Thursday, May 31, 2007

Read about the Tour du Mont Blanc and grab your spot!

This year’s Tour Mont Blanc II, from August 19-28 is almost completely sold out. However, we still have space on the first tour running from July 11-20. The tour cost is $2800 per person in double occupancy. If you’re still on the fence, then have a look at the following excerpt from an article in Shape magazine written in 2004.

Excerpt from:

Solo adventures; Scared of traveling alone? Fear not: these four female-friendly options boast fitness, fun and companionship.

Shape Magazine, Nov, 2004 by Lori Mayfield


Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc in France, Italy and Switzerland With Ryder-Walker.

Say bonjour, buon giorno and gruezi to fellow hikers as you tread through all three nations--France, Italy and Switzerland-of this legendary Alps circuit. You'll encounter a challenging mix of steep ascents and descents punctuated with alpine streams, snowfields and lush meadows.

Who goes: A coed group of up to 12 hikers and adrenaline junkies in their early 30s-50s

The lowdown: You'll start and end your vacation in Geneva (three miles from Geneva International Airport).

While this trip is more strenuous than the others--you'll spend six to eight hours a day crossing a variety of challenging terrain at an average elevation of about 6,000 feet--there's no roughing-it factor beyond the trail. Accommodations include charming inns, an upscale four-star hotel, an immaculate Swiss chalet, a family guesthouse and a spartan backpacker's hut. You'll have your own room for seven nights.

Calorie blasters: Daily hikes are epic--seven to 14 miles on average--but the spectacular surroundings and camaraderie you develop with your fellow trekkers will help you conquer the complete 68-mile circuit.

Sustenance: One evening your palate might enjoy an amuse bouche of duck canape, followed by rabbit fricassee in white wine and then creme brulee for dessert; another dinner could be family-style pasta or traditional fondue. Start your mornings with a complimentary continental breakfast, and shop the local market for fresh produce, baguette, prosciutto and Camembert cheese to prepare your hiker's sack lunch ($12-$15 per day). Your guide will tempt you between meals with Swiss chocolates.

Me-time: If the changes in altitude become too taxing, you can hitch a ride on the luggage van (although it's usually reserved for emergencies), which travels paved roads. Take a day off to explore the next village with a friend or simply draw a bubble bath back in your posh hotel room.

Details: From $2,800 (double occupancy price) for 10 days (July) includes double occupancy lodging, guiding, breakfast and dinner. Lunches are not included (888-586-8365, ryderwalker.com).