Great week snow shoeing in the alps with Big Smiles Adventures. Gary made it tough but rewarding and was constantly making sure that I was pushing myself without overdoing it. Fantastic views with the peaks we climbed and great fun doing it. If you want something different then make this it, excellent

Steve Ellis reviewed Big Smile Adventures5 star

Gary is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest people you could wish to spend time on Exped with. “Big Smile” is Gary, “Adventures” are what he makes happen

David McGill reviewed Big Smile Adventures5 star

Thanks again for playing a key part in what’s been such an enjoyable and memorable holiday for us all. Sincere pleasure to meet you

Mark Coleman reviewed Big Smile Adventures5 star
Martin Bayliss reviewed Big Smile Adventures5 star

Spent a great week with Gary and 6 others doing the Tour Du Mont Blanc. Laughed, drank and joked throughout the entire week. The mountains were fantastic and the weather kind, and Gary chose the best times to avoid any dodgy weather. Excellent guiding throughout the week, made for some very special memories. Hope to be back soon!

Sue Purcell reviewed Big Smile Adventures5 star

Having spent most of the last 20 years living in the city, what a joy to spend an amazing time in the mountains with such a knowledgeable,warm and friendly man like Gary. He made me feel so at ease even when I thought I couldn’t do something he would push me with words of encouragement and gentle persuasion. His love and passion for the mountains is so very obvious and I highly recommend him as a guide as any time spent with Gary in the mountains will be a time you will never forget. Big love x

Elliott Blain reviewed Big Smile Adventures5 star

Having previously been snowshoeing with Gary, I’ve Just spent the last 4 days trekking in the Italian and French alps with Him. What an amazing time, the routes he showed had the most fantastic views. His knowledge on the areas we visited was exceptional and he took the time to explain so much about the mountains.
Would highly recommend Big Smiles if you truly want to see the alps

Gary is simply a legend.
I will always be grateful for the experiences I have had in the mountains being guided by such a brilliant person.

ADAM HARTLEY  – 18-30/12/18 – MOUNT MERU & KILIMANJARO (Machame route) 

Gary is the mountain guide that looked after me and Hannah on Kili.

I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Big Smile is his company. He organises amazing trips in amazing locations that inevitably puts a big smile on your face.

Anyone seeking adventure, please check out his website.

WILLIAM BACON – 18-30/12/18 MOUNT MERU & KILIMANJARO (Machame route) 

Gary led my expedition on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro in December 2018. I can say with utter confidence that Gary added to the enjoyment of the trip. He successfully managed to balance a tremendous sense of fun whilst remaining highly professional. After suffering with altitude sickness on Meru, Gary helped me down safely and remained calm throughout. Gary was excellent also when it came to working with our in-country team of guides and porters. He united all as a team and this added to the atmosphere of the expedition. I would recommended Gary as an expedition leader to anybody.

ANDY FISHWICK – 18-30/12/18 MOUNT MERU & KILIMANJARO (Machame route) I have just returned from a trip to Mt Meru and Kilimanjaro led by Gary- it was fantastic. He assisted each member of our group in a personal and professional manner, offering advise on everything and anything mountain/altitude/kit/health related. He was great at dealing with each of our expectations and worries individually, monitoring and checking we were healthy, safe, and happy the whole time. He dealt with different abilities within the group superbly, I felt in safe hands the whole time we were on the mountains. Gary clearly has a passion for being in the hills, with an amazing amount of knowledge he loves to pass on. Unfortunately he also has a passion for remembering and passing on some absolutely terrible dad jokes!
10/10 would travel with Gary as a guide again!

Itinerary Les Massif des Albéres and the Vermeille Coast

Day 1 – Arrival day (Saturday)

Included Dinner

Settle into your hotel and meet with your guide in the evening for a glass of wine and to discuss your week.

Meeting at your hotel at 6pm with your guide for introductions and to find out the itinerary before you head out and find dinner for the evening.


Day 2 – (Sunday) -Tour de la Madeloc – 651 Mtrs.

