France & Switzerland
Walking Tour in France and Switzerland, through Dordogne, Burgundy, Mont Blanc and the Swiss Alps
This beautiful walk begins in the rolling hills of the famous food and wine regions of Dordogne and Burgundy. It then continues east to the foot of Europe's highest mountain Mont Blanc with the "piece de resistance" being our last 4 nights in the Swiss Alps walking amidst some of the world's finest alpine scenery.
In the Dordogne we spend our time walking through delightful oak forests, past ancient villages and beside the romantic Dordogne River. You will be surprised by the variety of delicious produce from this area – walnuts, fois gras, black truffles, goat's cheeses and some excellent wines. The Dordogne has a very colourful history dating back to the Stone Age and today has some of France's best-preserved chateaux.
Onto Burgundy – a land of clustered storybook hamlets, medieval chateaux, world-renowned wines and hot mustards! Our walks here, of course, concentrate on trails through some of the most famous vineyards in the world. We also introduce you to some of the lesser known regions near Autun which is renowned for its beautiful deciduous forests and a history dating back to Roman times.
Surely one of Europe's most treasured sights are "the Alps". There is nothing else in the world quite like them. It is not only the sheer grandeur of the towering peaks but it is the cozyness of the hillside villages, the unforgettable display of alpine wildflowers, the sound of cowbells ringing through the valleys and the sight of a welcoming inn as you round a bend on a mountain trail. We base ourselves in Chamonix at the foot of Europe's highest mountain - Mont Blanc. With 310 km of walking tracks, this wonderful alpine area is a walkers' paradise. Here, you also have the opportunity to ride on the world's highest cable car to Aiguille du Midi, 3842m. On a clear day the view is truly unbelievable. You can even catch another cable car across the glacier to Italy for a real Cappuccino!
Our final destination is the famous Bernese Oberland in the Swiss Alps where we have chosen the lovely village of Grindelwald as our base. Marvel at the sheer splendor of Europe's most spectacular mountain scenery. Stroll knee deep in alpine wildflowers and journey to the famous Jungfrau Joch on the highest railway in Europe. A walk not to be missed is the classic ridge walk to the Faulhorn, regarded as one of the top 10 in Switzerland. Our walk concludes in Luzern from where there are good train connections in all directions and flight connections from nearby Zurich International Airport.
Our Hotels and Cuisine
In the Dordogne Valley we stay in the beautifully restored Villa Romaine. This immaculate hotel is located only a few hundred meters from the Dordogne River overlooking the valley. Enjoy a pre dinner drink on the terrace and watch the colours of the sandstone buildings fade in the final evening light. Taste the delights of the famous Perigord kitchen as our hosts Emily and David spoil us each evening with some truly memorable meals.
In Burgundy we stay in a charming 18th century farm house which has been lovingly restored. It is located just on the outskirts of Beaune in a quiet village in a beautiful country setting. Relax in the delightful garden, enjoy their delicious breakfasts on the terrace and in the evening take an aperitif in the courtyard. At night we have selected 4 wonderful restaurants from the region where we enjoy excellent food and of course the opportunity to sample the famous Burgundy Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
A warm welcome awaits you in Chamonix. Our hotel is family operated and has a relaxed and personalized atmosphere. Located at the base of the Aiguille du Midi, it has stunning views across the mountains and a pool and garden to enjoy. As they do not operate a restaurant you have the opportunity to sample three lovely restaurants in the town, which we have chosen and another of your choice on your free day.
Our final hotel is in Grindelwald. It has a superb setting overlooking the village with a panorama of some of the most famous mountains in the world including the north face of the Eiger. The Brawand Family has been operating the hotel since 1708 and now Christian and Vera are the 9th generation to manage it. At night enjoy delicious dinners which highlights the influence of the German, Italian and French cuisine. Don't be late for breakfast as the Buffet offers an amazing selection of healthy treats.
Walking Tour Combination
Departure dates have been arranged to allow both the "From the Sea to the Summits" and "Discover the Pyrenees" or "Peer Gynt's Trail" walks to be combined.
Tour departure dates
Feedback from previous guests
|What a great holiday. The scenery through France and Switzerland was breathtaking, and the accommodation and food first class. Thanks to all our group for making this a truly memorable holiday, and a special thanks to Graeme and Dom our guides.
Laurie from Gold Coast QLD, Australia 
|Now in my mid seventies, I have enjoyed about a dozen different tours with WGA. For me, this is one of the best. Starting with easier scenic walks it builds as one's fitness improves. By the time encountered the tougher French and Swiss Alps we were strong enough to really the walks and the vistas. As a bonus, the food was very good and the company great.
Robert from North Manly NSW, Australia 
|Another spectacular walking adventure in Europe, our third one. Every detail was well planned which made it very relaxing and enjoyable. Our very knowledgeable and helpful guides Graeme and Pascal, led us through France and Switzerland without us needing to organise anything. Thanks again for a worry free holiday. The scenery was varied from open grasslands, alpine meadows with wild flowers to snow-capped mountains and we walked amongst them all. We had many chances to explore the villages we came across during the trip. Each walking day took us to a new area with panoramic views over the country side. Some of the best we have ever seen. Walking amongst the snow in the Swiss Alps was a highlight for us Queenslanders. We looked forward to the picnic lunches we had in various locations along the way. The cable car and cog rail rides were spectacular to say the least. The accommodation and meals were amazing, well thought out and planned. Our walking group and guides were great company all the way which enhanced our adventure and holiday!
