Champex to Le Châble, Walker’s Haute Route Stage 4

Although not as dramatic as the 2 previous days, the route is beautiful, combining wide open countryside views with quaint Swiss towns. The 13k mostly downhill track makes for a shorter day but is not easy on bad knees nor much of a rest.

Day 4 – Champex to Le Châble

Based on the Cicerone guidebook, “Chamonix to Zermatt: The Classic Walker’s Haute Route,” by Kev Reynolds

Distance : 13k

Elevation Gain: 104m

Elevation Loss: 749m

Time: 4.5 hours with frequent photo stops

As the forecast predicted we woke to cloudy skies and warmish weather with a general haze in the air. The views down the valley backed by snow-capped peaks should be amazing.

Instead of a high mountain trek, this village to village walk down the Entremont Valley passes through a number of villages, farmer’s  fields, along a river and through a comercial area to reach Le Châble.

With numerous turns there was frequent need to consult the guidebook. The way is also marked by yellow signage with a little hiker dude. This blazed route doesn’t exactly follow the one suggested in the Cicerone guidebook as there are a number of variants as you descend the valley, but it’s close enough to keep you headed in the right direction. It was also easier to follow than the guidebook’s written directions.

We arrived in Le Châble in time for a late lunch. Le Châble, with Villette just across the river, is a good town to stock up on cash and supplies.

Sleeping and Dining in Le Châble

Üna Lodge

The Üna Lodge is conveniently located in Villette, just off the main round-about in proximately to banks, restaurants and a small grocery store, Marché JMC.

The rooms are smallish but nicely decorated with a contemporary chalet vibe and are very clean and include the usual amenities. No in-room coffee but coffee and tea are available all day in the reception area.

The first floor room has a patio with lounge chairs right off the road facing the afternoon sun. While the sun may be pleasant in the winter, this is a ski town, in summer the room is too warm. They do provide a fan in the room.

A simple buffet breakfast is served in the reception area. As we were leaving before the normal breakfast hours they left bread, butter, jam, yogurt, milk and cereal for us. Their regular breakfast may include additional items.

Cantaloupe Restaurant

Cantaloupe Restaurant, recommended by the folks at the Üna Lodge, has a Mediterranean menu and a pleasant terrace.

We started with the Mediterranean dips – a chickpea humus type dip served warm, red pepper with feta, tzatziki, and olives served with pita.

For mains the seafood risotto in a flavorful broth was a little soupier than normal, but the seafood was well cooked. This is a lighter dish, more Italian style and not the cheesy risotto you often find in France.

The moussaka, a beautiful presentation served in a crock, was cold in the center.  The outside was bubbling hot but I had to send it back twice to get it warm in the middle. The dish, topped with a creamy béchamel, included succulent eggplant but the ground beef didn’t have the exotic Greek flavors often found in a good moussaka.

On a Wednesday evening the staff, one server and one cook, was completely overwhelmed by a half empty restaurant and were sending customers away.

August 28, 2019

For links to all the posts in this series see the Chamonix to Zermatt page.