Included Breakfast & Lunch

Distance 11.3 km     Ascent 532mtrs       Descent 521mtrs     Time 5hrs

This is a great walk to start the week, driving up to a view point we park the van and continue up the winding small road on foot for a couple of hairpins before starting on the main path. Climbing up steeply on rocky paths we find ourselves arriving at the old Batterie Taillefer, from here we ascend good paths up to the old Torres de Madeloc where we stop for our picnic lunch.

After lunch we head down past more ruins and make our way towards the Col del Gascons where we pick up and traverse a small part of the GR10 route and arriving at the col de Vallauna. From here we drop off to our right traversing underneath the Torre de la Madeloc with vineyards stretching down below us as we make our way back to our starting point.

A great day to warm up the legs for the week, have an understanding of the area we are in and then return in the middle of the afternoon for some beach time.


Day 3 – (Monday) -Tour de la Massane – 782 Mtrs.

Included Breakfast & Lunch

Distance 14.8 km       Ascent 826 mtrs       Descent 833 mtrs     Time 6hrs

Today we start at the chateau du Valmy, a centre for birds of prey. From the parking we drop down right along the vineyards for a couple of minutes before coming out of the trees and finding the main trail. From here we turn left and head up towards through cork forests and arrive at a small Dolmen; from here we carry on up leaving the cork forests behind and entering an area of oak and holly forests. This is a day of being in the forests passing outcrops of rocks projecting up through the trees. Finally we come out onto an open area with the tour de la Massane sitting above on a rocky outcrop. After climbing up to the tour we start descending back down through forests past the ruins of La Chapelle de St-Laurent and back into the cork forests and finally retuning to the parking at Valmy.


Day 4 – (Tuesday) -Tour des Cretes de Cerbère – 675Mtrs.

Included Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance 13.2 Km       Ascent 861 mtrs       Descent 857 mtrs   Time 5hrs

Todays hike has one of the bigger ascents and descents of the week and is a magnificent day out. Starting right on the sea, we wind up through the narrow streets of Cebère and arrive literally where the road finishes and the trail takes over up into the mountains. The trail starts steeply but gives great views of our day and where we started. At times the path is rocky under foot and we traverse small rock areas continuing to gain height and large birds of prey can sometimes be seen floating on the warm thermals above us. We gain the heights of Puig Joan and the Col de Cerbére and at times have views of the Massif des Albéres, the Mediterranean coastline and the mountains of southern Catalonia and Spain all at the same time. By the time we reach our highest point of the day the Peak and Torre de Querroig at 672 mtrs we are on the actual frontier with Spain. From there we descend on again sometimes rocky paths following the border all the way back down to Cerbère for a cold beer or glass of wine to finish our day.


Day 5 – (Wednesday) – Randonnée des deux Fontaines – 500 mtrs

Included Breakfast and Lunch

Distance 10.3 Km        Ascent 418 mtrs         Descent 433 mtrs     Time 3.5 hrs

The Randonnée des deux Fontaines is a great hike starting in the small village of Laroque-des-Albéres, following wonderful little trails up through the woods we come up and out into the open wider paths before heading up into the forested trails once again. The 2 fountains are non-working now and really just give their name more than their presence to this hike. It does supply though wonderful views and an easier day half way through the week. Arriving back to Laroque-des-Albéres we take our transport and go off to Collioure the beautiful and charming seaside village to sample the shops and cafes before return back to the hotel.


Day 6 – (Thursday) – Le Pic de Sallfort – 981 mtrs

Included Breakfast & Lunch

Distance 11 km             Ascent 594 mtrs           Descent 594 mtrs   Time 5hrs

Todays route ends up taking us up to a big metal cross on the summit of Le Pic de Sallfort. Starting at the col des Gascons, we head up and along the GR10 track to the col de Vallauria. This col is the same col we crossed on the first days trek but here is where the connection ends for instead of dropping down to our right we turn right and head up through wooded and shaded paths for a while before hitting the ridge line that becomes more rocky and open. The path winds steeply upwards passed and through some wooded areas and wonderful rock formations until we claim the open plateau. Here we can discover a small cabane/refuge tucked into the side of a tower of rocks. The refuge Tony as it is called is not even marked on the local maps and is a wonderful surprise to discover. Making our way over to the right we gain the summit cross and amazing views of the Spanish Catalonian mountains, the Mediterranean coastline and the Massif des Albéres. Depending on the weather and the group we can keep traversing along the frontier ridge following the GR10 track for as long as we like. If the group is fit enough and wants we can traverse all the way to the Puig de Quatre Thermes but this makes the day a 20 km day with double the ascent and descent. Either way today is a magnificent day with views and solitude to make you feel really good.


