Length: 327km
Altitude difference: ↑ 13.930m ↓ 13.460m
Duration: 21 days

GPS track

This is a mountain route; a historical and cultural itinerary; a symbol of the return to one’s land, one’s home and the freedom to profess one’s faith. This is the Glorious Repatriation route! It follows the route of a journey that began on the night of 16 August 1689, two years after the forced exile, when less than 1000 men set out from the shores of Lake Geneva towards Savoy, in the hope of returning to their valleys in Piedmont.
Today, the itinerary covers 21 stages and starts right on the shores of Lake Geneva, from the village of Nernier and crosses the Alps. The Italian section begins at Col Clapier and finally arrives in Bobbio Pellice, at the Sibaud monument.

The crossing of many Alpine passes above 2,000 m recommends a strictly summer schedule. In June there may still be tongues of snow on the northern slopes. In September some stage stations are already closed and there may already be snowfall. July and August are the ideal months, but avoid the week of August (especially along the section that corresponds to the Tour du Mont Blanc).

This is a hiking route that does not present any particular technical difficulties apart from the length and considerable height difference of some of the stages. It is therefore intended for people in good physical health, who are used to walking for a few hours a day, and for several consecutive days in a row, with a rucksack on their shoulders. While it is true that part of the training can be done on the road, it should be borne in mind that the first two stages are demanding enough. Even if the greatest fatigue and difficulties will be encountered in the Italian part of the crossing, from the Clapier pass to Bobbio Pellice.

We advise you to buy the “Glorious Repatriation official guidebook”, which is the best available guide to the route on the market.
If you wish to have a larger and more detailed map, you can use the excellent maps of the Institut Géographique National in Paris, at a scale of 1:25,000, which cover the whole French part of the Glorious Repatriation. In detail, you need the maps: 3428 ET, 3429 ET, 3430 ET, 3531 OT, 3532 ET, 3633 ET, 3634 OT. For the Italian part, there are the excellent Fraternali Editore maps, sheets 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, which cover the route from the Montcenisio (Mont Cenis) pass to most of stage 23.
In some cases having a GPS with you might be very useful. However, it would be necessary to know how to use it, and also to load the maps for the full route in advance. However, it would be necessary to know how to use it, and to load the full track of the route in advance.

– Backpack: this should have a maximum capacity of 65 l for men, 55 l for women (for whom specific backpacks are commercially available), and weigh between 8 and 10 kg
– Hiking boots
– Hiking poles: these help to transfer weight from the legs to the arms and are a useful safety feature during steep descents.
– Lightweight shoes or sandals for resting and on tarmac sections
– Trekking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
– Underwear (2 or 3 pairs)
– Long and short hiking trousers
– Lightweight rest trousers
– 2 Technical t-shirts for walking, made of breathable fibres: the best are made of merino wool
– Cotton T-shirt for the evening and for sleeping
– Fleece sweater
– Mountain windbreaker
– Backpack cover
– Sheet bag (sleeping bag is superfluous because blankets are always available)
– Towel (preferably microfibre)
– Marseille soap for washing up and washing clothes
– Toothbrush and toothpaste
– Blister plasters (recommended for those with sensitive feet)
– First aid kit (trekking kit, therefore light)
– Toilet paper
– Sunglasses, hat and sun cream
– Litre water bottle
– Utility knife with cutlery
– Walking guide
– GPS with charger (optional)
– Wallet with money, debit and credit cards, documents
– Mobile phone and power supply

Unfortunately, only exceptionally can cheap accommodation facilities be available. The average daily cost for one person is about €65 – €75, including an overnight stay and dinner in a cheap hotes, gîtes d’étape or refuge, with half board, and a packed lunch made with food from shops. To significantly reduce costs, you can make the journey by bringing a tent. However, it must be considered that this equipment increases the weight of the backpack by a few kilos and involves some problems. Only in some stages is it possible to have a campsite, while in the majority of cases it is necessary to find a suitable place for free camping. In these cases, common sense is needed, asking the landlords, where possible, whether a one-night stop with a tent is accepted or not.

Length: 24km
Altitude difference: ↑ 650m ↓ 50m
Duration: 7 hours
Difficult: medium

Download GPS track

This itinerary starts from the village of Nernier on Lake Geneva. The mountains are still a long way off, but the first climbs are already visible on the horizon. Leaving the shores of the lake, the first part of the stage leads into the Chablais countryside. The path is easy in the first few kilometres, but this should not mislead you because to tackle this stage you need to be well trained, otherwise it is better to split it into two parts. The route is long, with a demanding final ascent to the Col de Saxel. The signposting is not always accurate, especially in the crossing of the Planbois forest and in the final stretch towards the Col de Saxel, so be careful.
Here it would be very useful to have the GPS track of the route and of course, the guidebook.

Length: 21km
Altitude difference: ↑ 300m ↓ 670m
Duration: 6 hours
Difficult: medium

Download GPS track

Astonishingly, when they arrived at Saint-Jeoire, the Waldensians had not yet finished their first day’s walk. We however, have the privilege of travelling slowly, and can contemplate the meadows, forests and beautiful villages of the Haute-Savoie. The main challenge presented by this stage is to keep to the right path between Boëge and the Col de Ludran. The signposts are not always precise and the complex terrain and the pastureland fences can make walking and orientation difficult. It is nevertheless accessible, with easy climbs and long descents. In the distance, the Alpine peaks forming the Mont Blanc massif are clearly visible.

Length: 17km
Altitude difference: ↑ 200m ↓ 260m
Duration: 4:30 hours
Difficult: easy

Download GPS track

From Saint-Jeoire, walk along the hillside, first up the valley of the Le Giffre stream, then along the wider, urban Arve valley. There is a lot of tarmac to be covered, but always along on minor roads that offer good views and easy walking. The exception is the section between the old Marignier bridge and Brannaz on the D6 (a wide, busy road). This brings you to Cluses, the small capital of Faucigny, famous since the 18th century for its watchmaking workshops. The village owes its name to the narrow gorge of the Arve, at the foot of which the town developed.

Length: 19km
Altitude difference: ↑ 250m ↓ 150m
Duration: 5 hours
Difficult: easy

Download GPS track

This easy stage runs along the Arve torrent, approaching the Mont Blanc massif, which is the background to today’s efforts. The effort needed is limited to the altitude and difficulty in finding the road. Three long dirt tracks along the Arve will relieve the asphalt sections for a while.

Length: 11km
Altitude difference: ↑ 600m ↓ 60m
Duration: 3:30 hours
Difficult: easy

Download GPS track

This stage offers great views of the Mont Blanc massif, at the price of some moderate effort. You will climb above 1000 metres for the first time on this journey, yet the ascent is not excessively tiring. A little too much asphalt has to be covered, but this is unavoidable.

Length: 11km
Altitude difference: ↑ 930m ↓ 75m
Duration: 4 hours
Difficult: medium

Download GPS track

This is first big climb of the Glorious Repatriation Route, and the Alps immediately begin to make themselves felt. The difference in altitude is just under 1000m. The climbs along the ski slopes are very tiring. It can also be difficult to find the right route, so be careful!
Note: on reaching the top of the Col de Véry you will find the delightful “Refuge de la Croix de Pierre”, where we recommend you spend the night.