In the Verbier – St. Bernard region there are countless hut-to-hut hikes and longer itineraries that can last from 2-14 days, circumnavigating the Mt. Blanc or Grand Combin, crossing into Italy and France, and resting cool and high at 2500+ meters. All you need is a good pair of hiking shoes, lightweight backpack, sleeping bag liner, and your camera; the huts will supply everything else.
Some of our favorites:
*Good physical condition is required (able to climb 1000m/ day), however there are lots of other routes that can be facilitated with lifts and trains.
Val Ferret-Lac Des Fenetres - Col Gd. St. Bernard - Refugio Bonatti (Italian Val Ferret):
A 3-day (2 nts.) loop climbing from the Swiss Val Ferret to the spectacular Lacs de Fenêtre overlooking the sheer south side of the Mont Blanc Massif. A night spent at the Hospice on St. Bernard Pass, following in the footsteps of armies of Caesar, Hannibal, and Napoleon, we descend the Roman Road into Italy, and over the Malatra pass (2900m) to the Rifugio Bonatti, in the Italian Val Ferret. Finish the loop with a climb up and over the Col Ferret back to Switzerland.
Cabane Brunet-Cabane Panossière - Col des Otanes - Lac Mauvoisin - Cabane Chanrion:
A 3-day (2 nts.) hike from the lush agricultural pastures of the valley to the glaciers of the haut Val de Bagnes. Incredible views of hanging glaciers and turquoise lakes, and a visit to the second-largest nature preserve in Switzerland.
Tour des Combins:
Approx. 6 days. A circumnavigation of the Grand Combin massif, crossing the border from Switzerland into Val d’Aosta Italy and returning via the fabled St Bernard pass. A route much less traveled than the TMB or Haute route, and a chance to experience some of the last remaining “wilderness” of Europe. Varied both culturally and geographically as you dip in to the Aosta valley, Italy.
Tour du Mt. Blanc:
173km / 8000m of climbing / approx. 11 days. The “TMB” is considered one of the classic high level hiking routes. The route passes through seven valleys and 3 countries (France, Switzerland and Italy) in a circumnavigation of Europe’s highest peak, the Mont Blanc, you can choose to stay at mountain huts and 4 star hotels along the way.
Note: the TMB can also be done on mountain bikes, a combo of single-track and dirt roads in about 6 days.
The traditional Haute Route or High Level Route traverses from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland and takes approximately 12 days. However the options are endless and even if you choose to only hike a few days along this route, the scenery, huts, and history are spectacular. A perfect way to train for an ascent of the Matterhorn or Mont Blanc at either end!
If you would like more information on any of the above itineraries or would like us to organize a mountain guide and itinerary specific to you please contact us. Of course you could always rest comfortably in a luxury chalet in Verbier or 5* hotel in Zermatt and do day trips. One of the reasons we love the Alps is the contrast of the wild and extreme landscape and civilized lunches and comfortable accommodations. Let us know how you want to hike, and we will plan an unforgettable escape.