Day 7 – (Friday) – Port Vendres to Banyuls sur Mer – 74 mtrs

Included Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance 11.9 Km         Ascent 552 Mtrs           Descent 573 mtrs   Time 5hrs

This is a great coastal path hike, starting in Port Vendres we circumnavigate the port and start to climb up the hillside leaving Port Vendres stretched out below us. The trail takes us past the lighthouse at Cap Béar and then past some tiny beaches and hamlets before we traverse past Le site Paulilles (an old dynamite factory that has been transformed into a free and ecological park). Continuing on a long the rocky sea bashed coast line, we can stop at any of the beaches to eat our picnic lunch. We should arrive in Banyuls sur mer in time to have a glass of wine or a coffee before catching a bus back to our hotel.


Day 8 – (Saturday) – Departure day.

Included Breakfast

We have our breakfast, check out of the hotel and say goodbye to the beautiful Massif des Albéres and the Côte Vermeille.


Yes, join us!

The Big Smile Adventures project was born in 2014, in a form that already had all the elements to be a great and winning company. It was created by Gary Daines, International Mountain Leader and  member of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML) and SNAM (Syndicat National Des Accompagnateurs en Montagne) the French Association. He has traveled, climbed and trekked all over the world for work and pleasure and in 2015 Gary and his team of guides started guiding the first trips as Big Smile Adventures – fully qualified International Mountains Leaders, selected by Gary for their professionality and human skills.

We are a new and small company,

Things that make us strong:  first of all, we are enthusiastic and passionate about our projects, we follow with excitement every aspect of Big Smile Adventures; and then, we personalise as much as possible every trip we propose to make you live an authentic all-round experience. We take it personally!

Now. Why to choose us.

Because we love our job and we know exactly what we do.

Because we work professionally and safely.

Because we know the areas where we are taking you.

Because your needs are our priority.

Because you will live a True and Emotional Experience.

Do you have a question?  Contact Us.

Do you want to read more about us? Here you are our team.

CLIENT FEEDBACK https://bigsmileadventures.com/2018/04/03/testimonials/

Itinerary Queyras.

We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.

Day 1 Arrival

We meet at 7pm at our accommodation when your guide will be available to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions about the week ahead. Please note that for those arriving into Turin airport a transfer is included, departing at approx. 1630 hrs to allow us to arrive in Aiguilles in time for dinner.

Day 2 La Croix de Curlet

We ease into the week by heading for an excellent view point which gives a good introduction to the area. This is one of the best belvederes of Saint Veran and the cirque of Clausis. There is the possibility of doing a loop on our descent to vary the terrain and views. We will aim to also do some training looking at the snowpack and considering mountain safety in winter. We will stop at the gorgeous village of St Veran for a well earned ‘refreshment’ before heading back to our hotel. Ascent 670m. 7.5km. 5.5 hrs.

Day 3 The Alpages du Sommet Bucher

We begin by heading up a narrow valley towards the highest village in Europe at St Veran. It claims this title as the only village inhabited all year round at this altitude of 2050m. We wander through the pine forests zig zagging our way up the mountain side till we reach our destination at Sommet Bucher. It is a good place to view the Col Agnel, the frontier with the Piemont are of Italy. A visit to St Veran for a coffee after climb is an excellent end to the day. Ascent 554m. 6km. 5hrs.

Day 4 Col de la Creche

A view of the picturesque village of Chateau Queyras is on offer this morning as we head for the Col de la Creche which rises above the village. We drive up a steep mountainroad to the community of Les Meyries which is our starting point. A gorgeous climb follows through the pine forests until we rise above the tree line and the impressive ridge leading to the Pic de Agrenier, comes into view. We swing round to the Col de la Creche which gives an excellent view point over the region, we then claim the summit ridge! Ascent 640m. 9km. 6hrs.

