse of the Swiss Alps, where you are rewarded with incredible scenery which changes every day. The highlights for me were the amazing views from the mountain pass each day. We were expertly led by our fantastic guide Alessandra. The food was great and the accommodation was of a high standard for a remote mountain trek, ranging from basic mountain huts to very comfortable hotels. The Haute Route is physically demanding so start training with the 10kg pack on your back! It is one of the tougher rated European long-distance hikes for a reason! I would advise you to bring (in no particular order) electrolyte tablets, hiking poles, earplugs, an eyemask and an adapter that works in both countries.
A superb multi-day hike, with absolutely stunning scenery literally every step of the way. Don't underestimate (but, at the same time, don't be put off by) the physical challenge: there's some long, arduous days on the trail but the pay-off is the sheer majesty, solitude and peace of the high-alpine landscape. Each day had something different in terms of terrain, exposure, distance and views which certainly kept things exciting. And although some days it felt most definitely like 'Type II' fun, that first view of the Matterhorn from the trail into Zermatt made it all worthwhile! Our guide Alessandra was great, setting a good pace and really looking out for the team's needs. The accommodation on the mountain and in the villages exceeded expectations; always a beer to celebrate the day's achievements and the food was really quite good (and not as many chicken curries as I was lead to believe from previous reviews!). If I could offer any tips, it'd be these: be brutal in your packing (every gram saved counts), use hiking poles (even if you don't normally), carry mostly Swiss Francs (very little time spent in the French Alps), take a Swiss plug adaptor (for the same reason), get some training in ahead of this epic hike and look after your feet whilst on it (take plenty of blister plasters - they were a life-saver for me). It's 100% recommended!
Nick Draper our guide was the best. He accommodated everyone in our group. He kept us informed through out the trip. He kept us on schedule while always being friendly. The views on the Haute Route were incredible. I felt as if I were in a new Yosemite Valley each day. The glaciers, waterfalls, streams, trails, …. Were all in incredible. The food and accommodations were excellent. This was the best vacation adventure I have ever had. I did train hard for this trip and the payoff was great. 100 miles in 10 days. And the trails were not easy but so proud to have completed. Thank you Muchbetteradventures! Sincerely, Dan
Trip was fantastic, views incredible and the challenge was high. A few too many chicken curries for the 10 day hike though...
An amazing adventure which was seriously challenging but included wonderful scenery and a brilliant guide. For people who have strong ankles, who tolerate pain well and who enjoy chicken curry.
Great trip, would recommend. One tip, bring a swiss adapter. It's different to the euro ones!
I cannot say much, because my body decided to stop me on the second day. Wonderful but hard route.
Everything was great.
We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.
What's the number?
It works out on average at 148kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.
The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.
But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:
- Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
- A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
- 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.
What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.
Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.
This trip is suitable for experienced hikers in good shape. You'll need to be able to hike 15–20km on mountain trails, with as much as 1000m+ of elevation gain and descent, each day. You will be carrying your own overnight pack between the refuges, so should be confident hiking with a 30-50L pack for multiple days. Doing some practice hikes before the trip with your pack and boots is strongly recommended to help you prepare for this adventure!
Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Summer in the Alps is generally warm and fair, but the weather can change very quickly in the high mountains, bringing cold rain and wind. Average temperatures range from 6 to 26 °C. It rains roughly half of the days each month, but storms generally pass through quickly. Even in the peak of summer you can have very mixed conditions, especially when climbing over the high mountain passes above 2000m. Heatwaves have also been a feature of recent European summers. Our kit list is intended to guide you on what to pack for this trip.
Yes, there are two options for those travelling with excess luggage.
- For a €25 fee (payable locally) you can leave any excess luggage not needed for the trek in Chamonix and your host will store it there for you to collect (in Chamonix) after the trip is over.
- For a €70 fee (payable locally) your host will collect it in Chamonix and transport it to Zermatt so it will be waiting for you when you finish the trek. Please let your host know in advance if you'd like to take up either service option so they can be prepared. You'll be carrying your own gear during the trek so we recommend packing light but not skimping on the essentials. See the Kit List section for advice on what to pack.
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.
Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.
We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.
You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.
Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.
Pay In Installments
You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.
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