Im roughly planning a trip to Les Alpes (?) this June, but don't really know where to start looking for routes/maps/places to stay... We would be looking at staying for about 7 days, and will have transport so can move around - probably camping most of the time. No particularly looking for massive peaks, but some decent walks and scenery would be amazing. Anyone got any suggestions of places to base ourselves/walks to do/places to camp ect? Also where would I get maps from for the alps?
No idea where to start looking for destinations/walks??
For places to stay and camp, find a bookshop, or outdoors store that stocks the Cicerone guides and have a browse. If you intend to drive from the UK with your camping kit look at travel times and cost. On a first visit I would aim to camp in one place and explore the area around. You can use public transport if you wish to avoid circular walks.
Two obvious places to camp would be Lauterbrunnen (near Interlaken) in Switzerland and Chamonix in France. These are very popular. I am sure other OMers will have additional suggestions which could be cheaper and less crowded.
Do consider what walking you would do if the weather is not good.
For maps try the Map Shop who also stock the Cicerone (and other) guides.
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I have been to the Bernese Oberland several times. Love the area. However I've never camped there.
I liked the Queyras on the French Italian border.
Do you have a budget in mind? If it's tight then you can pretty much count out Switzerland. I looked at going back to Saas last year but the cost was prohibitive. It was the same for the Oberland.
I'd recommend North Italy. If you're driving, go to Chamonix and then through the MB tunnel and you'll find on the other side all the amazing mountains but with fewer tourists, less development, and areas of relative wilderness. Oh, and the prices are way way way lower.
Cicerone do a guide of Hut Walks in the Alps (in fact, I'm selling a copy if you're interested!) which is very good at getting a feel for an area. Cicerone do guides for specific areas too. Map-wise, unless you're desperate to plan when you're in the UK, I'd wait until you are out there. It is much cheaper.
Budget is fairly limited - we are all students!
We are going with the canoe club, so would ideally need to be based near some rivers?? I have been looking at the Ecrin region - staying near Vallouise. I think i'll get a book on that area soon to find some single day walks from Vallouise as well as a few multi-day walks to/from Vallouise.
Would love to also go to Austrian alps too... decisions decisions!!
Any more suggestions?
Tight budget - stay out of Switzerland. I did a couple of day trips from France this summer - I remembered Switzerland as expensive from previous, but it was eye watering this time. - £5 for a coffee and, we noticed, loads of Swiss going to France to do the weekly shop (we were 12 Km from the border).
Made a comment to a shop person about it - she thought Swiss people could save up to 40%on their grocery bill!
The year we walked in the Queyras we met up with the canoe club afterwards on the Durance. Can't remember the details but it was pretty close - I think the valley we drove up for our walking tour was one of the side rivers that people paddled on later.
The camp site where we stayed with the club was quite close to a famous "hole" in the river.
I didn't actually got to paddle much at the time as we were called back to the NL as soon as we arrived due to family circumstances.
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