Day 5 Alpage de Fontantie

We start at the trailhead at Montbardon with the high alpages of Fontantie as our goal. This is a superb mountain pasture, and we should get a great view over the Ecrins National Park from the top at 2,500m. The pastures are home to the cow herds during the summer months, but in winter they are a silent snowcovered landscape with all the cattle safely ‘tucked up’ in the barns in the valley. Ascent 743. 5km. 5 hrs.

Day 6 Crete de Gardiole

This is one of the classic winter peaks of the area and will be our highest summit, sitting as it does at 2656m. We drive to the lovely old village of Abries, before taking a stunning side valley to the hamlet of Le Roux. Here we begin our hike up a mountain that offers incredible views of the range. Definitely, one of our favourite snowshoe trips! A fine summit awaits, and if the weather is kind you will without doubt be impressed be the photo opportunitites. Ascent 910m. 8km. 6hrs.

Day 7 Col de Longet

The Col sits at 2,701m and is an excellent goal for a great day out. We have some choices here as to whether we do a circuit from St Veran, and over the Col and down to Fontgillarde, the last inhabited village before we reach the Italian frontiere, or whether we do a smaller loop from Fontgillarde, and then back to the village. Either way it will be a good end to the week. Facing north we can be guaranteed some powder, or we hope so! Ascent 800m. 10km. 7hrs.

Day 8 Departure

Departure Day and morning transfer to Turin airport, Italy. Please ensure that any departure flight is after 1300 hrs. The journey to Turin will take approx 2.45 hrs.

Queyras week in a nutshell

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Just on the French side of the border between France and Italy, the Regional Parc of Queyras has all the caracteristic to be consider the Paradise of snowshoeing.

Based in the small village of Aiguilles (with its 400 habitants) you will discover the  pleasure of a silent nature, walking around the Alpages, arriving on the top of a small mountain from where admire the beautiful scenery.

  • Remote wild valleys
  • Spectacular mountain views
  • Away from the crowds
  • Gorgeous village base
  • Return airport transfer included
  • Excellent auberge accommodatio
  • Guided with highly professional and qualified International Mountain Leaders


Things to consider: intermidiate fitness level.  We have a set itinerary but we could change it considering the snow condition.

Price: €1446
Included: the price is based on shared twin room accommodation with half board in a 2** Hotel or similar. A single room supplement may be available in the hotel if you do not wish to share, £170. The price includes the professional guiding services of a qualified International Mountain Leader,all necessary snowshoe equipment, including poles, snow shovel, avalanche probe, and in resort transport. A transfer from Turin airport at a time to suit the majority of the group is included. This will be no later than 1630 hrs to allow time to reach our accommodation before dinner.
Not included: lunches are not included. Flights are not included, nor transport to our base in Aiguilles, apart from the above mentioned airport transfer from Turin.

Itinerary HR.

Day 1 – Meet, greet and overnight in Chamonix. (Twin room)

You will meet your guide for the trek at 5pm on this evening to talk about your trek and to look at your equipment for the trip. You over night in Chamonix tonight. and dinner is not supplied on this night. Remember you need to buy a packed lunch for the next day.


Day 2 – Chamonix to Cabane du Col de Mille (Dormitory)

Leave Chamonix and we take a private transfer to Bourg St Pierre where we ascend to the Col de Mille.

Starting at Bourg St Pierre, we make a gradual ascent through wild flower meadows to the alpage of La Coeur at 2,233m. We pass over a col and traverse the mountainside following a balcony trail offering superb views the length of the valley overlooking Orsières. We then reach the newly built Cabane du Col de Mille at 2472m where we spend the first night.

Distance Approx 11km Time approx 4.30 hrs Ascent: +1220m and Descent -375m

Day 3 – Cabane du Col de Mille to Cabane de Louvie (Dormitory)

In the morning we leave the Cabane du Col de Mille and head down to the lovely Swiss village of Fionnay . We then have an amazing steep climb up through the meadows to the Cabane de Louvie, and you get to spend another great night in a mountain refuge beside a beautiful lake. The Cabane de Louvie is an experience to be savored as it feels like a really remote location.

