Guided Walking at Les Contamines, France

Panoramas of the French Alps


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Wildlife


  • 3
  • 5
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

Holiday overview

Download Les Contamines Guest Booklet 2017

This guided walking holiday offers outstanding Alpine walking beneath the imposing white peak of Mont Blanc.

Holiday highlights

  • Discover the high mountains and meadows of the Chamonix Valley
  • Superb location at the base of Mont Blanc in the heart of the French Alps
  • Enjoy traditional Savoyard specialities at our popular family-run 3-star hotel
  • On your free day, you could ascend the famous Aiguille du Midi or ride the tramway high onto Mont Blanc
  • Choose the 2-centre option with Adelboden in the Bernese Oberland

Price includes

  • 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 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half board - continental breakfast and evening meal



Hotel La Chemenaz - hotel

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.

Your room

Hotel La Chemenaz 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
  • Telephone
  • Satellite television
  • Safe
  • Hairdryer
Hotel La Chemenaz bedroom


Hotel La Chemenaz - Lounge In the hotel 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. 

In the basement you will find a wellness centre with a sauna and spa pool with access to the drying and boot room.

Internet access if 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.

Evening meal
Dinner is served in the dining room, which is set around a superb fireplace creating a cost 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 beer, wine and spirits.

Picnic lunch
You're welcome to 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.
Hotel La Chemenaz - restaurant

Your evenings

Each evening your walking leaders will tell you about the choice of walks or 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.


Download Les Contamines Guest Booklet 2017

  • Our experienced leaders offer the choice of two different walks each day - 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

HF Holidays walks level 3 mediumEasier walks: 5 to 8 miles (8-13km) on generally well defined paths with some steep and rough sections. Up to 2,100ft (630m) of ascent in a day.


HF Holidays walks grade 5 harderHarder walks: 7 to 13 miles (11-21km) across rougher mountain terrain with some exposed sections. Up to 4,400 feet (1,320m) of ascent in a day.


We operate two walking itineraries at Les Contamines on alternate weeks. If you book a 14 night holiday you can enjoy both itineraries and all the best walks.

We offer an early season itinerary on the dates below which comprises a combination of itineraries one and two, due to snow conditions and the closure of some cable cars:

17, 24 June; 26 August 2017.

Itinerary One

1, 15 July; 19 August 2017.

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 enjoy a short walk into the village before the evening meal. On the first evening your leaders will explain more about the walks and there will be plenty of time to meet with your fellow guests.

Day 2: Col du Joly and Tré la Tête

Easier Walk: From the cable car, 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, then follow a narrow balcony path to an area good for flowers and where marmots are often seen. From here we return to the cable car via the Chalet de Roselette and our descent to Les Contamines. 8 miles (13km) with 1,500ft (450m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: This route ascends through trees before contouring to reach the Refuge de Tré la Tête. A little way further we reach a good lunch spot, overlooking the Glacier de Tré la Tête. Our return route follows a balcony path into the Combe d’Armancette before descending the many zigzags to the hotel. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,200ft (960m) of ascent.

Day 3: Plateau D’Assy and the Rochers des Fiz

Easier Walk: We start in Plateau d’Assy where we visit the spectacular church of Notre Dame de Toute Grace. Built in the mid 20th century, the church is decorated by artists including Braque, Chagal and Matisse and is a unique masterpiece of modern sacred art. Our walk takes us up through forests to Plaine Joux, where we should see paragliders, and on to the hamlet of Les Mollays before descending to idyllic Lac Vert. 6 miles (9.5km) with 2,000ft (600m) of ascent and 1,200ft (360m) of descent.

Harder Walk: Our walk starts at Lac Vert high up in the massif of the Rochers des Fiz. The first mile or so is on good tracks, then we start ascending more steeply with some easy scrambling to the delightful Lac de Pormenaz, before contouring round to our high point at the Refuge du Moede Anterne. Our return traverses high above the valley before dropping down through small farming communities to Lac Vert. 8 miles (13km) with 2,600ft (780m) of ascent.

