The Alps are the highest and most expansive mountain range that resides strictly in Europe. They stretch across eight different countries for a total of 750 miles (1200 kilometers). The countries that are lucky enough to be a part of the Alps landscape include Italy, Austria, France, Switzerland, Monaco, Germany, Slovenia, and Liechtenstein.
Wildland Trekking offers Alps hiking trips that delve into the mountain trails of Italy, Switzerland, and France. These amazing treks give you a local’s look into the landscape of the Alps’ expanse of mountain ranges. You will have a chance to hike past ancient glaciers, alpine lakes, and charming towns and cafes, giving you the absolute best experience that the mountains and European cultures surrounding them can offer.
When To Go
As Wildland Trekking Alps trips span Italy, France, and Switzerland, it is easier to pinpoint the times of the year that best suit overall travel. Whether you are going on a tour or just on your own, you will want to research the average temperatures for the time of year and specific location you plan to visit.
The time of year you plan to go will also depend on your planned activities. If you are a winter sports enthusiast, then you will prefer the snowy conditions of the winter months. Our “when to go” section will only outline the best seasons for backpacking and trekking.
The Alps are famous for their severe weather and have been studied at length due to unique weather patterns. All of our trip dates are chosen to provide an optimal travel experience. However, we still offer many dates across different seasons. Read more about the best time of year to travel to the European Alps below:
June – August (Summer) is high season for hikers and backpackers in the Alps. The summer brings more stable temperatures across most areas in the mountain range, especially the Southern sections. Temperatures increase steadily through June and July, and by mid-July, most trails within the mountains should be snow-free.
By the middle of summer, depending on your location in the Alps, the weather may be too hot for certain activities, especially in recent years, due to climate change. However, most of the summer days are excellent for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and more.
At the beginning of summer, the alpine lake and river water levels will be much higher than usual due to snowmelt. As the summer progresses, the water levels will drop. These lower water levels provide visitors with improved access to the area’s canyons and make the white water tamer. The summer’s warm temperatures will also bring a wave of afternoon thunderstorms to the mountains. When viewed safely from a distance, the thunderstorms are a gorgeous site as lightning brightens the far away peaks.
April to May is also a very popular hiking season in the Alps. Although temperatures will begin to warm up in March, snow generally won’t start to melt in the mountains until April. The lower altitudes will see clear hiking trails early in April, whereas higher elevation areas won’t have trail access until at least June.
Springtime is also a brilliant time of year for nature enthusiasts to visit. Even if all of the hiking trails are not yet open, you will be able to view a plentiful array of wildlife and, of course, fields of wildflowers. Not only that, but as the snow begins to melt, the rivers flow more aggressively as the water rises. This change in water levels brings many white water athletes to the alpine rivers.
September to mid-November is when the thunderstorms will become less frequent, but visitors can still enjoy plenty of warm, sunny days. You will have to bring layers for the morning and evening, however, as temperatures will drop quickly once you break into October.
Many hikers and bikers enjoy the serenity of the trails and the Autumn colors in the changing leaves. Not only that, but many locals (especially in France) enjoy the Fall by foraging for mushrooms along the hillsides and in the forested trails. If you are looking for a tranquil mountain experience, the Fall is one of the best times to visit.
As soon as November rolls around, trail access becomes much less certain. Depending on the year, many higher elevation trails will close due to snowfall. By late November, some ski resorts may even begin to open. However, many lower trails will remain open nearly through the end of the month.
As temperatures and weather patterns will vary in both the Spring and Fall, many outdoor lovers may need to find alternative activities. Most tourists enjoy scenic train rides, or simply explore the nearby villages and cafes.
Mid-November to March (Winter) is considered the low season for backpacking and other warm-weather sports. However, that does not make the Alps any less busy than the summer months. As the snow begins to fall in mid-November, winter athletes start flocking from all over the world. In fact, almost all the ski resorts in the Alps region will be open for business no later than mid-December.
January is when the higher altitude skiing is premier, and even lower altitude areas are covered in snow, making cross country skiing a popular sport as well. From then on through mid-March, the mountains will be filled with skiers and snowboarders.
If you’re not a winter sports enthusiast, there are still plenty of things to do and see in the Alps during the winter months, especially in December. Christmas is a magical time of year in many European Alps regions, and if you are thrilled by culture and history, visiting cities and villages via train may be a wonderful winter getaway.
Inn To Inn Tour
This Iconic adventure into the Mont Blanc range happens to be our #1 recommended Alps trip! The Tour du Mont Blanc leads you from France to Italy to Switzerland to provide a full perspective of landscapes. Beyond the towering mountain peaks and deep valleys, we will venture in and out of quaint alpine villages for a full taste of European culture, cuisine, and hospitality.
This exclusive tour focuses entirely on the Italian Dolomites, one of the most exciting and unforgettable mountain ranges in the world. The magic of this area in the Alps will surpass your imaginations with the uniquely shaped limestone features, pristine rivers, endless wildflower fields, and a surprising amount of wildlife. You’ll almost believe that you’re living a fairytale as we explore these mountain passes and villages.
Need to Know
Primary Departure Cities For The European Alps
Each of our Alps trip types will have a different primary city for arrival and departure. For either trip, a Wildland Trekking guide or representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to the scheduled lodging. To coordinate this pick-up, your guide will be in contact well before your trip start date. You will also need to provide a copy of your passport and flight information upon registration.
If you are planning extra travel time in Europe and arrive before the scheduled trip dates, we can provide you with the hotel name and location. You will need to arrive early enough at the hotel to be present for the trip orientation. Please call 888-966-TREK (8735) for hotel information.
Tour du Mont Blanc
This tour will begin and end in Geneva, Switzerland. You will need to arrive no later than 3 pm, although we recommend arrival time at or before 2:30 pm to be on the safe side. As for post-trip departure time, anytime after 1 pm is excellent as there is no hiking scheduled for the final day of this trip.
The Italian Dolomites
This tour will begin and end in Venice, Italy. Your scheduled flight should arrive sometime before noon on your scheduled trip date. For post-trip departure, you should plan a flight anytime after 3 pm. There is a short hike planned for the final day of this trip, so plan accordingly.
Book in Advance
For all our Alps adventures, lodging and transportation are included during the length of your trip with us. If you plan on arriving earlier or staying later to enjoy more of Europe, you will need to make arrangements on your own.
The price of your flight is not included in the cost of your trip with us. You will need to make all the flight arrangements on your own. We do provide scheduling guidelines to ensure you will be able to meet your guide on the appropriate date at the scheduled time.
We will also require that you send your flight information to us, or your guide, as a Wildland Trekking representative will meet you at the airport. This coordination allows us to track flights in case of a delay or travel change so we can adjust accordingly.
Additional Travel Considerations
All of your additional luggage can be stored in the originating hotel if needed. However, we do not take responsibility for your stored belongings, and you should do so at your own risk.
In the interest of your safety, we also recommend that you consult the Center for Disease Control website. You will be able to find up-to-date immunization requirements and recommendations before you embark on your international trip.
For more detailed travel information, please visit our Travel Resources page and select the “European Alps” drop-down section. You can also visit your selected trip page and trip specific travel information can be found on the “Trip Logistics” tab section.
Have more questions? Send us an email or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453). We’re here 7 days a week from 9:00 to 4:30 Mountain Time to make sure your trip planning goes as smoothly as possible.
For more information about all your options, check out our European Alps page on the website with the button below! Individual trip pages have detailed itineraries, trip specifics, travel information, and more.