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(Walker's Haute Route) The Europaweg (Alta Via 1) At Rifugio Nuvolau (Walker's Haute Route) In the Val de Bagnes (Walker's Haute Route) The Matterhorn (Tour du Mont Blanc) Chamonix from the South

Happy clients of Alpine Exploratory

Reading comments from happy customers is a big part of the satisfaction for us in putting together walking holidays. We have a high response to our questionnaires and we hope this is because people are enthused about their holiday and have been given a personal service.

We want our clients to feel involved in the whole booking process, making feedback just the natural next step. Often while we're organising a trip, clients will suggest refinements that they've thought of, we incorporate them and then they tell us how their idea worked.

We're lucky to have had some brilliant comments and we've recorded some of them on this page.

A postcard from the Tour du Mont Blanc (but a road TMB not a walking TMB)
A postcard from TMB clients

Comments from our 2013 season

Tour du Mont Blanc, 2013

"We thoroughly enjoyed our Tour de Mont Blanc - the itinerary, notes and maps were great. All the other trekkers using your company that we met on the trip (from Australia, UK and Canada) also spoke very highly of you. No hesitation in recommending you to others."
("The Four Irregulars", UK)

"Beautiful scenery, good hiking trails, well organized, good info material to prepare with, definitely altogether a great experience."

"Waterproof paper was stress tested by super thunderstorms and survived!"
[In Les Contamines] "Took my superwet clothes and tumbledried them. THANK YOU!"
(Jestyn, Switzerland)

"I thought the info pack and itinerary sheet were both excellent."
"As regular skiers we have been saying we should do some walking in the Alps for years and we're so glad we finally did. The scenery was all lovely. So nice to see so many wild flowers and butterflies whilst being surrounded by snowed capped mountains and glaciers."
"This refuge was delightful. We had a wonderful meal in the evening and the setting and scenery was superb."
"Again, a lovely hotel with helpful staff and a fantastic breakfast buffet. Their breakfast was truly amazing."
(Michael Wright, UK)

"We walked with people from Australia and the USA who all were very complimentary about Alpine Exploratory as are we; thanks again for a truly fantastic holiday."
(Sue Russell, UK)

"I think we really had good information about all our hotels, the hike and food/drink options."
"Thank you for changing the plan mid stream and taking our things!"
(Tina Quinn)

"All info very good. Thanks for the updates regarding snow conditions, these were useful."
[Champex] "Unbelievable views. Lovely staff. Fantastic food. Very tempted to abandon the trek and stay for a week!"
"Bags were always there when we arrived at the next hotel - no issues."
"An excellent trip, all arrangements were spot on. Accommodation in general was good and we need to recognise it's Hobson's Choice in some places."
(Malcolm Sparrow)
"You guys did a great job and we'll certainly use your services again. Interestingly, we met a few of your other clients on the same trip. They were also appreciative."
(Jeff Gray, UK)
"The whole trip was brilliant. Thanks to all the team at Alpine Exploratory. Aleady planning our next trip (The Dolomites)"
(Jeff Hand)
"Very pleased with Alpine's service and quality of the package provided (information was extensive and accurate). Alpine's reputation is obviously good on the Tour and we felt it made a difference at the various accomodations (smooth check-ins, great service, etc.)"
(Erin & Martin)

Walker's Haute Route, 2013

[Easier or harder?] "Harder, the most difficult hiking I have done so far for that many days. Made the Inca Trail look like a walk in the park."
"A great place to finish the trip! Beautiful hotel and great view from our room. Hostess that greated us was so nice and friendly. Good location too."
"An amazing trip! The scenery was amazing and the terrain sometimes challenging, but you were always refreshed at the days end with very relaxing accommodations and meals. We met some really nice people along the way and forged new friendships. It was the experience of a lifetime."
(Brian & Denise Schwind)

"Wonderful walk made extra special by the perfect weather - blue skies, sun and nice and cool when going up the steep ascents."
[Favourite stage?] "Augstbordpass - and down the huge scree slope."
[Zermatt] "Absolutely wonderful. Calm, relaxing, comfortable and clean. Great location. Excellent breakfast and delightful staff."
(Richard Nakielny)

Alta Via 1, 2013

"The scenery was stunning, the mountains just went on forever and much more rugged than on the TMB."
"It's hard to pin point a favourite day as each day had a good section. We enjoyed the alternative from Nuvolau to Passo Giau."
(Jeff & Jacquie, UK)

[Scenery?] "Spectacular. Perhaps the best I've ever seen. A trekkers' paradise."
"Incredible and unique place to stay. Good food too. Military style sleeping and washing."
"All the information you provided was excellent, I shall be booking further self-guided trips with you again!"
(John Eloff)

Coast to Coast, 2013

[Dog?] "He was very tired but we think he enjoyed it!"
"We expected to enjoy the walk else we would not have done it, but we really enjoyed it! Everything very well organised."
(Paul Berry, Karen Brooks & Grampus)

[Routecards easy to follow?] "Very clear and helpful - unlike some of our fellow travellers, we never got lost!"
"Lovely room. Good beer and food. Very welcoming, especially to the dog who had his own blanket and treats provided."
"We had a great time and look forward to future treks."
(James and Gail Mercer)

