Chamonix Valley, French Alps
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Teen Adventure in the Alps

Bold Alps

Visit the mountains of France, Italy & Switzerland! Trek around Mont Blanc, eating and adventuring our way through alpine towns.

Price:$4,588

Destination

France, Switzerland, Italy

2019 Dates

June 30 - July 13
Available
July 15 - July 28
Available
July 31 - August 13
Available

Duration

14 days

Ages

14–16, 15-17

Trip Highlights

  • Hike Around Mt. Blanc
  • 8 Days of Fun Trekking
  • Visit France, Italy & Switzerland
  • Hike Across the Border
  • Swiss, French & Italian Culture
  • Chamonix: Canyoneering
  • Whitewater Rafting

*The itineraries below are from summer 2018. The 2019 itinerary will be finalized in October 2018.

Price

$4,588

MONT BLANC - TREK

Experience the highest mountain in the Alps from our trek around Mont Blanc. The trek, designed to be unbelievably fun, cultural and doable, brings us to mountain villages in France, Italy, and Switzerland. Every day, we stay at a different bed and breakfast, experiencing the best hospitality of the Alps and getting away from the crowds. Hiking across mountain borders, campers only carry a small backpack with clothes for a few days, and we do laundry along the way. With mesmerizing views of glaciers, valleys, and Mont Blanc, this is an adventure that will not soon be forgotten!

FRENCH ALPS: WHITEWATER RAFT & ZIP LINE

After an incredible trek around Mont Blanc, Bold Earth campers spend the final days of Bold Alps in Chamonix, France. Located on the border of France, Italy, and Switzerland, Chamonix is a world-famous adventure town. Under the shadow of the Alps, we experience the best adventure activities! Starting with a zip-Line adventure, campers experience rappelling and zip-lining above a narrow canyon and above waterfalls. The next day, we whitewater raft, experiencing class 3-4 rapids on the adventure of a lifetime. To end the Bold Alps trip, we take a cable car ride to the top of the famous Aiguille du Midi, to experience incredible views of the Alps and of our accomplishments trekking around Mont Blanc!
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Day 1
Welcome to Geneva, Switzerland!
Welcome to Bold Earth's Bold Alps! Campers are met at Geneva's International Airport upon arrival by your Bold Earth trip leaders. All campers will call home as soon as they meet their leaders in order to confirm their safe arrival. Once the group has arrived, we travel to our small hotel in Chamonix, France to settle in and have lunch. During lunch, we get to know each other and learn what to expect in the days ahead. Later, we will play some games and watch the sunset over the Alps before orientation. The perfect way to start our Bold Alps adventure!
Day 2
Alps - Canyoneering
From our base in Chamonix, France, we spend the day canyoneering - Bold Earth's top-rated activity. Canyoneering, a combination of zip-line, rappel and hiking was invented in the Alps as a way to navigate narrow canyons. Our canyoneering activity takes us over bridges, waterfalls and is a great way to begin the bonding experience for Bold Alps. Supervised by certified mountains guides, we spend the day traversing small canyons and eating lunch at the foot of a waterfall. What an incredible start to Bold Alps.
Day 3-4
Trek in French Alps
Our first day of trekking takes us from the town of Les Contamines to Montjoie a few hours hike down the trail. Hiking through meadows the first day is a warm up! We have dinner in a small bed and breakfast hotel in along a canal in the tiny town of Montoje. The next morning we wake up early for one of the most spectacular days of Bold Alps. Following the Les Contamines Valley, we hike to the village of Les Chapieux.
Day 5-6
Italy!
Waking up in France, we hit the trail and head for Italy! Passing from France to Italy, we hike today to Courmayeur. Walking around glacial lakes, the brave campers in the group will take a plunge and enjoy a swim! Tonight, we enjoy an Italian feast to celebrate our successful start to Bold Alps. The next day is a rest day, as we ride a cable car to Pointe Helbronner with incredible views of Mont Blanc, swim in a lake and rest the legs.
Day 7-8
Italy to Switzerland
The two most challenging and AMAZING days of our Mont Blanc trek await us! After our day off, campers are refreshed and ready for our push up higher into the Alps. The next two days take us over two mountain passes, with incredible views of glaciers and mountain valleys below. We eat so well, rest often and are rewarded on the second day with a downhill into the Swiss mountain village of La Fouly.
Day 9-10
Our Final Trekking Day
Our final two days are the most beautiful two days of our Mont Blanc trek. Hiking through valley's we enjoy the famous section called, "Bovine Way" as we hike from La Fouly to Trient. Called the Bovine Way because of the number of cows on the trail, we are encouraged by the ringing of their bells and the incredible views. Our last day of trekking takes us the full way around Mont Blanc! An incredible accomplishment, we finish our hike by trekking over the famous Col de la Balme ending in the Chamonix Valley. A big celebration dinner tonight as we rest our feet and appreciate the incredible memories.
Day 11-12
Rafting and Alps Exploration
Arriving in Chamonix, the night before, campers have a chance to sleep in! We begin the day with a tour of Chamonix and spend the afternoon learning about the history of alpine climbing and mountaineering. The next day, we are whitewater rafting! A fun, adventurous activity, we get soaking wet as we raft through Class III rapids. We have lunch on the side of the river and enjoy the beauty of the Chamonix Valley.
Day 13-14
Celebration in Geneva
We travel back to Geneva, where we celebrate and look back on our last two fabulous weeks in the alpine region of Europe! We go out for a final celebration dinner, relive our memories, and look forward to next summer! The next morning we head to the Geneva airport to say our final goodbyes before we head home.

