Forget the image of an outdated, uncomfortable refuge. This temporary place of respite is also a lively place where trekkers and caretakers share their deep values for one night. 

Do you want to spend a magical night in an exceptional setting? Follow our advice to transform the experience into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Before leaving 

Reserving your accommodation at the refuge is indispensable during peak seasons and can be done just by ringing, emailing, or reserving online. Let them know the date and your approximate time of arrival. If the refuge is full or you’ll be bivouacking, the caretaker will let you know if you can set up a tent near the refuge within a well-defined zone.

Arriving at the refuge

Do not arrive too late. Try to be there at least 30 minutes before dinner. The first thing to do is introduce yourself to the caretaker. They will let you know where to put your bags and give you slippers to help maintain cleanliness.

Randonnée au refuge de Varan au dessus de Passy avec vue sur le massif du Mont-Blanc

Evening time

Life at the refuge is based on conviviality. The set meal is concocted with seasonal products and features local producers. Pay attention to the service times and do not hesitate to lend a hand when cleaning up. Tell the caretaker about any food allergies or intolerances you have when reserving.


Refuges have bunk beds. Some also have family rooms. You must respect the other occupants and keep your possessions tidy.

Refuge de Platé au Désert de Platé


Refuges function autonomously. They use either rainwater catchments or reserves. Power comes from solar panels. Do not waste these resources. Quick showers and charging devices ahead of time is best for everyone involved. You need to take your rubbish back home with you.


When you are ready to leave after a good night’s sleep in the mountains, let the caretaker know.


Have a great hike!


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