"One of my favourite nights - the owners were so friendly and hospitable, and looked after us as we arrived soaked from the only heavy shower of the walk. Cooked a superb dinner for 7 of us in the evening. Herbie was made especially welcome, and I enjoyed fresh made scone and tea on arrival."
"It was brilliant - we loved it, the right balance of solitude and friendly company from other walkers. We were incredibly lucky with the weather - not sure if it would have been quite so much fun on our own if we'd had loads of rain."
(Kate & Herbie the dog)

West Highland Way, 2013

[Favourite stage?] "Across Rannoch Moor to our stay at Kingshouse Hotel."
"This is an amazing walk and thoroughly recommended. There are loads of good B&Bs and guesthouses in the towns where we stayed, and some good pub grub."

Comments from our 2011 season

Tour du Mont Blanc, 2011

"We simply didn't know how to gauge the distances for the walk. Your expertise got it just right. Thank you."
(Sean Flynn, UK)

"A walk that all serious long distance walkers must include in their bag, a very challenging and delightful experience."
(Robert Thompson, UK)

Chamonix hotel: "Excellent room, friendly staff, great breakfast. Felt very safe to leave car there for the week."
Courmayeur hotel: "Great room, amazing breakfast, friendly staff. Liked the 3d map of the mountains in the lounge area - helped me visualise what we were embarking on!!"
Champex hotel: "Excellent room, Swiss national day when we there; evening fireworks great !! Breakfast good. Friendly helpful staff."
(Caroline Tyler, UK)

Scenery? "Awesome!! Didn't anticipate the wildflowers (hayfever excluded!) and pleasantly surprised that each day was very different."
"Joy was lovely - always cheerful and spread herself along the group each day."
(Liane, Norfolk Island)

"I was amazed by Keith's knowledge and map reading ability. His love of maps was obvious!!! There is no 'swagger' with Keith just a quiet confidence."
"His knowledge of mountain geology, geography, plants and scenery and his ability and willingness to impart this knowledge is impressive."
(Mo Richards, UK)

"The routecards were fab. I am a map-a-holic and I found I put the map away in my rucksack as the routecards were so easy to follow and so accurate."
"Great refuge. Breakfast was a competetive event but I put my elbows out and got the Nutella."
(Deb Heighes, UK)

"Great notes - many thanks."
"Great start to the trip. What a gem. Lovely rooms and breakfast, helpful staff. Set the bar! Liked being in Chamonix."
"Fantastic trip of a life time. Many thanks for organising it for us."
(Stella, UK)

"Fantastic trip and accommodation well chosen. Would not hesitate to use you again. Thanks."
(David Evans, UK)

"Itinerary and route finding was made easy by the accurate route cards - great."
Scenery? "Stunning - and thanks for arranging the weather too allowing great views on all days."
"Super location, dinner good - made us smile when they actually rang a bell for the evening mealtime. Clean and comfy."
"Very very comfortable and outstanding breakfasts - glad I had been walking to be able to appreciate them!
(Penny and Dave, UK)

Leader company: "Pete was well suited to our requirements as a guide and we thorughly enjoyed his company in the evenings as well. He was an experienced guide with much knowledge about the TMB and the countryside in which we were walking - pointing out features of the terrain and flora."
(Richard & Glenda Oakley)

"Thank you for the impeccable arrangements Simon. Despite early illness and bad weather we had a really good time. You were very helpful and we appreciated your assistance when changing our accommodation. We would consider doing some of the stages again in better weather to see more of the scenery."
"Route cards were so good we only looked at the map on one occasion."
(Ian Farey, Australia)

In Chamonix: "A lovely, aging-well Colonial-style beauty full of character and quirky charm. Our room was big, had interesting views out the windows, a nice tub, huge closet for hanging clothes to dry. The front-desk staff were a delight. Location is very good. Breakfast was fine. Loved this place."
(Marti & Fred, US)

"Must be the top rifugio on the TMB. Food great, staff excellent, facilities excellent and we again had a large room to ourselves."
Scenery? "Awe inspiring!"
"Will keep dreaming and looking for the next trip...thinking it will be the Italian alps next."
(Susan Strath, Australia)

"I am sure the trip would not have been so good if it had not been for your great organisation and I will be recommending you to all I know who are interested in doing a similar trip. Hopefully I will be booking another SG trip with you in the near future."
(Lynne Parsons, Australia)

"Trip of a lifetime. Scenery, weather and accommodations all outstanding. This should be on everyone's bucket list!"
(Tom Kelley, WA, USA)

"Cannot fault quality of holiday, value for money and the service of UK staff. Accommodation exceeded our expectations."
(Rod Tyson, UK)

"We thought the level of service and attention to detail was excellent and would definitely recommend you to others."
(Gill & Nigel Pursey, UK)

"As last year, excellent service from Alpine Exploratory."
(Nigel Shillabeer, UK)

"The numerous varieties of flowers and butterflies and lots of sightings of marmots really added to the trip."
"Everything went to plan and we had great weather so we were very lucky."
(Suzanne Gilsenan, Ireland)