 Distance Approx 20 km Ascent +722m. Descent -981m.  Time 6-7 hrs.

Day 4 – Cabane de Louvie to the Cabane de Prafleuri (Dormitory)

This is one of the most spectacular days of the trek, traversing two high cols, with dramatic views throughout. At the start, the path follows the lakeside. We then hike up on steep trails to then traverse on a high path that cuts beneath the towering cliffs. Shattered rocks and a dramatic path leads us up to the Col de Louvie at 2921 mts where we then drop down to the Grand desert. Skirting the edge of this glacier we traverse the moraine fields and head up to the last col of our day the Col de Prafleuri at 2987 mrs before dropping down to out hut for the night the Cababne de Prafleuri at 2624 mts.

Distance approx 18 km. Ascent + 820 mtrs. Descent – 550 mtrs. Time 7-9 hrs.

Day 5 – Prafleuri to Arolla/La Sage (Twin room)

After an early breakfast we cross the Col de Roux to reach the Lac de Dix. Wandering along the lake for a few kilometers we then start climbing up towards the Col de Riedmatten and  the Pas du Chevre a ladder system that brings us to the same place as the col, if the weather is good we can take the ladders. Dropping down towards Arolla we gain fantastic views of Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the Glacier de Cheilon.

Distance  approx 14 km Ascent: +735mtrs Descent- 1360mtrs. Time 6-7 hrs.

Private Transfer to La Sage from Arolla

Day 6 – La Sage to Zinal (Twin room)

We climb up to our first col of the day, the Col de Torrent that sits at 2912m and we then make our descent to the blue green waters of the Moiry Dam. A final climb up to the Col de Sorebois that gives spectacular views to mountains such as the Dent Blanche. From here we descend  to our accommodation in the beautiful old town of Zinal.

Distance Approx 22 km Ascent: +1800 mtrs. Descent: –1820mtrs. Time 9 hrs.

Day 7 – Zinal to Gruben (Twin room)

Only one Col to cross today, and we begin with a pleasant ascent through the larch woods. This trail is very pleasant as it meanders up and down traversing the mountainside, until we reach the junction for the two Cols, the Col de la Forcletta that sits at 2874m, and the Meidpass which lies further along the route, and sits at 2790m. Depending on weather, and conditions your guide will decide which route offers the best experience for the group. Distance approx 17km Distance Ascent: +1315 mtrs. Descent: –1165 mtrs.

Day 8 – Gruben to Zermatt (Twin Room)

A superb trek today, as we start out through open woodland, then high pastures and rocky upland wilderness. The trek soon opens up to some of the most spectacular views in the Swiss Alps. Our final pass is the Augstbordpass at 2894m, beyond which we descend steeply to the pretty hamlet of Jungu and on again into the Mattertal and the town of St. Niklaus. Here we take the train/taxi to what has to be one of the most famous mountain towns in the world – Zermatt!

Distance approx 13km Ascent: +1070mtrs. Descent: +1765 mtrs.

Day 9 – Departure day.

The trip ends at 10 am on this day and we wish you the easiest and nicest journey back home after a great Haute route trek with Big Smile Adventures.

Itinerary Julian Alps.

Day 1 (Sat)

Arrive Kranska Gora and get settled in.

Day 2 (Sun)

Starting from Kranjska Gora we trek to the summit of Ciprnik that sits at an altitude of 1745 mtrs. It is a longish day taking about 8hrs with 935 mtrs of Ascent. It is on good paths and the views from the summit are amazing. We descend through beautiful pine forest back to the valley to finish the day.

Day 3 (Mon)

Today we head to the summit of Tromeja (Pec on some maps) this summit sits at 1510 mtrs and although not high in Altitude it is a very special place. It is the meeting point of the three frontiers, Austria, Slovenia and Italy. Again it is all on good paths but another long day 24 km with 700 mtrs of ascent and roughly 8hrs walking.

Day 4 (Tues)

Free day – today you are able to do, as you want. Maybe relax in Kranjska Gora and visit one of the spas, maybe head into the capital Llubijlana or maybe hire a Mountain bike and go cycling around one of the many cycle paths that go through the valley.

