Save up to £150 per person

7-Night French Alps Guided Walking Holiday

France-Annecy-FrenchAlps-AdobeStock_62034367.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European Centre Based
Walking Grade: 2 & 4
from £1,649pp £1,499pp with flights

Bordered by Switzerland to the north and Italy to the east, Haute-Savoie is dominated by the high peaks of the French Alps and glistening lakes, Often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Alps’ or ‘Venice of the Alps’, Annecy can trace its origins back to the time of the Romans. Situated in a commanding position at the head of Lake Annecy, the town offers a variety of quaint cafes, local history and culture. As you stroll through this ancient city, you will see the gorgeous Palais de L’Isle, a historical prison located in the centre of the Canal du Thiou which now houses a local history museum.

Holiday Highlights

  • 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
  • Wander the medieval streets of Annecy
  • Enjoy walks with views of the beautiful Lake Annecy

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • All transport to and from walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays leaders
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 7 night's accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half Board –buffet breakfast and 3-course evening meal

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Welcome to Hotel Splendid. Unpack and settle in.


Our transport will take us to the start of our walks on the western shore of Lake Annecy. Both groups will return to the hotel using the Lake Annecy passenger ferry.

Option 1 - St Jorioz and Duingt

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km) 

Total ascent:  800 feet (240m)

In summary: Starting in St Jorioz we walk along the lake shore, past reedbeds sheltering birdlife and marinas full of boats before striking inland to climb to a Belvedere giving superb views over the whole of Lake Annecy. We finish our walk in Duingt where we should have time for refreshments before boarding our ferry back to town.

Highlight: A delightful boat trip to end the walk – great views of where we have walked today.

 

Option 2 - The Taillefer Ridge

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,700 feet (510m)

In summary: We also take the lakeshore path from St Jorioz, then climb to the Belvedere. From here we continue on a rougher path, clambering over rock steps to reach the full height of the Taillefer ridge before descending to the village of Entrevernes. A steep path then brings us back down to Duingt and the ferry home.

Highlight: Our first encounter with Annecy’s scrambly limestone ridges.

 


The Plateau des Glières was the site chosen as a command post by a Free French resistance group, who were eventually overrun by German forces in March 1944. There is a small museum and evocative memorial to the men of the Maquis.

Option 1 - Glières Plateau and Auges Mountain

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 1,600 feet (480m)

In summary: We explore the Glières Plateau to better understand the events of Winter 1944. Then heading uphill we reach alpine pastures surrounded by rocky peaks and take the “Wolf’s step” to a magnificent view before descending to a welcoming cafe. 

Highlight: Don't miss the stunning alpine flowers, both in Spring and late Summer.

 

Option 2 - Chalets des Auges and Col de la Buffaz

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 2,500 feet (750m)

In summary: Taking time to explore the memorial as we cross the Glières Plateau, we continue uphill, over the Pas du Loup to reach the Chalets des Augues, set on a high, remote ridge. Our route takes us on to Col de la Buffaz before climbing to Chalet de l’Ovine.

Highlight: Don't miss the magnificent views from Montagne des Auges to the Aravis Mountains and Mont Blanc beyond.

 


Today takes us to the beautiful Massif des Bauges in neighbouring Savoie. With its traditional farms and barns, and unhurried way of life, it feels like stepping back in time.

Option 1 - Crêt du Char and Bellecombe valley

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (450m)

Total descent: 2,500 (750m)

In summary: Starting at the head of the Bellecombe valley, we walk up through woods and high alpine farms to reach the Crêt du Char for great views in all directions. We then pick up a track which contours under the Montagne du Charbon before descending to Le Reposoir. Our walk ends by following the valley path down to the village of Bellecombe.

Highlight: Don't miss the traditional Savoyard Barns surrounded by lush green meadows.

 

Option 2 - Dent des Portes

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 3,000 feet (900m)

In summary: From Reposoir we head south to a low col before striking uphill with the imposing Dent des Portes directly above us. A very steep path takes us up to the airy ridge of Montagne du Charbon. We descend via the Col de Bornette and continue down the valley to reach Bellecombe with its welcoming cafe.

Highlight: On a clear day with a good head for heights we can summit the “tooth”.

 


Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around Annecy, walk independently or visit local places of interest.


