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The "Grande Traversée des Alpes", or GR5, is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the magnificent Alpine landscape that nature has to offer, during a huge 620 km of trails, between 3 and 4 weeks, from Lake Geneva to the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea.
A stage route marked out since the 1940s, this straight-line route characterized by its unevenness is ideal for experienced hikers in search of a challenge: they will cross five departments, in a crossing divided into 40 stages, in 4 sections and will have plenty of time to contemplate the beauty of the French Alps!
The starting point of the Grande Traversée des Alpes is on the shores of Lake Geneva.
During their long journey, hikers will be able to see many things: the route will take them to the Mercantour, Queyras and Varnoise parks, several nature reserves, alpine pastures, small villages, the snowy Alpine peaks and, at the end of the journey, the Mediterranean coast and its desert settings.
It will be possible to admire the mountain fauna so unique: marmots, ibexes, chamois, roe deer or raptors such as the lammergeier! But also the flora that composes, for example, the blue gentian or the famous edelweiss.
Several bivouac areas are located along the route, for nights under the stars and a unique experience.
But the Grande Traversée des Alpes route is not lacking in accommodations: about a hundred are available to hikers, no matter what their desires or the stage of their crossing. Whether it is refuges, gites, guest houses or hotels, the hiker has a wide choice. The accommodations even have the possibility to book, for him, the next accommodation to help him prepare the next stage of his journey.
In view of the step-by-step operation of the course, it is not possible to give favorite addresses.
The majority of the accommodations on the route offer food: if not, hikers can be directed by the staff of the accommodations to nearby restaurants. Some of them also have a space where it is possible to cook your meals freely.
Many of them offer a half-board formula, where the price includes, in addition to the overnight stay, dinner and breakfast, most of them offering local recipes or made from local ingredients.
But then, what to eat at lunch time? Well, some of the accommodations offer local products and lunch baskets for sale: the perfect opportunity to take a break and taste delicious Alpine cheeses and charcuterie while enjoying a good picnic!