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14-Night French Alps & Bernese Oberland Guided Walking Holiday

Randonneur
Type: European Multi-Centre
Walking Grade: 2 & 4

Explore two different parts of Europe’s longest mountain range during two wonderful weeks of guided walks. First up is the Haute-Savoie region in the French Alps based in the historic town of Annecy on the shores of Lake Annecy. Enjoy accessible and varied Alpine walks on Mount Veyrier, in the footsteps of the French Resistance on the Glières Plateau and in the Massif des Bauges Natural Park. This nature reserve offers a wide selection of trails and is dotted with wine-producing villages. Explore Annecy with strolls on the lakeshore and visit Vieille Ville (old town), with its famous canals and bridges. Transferring to Switzerland, it’s time to explore the Bernese Oberland - the epitome of glorious Alpine scenery - just made for being explored on foot via balcony paths, along narrow ridges and in high meadows. Our base for this week is the village of Adelboden in the heart of Bernese Alps, surrounded by wonderful flower meadows, green valleys and snow-capped peaks at the head of the Engstligen Valley. There are walks in the Kandersteg Valley and the option to walk across one of the longest suspension bridges in Europe – if you dare! A gondola ride to the beautiful Oeschinensee Lake is sure to be a highlight as is a visit to Engstligenalp – a vast expanse of flower-studded Alpine pasture. There is also the option to reach the summit of Elsighorn from where there are panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and down to the valley floor below.

Holiday Highlights

French Alps

  • Experience the rich culture of Haute-Savoie
  • Follow the footsteps of the French Resistance on the Glières Plateau
  • Visit the Massif des Bauges Natural Park
  • Enjoy walks with views of the beautiful Lake Annecy

Bernese Oberland

  • High Alpine meadows, tranquil valleys and spectacular waterfalls form this most picturesque of mountain landscapes
  • Walk the balcony paths above Oeschinensee where the lake changes colour from azure to emerald based on the cloud cover
  • Have a go at playing the Alpine horn at the hotel
  • Test your nerve - walk across one of the longest suspension bridges in Europe, the Hostalde

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • All transport to and from the walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
  • "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 14 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Transport between the two destinations
  • Half Board - continental breakfast and evening meal

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

Hotel Splendid - Annecy

This 3-star hotel is conveniently located overlooking the Canal du Vasse and a short walk from the medieval centre of Annecy as well as the lake, which is access via a large and pleasant public park.

Hotel Steinmattli - Bernese Oberland

The 4-star Hotel Steinmattli is a modern chalet-style property located in a peaceful part of this charming village. All 63 comfortable bedrooms offer a balcony or terrace, en-suite bathroom and beautiful views. A delicious 4-course evening meal is served each day in the hotel’s Alpen Chic Restaurant. The shops and bars of Adelboden are just a short walk away.

Essential Information

Passport Requirements

You may need to renew your British passport if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Use the government website to see if your passport is valid for this holiday

EHIC cards

The UK government has officially launched the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replace the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). UK residents can now apply for one of the GHIC cards, which will gradually replace the EHIC cards as they reach their expiry dates. Every family member travelling requires a GHIC. You can make an application for yourself and on behalf of your partner and any dependent children under the age of 16. Both cards will offer equivalent protection for emergency and medically necessary healthcare needs when in the EU on a temporary stay, which includes holiday, study and business travel. Necessary healthcare includes things like

• emergency treatment and visits to A&E
• treatment for long-term or pre-existing medical conditions
• routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
• oxygen and kidney dialysis

The public only need to apply for their free GHIC cards when their current EHIC expires. The process is likely to take two weeks. For more information visit https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/.

The GHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. We advise all holidaymakers to also invest in travel insurance that covers healthcare, so they are covered for other issues that may arise, as well as cancellations and lost luggage.

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents.
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares).
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended.
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers.
  • Warm hat and gloves. 
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks.
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner.
  • Thermos flask for hot drink.
  • Water bottle (at least 2 litre).
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch.
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Camera.
  • Gaiters.

Guest Reviews

Type:
European Multi-Centre
Walking Grade:
2

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