France

Planning Your Hike to Europe

Planning Your Hike to Europe
Traveling today can be very stressful. Good planning can help to make your vacation fun from beginning to end. This post attempts to help you with all of the areas you may have to consider and ideas to deal with the problems and issues that may arise along the way to your hike of a lifetime.

Hiking in Switzerland – Do I have to climb to the top?

We often get requests from people about wanting to hike in the Alps but aren’t sure they can do it. The fact is that every major village hub, Chamonix, Zermatt, Verbier or the Dolomites in Italy, they all offer a host of beautiful hikes that can start near the top of the mountain in their area.

Mt Blanc Tram Chamonix France

Mt Blanc Tram Chamonix France
If you get a chance this, the world’s longest and highest tramway, is well worth the European Euros that you will pay to get to the top. The views from the top of the Chamonix Valley, and of Mt. Blanc and the nearby mountains, are spectacular. This spire of rock is pictured everywhere in the town of Chamonix. They have paintings of it, postcards, and large pictures available at the shops in town. It is situated at about 12,600 feet in the shadow of Mount Blanc which rises another 3000 feet or so above.

Three Culture Hike

Three Culture Hike
French, German and Italian regions

The three culture Hike is all about flexibility. This trip can start near Zurich in Wengen or in Chamonix France which is near Geneva. Lets review the different stops. Verbier and Zermatt are (French), Wengen (German), and Courmayeur (Italian) and just for fun Chamonix (French) for your last few days. It is also noteworthy that this trip isn’t about hiking long distances across open tundra but instead spectacular day hikes and small overnight hikes to quaint mountain lodges with breathtaking interesting vistas. We have attempted to put together the essence of the Swiss and French Alps experience without the long (and sometimes boring or very physically challenging) sections between these historically important villages and their surroundings. We can craft either 4, 7, 12 or 18 day excursions to suit your interests and hiking challenge desires.

Hiking Review of Mayrhofen Austria trails Speicher Schlegeis

Hiking Review of Mayrhofen Austria trails Speicher Schlegeis
Our most memorable hike began with a bus ride out of Mayrhofen, trailhead at the Speicher Schlegeis (reservoir). At 10 a.m. we began the steep track up to the Olperer Hut where we paused for the best Apple Strudel of the trip, accompanied by several cute mini-goats wandering amongst guest tables on the deck. The loop back to the Schlegeis via Friesenberg hut was supposed to be a mellow, flat 3-hr “walk in the park”, but it turned into an uphill death march and downhill race to the last bus at 6 p.m. We barely made it, arriving at 5:57 p.m. With great weather and views and only an occasional encounter with other hikers, it was our best hike in the Mayrhofen area, despite the drama and last-minute adrenaline rush.

Review: Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route Switzerland

Review: Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route Switzerland
Dear Bill:

Our hiking trip from Chamonix to Zermatt was amazing. All of the hotels we stayed in and the huts were so accommodating and all the people were so nice! The trails were well marked, some very hard and others very easy. We met many cows along the way and many other hikers. The food was excellent too…cheeses, breads, meats…..and butter! Switzerland is a beautiful country to see on foot! I would do this hike over and over again. I think Bill Russell’s Mountain Tours did a great job organizing our trip!
Regards,
Nancy

Review: Champex on the Tour du Mt Blanc, Champex Lac

Review: Champex on the Tour du Mt Blanc, Champex Lac

REVIEW:

Any concerns are certainly tiny in comparison to the amount of pure pleasure and enjoyment we got from the trip and all in all the TMB is fabulous and I would certainly do it again. Both my daughter and I LOVE it. I really wanted to get back to Chamonix before the rain set in because I wanted to go up the Aiguille du Midi which I did. WOW!, thank you for the suggestion.