Trekking in the Vanoise
Tour of the Vanoise and the Tour des Glaciers de la Vanoise
A guide to the Tour of the Vanoise, a 150km hut-to-hut trek in the French mountains between Mont Blanc and the Ecrins, described in 11 day stages from Modane. Also included are the Tours des Glaciers de la Vanoise plus suggestions for other multi-day treks in the national park.
SeasonsThe summer trekking season - mid-June to the end of September
CentresModane, Termignon, Bonneval-sur-Arc, Val d'Isère, Tignes, Pralognan-la-Vanoise
DifficultyMostly easy trekking at fairly high altitude. A few optional route variants cross high and remote cols, whilst a very small number of stages have short sections aided by steps or cables. A great - often overlooked - place to start a trekking lifestyle.
Must SeeThe Grande Casse and Grande Motte, views north to Mont Blanc and south to the Écrins massif, lakes at Plan du Lac and Lozières, the Dent Parrachée, the beautiful Leisse and Rocheure valleys, the wild landscapes of the high passes of the eastern and western Vanoise
This guide describes the eleven-day 163km Tour of the Vanoise and the five-day 72km Tour des Glaciers de la Vanoise, two fantastic hut-to-hut treks through the pristine Alpine landscapes of France's Vanoise National Park. Three other short treks - the Tour of the Eastern Vanoise, the Tour of the Western Vanoise and a Traverse of the Vanoise via the GR5 and GR55 - are also summarised. The routes tackle several passes in excess of 2500m but there are no glacier crossings, no significant scrambling and no lengthy paths exposed to either stonefall or vertigo-inspiring exposure (though optional variants may involve some slightly more challenging sections), and waymarking is usually clear - making this an ideal route for those new to Alpine trekking.
The guide contains everything you need to plan and walk the routes, with advice on travel to the region, accommodation and recommended kit. Clear route description, mapping and overview statistics are provided for each day stage, there are notes on the region's plants and wildlife and other points of interest, and accommodation listings and a handy glossary can be found in the appendices. Completing the package, the beautiful colour photos will call to your wanderlust.
The Vanoise is less well known than its neighbours Mont Blanc and the Ecrins massif but is equally beautiful. The scenery is quintessentially Alpine, with 3000m peaks decorated with gleaming glaciers and snowfields, valleys glistening with lakes and streams, towering moraine walls, impossibly steep rock slabs and, in the early summer, meadows extravagant with a riot of alpine flowers. A well-appointed network of refuges promises a warm welcome at the end of each day's walking. It's a perfect place to experience the pleasures of Alpine trekking and these routes offer the ideal opportunity to explore this magnificent region.
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Kev Reynolds was a freelance writer, photojournalist and lecturer. A prolific compiler of guidebooks, his first title for Cicerone Press (Walks & Climbs in the Pyrenees) appeared in 1978; he later produced many more titles for the same publisher. A member of the Outdoor Writers' Guild, the Alpine Club and Austrian Alpine Club, his passion for mountains and the countryside inspired a lifetime's activity, and he regularly travelled throughout Britain to share that enthusiasm through his lectures. Sadly, Kev passed away in 2021. He will be remembered fondly by all who knew him and by many more he inspired through his writing and talks.View author profile
Jonathan Williams was Cicerone's publisher and managing director for over 20 years, working with authors and leading the development of the range. Lesley was Cicerone's marketing director for over 20 years, but now provides support for the new marketing team. Although they met at sea, they quickly gravitated to the mountains and trekking, before taking on Cicerone to communicate their passion for mountains, wild places and other journeys on foot or by bike. Based on the edge of the Lake District, they enjoy spending days in the hills and months in the mountains, and have written or updated several Cicerone guidebooks for Switzerland. They would like to thank the whole Cicerone team for supporting their efforts as authors.View author profile
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