Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who are leading your trips?

Our trips are led by professional, certified guides and istructors according to the requirements of the specific itinerary. Our guides and instructors are members of their relevant international associations, whether UIMLA, IFMGA or ISIA. Not only is this a legal requirement in most of the Alpine countries, but it's also your guarantee of a safe, knowledgeable and experienced leader on your trip.

Our leaders are hand-picked and have extensive experience in the areas they visit and operate in. Most of our leaders are our long-time friends and climbing, trekking or skiing partners who, in addition to being incredibly skillful, are great companions in the mountains. Obviously, all our leaders are fluent English speakers.

Can solo travellers join?

Solo travellers are very welcome on our trips. Solo travellers will share rooms with other solo travellers. On the rare occasion where we're not able to find a suitable room share solution, solo travellers may be required to pay a forced single room upgrade fee.

What is the accommodation like?

The accommodation is an important part of your trip. We always look for accommodation, which is in a great location, whilst offering a friendly and welcoming service and an authentic experience. We aim to strike a balance between accommodation that we feel will fit most peoples taste and keep our trips affordable. The type of accommodation obviously varies depending on whether we're in the heart of an alpine village or high up in the mountains. On our multi-day treks, you'll generally stay in a mixture of hotels, auberges and mountain huts.

In hotels, we use twin or double rooms, although larger rooms such as a triple room, may be used to avoid a single supplement. There are shower and toilet facilities in all hotels. En-suite facilities is the norm, but this may not always be guaranteed in small and remote locations where choice is limited. Clean towels and bed linen is provided in all hotels.

In mountain huts and auberges, dorm rooms are the norm. The size of the dorm rooms vary. Dorm rooms are mixed-sex and we may share with people from other groups. In some mountain huts and auberges it may be possible to upgrade to a private room, but not all mountain huts have the facilities to offer that. Clean bed linen and towels ar not provided as standard in dorms so you’ll need to bring a light sleeping bag liner and a quick-drying travel towel.

What about single rooms?

For travellers wishing to have a private, single room, it's often possible to upgrade at an additional cost. This is obviously dependent on availability.

What are the meals like?

The trip description will clearly state which meals are included and which are excluded. Where meals are included, it's typically provided with the accommodation on a bed and breakfast (B&B) basis or half-board (HB) basis. As a rule, B&B is included when staying in Chamonix or larger villages to allow members to explore the local cuisine in the evening at their leisure. Along the tour, when staying in hotels, mountain huts and auberges, half-board is the norm.

Meals are provided on a set-course basis and may vary depending on the type and location of the accommodation. Breakfast in hotels are continental-style and typically consist of fresh bread with a choice of jams, cold meats, eggs and cheeses. In addition there are cereals and yoghurts. In mountain huts, breakfasts typically offer a slightly more limited choice. Evening meals are normally three courses - a starter, a main and a dessert - often with great local specialities.

Where meals are not included, there is always an option for members to buy meals.

Lunches are normally not included as people have very individual preferences as to what they eat on the mountain. This also leaves the option to have lunch in a mountain hut when the opportunity presents itself. When lunches are not included, there will always be the possibility to buy packed lunches and snacks from the accommodation where we stay, or to buy supplies from local shops. When dinners are not included, there will be the possibility to visit great local restaurants in the location we're staying.

Vegetarians and people with other common dietary requirements are catered for in valley accommodation such as hotels and auberges. When staying in mountain huts, the vegetarian options may be quite basic and other dietary requirements such as gluten-free diets may be limited. Please let us know well in advance if you have any dietary requirements. We're always able to find a solution.

What will I carry in my rucksack?

You'll carry your rucksack with all your personal equipment on the trail every day for the duration of the tour. Lunch packs, snacks and water can be purchased from day to day so you only need to carry enough for each day at a time. Exactly, what you need to pack in your rucksack depends on the type and duration of the tour, your personal preference and whether your trip includes bag transfers.