"Ideal notes on route. Not too much information, just enough."
Favourite stage? "All were good and nicely varied. Possibly day one, Champex to Trient, because of the gentle start through the woods."
"It was a great service and I would happily recommend it."
(Nick Catliff, UK)

Walker's Haute Route, 2011

"Notes and routecards were excellent. The lengths allowed us to finish mid-afternoon and have time left in the day."
"We were very pleased with how everything went. Accommodation was good, directions were good etc. We thoroughly enjoyed it and will use you again. Many thanks."
(Alisa, UK)

"Very welcoming. Comfortable room and the best dinner of the trip - a lovely place to stay."
"Wonderful setting above glacier. Excellent food. Clean modern room."
"We used the Swiss rail luggage transfer service - super efficient!"
(Richard and Michelle)

"Spectacular views from our hotel looking over towards Mont Blanc and its glacier."
"Awesome view of Grand Combin glacier from our room. Also, there was a spa bath.....lovely."
"Our first hut... The meal was excellent. The view was incredible and we sat outside drinking wine and beer thinking we were in heaven."
"It was a beautiful room and the meal was excellent, as was breakfast. The view from our verandah was spectacular."
"It was amazing to see the hut perched high up on the Moraine. The views were breathtaking and we watched some walkers crossing the glacier below us. The beer was particularly welcome after the climb up. Meal was great and plentiful again."
"The view from our room featured the Matterhorn in all its amazing glory. We gazed in wonder at it many, many times. It was the thrill of a lifetime waking up knowing that all that separated us from it was a curtained window. We toasted its beauty and our achievement with champagne."
"I can't think of any more superlatives to express how good our holiday was. I would highly recommend Alpine Exploratory to anyone considering walking the Haute Route."
(Philip & Linda Haylett, UK)

Scenery? "Great scenery - good mix of alpine, passes, meadows, villages & valley."
"Perfect hotel to finish with - great views!"
"Generally the trek went very smoothly and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. September was a good time to walk - weather was good with only one bad day (making navigation by waymarks interesting) and although the trail was busy by Australian standards we understand it was quiet by European standards."
"Thank you for your careful organisation, notes & interest in our welfare/trip. All appreciated!"
(Gillian Anderson, Australia)

"Nice room and lovely view across the lake."
"My favorite cabane. Beautiful views from the stone porch. Really nice new rustic private room up under the eaves, and pretty good food."
"Very nice hotel, excellent breakfast including the best muesli of the trip, with grated apples and soaked in honey and lemon juice."
"Our favorite lodgings of the trip, till the end. Beautiful large corner room, lots of rustic details, a balcony overlooking the valley, a terrific dinner, and a good breakfast including the best just-baked croissants of the trip."
"Can I give 6/5? Solicitous staff, postcard balcony view of the Matterhorn, divine breakfasts, perfect location."
"Your explanations of option public transportation were accurate and helpful when we need them. Thanks."
(Mark, US)

West Highland Way, 2011

"Loved the crossing of Rannoch Moor, which felt the wildest and most remote, and particularly enjoyed our stay at Kingshouse that night. But also really liked the first day from Milngavie to Drymen, maybe because it was the best weather -- but also for the changing scenery and the whisky tour."
"We had a great time, and felt very taken care of."
(Joel Summerlin, US)

"We really enjoyed our trip, thank you for arranging everything so well."
"Route cards were detailed and easy to follow."
(Helen Hill, UK)

"We had perfect weather the entire time making the views amazing!"
"Having a pub at the mid-way point for each day's hike was perfect."
"We loved the trip! Not a single glitch and everything was exactly as stated. At the end, we wished we could keep going!"
(Mary McLellan, US)

Pennine Way, 2011

Scenery? "I live near the Alps, so it was a tough competiton, but overall the stages were very scenic, with some stages less 'visually' interesting than others."
Favourite stage? "Probably Malham to Horton, Middleton to Dufton (for High Cup Nick) and Cross Fell (despite the weather and loooooong walk down to Alston)."
"Nice place, the food was good and tea offered immediately on arrival (bliss)."
"Brilliant welcome (cake and tea!), wonderful hosts, incredible food and a lovely packed lunch. Would go back with pleasure!"
(Mark W)

Coast to Coast, 2011

Favourite stage? "It would be hard to pick a favorite since all the walks where wonderful. We did the River Swale via our B&B in Muker. That was the most peaceful and enjoyable walk. The sound of the river and the green shaded vegetation was refreshing."
"Friendly owner and super location with a view to really enjoy."
"A very enjoyable place and tons of friendly people."
(Rick Werp, US)

"Friendly reception, scones and tea! Good room."
"Wonderful to have our own cottage."
"Arrived early and were able to relax in lounge and garden - brilliant."
"Another wonderful welcome with tea and scones."
(T Fryer, UK)

