The Chamonix valley offers a wealth of options and we can offer many different itineraries to explore, here are a few of our favourite examples...
Vallon de Berard
Starting off from the little village of Le Buet, this hike takes you through the forest and past some old stone huts before entering the Berard valley. Hiking alongside the river to begin with, you’ll find yourself in a magical environment where icicles hang from rocks and snow-crusted branches arch over the path. Wherever the forest opens out you’ll be able to look over your shoulder to the magnificent view of Les Grands Montets, the snowy peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif and the glaciers that fill the gullies surrounding the Mer de Glace on the opposite side of the valley. Hiking upwards through the forest until we come to a small clearing looking over the Swiss border, this is a great place to stop for a picnic lunch and a flask of hot tea. From here it’s all downhill, back through another pretty little hamlet of wooden chalets, looping back through snowy meadows to the bottom of the Poya ski slope.
High above the village of Vallorcine is a little collection of stone huts that look remarkably like a bar of Toblerone – a perfect row of triangular roofs overlooking the valley. This is an excellent snowshoe hike for those who enjoy a fair bit of ascent, rewarded by stunning views. Starting off in the village of Le Buet, the trail climbs up through the forest, twisting and turning through snowy boughs where you might spot chamois or ptarmigan darting amongst the trees. The trail comes out into high alpine meadows surrounded by breathtaking views, dominated by the peak of Mont Buet looming nearby. The Loriaz huts are nestled on a plateau at 2020m, looking across to a panoramic view of the Aiguille Verte and the Massif du Mont Blanc – the perfect place to stop and enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch! The huts are closed during the winter, so you’ll need to bring your own food and a flask of hot tea or coffee.
Grand Saint Bernard Monastery
Combine nature with history on this longer hike to visit an ancient monastery on the Swiss/Italian border. The monastery was founded back in 1050 by Saint Bernard of Menthon as a safe haven for mountain travellers. It because famous for the iconic rescue dogs of the same name, who were bred here for generations. The hike itself is a long but gradual climb up towards a high mountain pass, traversing deep valleys and overlooked by steep snowy slopes until you reach the monastery just a few hundred metres from the Italian border. The scenery is magnificent and the building is very atmospheric. Take some time to explore the chapel and the museum, and enjoy a meal in the auberge. You can also stay overnight at the auberge, a memorable and unique experience that makes longer snowshoe hikes possible.