John & Cheryl from Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia 
|Amazing trip and thank you Graeme and Pascal! The weather, size of group, trails, hotels and food were all really great. Coming back to a WGA is like rejoining a familiar family and the other guests are always like you've known them before. One suggestion is to split the group into two on big days (with a guide each) to do a fast or less fast pace. Otherwise it was all very nice!
Lysia from Sydney, NSW, Australia 
|Thank you Graeme and Gabriela for offering the Sea to Summit in reverse this year, we feel it worked really well for our group of eight like minded fellow walkers. We started with the majestic mountains of Switzerland and France with their challenging walks and breathtaking views all made easier with the help and encouragement of our new found friend and guide Pascal. We finished our tour in the beautiful vineyards and fields of the Dordogne Valley. This walk should be on everyone's list of things they must do, we couldn't fault it. Thank you once again Graeme, Gabriella and Pascal for this wonderful experience.
Gary and Sandra from Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia 
|This was our 3rd walk with Walkabout Gourmet and thoroughly enjoyed it as we did the other two. Graeme is a terrific guide and we love the way the trips are organised so the walks give variety and a wonderful look at each area. The mountains were breathtaking and loved everything. Its so nice to be able to turn up on day one and know everything is organised just the way you would like it if you had spent months organizing the itinerary yourself. Relax and have a holiday.
Janet from Brisbane, QLD, Australia 
|What a fabulous way to sample the food, wine, culture and countryside of France and Switzerland. Walking through the fertile farmland and vineyards of the Dordogne and Burgundy, and hiking in the French and Swiss Alps was sensational and we were lucky enough to share our experiences with a terrific group of people. Fortunately the walks counteracted some of the kilojoules consumed at the wonderful restaurants, and the standard of the accommodation was high. A big thank you to Graeme and Pascal for their guiding and friendship, and to our fellow walkers for their great company.
Jane and Daryl from Canberra, ACT, Australia 
|It was a wonderful holiday, well thought out walks in spectacular countryside married with amazing food, typical of the area we were in. The hotels were delightful & thank you Graeme & Pascale for being such wonderful guides especially as we had so many "sickies" to contend with.
Margaret from Tasmania, Australia 
|I was lucky enough to join Graeme and Pascal on the Sea to Summit tour in June 2015, it was an adventure from start to finish that I didn't want to end. From the wonderful wine regions of France, to the beauty and friendlyness of Chamonix, the magical Swiss Alps and everything inbetween it certainly met my expectations and so much more. The professionalism of our tour guides would be very hard to beat, they always had plan B, C and D to ensure everyone's needs were met. It didn't matter if you were the leader of the pack or strolling along at the rear snapping the multitudes of alpine flowers your needs were catered for. Some of our group were unfortunate enough to fall ill during our tour, this was handled in the best possible way to ensure minimal disruption to the group. Oh, did I forget to mention the food... so much delicious food at a variety of amazing restaurants and hotels. I can't say enough about my trip, the group of 16 was the ideal size, the guides were very efficient, helpful, professional and knowledgeable, the selected hotels were great, food amazing and lots of it, I felt very safe traveling (which was very important to me). All of the above helped me have a holiday of a lifetime, one I would surely recommend whether you are planning to travel on your own or with a group of friends. I would be happy to communicate with anyone wanting to know more about my wonderful Walkabout Gourmet holiday.
Gaye from Ulverstone, TAS, Australia 
|What amazing and wonderful memories we have tucked away of 16 glorious days exploring 4 distinct regions - with stimulation of all senses scenically, culturally, historically, gastronomically, bibulously and socially. Our metaphoric hats off to our 2 magnificent guides who seamlessly arranged for the days just to unfold from one delight to the next - even on the rare wet days we encountered.
Janet, Melbourne, VIC, Australia 
|This tour was really impressive, starting in the beautiful Dordogne area, with its lovely fertile valley. Then the vineyards of Burgundy with their thousands of hectares of grapes. Then the spectacular scenery at Chamonix , Monte Blanc ,glaciers this only became better when we reached Grindelwald and had the north face of the Eiger outside the dining room window. Beautiful meadows, cows with bells ringing, just as you would expect in the mountains of Switzerland. One of the nicest parts of the trip was the company of such nice people from all over Australia and a lot of different backgrounds.
Peter, Narromine, NSW, Australia 
|Thank you. I loved every minute if the walk. The Dordogne was lovely as always, food sensational. The Burgundy region was delightful for both walking and the food. The absolute highlight for me were the French and Swiss alp walks. What stunning areas! I could walk there for weeks it is so wonderful. Finally the accommodation, the great company made it very special. I look forward to the next walk!
Sandy, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 
|Our first tour with the company. Impressed with the friendly and affable efficiency of Graeme and his willingness to accept that my injured knees were not up to some of the descents. He and Pascal were kind and caring to ease my load and offer alternatives when I found the going tough. The tour itinerary, hotels and food were of a high standard and our walking companions were compatible and pleasant company. We had a great time in gorgeous landscapes. Thanks for the memories!
Anne and John, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 
|We really enjoyed the tour and Graeme was a very good guide, most conscientious. Thought it was a great group. The best part was simply being outdoors in France and Switzerland and just absorbing the general atmosphere.
Cliff, Queenstown, New Zealand