Day 5 (Wed) 

We head up to the summit and Col of Vrsic a very important col during WW1. Passing through alpine pastures and pine forests we stop at the Russian Chapel (built for the Russian Prisoners of War who died in an Avalanche while building the road) before continuing up to see the huge natural rock sculpture of Ajdovska deklica (The Giant Girl). We take in the summit of Vrisic and then drop down to the col. There is an option here if you do not want to walk back down to the valley of waiting for a bus, otherwise we continue back down to the valley and Kranjska Gora.

Todays ascent is of 800 mtrs and is a 19 km round trip back to the valley and taking 6-7 hrs to complete.

Day 6 (Thurs)

We get picked up by minibus and taken over the border into Friuli the Italian side of the Julian Alps. From here we start to make our way up through the pine forests and into a huge rugged limestone cirque where we find the hut. Here it is possible to see Marmots and Ibex running around while raptors catch the warm thermals and float high above our heads.

Settling into the Refugio we will have time to relax before dinner.

Day 7 (Fri)

Getting up we have breakfast, pack our bags and then head up to the high col and WW1 tunnel and Gallery where we can take in even more spectacular mountain views especially of the Mangart one of the Julian Alps bigger and more famous peaks. Returning back to the Refugio we pick up our bags and head back down into the valley to catch our transfer to Kranjska Gora and our self-catering apartments. These will be booked for the whole week so anything that you do not want to take to the Refugio can be left at the apartments.

Day 8 (Sat)

Pack and leave Kranjska Gora.


Itinerary TMB.

Day 1 – Join trip in Chamonix.   

Arriving in Chamonix the famous Mountain town of the French Alps based at the foot of Mont Blanc, we meet the group at 6pm for a trip briefing with your guide for the trek. Afterwards we have our evening meal.Accommodation: 3* hotel. Dinner included. Luggage availability

Day 2 – Transfer to Les Houches and trek to Les Contamines.

Arriving in Les Houches by private transfer we then take the cable car from the Bellevue lift. Crossing the hanging suspension bridge by the snout of the Bionnassay glacier we head up to the col du Tricot and down to the chalets du Miage for a coffee break before carrying on to Les Contamines. If it is very bad weather we can use a lower route option.    Accommodation: 3*, Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch not included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 15.6km Walking: Approx 6 hrs,  Ascent +837 mtrs Descent -1520 mrs

Day 3 – Les Contamines – Les Chapieux.

Trekking up the old Roman road to Notre Dame de la gorge, we then start up hill past the Chalet de Barme and on up to the Col de Bonhomme at 2328 mtrs where we stop to eat our lunch. After lunch we carry on traversing on a gentle climb path to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme at 2478 mtrs. From here it is a two hr descent to Les Chapieux where we stay for the night.  Accommodation: Guest house, Breakfast & Dinner included.Lunch not included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 19km Walking : Approx 7-8hrs, Ascent +1348 mtrs Descent -960mtrs

Day 4 – Les Chapieux – Courmayeur Italy.

After taking a mini bustransfer to miss walking on 5 km of tarmac road, we cross the river at Ville des Glaciers and start heading towards the refuge des Mottets from where we start the climb up to the Col de la Seigne at 2517mtrs which marks the frontier of France and Italy. From the col you look down the awe inspiring Val Veni and into Italy. Descending past the Rifugio Elisabetta we head down to Les Visaille where we take a local bus into Courmayeur where we stay in a central good quality hotel for the night. Accommodation: Hotel, Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch not included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 17.2km Walking: Approx 5-6 hrs, Ascent +867 mtrs Descent -1015 mtrs

Day 5 – Courmayeur – Rifugio Bonatti Val Ferret

Today we start steeply up on lovely forest trails to the Rifugio Bertone and the Mont de la Saxe ridgeline. If conditions are good we can take the lesser-trodden variant to the Mont de la Saxe ridge and up to the Tete de la Tronche and then descending steeply to the Col Sapin. A couple more descents and ascents finally bring us to the Col Entre Deux Sauts. Today is quite a long day but with really amazing jaw dropping scenery and not so many other trekkers. Overnighting in the wonderful Rifugio Bonatti with stunning views of the Mountains and glaciers as the sunsets. Tonight is the only night with out luggage availability. Accommodation: Mountain Refuge, Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch not included. No Luggage delivery.