Is this trip 100% FUN?

Active? Yes. 14 non-stop days of Adventure Sports!

• 8 days to trek around Mont Blanc, highest mountain in the Alps • Whitewater Raft • Canyoneering & Rapel • Italian, Swiss & French – Culture!

Trekking in the soaring Alps is as good as it gets! Bold Earth’s Bold Alps takes campers to the Italian, Swiss and French adventure capitals of Europe!

Is experience required?

Bold Alps is designed for all skill levels. No experience is required but most students who choose Bold Alps have at least an average level of physical abilities. Also, we find students who choose Bold Alps to have a ‘jump in’ athletic personality which suits this trip perfectly. This trip is challenging and requires a positive attitude. Bold Alps is unbelievably fun, with lots of time for group bonding and shared adventure.

Can I Speak to Bold Alps References?

To receive a list of Bold Alps references call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or email info@boldearth.com. Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.

Since 1976 over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.

We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth Adventures. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic.

What is the trekking like?

WOW!

Eight days of trekking in the Alps is INCREDIBLE! Bold Earth carefully selects the hiking terrain for its beauty and diversity in culture and views. Think of this less as a pure trekking trip and more of a trekking + eating + jumping in lakes + laughter + best friends ever trip! Hiking in a small group leads to incredible group bonding as we share the ups and downs (literally!!) of the Mont Blanc circuit. We experience the best food, authentic locals and avoid the crowds. The hiking is challenging but absolutely doable. This trip rocks!

Do we carry our gear?

Quite simply, NO! 

This is NOT a backpacking trip. Campers DO NOT carry a heavy backpacking backpack during Bold Alps. Campers carry a 30-50 liter bag with 3-4 days worth of clothes. We do not carry food, sleeping bags or anything other than clothes. We do laundry halfway through the hike and leave our duffle bag in Chamonix. This makes the hiking WAY MORE FUN!

Where do we stay?

Bold Earth spends countless hours securing incredible, perfect and ideal accommodations for Bold Alps. Bold Earth does it best! YES, you will be comfortable!

Bold Alps stays in small bed and breakfast (B&B) style hotels. With few rooms and incredible owners, the B&B’s offer campers an opportunity to learn more about the culture of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. With home cooked meals, amazing singing, fireplaces and cozy beds, the lodging on Bold Alps is quintessential Alps. With few other tourists, we explore Europe with the way locals do. You will share a room with 1-3 other campers of your same gender and will always have your own bed. This is a great way to get to know each other! There are also 2 nights of camping, cooking around a campfire and enjoying the starry nights.

Bold Alps is carefully crafted and planned. Where, how and why we pick every night’s lodging is why you select and put your trust in Bold Earth and we honor that trust.

What do I need to bring?

CLICK Bold Alps’ Packing List for a carefully detailed description of exactly what to bring.

The gear list for Bold Alps is designed to be as simple as possible. We do recommend a good pair of hiking boots and trekking poles, but other gear is not technical. It is highly recommended to break-in your hiking boots before the trip.

We do laundry half-way through the trip! Therefore, you only need to bring 7 days worth of equipment.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. A Bold Earth trip advisor is always available to help.

Why are groups limited to 14 campers?

Small group size = SUCCESS!

• Maximum of 14 incredible and enthusiastic campers • 2 adult trip leaders (at least one male and one female)

Group size matters! A small group puts YOU right in the center of the action and success. You should expect knowledgeable and experienced guides to make the trip safer and 100% solid.

Small groups allow campers to embrace culture, cooking, leadership, and responsibility. This is the RIGHT way to do Europe!

