Taking in the ultimate ‘must do’ hikes around Chamonix, the late September date means we can avoid the peak season crowds whilst enjoying the end-of-summer weather. The September hiking week is one of the highlights of our summer and autumn programme.
Experience the very best trails in the Chamonix valley from a single base. Late September is one of our favourite times of year in the French Alps! While the temperatures are generally a little cooler than August, the weather tends to be stable and the skies clear. The green of summer gives way to the beautiful golden colours of autumn. With fewer people on the trails, we are more likely to spot wildlife such as ibex, chamois and marmots as we hike. September is also an excellent time to see the griffon vulture, one of the largest birds in Europe.
For this trip, you’ll be picked from Geneva Airport and brought to your hotel on arrival day. Each morning, we’ll meet you at your hotel and take you to the start of the day’s hike. After each day’s excursion, we’ll bring you back to your hotel where you can relax in comfort, enjoy the spectacular views over the valley, or have a well-deserved drink in the hotel bar.
As this trip is sold as a package, specific terms and conditions apply in addition to the general White Marmotte terms and conditions. You also have extra rights under EU and French Package Travel rules.
Day 1: Pick up from Geneva Airport and transfer to your hotel
Days 2-6: Daily hikes in and around the Chamonix Valley (sample itinerary below)
Day 7: Drop-off at Geneva Airport
Suitability: This is a moderately trip, suitable for regular, fit hill walkers. We do tailor each trip to the needs and expectations of the group, but on average we expect to cover 10-15km in a day with up to 1300m of climbing. However, as the trip is centre-based, it is possible to skip any of the days if your legs need an extra rest!
Accommodation: Accommodation is half-board in a 3- or 4-Star hotel in Chamonix.
Meals: All breakfasts and dinners are included. Lunches are not provided. We will be stopping for a picnic lunch (or possibly at a mountain restaurant) every day and you can purchase any items you would like from the local bakery or supermarket before each day’s hike.
Transport: We provide shared transfers from Geneva airport to the hotel when you arrive, and from the hotel back to the airport on the final day.
Cost: Cost is €1500 per person based on 2 or more people sharing, or €1700 for solo travellers in a single room.
Group Size: 4-8
Have a look at the photo gallery for more pictures of the trip.
We adjust each day depending on the weather, trail conditions and wishes and expectations of the group, so the following should be used as a guide only. However, we will generally aim to include the following hikes:
A classic hike to one of the world’s most iconic lakes. The lake itself is a celebrated viewpoint, popular with photographers. It also has a refuge providing a lunch menu, snacks, drinks and Tour du Mont Blanc accommodation. Hiking here takes in some of the beautiful balcony paths of the Aiguilles Rouges, with constant views across the valley to Mont Blanc, the Grandes Jorasses and the Aiguille Verte. We can often see wild ibex around here, and the animals are not as shy as usual due to being in a natural reserve.
Altitude Gain/Loss: 1000m
Maximum Altitude: 2350m
Along with Lac Blanc, the Grand Balcon Nord is one of the must-do day hikes of the Chamonix Valley. Depending on the wishes of the group, we can either take a trip up the Aiguille du Midi cable car to the Plan de l’Aiguille mid-station, or we can climb the 1100m on foot.
The Grand Balcon Nord path follows a broad shelf of open terrain sandwiched between the treeline below and the granite faces of the Chamonix Aiguilles above. After a short climb to the Signal Forbes, we are rewarded with views of the Mer de Glace glacier. A few zig zags take us down the the Montenvers hotel and train station. Here we have several sightseeing possibilities, including the gondola trip down to the glacier ice caves (additional costs may apply). Depending on time and tiredness, we can either take the train back to Chamonix or walk down via the Mottets or Caillet buvettes.
