Family Walking Adventure at Les Contamines
French Alps, France
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Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
The action-packed French Alps are a great place to take your family walking. An extensive network of lifts and cable cars ensure that everyone of all ages can reach fantastic viewpoints, and children will enjoy the hotel's outdoor heated swimming pool after a day on the mountains.
- Walking on the slopes of Mont Blanc
- Superb location at the base of Mont Blanc in the heart of the French Alps
- Seeing through the clear waters of Lac Vert
- Ascend the famous Aiguille du Midi or ride the tramway high onto Mont Blanc
- A full programme of guided walks with 3 options every walking day
- All transport to and from walks
- The services of experienced HF Holidays leaders
- 7 night's accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half board - continental breakfast and evening meal.
- ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
See our Family Adventure Guide for more information about our holidays and accommodation.
Hotel La Chemenaz
A warm welcome is assured from Francois Gauthier and his family at the attractive 3-star chalet style Hotel La Chemenaz. Nestled in a valley surrounded by high mountain ranges, the hotel is just 20 minutes' walk along a riverside path from the centre of Les Contamines. A short walk into the village leads to shops, bank and the tourist office. The hotel is conveniently located near the local cable car, and many of the walks start or finish at the front door.
The hotel has 38 spacious bedrooms decorated in a cosy Savoyard style, many with balconies and magnificent mountain views.
All bedrooms are en-suite with a shower over the bath, and have telephone, satellite television, safe and hairdryer.
There's a large open plan lounge and bar area. In front of the hotel is a garden, with tables and chairs for guests’ use. A sauna, spa pool, drying and boot room are in the basement.
Internet access is available and WiFi is free to our guests on the ground floor public areas.
Our holidays at Hotel La Chemenaz are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.
There is an extensive selection of hot and cold options for breakfast from a self-select buffet.
Dinner is served in the dining room, which is set around a superb fireplace creating a cosy ambience in which to enjoy your 5 course meal. The set menu comprises traditional Savoyard dishes: a starter, main course, cheese and dessert. Alternatives for vegetarians are always available if requested in advance. Guests with special dietary requirements are asked to discuss their needs with the manager on arrival.
The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving wine and spirits.
You can buy picnic lunches from the hotel (order the night before). Alternatively it is possible to buy ingredients from local shops or on some days to eat at one of the mountain cafés; your leaders will advise you of the options.
Each evening your walking leaders will tell you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. During the evening you may like to join in an optional organised activity, such as a quiz, or just relax in the lounge with a drink.
- Our experienced leaders offer the choice of three different walks each day on the Family Guided Walking Holiday
- Choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness
- We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort
- Our leaders are friendly and welcoming making your holiday fun and sociable
Family Walks: 3 to 6 miles (5-9.5km) on generally well-graded paths. Up to 1,200ft (370m) of ascent in a day.
Easier walks: 5 to 8 miles (9-13km) on well-defined paths, with some steep and rough sections. Up to 2,000ft (630m) of ascent in a day.
Harder walks: 7 to 12 miles (12-19.5km) across rougher mountain terrain with some exposed sections. Up to 3,200ft (980m) of ascent in a day.
Please find information on our family walks below.
For information on the easier and harder walks we offer on the Family Waking Adventure Holiday please click here (please note our family walks have been designed to run alongside itinerary one of the Guided Walking Holiday).
Day 1: Arrival Day
For those arriving on the HF Holidays' flight to Geneva Airport, the onward journey to Les Contamines is by coach. You should arrive in time to settle into your room and perhaps some fun in the pool before your evening meal. On the first evening your leader will explain more about your first days adventure and there will be plenty of time to make new friends.
Day 2: Roman Bridge, Alpine Meadows and Tré la Tête
Today we will explore the local area surrounding Les Contamines Starting from our hotel we soon join the famous Tour du Mont Blanc, following southwards towards a deep gorge. After a strenuous morning we can reward ourselves at a nearby café with refreshments and maybe even an ice-cream before continuing our walk back to the hotel. 6 miles (10km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent and descent.
Day 3: West of Les Contamines
Today’s adventure uses the Bettex cable car above St Gervais. We follow tracks and paths through meadows and woodland before joining the Sentier du Baroque on our way to St Nicolas de Véroce with its Baroque church. We then descend to Tresse where we meet our bus to take us back to Les Contamines. 5 miles (8km) with 800ft (240m) of ascent and 2,100ft (630m) of descent.