"Really really enjoyed it. Each day was a revelation, so much so that we are reccommending Alpine to everybody and want to do the TMB next year! Thankyou."
"Hurricane in Lake District made things interesting!"
"Fantastic - real luxury room with comfy sitting area."
"Great Quaker guest house. Room lovely and beautiful grounds. Food good and interesting clientele."
"Lovely B&B. Welcoming owner, lovely room and shower, tastefully decorated dining room and public area."
"Great old place - v atmospheric Radox bath! Nice big room and dark old beams. Very welcoming owner and great breakfast."
"Big clean and comfy townhouse. Great location. Nice big room, beautifully furnished. Very welcoming and great food again!"
"One of our favourites. Beautifully restored and maintained old property with great attention to detail. Tastefully decorated and restored and fantastic gourmet breakfast. A++++."
"Another favourite! Especially after a long day. Fantastic restaurant and rooms. Had own outside sitting area and lovely modern room with wet room. Food and ambience in restaurant great and owners lovely. Location perfect-one of the best!"
(Richard and Gail)

"Magnificent, every day was something new and totally amazing."
Favourite stage? "Probably the lake district, as it varied so much, and the views were unbelievable."
"Great rooms, good food, clean, friendly helpful - wonderful."
"We really enjoyed the walk... Felt I could ring if necessary at any time. Excellent service and advice."
(Verna, Australia)

"10/10, what an amazing place to stay at. Thankyou, words can't express how much we enjoyed staying at this beautiful home."
"Great place and hosts couldn't have made us more welcome."
"Outstanding holiday; service and help also outstanding, simply superb."
(Sally and Colin, Purdy and Tia (2 very happy dogs))

"A hugely challenging and rewarding experience. Alpine Exploratory unbelievably good value for money."
"Superb prompt help from you in organising trip and much appreciated help in locating a dentist in Richmond."
(Frank Castles, Australia)

In Richmond: "Outstanding, elegant, wonderful hosts, magnificent breakfast, fantastic garden. Want to go back!"
"We had a fantastic trip despite horrid weather the first week. Other walkers very jealous of our routecards. Your ability to cope with the dog was much appreciated, and key in choosing you. Would warmly recommend you."
(Betty and David Moxon, UK)

South Lakes Circuit, 2011

"We loved this holiday. The children were happy and the dogs had a great time too. We really enjoyed additional walks up Old Man of Coniston and Harrison Stickle on the rest day and afternoon after the first stage walk."
"Extremely clear instructions."
(Mark and Petra Williams)

Our accommodation

"Impossible to better! One of the most genuinely walker friendly places I have ever stayed. Lovely people, very relaxed and laid back."
(Keswick, Lake District)

"All the accommodation was good & we enjoyed the variety."
(Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Hotel staff very helpful and pleasant - great view of Mont Blanc from the bath (!)"
"Very well located for town & the bus to Les Houches."
"Nice room, nice breakfast, and good location and very nice staff."
"The owners were very friendly and helpful. We had a very nice and spacious room. Hotel well located."
(Chamonix, French Alps)

"Friendly and able to supply local knowledge and advice."
(St Bees, Cumbria)

"Very friendly staff. Great food."
"Good atmosphere, lovely people, good food."
"Excellent welcome by manageress/owner. Great camaraderie."
(les Chapieux, Beaufortain Alps)

"Lovely spacious room. Good food in hotel."
(Zinal, Haute Route)

"Clean shared facilities. Great location and view. Good inclusive meal."
(Gruben, Haute Route)

"Luxury - just at the right time when we were tired."
(Courmayeur, Italian Alps)

"Excellent facilities, friendly welcome!"
(Fort William, West Highland Way)

"Very helpful - especially in finding us a taxi when the roads were flooded on our last day."
(Bohinj, Julian Alps)

"Friendly, family run hotel."
(Hawes, Yorkshire Dales)

"Couldn't do enough for us, and extremely friendly."
(Ribcev Laz, Julian Alps)

"Quaint - great fun and atmosphere at dinner. Welcoming."
(Trient, Switzerland)

"Loved everything, food people, rooms... helpful... good service."
(Courmayeur, Tour du Mont Blanc)

A postcard from the Tour du Mont Blanc at Courmayeur in Italy
Clients' postcard from Courmayeur

"Considering location you couldn't do better. Food good, nice staff and no snorers."
(A refuge on the Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Very warm welcome, the young receptionist even carried our bags to our rooms which was most appreciated. Great walkers bar, lovely food, very comfortable beds, great breakfast, lovely view from the breakfast room."
(On Loch Lomond, West Highland Way)

"The best - the people were fabulous & really friendly & helpful."
"Great hotel and a much needed rest day after the bad weather."
"Excellent location for a rest day. Great views, brilliant food and fantastic accommodation."
"Excellent in every respect."
"Excellent hotel - the owners couldn't have been more helpful."
(Courmayeur, Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Great meals, helpful and friendly."
(Les Houches, French Alps)

"Nice place, very friendly, good crack!"
(Inveroran, West Highland Way)

"Very comfortable, excellent food."
(La Fouly, Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Great welcome. Lovely people at Keld."
(Keld, Yorkshire Dales)

"Lovely people - we were drenched when we got there but they helped dry us out."
(Drymen, West Highland Way)

"Celebrated Bastille day from our hotel window with fireworks and American jazz."
(Argentiere, Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Everything was lovely and the hosts charming."
"Excellent facilities. Very courteous and friendly staff. Very good restaurant."
(Les Contamines, French Alps)

"Lovely scenery, nice rooms and were treated very well by the kitchen staff, went to bed with very full bellies."
(A hut in the Julian Alps)

"Thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Bath for tired legs! Excellent meal."
(Champex, Swiss Alps)

"Useful to be able to leave a bag with clean clothing etc for our return."
"Just what we needed after 4 nights in the huts."
(Bohinj, Julian Alps)

"Although basic, loved the atmosphere and food and had the best nights sleep of the whole trip. Buzzing place."
(One of our auberges on the TMB)

"Fantastic hotel - beautiful building, good location, excellent room and amazing breakfasts! Would stay here again."