Generally, the less you carry, the more you'll enjoy your time on the hill. For day-tours and multi-day tours with bag transfers, a small rucksack of around 25 litre capacity is normally enough. For multi-day tours without bag transfers, we recommend a capacity of around 40 litres. Please see our equipment lists for what to take on your specific trip

Do you include bag transfers on multi-day tours?

Bag transfers improve the comfort and enjoyment of your multi-day tour as it allows you to hike with a light day-pack, whilst still having access to your belongings at night. For that reason we include bag transfers on most of our guided tours.

On our self-guided tours we leave the choice open to you, and bag transfers can be added as a chargable option for those who prefer it.

It is worth knowing that bag transfers may not be possible on some trips, or to all over-night locations on certain trips, due to the remote location of some of the accommodation. In fact, some accommdation do not have vehicle access at all. Your trip itinerary and description will make it clear whether bag transfers are possible, and whether they are included, on your chosen trip.

It is also worth knowing that there is a strict limit to the amount of luggage which can be transfered on each trip. For most trips each person is limited to one medium sized bag weighing up to 20 kg. However, for some trips, for example the Dolomites Alta Via 1, the bag size and weight restrictions are slightly different due to the specific circumstances on those trips.

What about my additional baggage?

If you have additional baggage, which you don’t wish to carry or have transfered each day (this includes if your baggage exceeds the size and/or weight limit of the bag transfers), then it can normally be stored at the hotel where you stay on your arrival day. This means it'll be waiting for you when you return from the tour. Obviously, this is only possible on tours where you start and finish in the same location, such as the Tour du Mont Blanc. Please note that the hotel reserve the right to charge you a storage fee.

For trips starting and finishing in different locations, such as the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, we can help organise baggage transfers from the start point to the finish point.

We highly recommend that you contact us about this well in advance of your trip as it may not be possible to arrange on short notice.

Do you provide flights and/or transfers?

We don't provide flights with any of our trips. People come from all over the world and many choose to lengthen their stay at either end of the trip to get the most of what is often the trip of a lifetime. Some prefer to have full flexibility and choice of airports and flight times, and others have access to special deals or have air miles to redeem.

Similarly, airport transfers to resort are not included in our trips. We're happy to recommend reliable, local companies who provide public or private airport transfers. To some resorts, public train or bus is also an option.

Do you provide travel insurance?

We don't provide travel insurance. Our team members come from all over the world and insurance companies do not tend to cover travelers from all parts of the world. For example, UK insurers will not cover US citizens, and so on. However, depending on where you come from, we may be able to recommend a suitable travel insurance.

What's the weather like in the Alps and when should I go?


Summer is prime time for hiking and trekking in the Alps. The alpine summers for the most part provide stable, dry and warm weather. The main alpine summer season is from mid-June to mid-September as all the mountain huts are open and the cable cars are running during this period. It is in this period that we run our multi-day trekking tours.

In June, the weather is not too hot and there may be a little snow left on the high trails and passes. The main European holiday season has not yet started so the mountains are not too busy. From the middle of July until the end of August is by far the busiest period. It also offers the warmest and most stable weather. It's not uncommon for temperatures to hit 30C in the valleys. In September, things get a bit quieter again and the temperatures starts getting a bit cooler. Of course, there's never any guarantee when it comes to weather in the mountains and we've seen snow storms in the middle of August!

Spring and Autumn

Spring and Autumn are the seasons of change, but are certainly not to be avoided. In fact, Spring and Autumn can be a fantastic time in the Alps. In contrast to the busy summer season, Spring and Autumn are much quieter and both seasons offer something quite unique. In Spring, we enjoy watching nature come to live after the snowy winter season; the early alpine flowers are blooming and animals such as the marmot awake from hibernation. In Autumn, the colours and the light is simply breathtaking and the cool, crisp air completes the experience. The temperatures vary, the mornings and evenings are cool, but the days can be very pleasant with temperatures as high as 20 C. The weather is slightly more unpredictable and we may get some rain, and possibly a dusting of snow high up. Cable cars and mountain huts do not stay open Spring and Autumn, so for practical reasons, we can't run many of our trekking tours in Spring and Autumn. It is, however, a great time for doing day-hikes from a base like Chamonix or Cortina which are all-year round resorts with access to something to do in any weather conditions.


