France is the world’s most popular tourist destination with nearly 85 million tourists each year making the trek to see the Eiffel Tower, the Mont-St. Michel and the Aiguille du Midi cable car in Chamonix, to name but a few hotspots. It would be incredibly reductive to speak of France simply as a tourist destination as it has been, and still remains -though less so lately- at the centre of European politics and culture for at least 1000 years. With architectural marvels, world-class museums such as the Louvre in Paris and ancient cave paintings dating back thousands of years, such a medium-sized country packs a real punch.
France is famous for many things: cheese of course, wine, haute couture, zany film directors, bad English accents, incredible castles, the best food in the world, amazing mountains, rivers and countryside. With a population of nearly 70 million, France is a compact, populous country, with 7 main mountain ranges, major rivers, a sea and ocean, plains and deep gorges. France is also steeped in history, from Viking conquests to more recent battles such as the D-Day landings. With a land mass slightly smaller than the state of Texas, France’s geography goes from arid coasts to high mountains and almost everything in between.
Our focus is on three areas for our hiking and walking trips: Normandy (Rouen, Mont St. Michel and the D-day beaches), Provence (specifically around Avignon), and, of course, the French Alps in the Haute Savoie and Savoie, combined with the neighbouring Italian and Swiss Alps (Tour du Mont Blanc, Haute Route, Essentials Alps, Day-hikes from Chamonix).
The Alpine Arc is 1200km long and runs from Triest in Italy, to the French Mediterranean coast, cutting through 8 countries. As a mountain range, it has defined regions and held back armies, and has been a playground both in winter and sumer for the last 150 years. The highest peak in Europe is the Mont Blanc, towering above the French town of Chamonix, in the Haute Savoie region which hosted the first Winter Olympics. At nearly 5000m, the Mont Blanc and satellite peaks are the setting for an incredible hiking journey. Towering granite spires, hanging glaciers and dense larch forest are the backdrop for a trip of a lifetime.
With major international airports such as Geneva and Zurich a short train journey away from many great hiking destinations in the Alps, connecting to an alpine adventure is easy. Getting to Chamonix could not be easier as the major highway runs right through town a mere 1 hour from the Geneva International Airport.
Tour du Mont Blanc
If you have never experienced the splendour of staying in mountain huts, sleeping in cozy inns or hiking through flower-filled fields in July, then our Tour du Mont Blanc is the hike for you. After years of fine-tuning this 160 km circumnavigation of the entire Mont Blanc mountain, we have perfected an experience that allows you to hike moderate distances during the day and relax in comfortable, family-run inns and hotels, savouring local dishes and sampling French, Italian and Swiss wines. You only need to carry a day-pack as your luggage is shuttled to the next hotel. Unlike other operators, we do not offer each stage of the TMB walk as some are not as interesting as others.