Champex is a small lakeside village along the both Haute Route and TMB in Valais, Switzerland. It’s a tiny village with just a couple of shops and a handful of small hotels, and it makes a very pleasant stop. There is a forested pedetrian walkway around the lake, and paddleboat rentals are available if you would like to go out on the lake. There are quite a few trails around town, some of them along pretty irrigation channels (called bisse or Suonen) with abundant blueberries.
A chairlift from the edge of town can take you 700 meters into the mountains to a place call la Breya, where you can take a rugged high-level walk to the glacier-hugging d’Orny hut. The Fenetre d’Arpette is a popular pass (an optional variant along both the Haute Route and Tour du Mont Blanc hikes) that can also be done as a dayhike from Champex.
Champex is one of those places that doesn’t get a lot of attention as a destination, other than through-hikers on the Tour du Mont Blanc and Haute Route. It doesn’t have a lot of top attractions or even much in the way of famous mountains. But it’s pretty. It’s peaceful. The hotel owners are friendly and do a nice job. It’s a secondary destination for sure, but also a very nice place to linger for a few days and enjoy the atmosphere.
Tours & Other Resources
Self-guided Hiker’s Haute Route – starts in Chamonix and passes through Champex way to Zermatt over eleven days of inn-to-inn hiking and stops in gorgeous villages. This is a tough, rugged route over high passes and is a great trip for strong hikers.
Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc – the classic route and most popular inn-to-inn trek in the Alps. Our itinerary takes you over a series of passes through France, Italy and Switzerland.