Following a stunning trail that cuts through the French and Swiss Alps, the Haute Route (High Route) is one of the most famous long distance walks in the world. Also known as an excellent course for skiers and cyclists, this epic pathway connects the two alpine towns of Chamonix and Zermatt and contains some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenery on the planet. The 12-day summer trek passes through two distinct cultural regions of France and Switzerland, taking ramblers by glaciers and pretty villages before ending at the foothills of the iconic Matterhorn peak. To inspire your own adventure, take a look at what you can experience on this breath-taking journey.
The Haute route takes you across a rugged alpine landscape of high mountain passes and pristine lakes. Snowfall is possible, even in summer, so good physical condition is essential for the more demanding stages of the hike. Your muscles may ache, you’ll push yourself hard, but all the pain will melt away when you’re treated to the sweeping panoramas of 10 of the 12 highest peaks in the Alps, the greatest mountain range in Europe. It’s truly worth all the effort.
Over the course of this nearly two-week long excursion, you’ll travel to charming villages, laying down to sleep each night in small hotels and mountain huts. In the mornings, you’ll revive yourself with hot showers, warm beds and nourishing fresh food before moving on to next stage of your quest. Whether you’re starting your walk under the shadow of Mont Blanc, wandering the untouched forests near Gruben or discovering the quiet hamlet of Zermatt at the foothills of the mighty Matterhorn, the views are consistently astounding.
Stop to take pictures and drink in the natural splendour all around, for you’ll want to remember this experience forever. Wild flowers grow in abundance along the trail, while glistening blue lakes and icy glaciers all help to enhance the near mythical beauty of this route. What’s most appealing about this hike is that you can take part with or without a guide — all you’ll need is a backpack, hiking boots and trekking poles.
An Unforgettable Adventure
Of course, it’s not just the magnificent backdrop that makes this walk so rewarding. Part of the enjoyment comes from the sense of camaraderie and community among ramblers. Make new friends along the way and toast your achievements with a glass of well-earned local beer at your final destination, knowing you have just achieved something very special. In travelling from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, you’ll have made a lifetime of memories in under fortnight.
If this has inspired you to embark on your own escape, why not check out our adventure page for more information?