Quick Overview

Through the French Alps: Lake Geneva to Nice by Paddy Dillon.

An essential guidebook for anyone walking the GR5 trail from Lake Geneva to Nice through the French Alps. The GR5 is one of the world's most spectacular long-distance trails, yet the well graded paths make it suitable for any moderately experienced hiker or trekker. The route can be walked in a month or split over a series of summer trips.

The GR5 is one of the world’s most spectacular long-distance trails, but at the same time well within the reach of moderately experienced walkers and backpackers. There is good signposting and waymarking, plus lodgings, food and drink are all available at regular intervals. The paths and tracks are generally well graded, while steep climbs are tackled on zigzag paths, so the overall gradient is not so severe. These numerous benefits mean that every summer, thousands of walkers embark on this trek.

It makes its way through the Alps from the shores of Lac Léman at Geneva to the Mediterranean at Nice, following a route of 674km (420 miles) on well-graded and well-marked paths and tracks. The route can be trekked in a month, or it can be split over a series of summer trips to prolong the enjoyment. Good public transport links across the length of the trail mean that it is easy to divide the trek into several separate trips.

This guidebook also describes some scenic variant routes, including the stunning GR55 through the Vanoise National Park and the delightful GR52 that crosses the Mercantour National Park. Full descriptions and maps are provided for these alternatives, at the appropriate stages.

  • daily stages, timings, ascents and descents
  • full-colour mapping and gradient profiles
  • full information about facilities and services along the route
  • all that trekkers need to follow the route with confidence
  • Seasons
  • Mid-June to mid-September, when huts will close.
  • Centres
  • Thonon, Evian and St Gingolph on Lake Léman (Geneva), Chamonix, Landry, Modane, Briançon, Ceillac, St Etienne-de Tinée, Nice
  • Difficulty
  • A solid 4-week trek through high alpine terrain. Needs stamina and mountain sense. Paths and waymarkings are good.
  • Must See
  • One of the great treks - great days, constantly changing mountain views, huts, alpine pastures and valleys.
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