17 May A Week of Hiking Through Switzerland, Italy, and France
It’s the time of year for hugging trees, walking through meadows full of wildflowers and gazing at snow capped peaks just beyond your reach. So don your hiking boots, throw on a backpack and join us on a walking safari across the Alps of Switzerland, France and Italy. All in 7 days.
We’ll begin in Zermatt, home of the most photographed mountain in the world, the Matterhorn (for English and German speakers), Mont Cervin (for the French) and Monte Cervino (for Italians). To the music of bell-toting cows preparing the climb to high mountain pastures, we will pass through Zermatt’s narrow streets between ancient wooden chalets before hiking the nearby hills. At the end of the day, the penny drops as to why there are so many cows, when you sample a specialty of the area, raclette (melted cheese and potatoes) made from local cheeses. Yum.
In this three country region, France, Italy and Switzerland come together. Our safari continues with a hike across the border into Italy on a route that has been used by Celts, Romans, Lombards and perhaps the most famous hiker of all in these parts, Napoleon. This ancient Alpine path has been protected by monks who have inhabited a hospice on the top of the St Bernard pass for hundreds of years. On this part of the journey we will spend the night in a traditional mountain refuge. Breezes blowing from distant glaciers ensure a crisp, long summer evening as we watch the sunset fade behind the highest peak in Europe, the 4,800 meter Mont Blanc.
The descent back to civilization takes us through two mountain passes, along a rugged path and across meadows full of alpine flowers. If we’re lucky we may see some marmots or perhaps even a chamois. On arrival in Italy, you may want to unwind in the thermal springs, whirlpools, saunas and Turkish baths that have been frequented since Roman times near the ancient town of Courmayeur.
On our final day, there’s time to explore the cobbled stones streets and enjoy traditional Alpine Italian sausages, cheeses and local wines, all in the shadow of the Mont Blanc.
A perfect way to end a hiking safari across the European Alps.