Chalets at Miage
Le Truc
Hiking the Crête des Gittes
Mountain hut on the GR5
Refuge Plan Mya
Bunkroom, Refuge Plan Mya
Hiking in the Beaufort on the GR5
Group at the Col du Bonhomme

Grande Traversee des Alps: GR5 Part 1

Hike the GR5 from Chamonix to Pralognan-La-Vanoise

Trip Details

Location French Alps
Length 10 days
Grades Strenuous, Strenuous Plus
Accommodations Hotels, Mountain Huts
Group size 5-12
Dates We will be scheduling dates for this trip soon. Please check back.
Land Cost
Single Supp Cost

Hiking Trip Summary

Part 1 of our journey begins at the foot of the Mont Blanc range in Chamonix. We spend 8 days hiking from the highest peaks in Europe southward, through the Savoie and the Vanoise National Park, to the pleasant mountain village of Pralognan.

Established in 1963, the Vanoise was France’s first national park. A wonderfully remote and expansive area, the Vanoise Massif encompasses 82 kilometers of pristine peaks and glaciers, is home to a vast array of alpine wildlife, and preserves the essence of French rural existence. A classic alpine hut-to-hut route, this is a perfect overture to long-distance hiking.

Part 1 of the GR 5 offers mostly remote alpine hiking with accommodations at wonderful mountain refuges. The route is often wide open and the vistas are expansive.

We are currently reworking our Grande Traversee des Alpes GR 5, Part 1 trip and will be reintroducing it in 2020. Stay tuned!


Show itinerary

Additional Information


If you wish to have your own room at the hotels, there is a single supplement charge for Part 1: Chamonix, Tignes, and Pralognan. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. Please note: Single or private rooms are not available in the refuges or gites. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, we will not charge you extra for this “forced” single during the hike.


  • There may be changes or modifications to the itinerary.
  • Transfers: We have done our best to limit the number of transfers, but it is impossible to complete this wonderful journeys without them. The distances combined with the scarcity of appropriate overnight accommodations make transfer necessary. Many, but not all, days will either start or end with a transfer.


All accommodations, all breakfasts, most dinners, all group transfers on vans, buses, trains and ski lifts as described in the itinerary, luggage transfer for one medium-sized duffel bag from Chamonix to Pralognan. Great hiking and memories!


Airfare, lunches, optional/individual transfers or excursions, dinners in Tignes, items not on set dinner menu, tips to guides/leaders, beverages, insurance, excess baggage charge, items of a personal nature.


This hike is not vehicle supported. You will need to carry a small- to moderate-sized pack with all the clothing and accessories you will need for the duration of the hike. (See our sample packing list.) With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight to 20 lbs., including lunch and water. Any extra luggage or belongings you may have will meet us in Pralognan.


Hotels are generally 2- or 3-star hotels, most with private baths. Breakfasts are served at the hotel. Some are more simple 2-star hotels with shared baths.

The mountain huts or refuges and gite d’etapes (overnight accommodations for travelers) have their own charm and unique character. All are remote and located in spectacular settings. The shared facilities are simple, but most have hot showers. Most accommodate from 20 to 40 hikers, sometimes more.

Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels or refuges and lunches are picnic style along the trail.


It is easiest to fly to Geneva. However, there are frequent trains from Zurich or Paris; just be sure to allow for extra travel time. Included in the trip cost is a group transfer from the Geneva Airport on Day 1 for those hiking the entire trip or just Part 1.


Our Grand Traverse of the Alps Part 1 is an exceptional hike. This varied, remote and sometimes strenuous route leads through the heart of the Vanoise National Park. It is great for the hiker who looks forward to wonderful, challenging days and likes the thought of staying in some remote and rustic refuges and small family-run hotels. This route is definitely off-the-beaten-path.


This first part of the Grande Traversee des Alpes provides a rare hiking experience. Distant Journeys is one of the very few companies that offer this trip as a true hut-to-hut route. The huts are classic and remote, some only accessible by foot. It is true, you do have to carry your own pack for this trip, but the reward is hiking through some of the most beautiful, remarkably pristine landscapes of the French Alps.


Geneva airport at 1:00 pm on the first day for a group transfer to our hotel in Chamonix.


Part 1 of our Grande Traversee des Alpes will end with a morning group transfer to the Geneva Airport.


Please contact us for a more detailed itinerary, for more information, or to register. We're also happy to supply a list of past participants willing to share honest insights into this guided GTA Hike, Part 1 experience.

Reserving This Trip

A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the area provided when completing your registration forms.

The balance is due 90 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 75 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.

As confirmation of receipt of your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment and no later than 30 days prior to your trip start, you will receive trip rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.

Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.

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