Frequently Asked Questions
I would like to go walking in the Alps. Where should I start and when should I go?
The key point is that there is no mystery here. The thing to do is schedule the time and just go. With a car, you can move around and see different areas.
The places that are beautiful under winter snow are just as lovely in the summer.
It is probably sensible to start at one of the recognised centres. Here the trails are all well marked, and there are gear shops, accommodation and facilities to suit every contingency. There are banks. Cash cards work; so do mobile phones. Campsites are plentiful and some are absolutely beautiful.
You are never remote as you find your alpine-legs (apologies to sea-legs). The scenery is amongst the very best, and the walking is outstanding. You can get to see inside that mysterious institution the alpine hut and see what goes on there.
Probably the best known centres are Chamonix in France and the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. Alternatives are the Valais region in southern Switzerland, the Dolomites in northern Italy and the Innsbruck area in Austria.
But there are dozens and dozens of less well-known areas such as the Engadine in eastern Switzerland, Ticino in southern Switzerland, Gran Paradiso, Ecrins, Vanoise and all parts of Switzerland and Austria where there is great walking potential.
Cicerone has detailed guides to all these regions.