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Trek the GR5 from Geneva to Nice with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of The GR5 Trail
7 Jan 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 2.1cm
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The GR5 Trail

by Paddy Dillon
Book published by Cicerone Press

An essential guidebook for walking the GR5 trail, 660km from Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) to Nice or Menton, through the French Alps. Includes all the main variant routes as it passes Mont Blanc, then through the Vanoise, the Queyras and the Mercantour National Parks. Includes accommodation, profiles and maps. Suitable for fairly experienced hikers.

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Cover: Paperback - PVC
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 2.1cm
Weight: 390g

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An essential guidebook for walking the GR5, one of the world's most spectacular long-distance trails. The GR5 makes its way through the Alps from the shores of Lac Léman at Geneva to the Mediterranean at Nice. A route of 674km (420 miles), it can be trekked in a month, or split over a series of summer trips. The GR5 is well within the reach of fit and moderately experienced walkers and backpackers. There is good signposting and waymarking, and accommodation, food and drink are all available at regular intervals. The paths and tracks are generally well graded, while steep climbs are tackled on zigzag paths, so the overall gradient is not so severe. Every summer, thousands of walkers embark on this trek.

This guidebook also describes some scenic variant routes, including the stunning GR55 through the Vanoise National Park and the delightful GR52 that crosses the Mercantour National Park. Full descriptions and maps are provided for these alternatives. The book includes daily stages, timings, ascents and descents, full-colour mapping and gradient profiles, alongside information about facilities and services along the route. The result is an ideal companion to planning and completing your trek.

  • Activities
    walking, trekking, hill walking, sightseeing, eating and drinking
  • Seasons
    The GR5 is primarily a summer trek: starting too early or late in the season may lead to problems with snow, and mountain huts may be closed. The French summer holiday runs from mid-July to mid-August: this coincides with the best weather, but accommodation will be busy.
  • Centres
    Geneva; Chamonix; Modane; Briançon; Nice
  • Difficulty
    Despite its length, and despite crossing the Alps, the GR5 is no more than a long mountain walk, paths are well-graded and the route can be varied from 645-725km (400-450 miles)
  • Must See
    One of Europe's best Alpine treks, and becoming increasingly popular Cross the Alps from Lac Leman to Nice 10,000 people walk the route each year, in whole or in part Third edition of this established guide Includes variant routes such as the GR55 through Vanoise National Park, and the GR52 through Mercantour National Park

April 2017

Accommodation changes

Day 1 - Novel - The telephone numbers of the Hotel Le Clozet are now 04 50 70 67 62 and 06 42 10 84 91.

Day 3 - Col de Bassachaux - The Refuge de Bassachaux may be closed in summer 2017, so continue to Chésery.

April 2017

Accommodation changes

Day 1 - Novel - The telephone numbers of the Hotel Le Clozet are now 04 50 70 67 62 and 06 42 10 84 91.

Day 3 - Col de Bassachaux - The Refuge de Bassachaux may be closed in summer 2017, so continue to Chésery.


Walking the GR5
Alpine Traverses
Who Walks the GR5?
Route Outline
GR5 Geology
Alpine Flowers
Alpine Wildlife
Alpine Farming
Travel to the Alps
Travel Around the Alps
Services on the GR5
Food and Drink
Path Conditions
Alpine Weather
When to Walk the GR5
Kit Check
Currency and Costs
Key Points
STAGE 1 La Léman to Les Houches
Day 1 St Gingolph to La Chapelle d’Abondance (direct route)
Day 1 Thonon-les-Bains to Chevenoz (alternative Day 1)
Day 2 Chevenoz to La Chapelle d’Abondance (alternative Day 2)
Day 3 La Chapelle d’Abondance to Chésery
Day 4 Chésery to Samoëns
Day 5 Samoëns to Refuge de Moëde Anterne
Day 6 Refuge de Moëde Anterne to Les Houches
STAGE 2 Les Houches to Landry
Day 7 Les Houches to Les Contamines
Day 7a Les Houches to Les Contamines (high-level route)
Day 8 Les Contamines to Plan de la Lai
Day 9 Plan de la Lai to Landry
STAGE 3 Landry to Modane
GR5 Route
Day 10 Landry to Refuge d’Entre-le-Lac
Day 11 Refuge d’Entre-le-Lac to Val d’Isère
Day 12 Val d’Isère to Bessans
Day 13 Bessans to Refuge du Plan du Lac
Day 14 Refuge du Plan du Lac to Le Montana
Day 15 Le Montana to Modane/Fourneaux
GR55 High-level route (Refuge d’Entre-le-Lac to Modane)
Day 11 Refuge d’Entre-le-Lac to Refuge d’Entre Deux Eaux
Day 12 Refuge d’Entre Deux Eaux to Roc de la Pêche
Day 13 Roc de la Pêche to Modane/Fourneaux
GR5E Low-level route (Bonneval-sur-Arc to Modane)
Day 13 Bonneval-sur-Arc to Lanslevillard
Day 14 Lanslevillard to Bramans
Day 15 Bramans to Modane/Fourneaux
STAGE 4 Modane to Ceillac
Day 16 Modane/Fourneaux to Refuge du Thabor
Day 17 Refuge du Thabor to Plampinet
Day 17a La Vallée Étroite to Plampinet (GR5B alternative)
Day 18 Plampinet to Briançon
Day 18a Névache to Briançon (GR5C alternative)
Day 19 Briançon to Brunissard
Day 20 Brunissard to Ceillac
STAGE 5 Ceillac to Auron
Day 21 Ceillac to La Barge/Maljasset
Day 22 La Barge/Maljasset to Larche
Day 23 Larche to Bousieyas
Day 24 Bousieyas to Auron
STAGE 6 Auron to Nice – GR5
Day 25 Auron to Refuge de Longon
Day 26 Refuge de Longon to St Dalmas
Day 27 St Dalmas to Utelle
Day 28 Utelle to Aspremont
Day 29 Aspremont to Nice
STAGE 7 St Dalmas to Garavan/Menton – GR52
Day 27 St Dalmas to Le Boréon
Day 28 Le Boréon to Refuge de Nice
Day 29 Refuge de Nice to Refuge des Merveilles
Day 30 Refuge des Merveilles to Camp d’Argent
Day 31 Camp d’Argent to Sospel
Day 32 Sospel to Garavan/Menton
Appendix 1 Route Summary – North to South
Appendix 2 Route Summary – South to North
Appendix 3 Accommodation List
Appendix 4 Basic French for the GR5
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