The GR5 Trail

The GR5 Trail : Through the French Alps from Lake Geneva to Nice

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An essential guidebook for walking the GR5, one of the world's most spectacular long-distance trails. The GR5 makes its way through the Alps from the shores of Lac Leman at Geneva to the Mediterranean at Nice. A route of 674km (420 miles), it can be trekked in a month, or split over a series of summer trips. The GR5 is well within the reach of fit and moderately experienced walkers and backpackers. There is good signposting and waymarking, and accommodation, food and drink are all available at regular intervals. The paths and tracks are generally well graded, while steep climbs are tackled on zigzag paths, so the overall gradient is not so severe. Every summer, thousands of walkers embark on this trek.

This guidebook also describes some scenic variant routes, including the stunning GR55 through the Vanoise National Park and the delightful GR52 that crosses the Mercantour National Park. Full descriptions and maps are provided for these alternatives. The book includes daily stages, timings, ascents and descents, full-colour mapping and gradient profiles, alongside information about facilities and services along the route. The result is an ideal companion to planning and completing your trek.

Two further Cicerone guidebooks cover the remaining sections of the GR5; 'The GR5 Trail - Vosges and Jura', and 'The GR5 Trail - Benelux and Lorraine' which together cover the route from Lac Leman to the Hoek Van Holland.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 116 x 172 x 21mm | 390g
  • Kendal, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • 106 images, 1 overview map, 7 stage maps and 48 details maps
  • 1852848286
  • 9781852848286
  • 192,074

Table of contents


Map Key
Overview Map


Walking the GR5
Alpine Traverses
Who Walks the GR5?
Route Outline
GR5 Geology
Alpine Flowers
Alpine Wildlife
Alpine Farming
Travel to the Alps
Travel Around the Alps
Services on the GR5
Food and Drink
Path Conditions
Alpine Weather
When to Walk the GR5
Kit Check
Currency and Costs
Key Points


Stage 1 Lac Leman to Les Houches
Day 1 St Gingolph to La Chapelle d'Abondance (direct route)
Day 1 Thonon-les-Bains to Chevenoz (alternative Day 1)
Day 2 Chevenoz to La Chapelle d'Abondance (alternative Day 2)
Day 3 La Chapelle d'Abondance to Chesery
Day 4 Chesery to Samoens
Day 5 Samoens to Refuge de Moede Anterne
Day 6 Refuge de Moede Anterne to Les Houches
Stage 2 Les Houches to Landry
Day 7 Les Houches to Les Contamines
Day 7a Les Houches to Les Contamines (high-level route)
Day 8 Les Contamines to Plan de la Lai
Day 9 Plan de la Lai to Landry
Stage 3 Landry to Modane
GR5 Route
Day 10 Landry to Refuge d'Entre-le-Lac
Day 11 Refuge d'Entre-le-Lac to Val d'Isere
Day 12 Val d'Isere to BessansDay 13 Bessans to Refuge du Plan du Lac
Day 14 Refuge du Plan du Lac to Le Montana
Day 15 Le Montana to Modane/Fourneaux
GR55 High-level route (Refuge d'Entre-le-Lac to Modane)
Day 11 Refuge d'Entre-le-Lac to Refuge d'Entre Deux Eaux
Day 12 Refuge d'Entre Deux Eaux to Roc de la Peche
Day 13 Roc de la Peche to Modane/Fourneaux
GR5E Low-level route (Bonneval-sur-Arc to Modane)
Day 13 Bonneval-sur-Arc to Lanslevillard
Day 14 Lanslevillard to Bramans
Day 15 Bramans to Modane/Fourneaux
Stage 4 Modane to Ceillac
Day 16 Modane/Fourneaux to Refuge du Thabor
Day 17 Refuge du Thabor to Plampinet
Day 17a La Valle troite to Plampinet (GR5B alternative)
Day 18 Plampinet to Briancon
Day 18a Nevache to Briancon (GR5C alternative)
Day 19 Briancon to Brunissard
Day 20 Brunissard to Ceillac
Stage 5 Ceillac to Auron
Day 21 Ceillac to La Barge/Maljasset
Day 22 La Barge/Maljasset to Larche
Day 23 Larche to Bousieyas
Day 24 Bousieyas to Auron
Stage 6 Auron to Nice - GR5
Day 25 Auron to Refuge de Longon
Day 26 Refuge de Longon to St Dalmas
Day 27 St Dalmas to Utelle
Day 28 Utelle to Aspremont
Day 29 Aspremont to Nice
Stage 7 St Dalmas to Garavan/Menton - GR52
Day 27 St Dalmas to Le Boreon
Day 28 Le Boreon to Refuge de Nice
Day 29 Refuge de Nice to Refuge des Merveilles
Day 30 Refuge des Merveilles to Camp d'Argent
Day 32 Sospel to Garavan/Menton
Appendix 2 Route Summary - South to North
Appendix 3 Accommodation List
Appendix 4 Basic French for the GR5
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About Paddy Dillon

Paddy Dillon is a prolific outdoor writer with over 70 books to his name, as well as contributions to many more. He also writes for a number of outdoor magazines. He has walked throughout Europe, including completing the GR5 twice, and has also walked in Nepal, Tibet, Canada and the US. Paddy is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.
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