Both groups will journey by coach to the start of these walks at Les Confins and finish at the Col des Annes. This area is dominated by the towering limestone peaks of the Aravis mountains.

Option 1 - Above the Borne valley

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 1,800 feet (540m)

In summary: Our walk contours high above the valley of the Borne river and beneath the great peaks of the Aravis Mountains to reach the head of the valley. From here we ascend to the popular Col des Annes where we can enjoy refreshments and perhaps see cheese being made by the “Alpagistes”.

Highlight: Don't miss the Reblochon Fermier and Tomme de Savoie cheeses made in the mountains.

 

Option 2 - Refuge Gramusset and Tête des Annes

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 3,600 feet (1,080m)

In summary: Our walk follows a similar, but higher route to the head of the valley. From here we strike uphill to reach the Refuge Gramusset, used by climbers to summit Pointe Percée high above us. Descending, we scramble over limestone rocks to reach Col de l’Oulettaz, before following a ridge to Tête des Annes and down to the cafes on the col.

Highlight: The path to Refuge Gramusset. It's marmot territory – keep your eyes peeled.

 


For our final walks of the week we visit the eastern shore of Lake Annecy. Our transport takes us to the Col de Bluffy to start – with the harder walk heading north and the easier walk south.

Option 1 - Cascade d’Angon and Talloires

Distance: 5½ miles (9km)

Total ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

In summary: We head south through woodland to reach Planfait high above the lake, before descending through pastures and villages to reach the Cascade d’Angon. It’s possible to walk beneath the waterfall, but it can be very slippery. From here we descend a medieval track to the lake shore at the pretty village of Talloires.

Highlight: Don't miss Planfait. It's a favourite take-off area for paragliders – an option for your free day.

 

Option 2 - Mont Veyrier

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 2,800 feet (840m)

In summary: Heading north on the Tour du Lac d’Annecy path we climb almost continually to reach the high limestone ridge of Mont Baron and continue along the rocky crest of Mont Veyrier, before descending steeply to the lakeshore and stroll back to the hotel.

Highlight: The breathtaking views from Mont Veyrier ridge down to Annecy and beyond.

 


We hope to see you again soon.


French Alps Itinerary Map

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.

Rooms

There is a ground floor reception and the bedrooms are on the first, second and third floor with views to the Lake or overlooking the old town.  The hotel has 47 ensuite rooms with telephone, TV, free room safe, hairdryer, complimentary toiletries, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilites as well as a coffee machine.

The owner of the hotel has thoughtfully provided a small library of books in each room. 

Our guests will be provided with 2 free bottles of water in their room.

Facilities

There is a cosy bar and a lounge area which opens out onto a balcony with seating to enjoy the view on warmer evenings.  Next to this is the breakfast dining room.  The guests also have use of a computer to access the internet and on the top floor there is a small gym, accessed via the room ketycard.

Food & Drink

Our holidays at Hotel Splendid are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal. Our groups will be dining at a local restaurant just a few minutes walk from the hotel where they will enjoy a 3-course served meal with options and all dietary requirements are catered for.

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Getting to Hotel Splendid - Annecy

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

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

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-Member fee: £10 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
16 May - 23 May 2020 Itinerary £1,649 £1,499 Save £150 Per Person Book Now
23 May - 30 May 2020 Itinerary £1,649 Available Book Now
30 May - 06 Jun 2020 Itinerary £1,649 Available Book Now
05 Sep - 12 Sep 2020 Itinerary £1,649 Available Book Now
12 Sep - 19 Sep 2020 Itinerary £1,649 Available Book Now
19 Sep - 26 Sep 2020 Itinerary £1,649 Available Book Now
26 Sep - 03 Oct 2020 Itinerary £1,649 Available Book Now
Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
16 May - 23 May 2020 Itinerary £1,349 £1,199 Save £150 Per Person Book Now
23 May - 30 May 2020 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
30 May - 06 Jun 2020 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
05 Sep - 12 Sep 2020 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
12 Sep - 19 Sep 2020 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
19 Sep - 26 Sep 2020 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
26 Sep - 03 Oct 2020 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now

Important Information

  • Double room for sole occupancy: £55 per night
  • With flight holidays include flights from London Heathrow. Flight supplement from Manchester: £60
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Geneva Airport: £37 single
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European Centre Based
Walking Grade:
2

7 nights from £1,649pp £1,499pp with flights

Save up to £150 per person

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