Route: Around Abondance

Area: Chablais Alps, France

Date of walk: 16th August 2018

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 11.7 miles

Ascent: 2,650 feet

Weather: Sunny, very hot

On the first day of our walking holiday in the Chablais Alps, organised via Inntravel, we set off on a circular walk from our base in Abondance. The start of the walk was from our hotel, the Hotel de l’Abbaye in the centre of the small town and from here we headed south along the road beside the river. After a short distance we turned off to join a track leading uphill, and from here the next 3 miles or so involved a steady climb, mostly along quiet tarmac tracks. The views of the surrounding mountains improved with every step of the way

Eventually we joined a narrow path and the real climbing began – we were soon puffing and panting, not only on account of the gradient, but due to the temperature, which reached around 30c during the course of the walk

After climbing through meadows and forests we arrived at a ridge which took us to the high point of the walk, the Belair arête at 5,850 feet. This is an idyllic place for a picnic, but we decided to continue a little further on to Chalets de Pertuis, a tiny hamlet with more cows than people, and a very welcoming bench. After refuelling with a wonderful picnic provided by the hotel we started the long downward descent down to valley level, enjoying some superb views along the way

After reaching Les Carres at the valley floor we followed a delightful path alongside the River Dranse back into Abondance. It had been a fantastic introduction to what is a new walking area for us

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