Day 4: West of Les Contamines

Easier Walk: We start walking at Les Bettex, following 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 join the Tour du Mont Blanc beside the Bon Nant River. 8 miles (13km) with 1,300ft (390m) of ascent and 2,100ft (630m) of descent.

Harder Walk: Our walk starts from the top of the Crêt du Midi chairlift. A pleasant ridge route takes us over Ban Rouge and Mont de Vorès to the Col de Véry before contouring across steeper slopes to Col du Joly. From here it’s a short stroll to Le Signal for the cable car back to Les Contamines. Much of today’s route follows the Tour du Beaufortain and the Sentier du Pays du Mont Blanc, and in good weather there are excellent views. 10 miles (16km) with 2,700ft (810m) of ascent.

Day 5: Free day

On your free day you may wish to visit the mountian resort of Chamonix and perhaps ascend the famous Aiguille du Midi by cable car.

Day 6: South into the Bon Nant valley

Easier Walk: From the cable car, we descend to Buche Croissée before picking up a path contouring around the slopes of Aiguille de Roselette to the Pâturages de la Balme. From here there are fine views, complementing the vistas already seen towards Mont Blanc. Our route now descends to join the Tour du Mont Blanc, which we follow past refuges and a Roman bridge to return to the valley floor at Notre Dame de la Gorge chapel, and a short stroll back to the hotel. 8 miles (13km) with 1,200ft (360m) of ascent and 3,300ft (990m) of descent.

Harder Walk: From the cable car, a track takes us to the top of the ridge and an extensive view. A traversing path takes us to the Col de la Fenêtre and another fine viewpoint. Heading around the top of the valley, we ascend to a good lunch spot at the Lacs Jovet. Then it is downhill all the way, as we join the Tour du Mont Blanc for our return. 12 miles (19km) with 2,300ft (690m) of ascent and 4,600ft (1,380m) of descent.

Day 7: By the Mont Blanc Glaciers

Easier Walk: Having ascended by cable car, 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 walk then contours the hillside by La Charme before descending to the Col de Voza tram station. A short ride brings us to Bellevue, from where we can ascend Mont Lachat with its stunning views, then return to Bellevue for a welcome drink before descending by cable car to Les Houches. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,700ft (510m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From the top of the Prarion cable car we walk to the Bellevue Hotel, via La Charme, then on to the Alpage de l’Are. From here, we ascend steeply to have lunch overlooking the Bionnassay glacier. A contouring path now takes us to the tram terminus at Nid d’Aigle. We follow the tramway to the Col de Mont Lachat, where there are good views into the Chamonix valley. Finally, a contouring path on the side of Mont Lachat brings us to the Bellevue cable car station, where we descend to Les Houches. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,000ft (900m) of ascent.

Day 8: Departure day or free day for guests staying for a 14 night holiday.

Itinerary Two

8 July; 5 August 2017.

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 enjoy a short walk into the village before the evening meal. On the first evening your leaders will explain more about the walks and there will be plenty of time to meet with your fellow guests.

Day 2: Bon Nant Valley and the Col de la Fenêtre

Easier Walk: Our route ascends amongst the trees and abandoned meadows to reach the ancient Pont Romain. From here, we continue up the valley, visiting the Cascade de Combe Noire, then reaching the hamlet of La Giettaz to view the glacial hanging valley, before returning to the Nant Borrant refuge for tea. We continue down the valley on the old Roman road, with a visit to the chapel of Notre Dame de la Gorge then walk through the Nature Park and back to the hotel. 7 miles (11km) with 1,700ft (510m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From the Signal cable car, we follow a path which contours around the slopes of Aiguille de Roselette to bring us to the Pâturages de la Balme. We then ascend to the Col de la Fenêtre for superb views to the west, then follow a balcony path to the start of the optional steep climb up Aiguille de Roselette, before returning to the cable car via the White Stones and a delightful refuge. 8 miles (13km) with 2,100ft (630m) of ascent; additional 0.6 mile (1km) and 800ft (250m) for the Aiguille.