"Fab room & location. Good meal at hotel."
(La Sage, Haute Route)

Comments from our 2009 season

"Notes on accommodation from PW clients with dogs:

"Very friendly and helpful, e.g. towels for the dogs, good meals.

"Very kind and helpful, could leave the dogs in the room.

"The best full english breakfast on the Pennine Way."

Roland Jung
(Pennine Way, May 2009)

"This was our favorite family vacation ever. You made our holiday so easy to enjoy, every detail was looked after so that all we had to do was show up and walk! You were so patient with the planning process and answered every question thoroughly.

"We loved Pete. He was fantastic. I truly believe our group would not have finished the trek without him. Even though we had very different levels of fitness and hiking experiences, he worked with all of us to make it a great experience."

Linda, Canada
(Tour du Mont Blanc, August 2009)

"Fantastic. Prompt, thorough responses to all my emails and queries. Thorough written information.

"Thank you so much. I had a wonderful time and felt very secure in the care you provided. Would not hesitate to recommend your business to all friends and acquaintances. Thought you may also like to know how highly you are regarded by the B&B owners. Several commented re; what a reliable, friendly and thorough service you provide."

R Topsfield, Australia
(Coast to Coast, May 2009)

"We had a great 30th anniversary TMB hike and were able to easily find the route with the maps and the notecards where other hikers had some confusion.

"Everything went smoothly and there's not a thing I would have changed. We had a great mix of huts and small hotels and met a lot of friends along the way especially at the huts with the family style meals. We have already given your number to people on the trail and here in the States."

Ann McCarthy
(Tour du Mont Blanc, July 2009)

"We were really delighted with the whole trip and the service provided by ... Alpine Exploratory.

"A little before Coniston, the view over the lake was wonderful.

"Accommodation all perfect for what we wanted and walks all great."

Lucy Lermer & Diana Samuels, UK
(South Lakes Circuit, July 2009)

"I was given a clear, thorough and detailed description of our trip.

"Beautiful, tranquill rooms. Friendly staff and good food. [Kinlochleven]

"A fantastic service. We could not fault any of it. We will be doing another trip next year and will be using your service again. I will send you some photograps and will recommend you to our friends."

Janice MacNamara
(West Highland Way, August 2009)

"We had a brilliant trip... The hotel arrangements ran smoother than a Swiss clock and we really enjoyed the choice of hotels. Everybody knew we were arriving and the bags were moved just as planned."

"All in all our holiday could not have been any better. Many thanks for sorting it out for us."

Graham, UK
(TMB North, August 2009)

"The walking cards were perfect, fitted in pocket perfectly.

"The accomodation was all very good... We are very grateful to you, we will be in touch with the odd photo if you like... We gave your details to several people who were impressed with the walking cards and they might use you for their next trip!"

Heather Waddy, Australia
(Walker's Haute Route, Aug 2009)

"Thank you very much indeed for a wonderful holiday. Your itinerary and choice of accommodation encouraged us to do a route we would not otherwise have attempted, and everything worked out really well... We really appreciated your friendly, personal and very efficient service, and attention to detail. We will recommend you to friends and would be very happy to use your services again."

John Temple, UK
(Haute Route East, Sept 2009)

"The service and places to stay were well worth the price paid, thank you so much for making your bit of England accessible to me.

"I would eventually be interested in completing the hike."

Susan Gettler Roscoe
(Coast to Coast West, May 2009)

"A huge thank you for your organisation of my trip: everything went smoothly and well-planned. I had made walks with two of your competitors before and found your services the most personal and helpful.

"Your routecards are invaluable and would alone make the difference."

P.S. from Duesseldorf, Germany
(Pennine Way Central, July 2009)

... and some from 2009

"Helpful, patient, full of enthusiasm and useful advice.

"Staying in a refuge was a great suggestion. We loved staying high in the mountains."

Meg and John, UK
(Chamonix Mountain Walking, August 2008)

"Beautiful refuge; good food; great situation.

"Thank you for organising the walk for us, it was the best holiday we have had for years."

H. Cantelo
(TMB South, Aug/Sept 2008)

... and a taste of 2010

"Bucolic will always carry a new meaning for me. I was entranced, enchanted, and elated!

[On the scenery] "I really liked it all, but the afternoon walking into Rosthwaite was especially beautiful...oh, also the final day along the sea to St Bees was grand. We hiked about 10 miles on our "rest" day and saw a lamb being born which was special too.

"The baggage was always there when we arrived. It was a terrific service. Simon planned our trip and it felt personal and special."

RB from Everett, WA, USA
(Lake District Traverse, May 2010)

Two mystery nights on the TMB...

