On this Alps hiking tour
you will need to arrive at the Marseille Airport no later than 3 P.M. A Wildland reprsentative will meet you to transfer to our 4-star hotel where we will stay for 3 nights. This evening we will meet for a gourmet dinner and orientation meeting to discuss the specifics of the next seven days, answer any questions you have, and allow the group time to become acquainted with each other.
Hiking Mileage: 6 mi (9.5 km)
Elevation Gain: 1400 ft (426 m)
Elevation Loss: 1400 ft (426 m)
Trekking Duration: 5 hours
After our first wonderful French breakfast, we start hiking towards the gorgeous Chateau Pastre (Pastre Castle), which is nowadays a Faience pottery museum. Along a small canal, we head up towards the Selle saddle through the Trois-Gancets Valley, where we hike through a vegetation tunnel made of Mediterranean trees. We reach the "Dead Man Plateau" where we discover a classic Calanque limestone plateau formation called Lapies, where the rock has been sculpted by weather into an amazing rock maze. After crossing the plateau, we hike down in the Dead Man Valley to the Voire Fountain (named after its owner) under a stunning rock alcove. We then head back towards Pointe Rouge (the Red Point), which is one of the most scenic parts of Marseille.
You'll have a couple hours of down time before we meet for a much deserved dinner near the coast.
Hiking Mileage: 7 mi (11.5 km)
Elevation Gain: 2000 ft (610 m)
Elevation Loss: 2000 ft (610 m)
Trekking Duration: 6 hours
Today we start our hike from La Madrague. This neighborhood stretches along the sea at the base of the Marseilleveyre mountain. A tiny harbor shelters a few small fishing and sailing boats. Our hike takes us to the top of Marseilleveyre Summit (432 m - 1417 ft), the tallest summit of the Western Calanques, through Roland's Cave, a unique and adventurous route. The summit offers some of the best views of the region, over stunning coastline, the city of Marseille, and neighboring summits. On a clear day, we can spot regionally famous mountains such as the Mont Ventoux, located about sixty miles away. After a wonderful picnic lunch and time to soak up the majesty of these views, we'll head down towards the sea, through the Galinette Saddle, and around Goudes Rock to access Callelongue and the small fishing village of 'l'anse des Goudes'.
We'll return to our hotel, wash up and have some time to relax before meeting for another amazing French dinner.
Hiking Mileage: 6.5 mi (10.5 km)
Elevation Gain: 1600 ft (488 m)
Elevation Loss: 1000 ft (305 m)
Trekking Duration: 5 hours
As most Europeans do every morning after breakfast, we start today's adventure with a city bus ride, but our ride's scenery is far, far above average! Our destination is the Goudes, and to get there we ride along a white, rocky shoreline on a narrow road with amazing views. The Goudes is a small, iconic French fishing village with wonderful, quaint shops and restaurants.
We will hike all day today along the coast, through the Calanques of La Mounine, Marseilleveyre, Podestat, Cortiou and Sormiou. We'll earn views of several well-known islands and rock formations, one of which became famous when Jacques Cousteau discovered a ship wreck near it dating back to 300 BC (amazingly, when the ship wreck was excavated they found ancient pottery still containing wine!) Each of the calanques (or mini fjord) is a new discovery with stunning views, unique vegetation and spectacular rock features. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch somewhere along today's hike and eventually hike out through the Col des Baumettes, a little side valley.
Tonight we move to a different hotel in Cassis, where we'll spend the next four nights.
Hiking Mileage: 10 mi (16 km)
Elevation Gain: 2500 ft (762 m)
Elevation Loss: 2500 ft (762 m)
Trekking Duration: 7 hours
This morning, one more ride on the city bus takes us to Luminy, one of the local universities, where we start our hike across the Puget Range. Our trail gradually takes us through pine forests, above the Morgiou Calanque and to the Candelle Saddle. Here one of the largest panoramas over the Calanques opens up in front of us with the Mediterranean costal landscape displayed in a symphony of whites, blues and greens. We hike the trail of the Chaudronniers to another saddle "Col de l'Oule", which overlooks the 'En Vau' Calanques. This calanque is for many the most stunning one of all, with soaring high cliffs that drop straight into the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. At the end of the day we return to Cassis, one of the prettiest villages on the coast, with it's colorful houses soaking up the warmth of the sun.
