The route traverses below the summits of ten out of the twelve of the highest peaks in the Alps, and crosses several high passes. The highest pass is at 2964m (9,800ft).
This is a world of glaciers and towering, snow-capped peaks. The route also meanders through green alpine valleys with flower-covered meadows and picture-book villages. A trek of contrasts.
The route passes through the centre of both the French and Swiss Alps: two distinct cultural regions with different languages and architecture.
This is a remote trek. Take a tent or sleep in a mountain hut or a refuge. One or two nights could be spent in valley hotels to catch up on those hot showers.
The early season (June-mid July) is the quietest and most beautiful but beware of old snow on the higher paths which could be icy and dangerous and would make an ice-axe essential.
Zermatt is probably one of the most beautiful alpine villages in the world. Nestled just beneath the famous East face of the Matterhorn, the village is at 1600m (5,250 ft).
Cars are not allowed in the village so the air is always clean and the streets quiet.
How fit do I need to be? Comfortable with hiking 25km a day and climbing 1200m (ie walking 15 miles a day and climbing 4000ft). Acclimatisation takes 3 or 4 days, so start slowly until your body adjusts to having 25% less oxygen in the air.