Winter is a magical time in the Alps but it is no time to go hiking in the Alps. This season is reserved for skiing and snowshoeing. The winter season is generally from December to April. December and January are the coldest months and the days are short. Temperatures drop to as low as -15C at valley level, but dry air and frequent sunny days help a lot. The majority of the snow falls in this period and is of the lovely, light and fluffy variety! February is still cold but the weather gradually gets warmer and the days get longer. March and April are generally the sunniest and warmest. It's not uncommon to wear little more than a t-shirt in the warm afternoon sun. All cable cars and mountain lifts are running in the main winter season and some mountian huts are open for snowshoers and skiers.

Will the itinerary of my trip change?

Our trip itineraries are well-proven and popular, and we aim to follow them on each trip. However, on our guided trips, we're able to keep some flexibility in the itinerary, in order to match it as closely as possible to the group members’ abilities as well as uncontrollable factors such as weather and mountain conditions. Our leaders have extensive local knowledge and will always be able to find suitable alternatives on very short notice. For instance, if the normal trail on a Tour du Mont Blanc trip is unsafe due to snow fall, your leader will find another, safer, route to your destination. If unforeseen circumstances neccessitates a significant change in the itinerary, which requires changing accommodation and/or using un-planned transport, members may be required to contribute financially. Please keep an open mind and do not hesitate to discuss particular wishes with your leader who will try to accommodate them.

On self-guided trips, we're not able to change itineraries, accommodation bookings etc.

Should I choose a Private trip or join a Scheduled Group trip?

Our scheduled group trips are open for all to join. Joining a group trip is a great way of meeting other trekkers and is more cost-effective if you travel as an individual or small group.

A private trip offers additional flexibility. You can choose the dates of your trip to suit your schedule and you're completely in control of who is in your group. During the trip you'll be going at a pace that suits you, so there's no need to worry about keeping up or being slowed down. This makes private trips particularly popular with families, clubs and groups of friends.

Should I choose a Guided or Self Guided trip?

A SELF-GUIDED tour is a hassle-free way of undertaking a trekking tour independently and without a guide or leader. On a self-guided trip, we plan your itinerary, book and pay for your accommodation and provide maps and route instructions and other practical information. You then undertake the actual trekking independently, in your own company, and at your own pace. If you're an experienced mountain walker who knows how to navigate and who prefer to undertake a trekking tour under your own steam, but don't have the time or the inclination to deal with the research, planning and booking, this may just be the perfect type of trip for you.

It's important to be aware, though, that on a self-guided trip you're on your own; there are no one to ask if you're in doubt about the navigation or to support you on wet, steep and/or technical terrain. There's no one to help if you have an accident or need help with the language in the mountain huts or with other practical issues along the tour. In good weather, when all goes well, this is not an issue, but you need to consider what to do in the case of bad weather, if you get caught out in the darkness, if there's a lot of snow, land slides or other issues with the trail conditions etc. If you're uncertain about these issues, a GUIDED tour may be better for you.

A GUIDED tour is by far the easiest, and safest, way of completing a hiking tour in the Alps. There is no need to worry about route finding, safety, trip planning, booking accommodation etc. You just show up, walk and enjoy.

Your guide will know the area well and will be able to change the route on short notice to suit the group and in case of bad weather, snow, land slides and other unforeseen circumstances. In addition, you have the benefit of being in the company of a knowleadgable leader who can add value to your trip by sharing his/her knowledge about the history, geology, flora and fauna of the areas you visit. It is also comforting to have a leader who knows the language and many of the owners of the mountain huts and hotels along the tour, which often leads to a better experience (and bigger meal portions!).