FROM MONT-BLANC TO LAKE GENEVA
7 DAys - self-guided
We offer you “a journey in the Alps, in the surroundings of Geneva” as it was called by one of the most illustrious Genevan scholars of the 18th century, Mr. Horace Bénédicte de Saussure. Our “from Mont-Blanc to Geneva lake” program offers you to discover a vast and green pre-Alpine garden. From the Chamonix valley, located at the bottom of the Mont-Blanc, our itinerary reaches the lake Geneva, to Evian-les-Bains.
Here we are in the Chablais, located in Haute-Savoie (France), this range at the border of Switzerland, of moderate altitude, first belonged to the European network Natura 2000 before being able to boast the new label “UNESCO Global Geopark” awarded by UNESCO since 2015. This territory is thus identified for the rarity and fragility of the wildlife and natural habitats.
And it is also the story of a long-distance hiking trail, the GR5, which starts from the Northern Alps to the Mediterranean coast has built up an international reputation. The GTA (Gr5), the TAR (Tour of Aiguilles Rouges), the TMB (Tour du Mont-Blanc) are all medium-altitude mountain trails that allow you to admire stunning summits, from the glaciers of Mont-Blanc to the limestone of the Dent d’Oche, including the Aiguilles Rouges, the Dents Blanches, the Mont de Grange, the Cornettes de Bise…
Discover a unique territory, with a rich heritage and a qualitative terroir. Welcome to the land of Haute-Savoie, the “Yaute” for those who know it well.
Day 1: Chamonix – Les Aiguilles Rouges – Refuge de Moede-Anterne
The Brévent pass (2368m/7770 ft) is on the program. Located on the crest line of the Aiguilles Rouges massif, it dominates the Chamonix valley. The pass is also one of the entrance points to the Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve. Take some time to admire the beautiful panorama of the Mont-Blanc range. From the pass, the track reaches the torrent of the Diosaz.The footbridge of Arlevé allows crossing its boiling waters. The trail then goes up under the Pointe Noire de Pormenaz to the mountain hut of the Anterne pass, commonly called the refuge of Moëde-Anterne, which will host you for the night.
Approximate distance: 10km – Elevation gain: +750m (2460 ft) / Elevation loss: -780m (2560 ft)
Day 2 : Refuge of Moede Anterne – Anterne Mountain – Samoens
The Anterne pass (2257m/7404 ft) offers a very nice view. The easiest way to cross the Fiz chain, it allows access to the vast plateau of the Anterne mountain. Lakes, alpine meadows, cliffs offer a perfect hiking frame for a contemplative day in the Sixt-Passy nature reserve. The cirque of the Fer à Cheval is the biggest alpine mountainous cirque. Its 700m (2296 ft) high limestone walls develop over nearly 5 km in a spectacular hemicycle. Our itinerary follows the GR5 to the parking lot of Lignon, after having crossed the collet d’Anterne, and the waterfalls of La Pleureuse and La Sauffraz. From Lignon, a local bus takes us to the village of Samoëns located in the Haut Giffre.
Approximate distance: 10.5 km – Elevation gain: +375m (1230 ft) / Elevation loss: -1190m (3904 ft)
Day 3 : Samoens – Morzine
Known as the home of the stone cutters, Samoëns is nowadays mainly articulated around tourism. After having helped the democratization of winter sports since the 1960s, Samoëns has successfully developed summer tourism.
The Golèse pass (1660m/5450 ft) is at the end of the trail, after the hamlet of Allamands, the chalet de la Croix and the chalet de l’Abérieu at the foot of the Dents Blanches. From Samoëns, the ascent is long and progressive, in forest most of the time, and across meadows and alpine pastures when approaching the pass. The GR5 continues north, towards the refuge of Vigny and further on, the hamlet of Erigné Derrière, located in the Manche valley. No gold here, but rather a little jewel in a green setting! This valley at the end of the world is simply beautiful.
Approximate distance: 12,5km – Elevation gain: +970m (3180 ft) / Elevation loss: -500m (1640 ft)
Day 4 : Morzine – Col de Bassachaux – La Chapelle d’Abondance
Morzine is located in the Aulps valley. This farming village saw its tourist development accelerated by Jean Vuarnet’s victory in the 1960 Olympic Games held in Squaw Valley. Jean Vuarnet then launched the construction of a winter sports resort in Morzine: Avoriaz. Morzine is an active village that welcomes many sporting and cultural events throughout the year.