Local European Guides?

Bold Earth partners with local European organizations to bring the highest level of authenticity to YOUR Europe summer. A European trip designed, led and managed by Europeans – OF COURSE! People who know Europe know the difference. It is not unusual for Europeans to join our European trips. We consider this the ultimate compliment.

Food on Bold Alps?

Bold Earth food is awesome! Most meals are eaten in small bed and breakfast style hotels. Therefore they are home cooked, authentic meals. Authentic ITALIAN, Authentic FRENCH and Authentic SWISS – does it get any better??

YES, the food will be healthy, delicious, local, and fun. Bold Earth emphasizes eating well and learning about the cultures of Italy, France, and Switzerland. YES, campers will absolutely try Italian, French, and Swiss food – WOW!

We eat healthy and delicious meals. Campers are very active and eat a lot! Therefore, the food should be AMAZING!

All special diets, allergies and food preferences can absolutely be accommodated. There will always be plenty of delicious and nutritious food options – the quality of food and the experience of cooking is often a highlight of a Bold Earth trip!

How do we travel?

Mostly by sleds… NO… BUT, THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!

Unfortunately, since the end of the last ice age, it is not possible to travel by sled during the months of July and August… Ok, back to reality!

Bold Alps does not travel much! That is a good thing. We are traveling by foot as we circumnavigate Mont Blanc. We travel by private van to and from Geneva. All travel is carefully planned and coordinated to maximize activities & culture and minimize time spent in the van.

All travel while on Bold Alps is fully included (Flights ARE NOT included). Please view Bold Alps Trip Blogs to get a better idea of travel and day to day activities.

Will I Learn New Skills?

Yes! Bold Earth is a FUN educational environment. Learn teamwork, outdoor skills, cooking skills, leadership and much more on Ultimate Alps.

Leadership is a planned part of every Bold Earth day. All campers will be the Leader of the Day (LOD), and will take charge of the trip and lead a nightly meeting.

Campers will return home feeling more confident, more of a leader and more self aware with a deeper appreciation of the world around them.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, for all non-Europeans, a valid passport is needed to enter Europe.

Two Trips?

Ultimate Alps is specifically designed to be combined with Bike Hike Italy or Spain Adventure, for an epic 4 or 6-week summer! If you are interested contact our Colorado office for more information!

Tell me more about the Alps!

Bold!

The Alps are an EPIC mountain range that dominates the majority of South Central Europe. Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, France, Italy, and Monaco all have boundaries touched by this epic wonderland of adventure. The mountains were formed over hundreds of million’s years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided, creating a series of sharp, jagged peaks.

Approximately 15 million people share the mountains with abundant flora and fauna. Edelweiss flowers bloom on the rocky slopes while ibex roam the high tops of the mountains. Also, people yodel – which we think is cool!

Mount Blanc is the highest point in the Alps. At 15,782ft (4,810m), Mount Blanc is shared by Italy and France. The Matterhorn is probably the Alps’ most iconic mountain! It is sweet and powerful!

The Alps are an incredible place for adventure. The birthplace of mountaineering, climbing and snow sports, this is a region where adventure is part of the culture. The Alps have hosted 5 different Winter Olympic games – WOW! It goes without saying that this is Adventure at its best!

What Makes Bold Alps Incredible?

You + 13 other Campers + Incredible Adventure = Bold Alps!

Authenticity. Traveling through Europe with Bold Earth offers campers unmatched authenticity. We are trekking around Mont Blanc – a once in a lifetime opportunity. We hike to tiny towns for lunch, shop for food in the local markets and get beyond the typical tourist track.

Traveling with a small group through the backroads of Europe is EPIC. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. You will come home screaming, “I LOVE EUROPE!!”

For over 20 years Bold Earth has led carefully crafted European teen travel camps with cultural immersion, authenticity, fun, and leadership. Our European partners help provide Bold Earth with unparalleled support, authenticity, and planning.

Alps Weather?

THE BEST! Ski and ride in the summer? OF COURSE!

Because of the altitude and size of the Alps, it makes for perfect summer weather. Temperatures will be around 70ºF (20ºC) during the day with cooler nights.

On the slopes, the climate is cooler – Temperatures can drop down to about 40ºF (5ºC).

Bold Alps

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every Trip Has a Story

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
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I really grew as a person on Bold Alps. Everyday was a completely new experience. The cultures that I witnessed while there, I had been familiar with before, but I had never achieved an educated perspective to the extent that Bold Earth showed me. And the adventure on top of that made for the trip of a lifetime.

- Sean R.

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