"Excellent room, very friendly, the best evening meal by a long way - mainly because of the excellent atmosphere along with quality of food. Everyone joining in with fondue and chicken. Meal lasted nearly 2 and a half hours!!! Difficult to find the showers though but the secret one I managed to find was excellent and piping hot!! Possibly not one I was meant to use!!"
(D Tuer, Tour du Mont Blanc, August 2008)

"Lovely. Enjoyed everything about this little auberge. Dinner was nice."
(C Glover, Tour du Mont Blanc, August 2008)

A postcard from the Coast to Coast at Ennerdale Bridge
Coast to Coasters write in

Which was your favourite stage?

"Got to choose 2 for different reasons - to Champex for hamlets and pastoral scenes and to Les Houches because of the brilliant balcony views..."
"Okay - we really enjoyed it!"
(Dutton Family, UK, on the Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Difficult to say, Loch Lomond with the good weather we had was spectacular and going down into Glencoe was the same..."
(David, UK, on the West Highland Way)

"It was all brilliant. Last stage was shrouded in mist. Col du Bonhomme took some beating."
(A Ward, UK, on the Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Day two from Vodnikov Dom to Zasavska we thought was the best day, was a long and challenging day through an amazing limetone landscape. Enjoyed the scrambling up over the rocks with the pegs."
(Robbie Paterson, UK, on the Julian Alps)

"From Tre le Champ to La Flegere via Lac Blanc. Good climb, good variety, stunning views of Chamonix valley, and the lake."
(Douglas Nurse, UK, on the Chamonix Mountain Walking trip)

"Loved the sections along Loch Lomond and from Tyndrum to Kinlochleven."
(Shirley and Corrie dog, UK, on the West Highland Way)

"Difficult question! The last day was enjoyable for lots of reasons - it was a combination of so many different types of terrain and view, it was almost like the whole TMB rolled into one! My other favourite was Col Sapin."
(N Bird, UK, on the Tour du Mont Blanc)

"It was all great - our days including Kanjavec and Vogel were outstanding although this was partly because of the weather. The walk form Planika to Dolicu was also a bit special. That high limestone country was like nothing I'd seen before. Wildlife was fascinating."
(John Park, Australia, on the Julian Alps)

"Loved the latter part as the scenery was outstanding. Particularly loved the day of the lakes and Refuge du Lac Blanc. Beautifully peaceful and the reflection of Mont Blanc in the lake - unforgetable ... Loved the Ibex and the challenge of the ladders. Also loved the previous day going up to Col du Balme (a great climb) and the Glacier du Trient and walk down t'other side."
(Jilly Bolding, UK, on the TMB)

About our routecards and maps

"Very, very impressed indeed. Absolutely the most accurate routecards I've seen!"
(North Lakes Explorer)

"Excellent - and admired by others on the route."
(Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Both accurate and informative, route cards very readable before and during the days' walks."
(Julian Alps Bohinj Valley)

"Routecards were just right. We cut them up and had them easily available. Great idea!"
(Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Excellent - took the pressure off constant map reading."
(Pennine Way Central)

"The maps we were given were excellent."
(Tour du Mont Blanc)

"Just enough without being overly detailed."
(Tour du Mont Blanc)

Happy West Highland Wayfarers

"Very friendly and accommodating. Good food."
"Lovely welcome, great accommodation, bags in your room, great porridge and very helpful."
"Excellent food, friendly and helpful staff. A nice hot bath at the end of a long walk."
"Nice friendly staff. Amazing views and good food."
(Janice MacNamara on her group's accommodation, WHW)

"Loved cottage accommodation... Glencoe - great place, welcoming. Terrific food + breakfast choice."
('Knoc-yir-Panin', West Highland Way)

"Service and organisation was very good."
(David, West Highland Way)

"Couldn't fault food, accommodation or welcome!
Highlight - seeing pine martin eating off bird table at breakfast time."

(Jo, Brian & Meg (Border Terrier), West Highland Way)

"Very satisfied."
(Peter Burnie, age 77, West Highland Way)

Our info packs - like Green & Black's!

One customer compared the experience of opening our info pack to eating a bar of Green & Black's chocolate, "savouring each square in a meditative fashion rather than wolfing down the entire bar!"

A postcard from the Tour du Mont Blanc at Chamonix in France
A client writes from Chamonix

A week in the Lake District

"This has been a superlatively researched and planned package.

"Sadly back from the lakes, and though I have posted the feedback form did just want to write an additional thankyou.

"I was most impressed with the whole organisation and service of this trip from you; clearly you have put a huge amount of thought into your holidays.

"Because you so thoughtfully provide the full map, it was perfectly possible for me to do self-designed add ons to your walk as I could see where I would end up if I followed tantalising paths!"

(Victoria, London)

More about the Tour du Mont Blanc

"We had a brilliant time; great itinerary & great service from you."
(Diane & Paul, Bath, on the TMB South)

"We thought the service was excellent."
(Mr & Mrs I Cook, on the TMB North)

"Arrived like drowned rats, after a serious storm. No problem thanks to the helpful receptionist and spacious drying room."
(Bob & Clare, on the TMB North in Argentiere)

"Great hospitality, beautiful hotel."
(Limor & Eitan, on the TMB, about our Courmayeur hotel)

"The contact with you was very good and efficient. The information we got prior to the trip and the info package were very good and helpful. In general we are very pleased, we had a great trip and holiday, everything went smoothly (including the weather)."
(Michael Berger, on the TMB North)

And finally...

