The GR5 + Why you need to do it!

Arguably the perfect way to end a summer in Morzine is by hiking part of our local section of the GR5 trail (GR = Great Randonnee). A unique and beautiful hike through what feels like untouched land. The section which passes through the Portes du Soleil runs from Thonon to Nice.

gr5 hiking route from thonon to nice

Starting in Holland and ending in France, the GR5 meanders its way across the mountains and is arguably the most stunning hiking trail around. 

The GR5 (Lac Leman to Nice) takes around 40 days (on average). Whether you take on the whole route or smaller parts, you will be rewarded with epic views and a memorable experience.

The section I chose to do was Sixt Fer a Cheval to Chamonix. This runs over two days. You can start in Morzine, but living here we do the first part of this hike quite often. We decided to skip this bit, gain a day and start slightly closer to Chamonix.

Day One

Sixt Fer a Cheval – Refuge Moede Anterne

  • 12.60 KM
  • 1372 M elevation

Day 1 is filled with excitement, we had no idea what to expect. The beautiful pastures that you cross on this day are an amazing sight. A huge rock face is on your right and there is no sign of people anywhere near you. Passing Lac d’Anterne is a special moment. The lake is situated at 2063M making it some of the freshest water I’ve been in.

guy Swimming in Lac d'Anterne

You then make your way up the Col d’Anterne and down to the refuge. A very welcome sight for hungry + achy hikers!

Day Two

Refuge Moede Anterne – Chamonix

  • 15.55 KM
  • 798 M elevation

After a night in the hut, you set off for Chamonix. I would definitely recommend getting up early and catching Sunrise on the Mont Blanc Massif. It’s beautiful!!!

Sunset at a mountain refuge

This day starts with a big descent then a big ascent. It’s at this point you reach the top of the Brevant, and look across to Mont Blanc. It’s a sight that will take your breath away. We sat at the top for a while taking it in. From the top of the Brevant you descend down to Chamonix town with the most beautiful view the entire way.

You get a huge sense of achievement when you reach Chamonix. Being separated from people, phones, work and noise for 2 days help you reconnect with nature. We spend so much time being busy, that when two days are spent walking through the mountains surrounded only by nature it fully clears your mind.

This hike is definitely challenging however the route is simple an easy to follow. The ascent and descent each day is tiring on the legs and strenuous on your feet! If you are staying in Morzine, a Post Event Leg Massage will revitalise your legs and get you back feeling fresh for your next adventure!

The best time to do this hike is Mid June – End of September. We didn’t use a guide however guides are available if you would prefer. Happy hiking!!

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