You’ll need to be in good shape and capable of hiking between 15-20km each day with a pack on your back and gains of as much as 1000m.
Trek through Italy, Switzerland and France in just four days, bedding down in Alpine mountain huts along the way
Hike the twin valleys of Val Ferret with its vantage point over Mont Blanc, Dent du Géants and the Grandes Jorasses
Ascend the Col de Balme (2190m) and traverse to L'Aiguillettes des Posettes for inspiring views of Mont Blanc
Hike up to Rifugio Walter Bonatti
After meeting your hosts at either Geneva Airport or Les Houches, you'll be driven through the tunnel to Plampincieux, just outside of Courmayeur on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. From there you’ll ascend into the Val Ferret heading towards the Italian-Swiss border, the trail providing inspiring views of Mont Blanc, Dent du Géants, and the Grandes Jorasses massif. You’ll reach the Rifugio Walter Bonatti high up in valley in time for a hearty dinner with your fellow hikers.
Start the morning with an invigorating ascent up to Grand Col Ferret (2536m), crossing from Italy into Switzerland. This is one of the most challenging passes on the TMB route, a long steady climb with incredible views of Val Ferret, Mont Dolent and the Swiss side of the valley. From the top of the pass you'll take the more gradual, long descent down to La Fouly village, stopping at a traditional dairy farm along the way with the chance to sample some of the local produce. From La Fouly you’ll be driven to Champex for the night.
Hike to Trient
Today you’ll hike up and over the mountains via the classic Bovine route to Trient. This winding forest trail leads you up past mountain streams to the Bovine Refuge and the high alpages, where you are rewarded with spectacular views of the Rhone Valley. Make sure to stop for a slice of the best cake the region has to offer! From the top of Bovine you'll descend down the wooded trail to the Col de la Forclaz. Shortly after you'll be able to enjoy deep valley views from a boardwalk, looking down on Trient and it's famous pink church. From there it's a short section down to the village and your well earned rest for the night.
Trient to Tré-le-Champ and departure
In the morning you’ll ascend Col de Balme (2190m), your last long ascent of this route, to be rewarded with an expansive vista down the Chamonix Valley towards Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi. You’ll then traverse round to another excellent view point, L'Aiguillettes des Posettes, and descend through peaceful glades and forests to Tré-le-Champ.
Usually the hike is finished around 15:30 and you arrive back in central Chamonix via the valley bus. There is just time for a quick celebration drink with the group before your shared bus transfer departs at around 17:00 for Geneva Airport, for those heading off that day.
Professional, experienced and friendly English-speaking IML certified guides
3 nights staying in alpine mountain refuges
Breakfast and dinner will be served up with picnic lunches on the trail
Transfers to and from Geneva airport
Pillows and blankets are provided at the refuges. Trekking poles are available for hire.
Flights to and from the meeting point
Visas where required
Day 2 – Day 3
What is the food like?
Breakfasts and dinners will be served at the refuges. Breakfasts always include coffee, bread, jam and butter. Depending on the refuge, they may also include orange juice, cereal, yoghurt, fruit, cheese and meats. Dinners are hearty and served in large portions – just what a hungry hiker needs! Typical meals include a soup starter, a main course of meat and veggies with a side of grains or pasta, and a dessert like vanilla pudding or creme brûlée. Picnic lunches will be provided each day, featuring a large main item like a sandwich or wrap, a salad, and a selection of fruit, muesli bars, chocolate, nuts, etc.
Vegetarian, vegan and most other dietary requirements (including gluten-free) can be catered for with advanced notice. Just let your host know when booking. Whilst dietary needs are sent to each refuge with the group reservations, please consider that the mountain refuges will have a limited range of choice to offer guests due to their remote locations. People with very specific dietary requirements typically choose to also bring some of their own snacks with them to ensure they have sufficient fuel for hiking up and down the beautiful mountain trails.
What is the accommodation like?
On the trek
You’ll be staying at authentic mountain refuges. The accommodation is simple, clean and comfortable. Groups typically sleep in mixed dormitory rooms of up to 20 persons, usually in bunk or single beds. They feature hot showers, running water, pillows and blankets, and a bar serving cold drinks. Most refuges also have outlets for charging your electronics, and some even have WiFi. Some refuges are more modern in style, some are more traditional, some are busy throughout the hiking season while others are not; it's the refuge's location and its remoteness that largely decides what comforts and conveniences are available. It's best to keep your expectations simple and enjoy the time on the trail to unplug from everyday life.
Upgrades are not available within the mountain refuges used on this trip. However, if you'd like a little more comfort between hikes, check out our adventure Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc in a Long Weekend: The Hotels Edition.
Geneva International Airport, Switzerland
Catch any flight arriving by 10:30 on Day 1
Geneva International Airport, Switzerland
Catch any flight departing 20:30 onwards on Day 4
To take advantage of the airport transfers included at the start of the trip, you'll need to arrive into Geneva Airport no later than 10:30 on Day 1 – your transfer will depart for Chamonix at 11:30 sharp. It takes around one hour to get from Geneva to Chamonix. Your return transfer will arrive at Geneva Airport at around 18:30 on Day 4, so you'll need to book flights departing from 20:30 onwards.
If making your own way to Chamonix, you will need to be at Les Houches Marie, by the TMB Archway next to the tourism office, at 12:15 on Day 1. The group transfer will stop at Les Houches on the way from Geneva Airport to the Mont Blanc Tunnel and do a pick up there for those already in the Chamonix area. Les Houches is easily reachable from central Chamonix using the local bus network, there is also a local train service which links the valley.