Which hotel on the Tour du Mont Blanc prompts so many of our clients, every summer, to mention its great breakfast? You'll have to find out yourself!

Guided and Self-Guided Holidays - see them all

Tour du Mont Blanc North (Self-Guided)

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"So well organised - much appreciated as we had limited time... Just loved whole trip - organisation great!"

(Meg and Trish, Australia)

Pennine Way Central (Self-Guided)

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"Good service. Everything went very smoothly. Clear instructions and good advice about the trip and the stages."

(G Boulden, UK)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"The organisation was excellent.

"Recommendation of ear plugs for refuge dormitory!

"Congratulations on an excellent service."

(Mike Channon, Australia)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"Info in the pack gave good details for what to bring, preparation and route.

[Favourite stage?] "Hard to say. Every day had something interesting/fun. I think the last day was actually my fav since it was longest, sunny, frost and fog at the top, but great views. However, also enjoyed the day from La Fouly to Champex. .

"Overall, we enjoyed the trip and I would recommend Alpine Exploratory to friends (and already have). I would use your company again for other tours, likely self guided. It was actually very fun to have the self guided aspect, but have all the info provided."

(Debra Paulsen, US)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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[Favourite stage?] "Almost too hard to answer. But we loved the Swiss side - so many cute villages and beautiful vegetation. Also helped that weather was near perfect and accom was great. ..

"Arrived after a tough day in the rain. Staff very helpful and understanding. Drying room a handy touch (and perhaps necessary at that location). Food was great, bed set up good too; only refuge we didn't get disturbed by snorers. Very warm. Woke to 6in of fresh powdery snow :-)

"We were not expecting such lovely accommodation for our trip. Perhaps coming from Australia where you are lucky to get running water on a hike?!? We'd like to say thanks for arranging it for us. Took away the stress for us non-french speakers. The comfort of knowing we had a bed each night meant we could enjoy each day of walking to its fullest. We lucked out with 7 of 9 days sunny weather. Two wet days towards the end were challenging but positives in their own way."

(Meg and Matt)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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[Scenery?] "Spectacular and more! We want to do it again!!!

[Favourite stage?] "Enjoyed every stage as all had highlights but a favourite was Stage 3 - climbing to the Col de la Seigne and then staying at Rifugio Elisabetta. Spectacular views down both valleys and plenty of open space! Also Trient to Argentiere - Col du Balme and Aiguillete des Posettes track on a perfect day! .

[Baggage?] "Always good and the early pickups forced us to be a bit more organized in the mornings, and so on the track earlier than we would have otherwise.

"We were very happy with the self guided trek and enjoyed not having to worry about finding accommodation at the end of sometimes quite long days. Hope to do it again also as a self guided trek with accommodation and baggage transfers included, and would probably do the same itinerary too. The rest days were well placed in day and location and allowed us to feel that we were not just marching through!"

(Liz & Graham Dunlop, UK)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"Alpine Exploratory's service could not be faulted - hope to use you again in the future."

(A Ward, UK)

Pennine Way Central (Self-Guided)

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"Good service. Everything went very smoothly. Clear instructions and good advice about the trip and the stages."

(G Boulden, UK)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"Good food! Despite our late arrival at a very busy time, we were welcomed and received a lovely meal."

"Great service, thank you."

(N Bird)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"I inquired... at several of our inns and the praise was effusive and unanimous for you, your organization and your clientele."

(M Odland, USA)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"Just wanted to thank you for all the great information and accommodation bookings you made for us for our Mont Blanc trip.

"Everything went smoothly and we thoroughly enjoyed the trek. Had a couple of foggy days and a few showers another day, but also had several beautiful sunny days. Thought the level of difficulty was perfect for us. Was also fun doing the trek while the Ultra-Trail Race was happening - quite the event.

"We would certainly recommend your company to other hikers. Some other hikers saw our route cards and thought they were terrific... Thanks again! Happy travels!"

(G Rovere, D Lycan, Canada)

Julian Alps Hut-to-Hut (Self-Guided)

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On the mountain huts: "The lower you go the better they got, but if you take the whole experience then it was about the same to be in lesser accom but more remote and higher up.

"The last day we hired a couple of scooters and rode to Bled, had an absolute blast."

(Andrew Correll)

Julian Alps Hut-to-Hut (Self-Guided)

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"Your service was outstanding, making a tremendous holiday. Really difficult to find any faults. For interest: we added a diversion from Triglavskih Jezerih via... xxx ... to Dom na Komni. Beautiful varied Alpine walk almost to ourselves. Many many thanks."

(J Meldrum, UK)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"Your service was faultless and played a major part in making this such an enjoyable experience, particularly having all the accommodation pre-booked and the additional information you provided with the route cards.

"Very comprehensive information pack provided.

