France, Italy, Switzerland
1 week off work
Up to 12 people
Guesthouse · Hotel · Mountain hut
A good level of fitness is needed to manage the 15km a day and serious alpine ascents, but no prior experience is required.
A jam-packed trek through the heart of the Alps as you circumnavigate the Mont Blanc massif on this week-long version of our classic Tour du Mont Blanc trip
Experience rustic, mountain life - remote and authentic – the perfect first foray into long-distance trekking
Ride the cable car from Les Houches to Bellevue and see the Alps in all their glory laid out before you
This trip is brand new
Experienced, English speaking guides
4 nights in remote mountain huts and guesthouses, 2 nights in village hotels
Munch on tasty food throughout
Short transfers during the hike
Flights to and from the meeting point
Travel to and from the start point
Chamonix Sud Bus Station
08:30 on Day 1
17:00 on Day 7
Your adventure will begin at 08:30 on Day 1 when you'll be picked up by your host from Chamonix Sud Bus Station. You should arrive any time the day before the start date, and book a hotel of your choice.
There are regular buses from Geneva Airport and Geneva Bus Station to Chamonix, which take around an hour, or your host can book you a private transfer (see Optional Extras for prices). Alternatively, you can also fly to Milan Airport (LIN).
Your adventure ends at Chamonix at 17:00. You are free to make your own way back to Geneva or Milan airports, or Geneva railway station for those travelling onwards by train. We advise that you book any onward trains from Geneva to depart after 19:30, and any flights from Geneva or Milan to depart after 20:30. You also have the option to stay additional nights in Chamonix.
Air travellers can fly into Geneva Airport (GVA) which is approximately one hour from Chamonix. Alternatively, you can fly into Milan Airport (LIN).
For those who wish to avoid flying, Chamonix is also accessible by train via the St. Gervais-les-Bains (Le Fayet) station at the base of the valley which connects to Chamonix Mont Blanc train station. For example, take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then connect to a number of direct lines or an overnight sleeper train from Paris to St. Gervais-les-Bains, then on to Chamonix Mont Blanc station.
You can also travel to Geneva by various train routes from other parts of Europe and travel on to Chamonix from there by bus. Geneva Bus Station is a 5-minute walk or short taxi ride from the central train station. There are various bus services from Geneva Bus Station to Chamonix, with the quickest option taking 1 hour and 8 minutes.
For those wanting to arrive a day early or extend their trip, your host is happy to recommend pre- or post-trip accommodation in Chamonix.
Guesthouse · Mixed dorm
Guesthouse · Mixed dorm
Hotel · Twin share
Mountain hut · Mixed dorm
Guesthouse · Mixed dorm
Hotel · Mixed dorm
What is the food like?
The mountain huts offer half-board. Breakfasts are usually continental - think juices, teas, coffee, yoghurts, bread and jams. Dinners, meanwhile, are hearty - expect soups, a main course with meat, vegetables and a side dish (rice, polenta, pasta), and dishes like vanilla pudding, crème brulée and fruit salads for dessert. Please note, there is an extra charge for soft and alcoholic drinks.
Your host will also provide healthy packed lunches. They’re big and include sandwiches, wraps or a salad, as well as a selection of fresh fruits, muesli bars, chocolate and nuts (to name a few). All dietary requirements, including vegetarian and vegan, can be catered for: just let your host know in advance.
What is the accommodation like?
During the trek you’ll stay in a series of remote mountain refuges and traditional guesthouses which form a quintessential part of the Tour du Mont Blanc experience. The refuges you'll stay in are:
- Day 1: Gite Le Pontet (Les Contamines)
- Day 2: Refuge des Mottets (Les Chapieux)
- Day 4: Rifugio Elena (Val Ferret)
- Day 5: Gite La Fouly
Each refuge is unique, but you can usually expect hot showers and running water (often in a shared bathroom with a time limit), bunk beds with a pillow and blankets, and a bar with cold drinks. They're basic but friendly and provide an excellent opportunity to get away from civilisation and reconnect with nature (but you can also charge your phone and access free Wi-Fi at many).
On Day 3 you'll stay at Hotel Croux, a family-run hotel in Courmayeur with spectacular views of Mont Blanc. There's a bar, a cosy lounge and even a sauna and Turkish bath to soothe tired trekkers' legs. You'll stay in twin-share rooms.
Hotel La Grande Ourse
Your final night of the trek is spent at Hotel La Grande Ourse in the picturesque village of Trient at the foot of two glaciers and the Col de la Forclaz. You'll stay in mixed dorms, with shared bathrooms and single-sex showers to use. There is a bar and a lovely garden to grab a drink and toast the last stage of your trek.
For travellers looking for their own space, an optional single or double/twin private room can be booked on request for some or all nights (subject to availability). Please note that due to the nature of the refuges, even private rooms are small, and often with shared bathroom facilities. See Optional Extras for prices.
