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Spend a day spotting wild flowers during a French Alps trip

26th February 2013 Print

Brand-new for 2013, walking specialist On Foot Holidays is offering clients on its Chamonix and the French Alps trip an exciting new extra: the chance to spend an ‘Alpine Flora Day’ seeking out unusual and beautiful wild flowers.

Focusing on the Chamonix and Contamines-Montjoie valleys, Alpine Flora Days will be available (as an add-on to the walking holiday itself) throughout late spring and summer, with the optimum period being late June – late July. They will consist of walks led by On Foot’s local Route Advisor (and keen botanist), Lizzy Ashley-Cooper: mini-expeditions into forests, meadows, banks, bogs, streams and scree slopes in a hunt for the rarest and most interesting flora. Up to 140 colourful rarities await, including types of rhododendron, narcissus and orchid (including the black vanilla orchid), plus lilies, snowbells, gentians, geraniums and alpine roses.

On Foot’s toughest summer walk, ‘Chamonix and the French Alps’ presents a different, less well-known side of the ever-popular skiing area around Mont Blanc. Taking in glaciers, gorges, torrents and the Bionnassay summer suspension bridge, the route starts in cowbell-tinkling meadows and Belle Epoque towns, before climbing up to join the Tour de Mont Blanc on the Roman legions' original route, and then a final (optional) day climbing up to 3,840m via cable-car, and walking along the incredibly scenic Grand Balcon Nord, before a cog-railway return. The route’s small hotels, chalets and chambres d’hôte have been chosen for their excellent Savoyard cuisine and fine wines, and are intended to provide the reward of comfort and near-gluttony at the end of demanding days on your feet. The final two nights’ accommodation are at Chamonix’s Hotel l’Aiguille du Midi, which boasts a welcome pool.

‘Chamonix and the French Alps’ costs from £985 pp (two sharing), including six nights’ full-board accommodation (picnics and dinners), a night’s B&B, luggage transfers between hotels and all route information. The Alpine Flora Day walks costs an additional £50 pp (two sharing), or £34 pp for a half-day, and can be fitted in at any time subject to weather and Lizzy’s availability. Flights and transfers are extra. For more information, visit