The Haute Route is an epic tour, connecting Mont Blanc in Chamonix to the Matterhorn in Zermatt, with high passes and stunning mountains the whole way. Such a once-in-a-lifetime experience deserves to be done in style, and we’ve designed our Deluxe Haute Route Highlights as a luxurious tour, skipping a couple of the more rustic stretches, and adding 5-star upgrades in Chamonix and classy 4-star hotels in Verbier and Zermatt.
We’ll have comfortable hotels each and every night, with private rooms, hot showers and luggage transferred to your stop. Experience all the rugged highlights that make the Haute Route so unique while we enjoy gourmet meals, a comfortable bed, and even a sauna and spa at many of our stops. Extra nights in Chamonix and Zermatt give us the chance to bask in comfort and to truly appreciate the beauty of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn on either end of this trip.
As with all our guided tours, this trip is guaranteed to run. Sign up, get yourself in shape, and come hit the trail with us. Our guides will keep you on track, talk about the history and culture, and make sure your trip is first class in every way. If you like strenuous hiking and good living, our Deluxe Haute Route Highlights tour is one of the best there is.
Chamonix – Arrive in Europe and transfer to our meeting point in Chamonix. Chamonix is a sunny, active village tucked at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Chamonix is one of the great destinations in the Alps, with gorgeous mountains and miles of hiking trails. If you arrive early, you can ask us to book a few extra days on your own in Chamonix at the start of the trip.
A private taxi from Geneva to Chamonix is included in your tour, so you can arrive relaxed and stress-free. On our first night, we’ll meet for dinner and talk about the trip to come. Enjoy the comforts of our gorgeous 5-star hotel.
Chamonix – On our first hiking day of the tour, we’ll head to le Tour and climb high onto the Posettes ridge, with breathtaking views behind us of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley. Continue to the Col de Balme pass into Switzerland, where a scenic mountain restaurant serves as an irresistible lunch stop.
Perhaps there will be time to hike up along the Tour glacier to the Albert refuge for more memorable high mountain scenery. We’ll descend by cable car from the Balme pass and return to Chamonix for a 2nd luxurious night.
Champex – After a quick morning transfer to Forclaz, we’ll have 2 hiking choices today, either crossing the high, rocky Fenetre d’Arpette pass, or a more moderate hike through woods and farms. The choice of trail will be determined by your guides and weather, but both have much to offer, and both lead to the small lakeside village of Champex.
On the moderate Bovine route, an undulating trail leads through alpine pastures and pine forests, with sweeping views of the Rhone valley. Or, weather permitting, a more rigorous possibility leads up to the high pass of Fenetre d’Arpette along the Trient glacier. A steep descent through a large boulder field brings us to Champex, where we stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel.
Verbier – We’ll take a taxi in the morning to nearby Fionnay, where an invigorating trail leads uphill to the beautifully remote Louvie hut, always a favorite on our tours. We’ll stop for a quick drink or snack before continuing on a high, scenic trail known as the Sentier des Bouquetins, where you can almost always spot wild antelope and mountain goats.
We’ll end our hike in Verbier, a sun-dappled village nestled in a cirque of mountains and looking out at the impressive Grand Combins. We stay in a wonderful 4-star hotel here in town with newly renovated rooms and welcome spa. Dinner will be on your own to explore in town tonight.
Arolla – Leaving Verbier early, a taxi speeds us around to the Dixence reservoir. From here we’ll start out on a big hike into rugged glacial landscapes – the very heart of the Haute Route. Cross the spectacular Pas des Chevres pass (on fixed ladders) where we gaze across the Cheilon glacier to the beautiful symmetry of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon mountain. Descend from here into the Val d’Herens to the tiny village of Arolla.
If you’re in need of a shorter day, stay with the taxi all the way to Arolla. With a morning arrival, you’ll have plenty of time for a big day hike to the Pas des Chevres pass from this side, returning to Arolla for the evening. Arolla is a very quiet little village, and our favorite stop here has long been the elegant Hotel Kurhaus, with their beautiful terrace and garden, comfortable rooms, and good food.
Grimentz – After a short morning transfer from Arolla to la Sage, a steady uphill trail leads to the Col de Torrent and into the Anniviers valley. Descending from the pass, we’ll cross through meadows and past tiny lakes to the Moiry reservoir, where we can walk or ride a bus to Grimentz.
There are alternate routes today as well, over the Lona or Tsate passes, which all have something slightly different to offer. All lead to Grimentz, one of the prettiest villages in Switzerland. Its centuries-old chalets are blackened by the sun, with windows filled with geraniums. We’ll stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel in town.
Zinal – A relatively moderate day leads us from the Moiry reservoir over a minor pass and gives us a chance to further explore the Val d’Anniviers, an unforgettable valley with a great blend of ancient villages, quiet trails, and breathtaking views.
After crossing the pass, we’ll descend to the village of Zinal, a postcard-perfect village of dark timbered houses bursting with colorful geraniums. An optional cable car can eliminate much of the descent for a more moderate day.
Zermatt – We start with a morning transfer to the Mattertal valley, up to the remote Taschalp hamlet. From Taschalp, a stunning balcony walk leads us toward the Matterhorn and into Zermatt. The mountains surrounding Zermatt are more than just the Matterhorn, of course, and the entire hike is a visual feast of rugged, white-capped peaks, wildflower-filled meadows and soft larch forest.
Descend to town where one of our favorite 4-star hotels in the Alps awaits. Zermatt is a lively village, filled with energy and history, and dominated by the towering presence of the Matterhorn. It also retains its alpine charm, with quiet back alleys, scenic nearby hamlets, and classy shops.
Zermatt – We’ll have a full second day in Zermatt to explore the area in and around town. Perhaps one of our favorite hikes leads up the ridge of the Matterhorn itself to the historic and impressive Hornli hut.
Hornli hut serves as a sort of Matterhorn base camp and it is an unforgettable destination. There are plenty of bigger hikes, but the Schwarzhorn gondola makes the out-and-back to Hornli hut fairly moderate. The power of the mountains is inescapable here, and you’ll want plenty of time to soak it all in. Return to Zermatt for a final gourmet dinner together.
depart – After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll say our good-byes and leave for our post-trip destinations. A first class train ticket to Geneva is included in your tour.
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