The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday
BEST FOR… A CHALLENGE
TACKLE AN ALTERNATIVE TOUR, SWITZERLAND/ITALY
Tour du Mont Blanc too busy for you? Several circuits offer similarly spectacular scenery along less-tramped trails. One such is the Tour des Combins around its eponymous 14,000ft massif straddling the Swiss-Italian border. KE Adventure’s trek covers 80 miles across edelweiss-studded meadows and high cols, rewarding hikers with views of Mont Blanc and the Corbassière Glacier, plus a night in the Grand St Bernard Hospice (of brandy-barrel-dog fame). KE Adventure (01768 773966; keadventure.com) offers a seven-night Secret Switzerland: Tour des Combins trek from £1,175pp including half-board accommodation and guide, but excluding flights; departs July 3 2022, and July 2 and Aug 6 2023
PLUNGE INTO ALPINE LAKES, FRANCE
Ice baths soothe weary limbs, they say – well, Much Better Adventures’ Hike and Wild Swim in the French Alps puts that notion to the test. After demanding ascents beneath the giant peaks of the Chamonix Aiguilles and the Mont Blanc massif, brave mountainbrisk waters of Lac Bleu, Lac Blanc and Lacs de Cheserys, warming up afterwards with the oozing ambrosia of a cheese fondue – the perfect way to reward your efforts.
Much Better Adventures (020 396 67597; muchbetteradventures) offers a three-night guided Hike and Wild Swim in the French Alps from £670pp including B&B accommodation, one dinner, guide and transfers, but not flights; departs July 21, Aug 18, Sept 1
MAKE A MASSIF ATTACK, AUSTRIA
The jagged karst Dachstein massif claws at the skies above central Austria, its flanks glittering with glaciers, studded with limpid tarns and pocked with caves. Walks Worldwide’s high-level trek tracing a circle around – and often over – the range is suitably dramatic, alternating nights in rustic mountain huts with comfortable hotels. There are also ample opportunities to delve into the region’s storied past, not least the salt-based heritage of fairy-tale lakeside Hallstatt.
Walks Worldwide (01962 302085; walksworldwide.com) offers an 11-night self-guided Dachstein Alpine Trek from £1,299pp including flights, B&B accommodation, luggage transfers, route notes and maps; departures July-Oct