When it’s wet and dreary outside our thoughts turn to last summer spent walking in the French Alps and the Dolomites. This year the weather was really kind to us in both places. Early June in Chamonix started off with snow on our first week very soon progressing to over 25 degrees for the rest of the month , even hotter into July.
On our walking holidays in Italy it was pretty warm and sunny well into the middle of September , that was so good for us as we had Mikes sisters group coming out for their first ever visit to the Dolomites so we wanted them to see just how stunning everywhere was.
My photo of the month shows them having a fantastic alpine day in the Puez group, they were also totally blown away by the Hotel Digon and all this awesome part of Italy has to offer, they are not serious walkers but the Dolomites has such a fantastic variety of walks to suit all levels.
I think you will agree they look to be having a great day.
Every year on our French Alps walking holiday we repeat the beautiful hike to Lac Blanc, it’s a huge favourite with everyone, because it boasts such amazing views.
We would say it’s a photographers dream, not only for breath-taking mountain views but also the chance to spot wildlife at its best. It’s by far one of the best walks in Chamonix, a Pinnacle Walking Holidays favourite.
• Lac Blanc: a 3-4hr beautiful walk with classic views across to the vast Mer de Glace glacier and the awesome Aiguille Vert part of the Mont Blanc massif. This is the Aiguilles best known walk, and usually crowded in high season.
The walk begins at the top of the La Flegere cable car, and heads steadily upwards. Walk back along a superb ridge between lovely tarns, south-eastward to the Grand Balcon walk, and return to Flegere. (Better still, walk this circuit in reverse.).
The energetic and strong walkers can hike a further 400 steep metres to the Col de Belvedere, high behind the lakes, for a stunning view down over the wildly broken scenery of the central Aiguilles. Magnificent, but take care of the ice fields you may need to climb.
The views of Mont Blanc are usually best early or late in the day, but breathtaking whenever seen
Watch out for the tame ibex around the refuge.
The direct trail from the Flegere cable car takes around 1- 2 hours. A preferable approach is along the contours on the TMB and then cutting back along a spectacular ridge with views over lovely little tarns.
We use the Hotel Digon in Val Gardena for our walking holidays in Italy; it’s in a stunning location with beautiful views from every room. This year we did five separate weeks walking in the Dolomites and the hotel was a huge hit with all our guests.
The Stufflesser family who own the hotel gave us the best possible service you could ask for, and amazing food to boot. The walking in this area is second to none and has something to offer all levels of fitness. Below are some recent Tripadvisor comments from people who have stayed at the hotel and enjoyed it as much as us. It’s great to see all the places we use get such positive feedback from other people; Chalet Shiraz where we run our French Alps holidays from is number two in Les Houches Chamonix another great choice on our behalf. All our guests have been so lovely this season, we even had a lady stay with us in the Dolomites who has just been given an OBE by the queen for her services to the food industry, so get great feedback from her about the Digon Hotels food was praise indeed.
Reviewed 16 February 2013
This is a long overdue review; we stayed at hotel Digon in September. Our stay here was the best out of our whole trip to Europe that was 2 months long. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by Grandma Stuflesser and instantly felt like home.. The family is wonderfully and there hospitality is amazing. “Cannot be faulted”
Reviewed 20 October 2013
We chose Hotel Digon partly on the basis of the favourable reviews here on Tripadvisor and we were not disappointed. The peaceful, picturesque location; a comfortable, spotlessly clean room; delicious food and friendly service all made for a perfect stay.
“Loved hotel and entire area”
Reviewed 30 September 2013
The hotel is beautiful, super clean and, with half board, great dinner and breakfast. Can do short drive and park by funicular or take bus in front of hotel. The hiking was fabulous. One night and 2 days was good enough to be a great and memorable experience but wish I had stayed longer. The area is endlessly beautiful.
It seems we are finally getting to grips with being back in the UK after a very beautiful summer. Five weeks fantastic walking in the Alps followed by another awesome five weeks running Italian walking holidays in Val Gardena.
We are now in the process of changing our Peak District short breaks and both decided we would like to try something totally different, so after some research we are taking over a barn conversion, it means I will be catering as I did on our walking holidays in France. It’s called Dale End House Barn and it’s owned by Paul and Sarah who have just beautifully renovated it to a very high standard, we are pretty excited about this venture as it’s going to be more like a chalet style break,afternoon tea and cake, dinner including wine, which is something quite different for a UK walking holiday. Alastair Sawday wrote about it in the Independant and it now appears in his book Hopefully this week it will appear on our website.
This weekend we have taken our first booking for Chalet Shiraz in Chamonix, let’s hope it’s the first of many. We are still using our favourite Three Shires Inn for our breaks in the Lake District, great beer, food and cosy log fires.
Today was to be a good walk in Cheshire but the rain put us off so we headed to the Trafford centre for me to purchase a late birthday present, way too busy for us but I managed to buy my favourite Jo Malone perfume only to find they now sell it in our local John Lewis.
Mikes got his tidy head on this weekend, I cannot believe how many of his old clothes he has thrown out AMAZING, he has also tidied every cupboard and drawer in the house, maybe his hormones are playing up! So wish he was as good with an iron.
Well our five wonderful Dolomite hiking breaks have come to an end and two very sad people are now back in blighty missing the stunning views of the mountains. The trekking breaks have been a great success and everyone was blown away by the Hotel Digon with its amazing food, beautiful rooms and first class hospitality.
The weather was beautiful for most of time with very little rain, which allowed Mike to show everyone what fantastic walking the Dolomites has to offer.
We are now about to launch our 2014 calendar, and are so happy to be using Chalet Shiraz in Chamonix for our French Alps hiking holidays, and the Hotel Digon for our trekking tours in the Dolomites, we will of course be running some short walking breaks in the Lakes District using the newly decorated Three Shires Inn and also The Charles Cotton for our Peak District short hiking breaks.
Mike and I would like to thank all the guests old and new who supported us this year, the feedback was so good and we both feel very excited about 2014.