Day 3: Above Megève

Easier Walk: From the top of the cable car station we head to Beauregard with magnificent views to the Mont Blanc massif. We can stop at a café before continuing around the hillside towards Col de Jaillet. We then make a short diversion to the viewpoint at L’Eperon towards the Chaine des Aravis, another series of impressive peaks, before we descend to Chalet des Frasses. From here, a forest path returns us to the cable car down to Megève. 8 miles (13km) with 1,500ft (450m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: The Harder walk takes a more direct route to the Col de Jaillet, before contouring to the farmstead of L’Avenaz. We ascend to the Col de l’Avenaz on a path which is very narrow and exposed in places. We continue to the grassy slopes of Croisse Baulet. Once at the summit a wonderful 360° panorama opens up: an ideal lunch spot. Our return takes in the summit of Le Petit Croisse Baulet before descending on the cable car back to Megève. 8 miles (13km) with 3,000ft (900m) of ascent.

Day 4: Chamonix and the Aiguilles Rouges

Easier Walk: From the centre of Chamonix, we walk to Plan Praz cable car station. On leaving the cable car, we pick up the Grand Balcon Sud path which winds through woods and open flower-filled spaces beneath the towering Aiguilles Rouges giving stunning views to Mont Blanc (weather permitting). We arrive at Flégère with the option for refreshments at the café before descending via cable car for our walk back to Chamonix, with time to explore. 8 miles (13km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From the Flégère cable car, we head northeast to la Tête aux Vents. Our route then passes the Lacs de Cheserys before climbing steeply, using wooden steps and ladders to reach Lac Blanc, a famous beauty spot with its popular café/refuge. Returning to Flégère by the direct path, we then pick up the Grand Balcon again, reversing the route of the Easier walk to Plan Praz then descend to Chamonix. 10 miles (16km) with 2,700ft (810m) of ascent.

Day 5: Free day

On your free day you may wish to visit the mountian resort of Chamonix and perhaps ascend the famous Aiguille du Midi by cable car.

Day 6: Mont d’Arbois or the Mont Joly Ridge

Easier Walk: Thursday is market day in St Gervais, so we can spend a little time looking around before taking the Bettex cable car. From here we climb through meadows and woods to reach the Mont d’Arbois ridge for lunch with 360o views. We continue along the ridge over Mont Joux before descending through alpages and forest to the cable car for our return. 7 miles (11km) with 1,800ft (540m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: A taxi and cable car will whisk us up to around 1,800m, from where there is a good track to the foot of Mont Geroux. The route then takes us to the summit of Mont Joly and along a superb, but narrow ridge to the Aiguille Croche. This section offers views to Mont Blanc and its glaciers. The descent is at the south end of the ridge, bringing us via the Col du Joly to the Signal cable car. 10 miles (16km) with 3,200ft (960m) of ascent.

Day 7: Chalets De Miage And The Cole De Tricot

Easier Walk: After an initial ascent, the route then contours above the Gorges de la Gruvaz to reach the Chalets de Miage. A warm welcome can be guaranteed at this refuge, delightfully located below the snow-covered Dômes de Miage. The myrtille tart is a particular HF Holidays’ favourite! Suitably refreshed we head up to Chalets du Truc then return to the hotel on tracks and village paths. 7 miles (11km) with 1,900ft (570m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: We take a different path out of Le Champel, ascending gradually to reach the Glacier de Bionnassay which has its origins in the highest part of the Mont Blanc Massif. The ascent continues into the Combe de Tricot, with views of the ice-fall and lower glacier. At the head of the col, a steady descent brings us to the Chalets de Miage. The return is by way of the slopes of Mont Truc and Les Contamines. 10 miles (16km) with 3,700ft (1,110m) of ascent.

Day 8: Departure day or free day for guests staying 14 nights

Local area

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.

Local highlights

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 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.



Travel by plane


‘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.

British Airways plane





‘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

 Coach heading to Glen Coe


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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

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