Hiking Mileage: 8 mi (12.5 km)
Elevation Gain: 1600 ft (488 m)
Elevation Loss: 1600 ft (488 m)
Trekking Duration: 5 hours
After another savory French breakfast we start hiking from Cassis and hike up towards the 'Pas de la Colle' (saddle). We traverse ridges through the Soubeyranes Cliffs and the Cap Canaille 400 meters (1300ft) above the sea. Here another stunning 360 degree panorama awaits us. More views over the Calanques but also of the Cassis and La Ciotat villages will take your breath away. We'll sit down for a tasty lunch with these spectacular views as our backdrop. After lunch we head down towards La Ciotat though the 'Big Head' summit and the Chapelle de Sainte-Croix. La Ciotat is an authentic beach town, with four miles of sandy beaches, two spectacular Calanques, and multiple small sheltered bays. We'll get on a city bus back to Cassis for a showers and another fantastic dinner. Please note that this hike is sometimes done in the other direction for logistical reasons.
Today we spend the day on a small private boat for an approximate 8-hour mini-cruise. After gazing down on the sea all week we finish with a wonderful sight-seeing tour of the Calanque from the water. We access the deepest of the Port Pin and En Vau Calanques, where the vibrant turquoise sea is crystal clear and surrounded by dramatic white limestone cliffs. We'll enjoy lunch on the boat and return to our hotel for one last celebratory dinner on the coast.
Please note: this boat trip can only happen when the sea is calm, so it we may have to arrange it on a different day of the trip. If the boat tour isn't possible, we will substitute it with another spectacular day of hiking (we do not offer partial refunds in this situation).
This morning we enjoy a relaxing breakfast, check out of our rooms and depart for the airport. Please schedule your flight no earlier than 1 P.M.
: If you'd like to extend your stay, we are happy to book extra room nights before and/or after your trip at our preferred hotel for an additional 30% service fee.
: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.
- A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
- Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
- Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
- 3- and 4-star lodging (double occupancy or single supplement) for the duration of the tour
- Use of a day pack and trekking poles
- All meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the last day
- Professional, certified Wildland trekking guides
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
- You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!
- Transportation to Marseille, France
- Beverages and personal expenses
- Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (required in the Alps)
- Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
- All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)
See the Packing Lists
page for more information.
This Alps hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. Most lunches and some breakfasts are prepared on the trail by your guides.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Trekking poles
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Satellite phone
We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters
Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters
NOTE: See the Packing Lists page
for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.
Ready to hike? Simply click here
and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).
Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!
We will meet you at Marseille Airport on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM (your flight needs to arrive before 3PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately
4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.
Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides (U.S.-based) along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735)
for more information.
In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website
for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.
Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals (click here
to learn more) with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team
page for staff bios.
Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted
for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.
The standard group size on this hiking tour is 11 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735)
and we'll answer all your questions.
Age restrictions are as follows:
- 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
- 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis
Field evacuation, repatriation, and medical insurance are required on all Alps trips.
Before purchasing this insurance, check personal medical policies to see if you already have these coverages. Also know that credit cards sometimes have trip coverages embedded in their card services.
If you need to purchase field evacuation and repatriation insurance, we recommend Global Rescue. They are the world’s leading provider of travel risk management services. Visit their website
to purchase coverage online. You may also call 1-800-381-9754 or 1-617-459-4200 for more information. The Global Rescue Membership provides the required evacuation and repatriation coverage. If desired, you may also purchase medical insurance (along with a host of other coverages) by securing Global Rescue’s Signature Travel Insurance.
If you would like to purchase field evacuation and repatriation insurance from another provider, we recommend checking with Insure My Trip (www.insuremytrip.com) or Travel Guard (www.travelguard.com). If you do purchase from anyone other than Global Rescue, we recommend that you carefully consult with the provider to ensure that you have the appropriate coverage. We are not experts in trip insurance, and many providers have a number of policy exclusions.
: Please bring a copy of your insurance to hand over to your guides at your first meeting.
The location of the Alps and their tremendous elevation variations, lead to significant and sometimes unpredictable temperatures and weather patterns, both in different ranges and in a particular range itself. Due to the Alps' location in central Europe, they are influenced by moist air off the Atlantic, cold polar air from northern Europe, fluctuating air masses; and warm Mediterranean air flows northward.
Due to these extraordinary forces acting on the Alps' weather, we recommend following our clothing list closely, as guests are best served by being prepared for a broad range of possible temperatures and weather conditions.
The average temperatures and precipitation in Alps are:
|Average Alps Temperatures (Fahrenheit)