Classic Tour du Mont Blanc

Europe > France

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the classic trekking journeys in the world, covering 166km with 10,000m of ascent and descent.

 

Standing on the border of France, Switzerland and Italy, at 4810m above sea level, Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe. Our route takes us over varied terrain including rugged cols, high alpine meadows and conifer forests. You will see plenty of alpine flowers, and are likely to see marmots, chamois, ibex and birds of prey. As well as Mont Blanc, you should have fantastic views of many other famous peaks in the area: the Domes de Miage, the Aiguille Verte, the Aiguille du Chardonnet, the Grandes Jorasses, Mont Dolent and the Grand Combin amongst others.

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Day 1: ARRIVE IN CHAMONIX

Our trip begins in the famous mountain town of Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc. We meet the group at 6pm for a trip briefing followed by our evening meal.

Overnight 3* Hotel, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 2: TRANSFER TO LES HOUCHES. TREK TO LES CONTAMINES

We start in Les Houches with a cable car ride on the Bellevue lift. We then cross the
spectacular suspension bridge at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier, and we have several route choices to take us to Les Contamines. We usually cross the Col de Tricot, with a coffee stop at the Chalet de Miages at the foot of the mighty Dome de Miages, but if the weather is bad we can take a lower level route. We stay in a lovely 3* hotel in Les Contamines.

Overnight 3* Hotel, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 3: TREK FROM LES CONTAMINES TO LES CHAPIEUX

Today we trek up the old Roman road to the chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge. From here it’s uphill, past the Chalet de Barme (if we’re doing well for time, it’s a perfect coffee stop!) and up to the Col de Bonhomme (2328m) for a well-earned lunch stop. We then we have a gentle climb to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme (2478m), from where we have a great view towards the Vanoise National Park. Next we have a 2-hour walk down to Les Chapieux, and stay in a lovely chambre d’hôte.

Overnight Guesthouse, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 4: TREK OVER THE COL DE LA SEIGNE TO COURMAYEUR

Firstly we take a minibus to avoid walking the tarmac section up to the Ville des Glaciers. From here we cross the river and head to the Refuge des Mottets, from where we start the climb up to the Col de la Seigne (2516m). From here the scenery changes again – you’ve reached Italy! We have fantastic views down into the Val Veny and over to the Val Ferret, and you start to see the Italian side of Mont Blanc and the other Chamonix giants. A descent past the Elisabetta hut takes us to La Visaille, where we take a bus down to the traditional Italian town of Courmayeur, where we stay in a good quality, central hotel.

Overnight Hotel, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 5: TREK FROM COURMAYEUR TO THE RIFUGIO BONATTI

We start the steep walk up to the Bertone hut and the Mont de la Saxe ridge. If the weather is good and there is not too much snow, we can take the lesser-travelled variant to the Mont de la Saxe ridge, up the Tête de la Tronche, and then down steeply to the Col Sapin. We then have a descent, followed by another climb to the Col Entre Deux Sauts: it’s a fairly long, but really stunning day – not many people, plus breathtaking scenery. We overnight at the delightful Rifugio Bonatti, from where you can watch the beautiful sunset behind Mont Blanc.

Overnight Mountain Refuge, No Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 6: TREK FROM THE BONATTI HUT TO LA FOULY

Today we trek over the Grand Col Ferret (one of the highest cols on the trip at 2537m). We are rewarded with stunning views of the Grandes Jorasses, the Grand Combin and Mont Dolent (the summit of which is on the border of France, Switzerland and Italy). At the top of the col we cross over into Switzerland, where the scenery changes yet again. If we’re doing well for time we might stop for a coffee at La Peule. Here we leave the signposted TMB and head to La Fouly via a higher balcony path. La Fouly is an alpine village with traditional Swiss “chocolate box” chalets, and we stay in a hotel.

Overnight Hotel (Dinner)

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Day 7: LA FOULY TO CHAMPEX

A much shorter day today has us winding through beautiful Swiss alpine meadows, tiny rural villages and finally up to the beautiful alpine resort of Champex, nestled alongside the lake that gives it its name. Here we stay in a traditional hotel, with simple rooms but wonderful food.

Overnight 3* Hotel, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 8: HIKE FROM CHAMPEX TO TRIENT

If we’re feeling fit and the weather is good, we can take the Fenêtre d’Arpette, the highest col on the TMB at 2665m. It’s a fantastic route with stunning views of the Trient glacier. If we want to be a little more relaxed, we can take the normal route via Bovine to the Col de la Forclaz - our guide will make the decision according to the weather conditions and fitness of the group. We then continue down to the valley of Trient, our Swiss base for the night.

Overnight Auberge, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 9: TRIENT TO ARGENTIERE

Today our plan is to take another variant from the official TMB – a lesser-travelled route via Les Grands. There are much better views from this route, and there are usually not many people, so it’s worth the extra time and effort. If the weather is bad then we might just take the normal TMB. Either route takes us to the Col de Balme, where we are back in France at the head of the Chamonix valley. From here we have a short climb to the Aiguillette des Posettes, and we descend to Argentière via the hamlet of Tré-le- Champ.

Overnight Hotel, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 10: TREK FROM ARGENTIERE VIA THE LAC DES CHESERYS TO CHAMONIX

We make the short walk back to Tré-le-Champ and hike up to the beautiful Lacs des Chéserys, with simply the best views of Mont Blanc. This is one of the best walks in the Chamonix valley, and we use a series of ladders and chains to skirt the cliffs – this is nothing to worry about and is not difficult! We then traverse to the Flégère and finish the day with the Grand Balcon Sud a wonderful balcony walk with endless Mont Blanc views. We take the Planpraz cable car down to Chamonix and our comfortable hotel

Overnight Hotel, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 11: CHAMONIX TO LES HOUCHES

Today we take the cable car back up to Planpraz to resume walking at the same point we finished at yesterday. We climb up to the Col du Brévent and then up to the Brévent summit with excellent views of Mont Blanc. To complete our Tour du Mont Blanc, we descend via Merlet to reach Les Houches, and take a transfer back to our hotel in Chamonix.

Overnight Hotel, Luggage Access (Dinner)

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Day 12: DEPART CHAMONIX

Our trip finishes after breakfast.

(Breakfast)

Accommodations

AUBERGE

MOUNTAIN REFUGE

  • Meals per itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Beverage during meals
  • Tipping
  • Personal expenses (like laundry and internet connection at hotels)

Pricing starts at:

$3,500

Pricing
FOR 2 PEOPLE

$3,500

per person

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