Day 4: Plateau d'Assy
Plateau d’Assy is a traditional Savoyard village below the limestone cliffs on the north side of the Arve valley. We can start by visiting the church and collecting lunch from an excellent patisserie. From here we hike up to Plaine Joux where we may be able to spot some paragliders taking to the air. We then continue on our way to the beautiful Lac Vert hiding amidst the pine trees. 5 miles (8km) 1,200ft (370m) of ascent and 400ft (120m) of descent.
Day 5: Free Day
On your free day you may wish to visit Les Contamines Parc de Loisirs (Leisure Park) and take a pedalo out on the lake or for the more adventurous why not try their tree top obstacle course.
Day 6: Col du Joly, La Balme and Lacs Jovet
After a short walk from the hotel we will take a cable car all the way up to 1,800m. We make our way to the crest of the ridge at Chalet du Joly. From here there are fine views, complementing the vistas already seen towards Mont Blanc. We continue along the broad ridge past the Col du Joly, towards Roselette, an area good for flowers and where marmots are often seen. From here we head past Lac de Roselette and return to the cable car via the Chalet de Roselette where we can indulge in hot chocolate and cakes. 6 miles (9.5km) with 900ft (270m) of ascent and descent.
Day 7: Prarion, La Charme and Nid d’Aigle
Today we will take a coach to the Chamonix valley to meet our cable car up to Hôtel du Prarion where we will begin our walk. We soon reach the top of the Prarion – a real alpine peak at 1,969m, giving outstanding 360° views to the Chamonix valley and Mont Blanc. Our route then takes us to La Charme, a typical alpine farm which makes its own cheese, where we may be able to see it being produced. We will then continue our walk on good tracks with stunning views to the Col de Voza tram station. We then enjoy a short ride on the historic tram to Bellevue were we take the cable car to Les Houches and our coach back to Les Contamines. 3 miles (5km) with 600ft (180m) of ascent and 800ft (340m) of descent.
Day 8: Departure Day
An introduction to the area
The village of Les Contamines nestles in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,164 metres. The only road along the valley ends at Notre Dame de la Gorge, a tiny church 2 miles beyond the village. To the west lie the more rounded slopes of Mont Joly. In summer the area is very popular with walkers and the famous ‘Tour du Mont Blanc’ passes through the village.
Les Contamines: The village has a large leisure area at the Parc de Loisirs (Leisure Park). Activities and attractions here include tennis, archery, golf-driving range, skatepark, boating and pedalos, mini-golf, pétanque (boules), bathing in the outdoor lake, arctic dog park, volleyball, Go-Ape course and horse-riding.
Other activities can be booked through the hotel, and include rock-climbing, via ferrata, river rafting, paragliding (parapente) and mountain-biking.
St Gervais: Easily reached by local bus is the small town of St Gervais. The main attraction here is the Mont Blanc tramway which will transport you high onto the slopes of the mountain.
Chamonix - The bustling alpine resort of Chamonix attracts climbers, mountaineers and walkers from all over the world and is usually the most popular destination for the free day. If there is sufficient interest then your leaders will organise a hired coach for the day. Alternatively, Chamonix can be reached by first taking a taxi to Le Fayet, and then continuing by narrow gauge railway (an enjoyable activity in its own right) to Chamonix.
The cable cars surrounding the town make skiing possible even in summer, and take the hard work out of gaining height for a number of walks with spectacular views. Chamonix itself is an interesting town and rewards exploration with the possibility of visits to the alpine museum or crystal museum.
Thermal baths at Le Fayet - Down the valley at Le Fayet is the Parc Thermal, reputed to be the second best thermal spa in France. A range of therapies are available, including beauty treatments and massages. See www.thermes-saint-gervais.com for more information.
Shops & facilities:
On the main street you will find a good range of small shops: an ‘8 to 8’ supermarket, a bank, post office, outdoor shops, café / bars and the tourist office. Closer to the hotel (just over the road) there is a ‘superette’ (like a village shop in the UK), and a Produit Regionaux. Sports available locally include tennis, mini-golf, driving range, horse riding, cycle hire, pedalos and an aerial walkways through the trees. Each week there is usually an evening concert in the church and an open-air concert in the village square starting at 9 pm.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Heathrow and Manchester flights to Geneva airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 1 hour 30 minutes to the Hotel La Chemenaz.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, we can book you a seat on the HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Geneva airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £32.50.
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Single room: £15 per night
- All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person