This morning, a transfer with the Morzine shuttle service leads to the hamlet of Ardent, the starting point for the ascent of the Bassachaux pass (1778m/5830 ft). Our trail passes through the hamlet of Lindarets – Goats village – then continues to the pass which allows us to switch to the Abondance Valley.
“If in the morning, the clouds go up to its top, the rain is not far…” The Mont de Grange (Natura 2000) dominates the valley of Abondance. The most discreet hikers will be able to observe chamois, marmots, foxes… As well as many mountain flowers.
Our path follows the GR5 until the foot of the Mont de Grange (2432m/7980 ft). The descent to the Chapelle d’Abondance is relatively long and punctuated by some bumps.
The day ends at the Chapelle d’Abondance.
Optional hike: Ascent of the Mont de Grange: A return trip to the summit by the Coicon ridge is possible for those who wish to add some spice, an extra dose of elevation gain (+600m from the intersection), and some more technical passages requiring extreme vigilance.
Approximate distance: 20km – Elevation gain : +1074m (3520 ft) / Elevation loss: -1253m (4110 ft)
Day 5: La Chapelle d’Abondance – Refuge of Bise
Here is a typical Haute-Savoie village, and a valley that is the cradle Abondance cheese making: It has been awarded the “Cities and Countries of Art and History” label (Label “Villes et Pays d’art et d’histoire”).
It is a shorter day that is on the program today. The trail leaves the village by the north, passes by the chalets of Chevenne before reaching the pass of Bosse (1816m/5960 ft). Located at the foot of Cornettes de Bise, emblematic summit of the Val d’Abondance and the Chablais, the refuge of Bise has been recently renovated and welcomes you in a hamlet of alpine pasture at 1500m (4920 ft) of altitude, a breathtaking setting.
The name “Cornette” would refer to its morphology close to a small horn, which corresponds to a rocky point or an elongated land. As for the term “Bise”, it refers to the north wind that blows on the Lake Geneva basin and would thus describe the direction of the North.
Approximate distance: 6km – Elevation gain: +795m (2610 ft) / Elevation loss: -310m (1020 ft)
Day 6: Refuge de Bise – St Gingolph – Evian-Les-Bains
This is the last day of walking. The trail (GR5) continues northward, towards the Bise pass (1915m/6280 ft) and then the Neutey chalets. Finally, the village of Novel and soon the southern shores of Lake Geneva, in Saint-Gingolph in the Savoyard Chablais precisely.
End of the hike. A shuttle bus service allows to reach Evian-les-Bains.
Approximate distance: 12 km – Elevation gain: +430m (1410 ft) / Elevation loss:-1545m (5070 ft)
Day 7 : From Evian-Les-Bains to Geneva, by the medieval village of Yvoire
Private taxi in the morning from Evian to Yvoire.
Optional visit to Yvoire.
Ferry from Yvoire to Geneva.
Note : itinerary, distance and elevation can change for many reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions.
Please also be aware that self-guided trek involves your own responsibility for the route you choose and the choices you make on the trails. We will provide you with a roadbook and GPX tracks but you will be hiking every day on your own and we cannot be responsible for the decision and events that may occur during your hike.
About "From Mont-Blanc to Lake Geneva"
The answer is NO since half of it is located in France!
Very often nicknamed “Lake Geneva”, the “Léman” is bi-frontier. Swiss in the northern part, and French in the southern part. The cities of Thonon-Les-Bains and Evian-Les-Bains border the Haut-Savoyard shores; the cities of Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux are on the Swiss side.
So even if it is commonly called Lake Geneva, we must give credit where credit is due!
Let’s admit that Lake Geneva is fed by the Rhone, a river which, before flowing into France, takes its source in the Rhone glacier located in Switzerland. Let us also recognize that most of its banks are located in Switzerland, and those important agglomerations of international renown are located on the Swiss side. But the largest natural lake in the Alps is indeed transboundary! 🇨🇭🇫🇷
Yvoire is a medieval city, classified among the most beautiful villages in France. Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Yvoire is the “Pearl of Lake Geneva”.
For more than 700 years, the history of the House of Savoy has testified to its rich and powerful heritage. The keep and the ramparts of the town still proudly dominate the waters of the largest natural lake in Europe. The garden of the five senses, the exploration of the narrow streets paved with old stones and with balconies full of flowers, invite the strollers to a breakout of time, in a setting conducive to daydreaming, to relaxation, quite simply!
So when we tell you that it is beautiful, you can believe us!
Stop in Yvoire! 🙂