Distance: 17km Walking: Approx 7hrs, Ascent +1584mtrs Descent -940mtrs

Day 6 – Bonatti Hut Italy – La Fouly Switzerland

Today see`s us cross the Grand col Ferret at 2537mtrs and one of the highest cols of the trek. We get great views of the Grand Jorasses, the Grand Combin and Mont Dolent (the only mountain in the range to sit with a foot in France, Italy and Switzerland). At the col we cross over in to the Swiss Ferret and it is completely different to the Italian Val Ferret that we have left behind us. Dropping down we arrive at the small alpine village where we stay in a hotel for the night. Accommodation: Hotel, Breakfast & Dinner Included. Lunch not included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 20.3km Walking: Approx 6-7 hrs, Ascent +1128 mtrs Descent -1580mtrs

Day 7 – La Fouly – Champex en Lac.

A shorter day today finds us traversing through classic Swiss alpine meadows and small villages. A final climb see us arrive at the alpine resort of Champex that sits beside a picture perfect lake. Staying in a tradition hotel with simple but very clean rooms and great food. Accommodation: Hotel 3*, Breakfast & Dinner included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 17.2km Walking: Approx 5hrs, Ascent: +711mtrs Descent: 855mtrs

Day 8 – Champex en Lac -Trient

Dependant on the weather and the fitness of the group there are two options for today. If the weather is good and everyone in the group is feeling fit enough we might trek up and over the Fenêtre d’Arpette; the highest col on the Tour du Mont Blanc at 2665 mtrs. A fantastic route with great views of the Trient glacier when we reach the top. Otherwise we can take the standard TMB route the Bovine and wind our way up to the col de la Forclaz and then down into Trient for the night. The guide will decided which route is to be taken depending on all the factors involved. Accommodation: Auberage, Breakfast & Dinner included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 15.4 km Walking: Approx 5-6hrs, Ascent: +1484 mtrs Descent: 1716 mtrs

Day 9-Trient – Argentière

If the weather is good, we do not follow everyone up the normal TMB route but take another variant via Les Grands. With great views and a less travelled path it makes for another great day, if the weather is not so kind we take the normal route up through the forests where both paths bring us to the Col de Balme and the frontier with Switzerland and France. dropping back into France with the Chamonix valley falling away below us, we climb up to the Aiguillette des Posettes before descending through wonderful forests and then following the river into Argentière where we stay in a hotel in the centre of the village. Accommodation: Hotel, Breakfast & Dinner included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 18km Walking: Approx 6 hrs, Ascent: +1200 mtrs Descent: 1500 mtrs

Day 10 – Argentière – Chamonix

Returning to Tré-le-Champ we hike up to the Lac des Cheserys, with probably the best views of the Mont Blanc Massif and one of the classic walks of the valley. Using a series of ladders and cables to ascend the cliffs (It is very easy and nothing to fear) we arrive at the Lac des Cheserys we descend to Flégère. Here we start upon another classic walk of the valley the Grand Balcon sud. Arriving at Planpraz we take the cable car down to Chamonix town and our hotel. Accommodation Hotel, Breakfast and dinner included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 15km Walking: Approx 7hrs Ascent: +1260 mtrs Descent: 650 mtrs

Day 11 – Chamonix – Les Houches

Taking the cable car back up to Plan Praz today, we carry on hiking from where we left off yesterday. Up to the Col du Brevent and traversing some wonderful cliff lines and another short ladder ascent brings us up to the summit of the Brevent for great views across the valley to Mont Blanc. Here we drop down on paths into the forest and end up at Les Houches where we pick up our transfer back to Chamonix and our Hotel. Accommodation: Hotel, Breakfast and dinner included. Luggage delivery.