6hrs · 15km · 672m up · 1142m down
Travel to the commune of Les Houches, the traditional start point for the Tour de Mont Blanc, and get your first view of the Chamonix Valley and the Mont Blanc Massif. Ride the cable car to Bellevue and hike to Col de Tricot, crossing the famous suspension bridge over the Bionnay glacier. End the day in the French resort of Les Contamines.
Deeper into the trail
8hrs · 15km · 1274m up · 923m down
Take a moment to explore Notre Dame de la Gorge, an ancient church with a fascinating history dating back to the 14th century. Climb up the Col du Bonhomme and walk through the nature reserve and mountain pass of Savoie County. See the Roman bridge, beautiful mountain lakes and traditional farmhouses (Le Balme), then after lunch, descend to the village of Les Chapieux, where you’ll spend the night.
Hop across to Italy
6.5hrs · 15km · 800m up · 1034m down
Heading straight out of the refuge door in the morning, follow the river as it winds its way through Alpine valleys. Climb up to the Col de la Seigne, 2516 metres above sea level and straddling the French-Italian border. From here you'll descend into Italy's Val Veny, enjoying stunning views of Mont Blanc's southern face. Reach the road at La Visaille, where a short bus ride takes you into the stunning alpine town of Courmayeur where you'll bunk down in a hotel for a spot of extra comfort.
The high 4000s
7.5hrs · 16km · 1171m up · 612m down
Hike through the Val Ferret in this far corner of Italy, right next to the Swiss and French borders. Take in the epic scenery of Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géant and the Grandes Jorasses - all 4000+ metre mountains -towering above you as the trail winds through the valley, eventually reaching your next mountain hut, Rifugio Elena.
Climb to the Grand Col Ferret
6.5hrs · 13km · 600m up · 1005m down
An early start today. Grab a quick bite and coffee at the hut before setting off for the 500 metre climb to the Grand Col Ferret, where you'll step over the border into Switzerland. Another parade of epic alpine vistas awaits as you enter the final stage of your trek, with the trail winding through to the lovely village of La Fouly where you’ll spend the night.
Champex Lac to Trient
6hrs · 14km · 739m up · 873m down
Hop on a short morning bus ride to the beautiful alpine village of Champex Lac, where you can have a morning croissant whilst admiring the reflections in the lake. Hike through the forest to the Alpage Bovine - a traditional alpine farm - to sample cakes and take a break before the descent down to Trient.
The final climb, and back to Chamonix
7hrs · 13km · 875m up · 992m down
Today you'll hike from the village of Trient up towards the French border at the Col de Balme. After a long climb, you are rewarded with the best views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley (where you started from) down below. Descend the other side into the village of Le Tour, where you can enjoy a drink before a short bus ride back to Chamonix where the trip finishes.
15% Off Outdoor Gear
What do I need to bring?
- Backpack (35 to 40 litre)
- Hiking boots (strong and waterproof with a high ankle)
- Hiking poles (recommended but not essential - can be rented from your host)
- Warm clothes – jumpers, hats, gloves
- Shorts and t-shirts (bring lots of layers, preferably synthetics)
- Trainers for the evenings
- Waterproof and windproof jacket and trousers
- Sun protection – sunglasses, sun cream, lip balm
- 2-litre camelback for water, or 2 x 1-litre reusable bottles
- Small quick-drying towel
- Sleeping bag liner (silk or cotton)
You will be carrying your own kit and lunch, so the key is to pack light!
Payable In Resort
Geneva Airport Transfer, one way, per person
Payable Before Departure
Geneva Airport Transfer, one way, per person
We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.
What's the number?
It works out on average at 149kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.
The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.
But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:
- Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
- A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
- 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.
What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.
Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.
This trek is no easy feat – so you’ll need to be in good physical shape and able to hike between 6-8 hours per day (equating 10 to 16km) with 1000m ascents/descents. That said, it's a great trip for those who are new to long-distance hiking as no previous experience is required.
Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Warm and sunny, but prone to turn a little chilly in the altitude. Snow is possible, as are thunderstorms (particularly in the late afternoon in August).
Yes. Excess luggage not required on the trip can be stored. There is a storage fee of 25.00 EUR per bag which needs to be stored during the hike. This can be paid in cash at the time. Please let your host know in advance if you have excess luggage so that they can plan the logistics accordingly.
If you would prefer to just hike with a small day pack, don't want to think about your luggage and what to pack, there is a luggage transfer service available for a fee. The luggage transportation service is available on 8 out of 9 nights: this means that you'll need to carry things for just one overnight stay. The rest of your luggage gets transported during the day to the next destination. You'll need to pack your luggage in a duffle bag, to prevent any damage or loss to your belongings. We do not have a size restriction of the bags but the weight is limited to 15kg per bag.
See Optional Extras for prices.
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.
Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.
We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.
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