Distance: 17km/5km (depending on options taken)
Altitude Gain/Loss: 1300m/200m
Maximum Altitude: 2516m
The Aiguillette des Possettes stands at the head of the Chamonix valley. We’ll start the hike at the Col du Montets and climb steeply up the forest for about a kilometre. As we get further up, the trees get smaller and gradually disappear until we are following a steep path through rocks. This is where the views start to get better and better, so take a moment to look around! As you climb the gradient eventually eases off, but the summit is still further away than you think. Although a little airy, the ridge is never narrow enough to feel scary. On reaching the summit, you’ll find the airy ridge gives way to a small plateau with spectacular views.
Altitude Gain/Loss: 820m
Maximum Altitude: 2201m
Today takes us to another fabulous viewpoint overlooking a glacier, this time the Argentiere Glacier. We start from Lavancher with a pleasant ascent to the Chapeau buvette, passing granite walls carved smooth by the Mer de Glace. From the buvette we climb to the pleasant high pasures of the Pendant Alpage and then traverse under the Grands Montets ski lifts. Rising above the Lognan Refuge, the path takes us to the precarious feeling viewpoint where we can look over the chaotic icefall at the end of the glacier.
Altitude Gain/Loss: 1000m
Maximum Altitude: 2170m
Like the Aiguillette des Possettes at the opposite end of the valley, the Aiguillette des Houches is also a great day hike with splendid views across the Mont Blanc Massif. Depending on how tired everybody feels after a week of hiking, we can either start at the bottom of the valley by Les Houches railway station, or drive to a higher car park to shorten the day a little. We start with a hike up through the woods around Le Bettey before emerging onto a fine ridgeline north-west of the summit. The views here are wonderful, whether you look south-east to Mont Blanc, west down the Arve Valley, or north to the limestone towers of the Fiz and Tete Plate. Following the narrow ridge to the top, those views just keep getting better, before the descent takes back through the Chailloux pastures.
Altitude Gain/Loss: 1300m
Maximum Altitude: 2285m
As we’ll be based in a hotel, you only need enough equipment for a day on the hills. Chamonix has plenty of outdoor shops, so if you do need any extra gear you’ll be able to pick something up. We suggest you plan to bring most of the following with you each day:
Click the button on the right for our booking form, or send us an email to email@example.com to request more information.
Please note that specific terms and conditions apply to this trip, so make sure you read these before booking.
If you don’t need to travel to and from Geneva, we can offer a discount as we won’t need to book the transfers. Get in touch for details.
We can arrange transfers to meet flights scheduled to land before 9pm on arrival day, and after 10am on departure day.
This is a hiking holiday, so you do need to have a certain level of fitness to get the most out of it. However, the hikes will be tailored each day to the ability of the group and there will be options cut most days shorter if people are tired. It is also possible to skip any of the day hikes and have a rest day in the valley.
We typically cover 10-15km and 1000m of ascent in a day and will be out on the hills from 9am to 4pm (note that this can vary a lot from day to day, especially taking the weather into account).
Please let us know if you have any condition that could affect your safety or your ability to complete day hikes at altitudes of up to 2500m above sea level. We will be happy to discuss ways to enable you to participate if at all possible.
Please be aware that even though we don’t cross very remote terrain, any rescue will still need to be carried out by helicopter in most cases, which may involve a substantial wait in bad weather. For this reason, the trip might not be suitable if you have a condition that could lead to a life threatening emergency, e.g. severe allergies, severe diabetes, severe uncontrolled epilepsy etc. We reserve the right to refuse to take you on the trip or to ask for a letter from a physician before accepting your booking if you have a medical condition of this type.
Any good outdoor shop should stock everything on the list. If you have any difficulty finding something, let us know and we’ll see what we can organise for you.
We aim to have a between four and eight people in a group for the September Hiking Week. However, we will commit to running this trip from the first booking, so even if only one or two people book we will guarantee to run it.
If you are the only person to book, we’ll give you the option of coming on your own (with private guiding), transferring the booking to another White Marmotte product, or cancelling for a full refund.
Please read the specific terms and conditions that apply to this trip before booking.
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