Walk to Wine — Three-Night French Mountain Hut Experience
July 25th to 28th. Haute-Savoie, French Alps
Individual price: £225 (plus £70 per night for mountain hut and dining costs)
A micro-adventure high in the French Alps is the ultimate antidote to office-induced cabin fever. Turn Wild’s incredible Walk to Wine experience takes you deep into Haute-Savoie, an Alpine region edged by white limestone mountains providing clear views for miles and miles. The region is also known for its local produce — cheeses, dried meats and wines — which we will hungrily sample at the end of each day’s trek.
Staying in comfy French mountain huts, we start early to make the most of each day, taking a light breakfast at 7am then heading onto paths still wet with dew. Tricky sections entailing ropes and ladders will mostly be avoided as we follow a route that winds its way through spectacular valleys and peaks. We aim to be on the trail for six to eight hours each day, keeping an eye out for the region’s abundant wildlife, including eagles, marmots and bearded vultures. The evenings are spent relaxing together, enjoying delicious meals served with refreshing local wines.
Walk to Wine is a relaxed mountain weekend designed to introduce relatively inexperienced hikers to multi-day Alpine trekking. A very high level of fitness is not required, however you should feel confident that you can roughly run five kilometres in half an hour. To get yourself in better condition for this trek, training routines and advice can be found at Turn Wild Training.
For those unfamiliar with what and how to pack for a trek of this length, a helpful session on pack preparation will be held on the week before the trip at a camping store on Kensington High Street for no additional cost.
Getting there and getting home
This experience kicks off at 1pm at Geneva International Airport on July 25th 2019, where a Turn Wild transfer will collect you and take you straight into the Alps. You will be responsible for booking a flight which arrives before this time. The trek will finish no later than 4pm on July 28th, and you will be responsible for organising your flight out of Geneva International Airport after this time. All other transfers and overnight accommodations will be booked by Turn Wild, although you will be required to pay (euros or credit card) directly for your mountain hut accommodation each night (approximately £70/€80).
What to bring
Rucksack — 35 to 50 litres
Water bottle or reservoir (at least two litres)
High energy snacks
Sensible hiking clothes
At least one non-cotton t-shirt, a breathable mid layer and a light warm layer
Hiking shorts or trousers
Spare socks and underwear
Comfortable clothes to wear in the evenings
Hiking boots — which have been worn on at least one relatively long trek
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Sun cream, sun hat and sunglasses
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Small hotel soap
Personal medications (if required)
Sleeping liner (plus ear plugs for light sleepers)
Passport, relevant travel documents and EHIC card (a visa is not currently required for British travellers visiting France)
Personal hiking insurance documents
Cash (euros) and a credit or debit card
Mobile phone and charger
What is not included
Lunches (can be purchased at mountain huts or brought)
Evening meal (purchased with accommodation)
Any additional charges that maybe incurred due to injury or sickness
The French mountain huts are practical but basic. Mixed sex dormitories with blanket supplied. A silk liner should be brought. Turn Wild chooses huts with showers (generally unheated) but cannot guarantee these will be working when we visit.