This is the ultimate Alps odyssey, linking the best trails of France, Italy,
Switzerland, Germany, and Austria and crossing five international borders on foot
high in the mountains. Along the way, we are surrounded by some of the most
stupendous mountains in the world, including Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. We
make great use of the Alps’ cog rails and cable cars and even Switzerland’s famed
Glacier Express train to connect one alpine paradise to another. Our team of
Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders brings style, camaraderie, knowledge, and fun to
this unique adventure. Ours is a journey of cultural discovery, too, encountering a
range of Europe’s alpine enclaves and traditional cuisines. A mountain adventure
like this would be hard to find anywhere else.
What the Trip is Like: This trip is rated Level 4+. Most hiking is between 6,000 and 9,000 feet. However, at times we hike at higher elevations, with a maximum of 11,500 feet at the Theodul Pass on the Italian-Swiss border. On Day 3, we ascend by cable car to 12,678 feet at the top of the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix. There is a good bit of up-and-down hiking (often 3,000- to 4,000-foot gain or loss in elevation per day) during the 5-8 hours on the trail each day. You'll carry just a daypack on most days, but on three hiking days, when we are staying in mountain refuges with no road access, you must be able to carry your overnight needs in your daypack (a toothbrush, soap, small towel, and a fresh t-shirt suffice for most people).
Note: We offer a complimentary van transfer from the Geneva airport directly to our hotel in Chamonix. A
booking form is enclosed with your confirmation packet. There are also connections by public bus or train
from Geneva to Chamonix (allow about 3 hours), and you can taxi from the bus or train station to our
centrally located hotel.As we have very little time on Day 15 to explore Salzburg, we recommend you extend your journey
with an overnight or two in the “city of Mozart.” We would be happy to book extra nights for you in our
group hotel. Salzburg is one of the loveliest cities in Europe, designated a World Heritage Site in 1997 by
UNESCO. The left bank of the Salzach River is the older area of the city, where ancient Roman
settlements once stood. Much of the Old City is a pedestrian zone and ideal for walking and window
shopping. The city’s most famous squares include Residence Square with its splendid fountain, University
Square, and Mozart Square, with a memorial to the city’s favorite son. You can also visit Getreidegasse
no. 9, where the Leopold Mozart family lived from 1747 to 1773. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in
this house on January 27, 1756, and it is now a museum with exhibits featuring Mozart’s childhood violin,
his concert violin, portraits, and correspondence of the Mozart family.