Distance: 14.8km Walking: Approx 7-8 hrs, Ascent: +872 mtrs Descent: 1776 mtrs

Day 12 – Departure day

After breakfast our Big Smile Adventures Tour du Mont Blanc finishes. Breakfast included




Les Massif des Alberes and the Vermeille Coast in a Nutshell

The Albéres is a small mountain massif sitting right on the Mediterranean coast in the south of France. Sitting at the far eastern side of the Pyrenees, it borders with Spain and its mountains tumble down to the beaches of the clear blue waters of the med. Covered in Forests and vine yards, with medieval tours dotting the skyline, this is really a beautiful, unknown and unspoilt part of France. Big Smile Adventures hiking holiday here is a perfect one-week get away with great hiking and the chance everyday to swim in the sea and relax on the beach after the days hiking. This is a Bed and Breakfast holiday package based in a local hotel in the village of Argeles sur Mer. Each day we head to the local hills for some really beautiful walking, before returning back to finish your day on the beaches. There are a plethora of restaurants’ to choose from each night, Super markets and local shops for snacks and such, and the area is famous for its wines.

What more could you ask for Mountains, beaches, warm seas, great food and wine all in one holiday.

  • Sitting on the Mediterranean Coast line
  • Far eastern end of the Pyrenees mountain chain
  • Borders with Spain
  • Deep traditions due to the Catalonia influence
  • Ancient French vine yards
  • Beautiful wooded mountain massif and unspoiled trails
  • Guided with highly professional and fully qualified english speaking International Mountain Leaders

Itinerary or Download the PDF Les Albéres and the Vermeille coast 

Things to consider: This is rated a moderate fitness level of hiking holiday, ideal for people that are regular hikers. The terrain underfoot is rocky and dirt paths with about 500 – 600 mtrs of ascent/descent on each day but with two of the days that have an Ascent/descent of 800 mtrs plus. The distances range from 10.5 – 15 km on each day.

Price: €1532 per person

Dates 2019


21st – 28th

28th – 5th Oct


  • 8 Days
  • 7 nights hotel based on B&B Twin sharing
  • 6 days Hiking
  • Breakfast each day
  • Picnic lunch on all hiking days
  • 3 dinners – Arrival night (Saturday)/ Tuesday/ Last night (Friday)
  • Fully qualified International Mountain Leader (English and French speaking)

Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Transfers from and to Airport from Argeles sur Mer
  • Insurance – Travel and hiking insurance inc Rescue & Repatriation plus helicopter rescue
  • 4 dinners – Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Thursday
  • Drinks/Snacks
  • Tips

BOOK NOW:  https://bigsmileadventures.com/events/

Haute Route in a nutshell

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To reach Zermatt and the most elegant mountain, The Matterhorn, we will walk under the great 4000 meter peaks of the western Alps and we will visit some of the most spectacular valleys. There we will  pass through delightful villages and remote alp hamlets, wander flower meadows and deep fragrant forests. We traverse lonely passes and descend into wild, stone-filled corries. To arrive, at the end, to see the most famous mountain profile in the world: the Matterhorn.

Although demanding the Haute Route is a non technical trek, it is suited to experienced trekkers and is not really for people who have just started trekking or hiking in the mountains and it is the next logical alpine trekking step up after completing the famous Tour du mont blanc.

  • One of the Great Treks of the World.
  • Start in Bourg St.Pierre finish in Zermatt – under the wonderful Matterhorn.
  • Treks only in Switzerland, seeing the highlights of the famous trek.
  • Amazing Mountain views everyday.
  • 116 Km, Ascent 7,700 mrs Descent 8,800mtrs.
  • 7 days hiking/8nights.
  • A mix of high Alpine huts and Hotel Accommodation, with luggage support on four days.
  • Fully guided with experienced and fully qualified International mountain Leaders.


Things to consider: Although demanding the Haute Route is a non technical trek, it is suited to experienced trekkers and is not really for people who have just started trekking or hiking in the mountains and it is the next logical alpine trekking step up after completing the famous Tour du mont blanc.

Price: €2390 P/P


  • Private transfers on 2 days
  • All Accommodation
  • Breakfasts & Dinners
  • Luggage transfers on days 5,6,7,8
  • Experienced and fully Qualified International Mountain Leader

Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Airport Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches
  • Personal snacks and drinks
  • Train ticket St Niklas – Zermatt
  • Tips

BOOK NOW https://bigsmileadventures.com/events/