"We had a fantastic (if not restful) holiday. The scenery was superb. Very lucky with the weather - one day of rain in 2 weeks! Blue skies and beautiful mountains. We also used our rest days to go up the Mont Blanc cable car to Aiguille du Midi which was superb and the Mer de Glace which was also impressive (although it has shrunk in the last 20 years!)

"We recommended you to fellow walkers and would be more than happy to use your services again."

(Neil & Edna Smith, UK)

Great Glen Way (Self-Guided)

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"I would recommend you to anybody as you provide an excellent service. All of the accommodations provided lovely accommodation, breakfasts, information required, and the hosts were all very nice and friendly. I give them all full marks.

"I liked seeing the points of interest e.g. Urquhart Castle... Lovely looking from the higher points over Loch Ness."

Hazel Pyper
(Great Glen Way)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"Many thanks for making such an excellent job of booking our accommodation on the Tour du Mont Blanc. We found your organisation excellent and all the advice and the route cards very helpful...

"We, all three, enjoyed the tour: the mountain scenery, the occasional excitement of a rock scramble with pack, the variety of language and accommodation, the freedom that living out of a meagre pack and being on the move brings and the opportunity to meet a range of other people and we each pass on our thanks to you for a job very well done.

"There's no doubt that we'd book a walking holiday with you again and will recommend you to any friends who may think of doing the same."

(Penny and Chris Chatwin, Kenilworth)

Pennine Way Central (Self-Guided)

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"Had a great time - excellent weather, varied walking/scenery... good welcome from everyone."

('Forever walking', UK)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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"We really enjoyed the TMB - thank you - and have lots of memories of the beautiful places we saw... including of course the views of Mont Blanc especially as it appeared through the clouds."

(Chynoweth family)

Tour du Mont Blanc

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"The route cards and itinerary were excellent. Communication and information prior to booking was also excellent. Would definitely consider using the company in the future and highly recommend it to friends.

"We had a great holiday. Many thanks for arranging this for us."

(David Noakes, UK)

Tour du Mont Blanc

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"Great, we are telling everyone we meet how well everything worked."

(Brian Winn, UK)

Julian Alps Hut-to-Hut (Self-Guided)

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"We really enjoyed ourselves (despite the storm) and appreciated the way you arranged the holiday round our needs (e.g. days of traveling etc.)"


West Highland Way (Self-Guided)

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"The dog loved it and so did we - all our hosts were expecting the dog and were happy to see her."

"Wonderful service, lovely people, GREAT PUB!, Terrific breakfast, outstanding views: all in all exceptional!"

(C Little, UK)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

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[Scenery?] "Stunning, spectacular...the wild flowers; the snow covered alps. the green pastures; all postcard material..

[Favourite stage?] "They were all so special, but possibly if had to choose, the Trient to Argentiere was spectacular; the mountainside trail amidst the wild flowers, with little elevation to encounter.

"Just loved our trek... A once in a lifetime experience.. Feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity of seeing this beautiful part of the World. AE a brilliant company and couldn't speak more highly of the Company.. Extreme professionalism, and as I had lots of correspondence with Simon, he was brilliant. Couldn't have been more helpful; even down to tracking a 'lost' backpack of Bonny's..."

(Sue Lobbezoo, Australia)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

Full details

[Favourite stage?] "Really hard to say, as all days were unique and memorable. Probably the day from Bonhomme when we hiked the variant up to Col des Fours, through much snow, seeing our first marmots, crossing streams rushing to the valley, and probably the most amazing wildflowers on a trip filled with blooms. Splendid!

"Arrived fairly early after hike from Col des Fours, and could order something to eat. Dinner was very good and our room was simple, but lovely with two twins. Very good showers and laundry facilities. Everything dry by evening. One of our favorite huts. Loved the old decorations in the dining hall and singing and accordion playing after dinner."

"Thank you so much for your careful help in planning our unforgettable trek. It's clear you take your job seriously and we will be glad to recommend A.E. to anyone we can. The scenery and challenge of the walking were outstanding, along with near perfect weather. Each day was a treasure and an adventure. We look forward to planning another trip with you, soon."

(Emily Herman/John Brewster)

Tour du Mont Blanc (Self-Guided)

Full details

[Scenery?] "Unbelievably gorgeous! We had clear views for 10 of the 11 days of hiking, and every day was beautiful.

"Wonderful dinner followed by impromptu "concert" by the kitchen staff. Beautiful location -- at the end of a challenging day of hiking.

"We had a fabulous time and appreciate everything Alpine Exploratory did to schedule each day and arrange for our lodging. It was physically challenging, but in a rewarding way. The route is both extraordinarily beautiful and culturally engaging as we walked through three countries. We took the high route options at every turn, which created extra physical challenges but was definitely worth it. Thank you so much for making this a vacation that was strenuous, care-free (with respect to our daily plans and accommodations), and rewarding on so many levels."

(Tremaine Family)

alpine exploratory

Alpine Exploratory provides a uniquely detailed and up-to-date coverage of trekking routes in the Alps and the UK. This knowledge lets us book superb holidays for our enthusiastic trekkers.

We are a small team based in Edinburgh in the UK. 2018 will be our 14th Summer in the Alps, the 12th on our UK routes, and our first in Norway.

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