The latest possible joining time for this trip is either 11:30 at Geneva Airport or 12:15 at Les Houches Tourism Office, even in the event of a flight delay. If you arrive beyond these times, it will not be possible to catch up with the group on Day 1. Therefore, you may wish to arrive a day early and overnight at an airport hotel or spend some time in Chamonix before your trip gets underway (Geneva Airport (GVA) is approximately one hour from Chamonix).
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 five-minute walk or short taxi ride from the central train station. There are various bus services from Geneva bus station to Chamonix, the quickest option taking 1 hour and 8 minutes.
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What's available to hire?
- Trekking poles (see Optional Extras for prices)
What do I need to bring?
You'll be carrying all you need for the four day trip on your back, so don't over pack but also don't skip the essentials. Hiking in the Alps even in the peak of summer you can have very mixed conditions, both hot and cold, especially when climbing over the high mountain passes.
- 30-50L backpack with waist belt (plus a rain cover)
- A Pack Liner or Dry Bag is also good protection in case of rain
- Sleeping bag liner (cotton or silk). This is very important as it's a mandatory requirement at the mountain refuges. Pillows and blankets are provided by the refuges.
- Sunglasses and Sunscreen (SPF 50+ recommended due to altitude)
- Hydration/Electrolyte tablets
- Preferred snacks for the trail
- 2L water bottle(s)
- Toiletries and personal first aid items
- Swim suit
- Earplugs and Eye Mask (recommended)
- Cash (EUR) for drinks, snacks along the trail, tips etc.
- Plug adaptor and/or battery pack to charge electrical devices (note Switzerland uses a different standard to the rest of Europe)
- Waterproof Jacket (with hood) and Trousers
- Primaloft or Down Jacket
- Fleece or merino pullover or sweater
- Synthetic or merino wool base layers
- Warm hat and gloves (really important in mixed weather conditions)
- Sunhat or cap
- Synthetic shirts and trousers (zip-off preferable) for hiking
- Comfortable shirt and trousers for the refuges
- 2+ pairs of hiking socks, wool or synthetic
- Sturdy hiking boots or shoes (worn in)
- Comfortable light shoes for around the refuge
Payable In Resort
First time hiking in the Alps and it was truly epic. This trip is a great option if you're looking for an adventure consisting of several back to back hiking days, well organised and the pace is very manageable too with a good amount of breaks.
Great guide and beautiful vistas, a 10/10 experience!
A Challenge To Remember Me and my friend booked this as a epic challenge and this trip didn't disapoint. It's worth noting you need to be in moderate to high fitness to comfortably complete this, and manage about 7-10KG on your back. If you can I'd get in the day before and make sure your well rested for the first day, as the trip starts off with a upward hike. I arrived on the day landing on a very early flight so if I would do it again I would arrive the day before. Pack snacks, food is varied and I would like to see MBA improve here. Also, don't book the very last trip of the season as many places for cake which i think you would normally visit were closed. None the less, you'll experience epic views and tired legs, but Dave our guide was excellent, and supportive and you'll end up making amazing memories!
I was hiking a Tour de Month Blanc. Unfortunately the weather conditions weren’t great so I believe we’ve lost most of the gorgeous views that this tracking can offer. But definitely I would come back and do it once again. In terms of the organisation there are definitely place for improvement. Lunches during the day were very poor and not very nutrition so make sure you have some snacks with you. Another disadvantage was the fact there was only one tour guide and slower group was left at the back with no care. Generally I would super recommend the trail, it’s a stunning area and people I’ve meet were amazing.
A challenging trip with the potential for excellent views. There is a huge amount of uphill and descent so be clear that you can do the advertised mileage and more as the itinerary wasn’t always followed. Lunches were disappointing and you will need earplugs for the refuges but they are warm and dry. The group was excellent and we had fun together despite some challenges. I would recommend going earlier in the season (we went mid sept) as lots of the advertised food stops etc had already closed.
If you are confident in your level of fitness go for it but this is a demanding, challenging trek and shouldn't be undertaken lightly. You will have to dig deep. The reward is wonderful scenery, friendship and camaraderie and a strong sense of achievement once completed.
Well organised and a great local guide with detailed knowledge of the history of the area. Some lovely refuges especially in Trient and the view of Mont Blanc made the effort worthwhile.
Great trip despite some challenging weather conditions at times! All worth it for the views of Mont Blanc on the last day.
Absolutely fantastic trip and i’d highly recommend to anyone.
The weather when we were there wasn’t great with horizontal rain and snow but despite that we had a great time. The group were all amazing and everyone got on really well!
Had such a great time on this trip. The group was large (15 people) but everyone was absolutely lovely - this is essential when you are practically sharing one giant bed in 2 out of 3 of the hostels! A strange but hilarious and memorable experience. It was colder than expected, especially at the top of the mountains, so bring everything on the kit list plus gloves and a hat or buff. Bring euros for coffee/snacks as most places don't accept card. The views were incredible and the hiking was super enjoyable. I had a great experience and would definitely book with MBA again! One thing to note is to prepare for a long drive on day 1 - we had to queue a long time for the tunnel through to the start of the hike and unfortunately our hiking got cut short that day. Make sure you have water and food with you on day 1. But I think this is only a problem in high season.
Fantastic holiday that exceeded expectations with a fantastic group, guide and delicious mountain food. Loved the regular cafe/mountain hut stops and mountain picnics with stunning views!
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 56kg 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 2023 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 trip is suitable for experienced hikers in good shape. You'll need to be able to hike 15–20km on mountain trails, with as much as 1000m of elevation gain and descent, each day. You will be carrying your own overnight pack between the refuges, so should be confident hiking with a 30-50L pack for multiple days. Doing some practice hikes before the trip with your pack and boots is strongly recommended to help you prepare for this adventure!
Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Summer around Mont Blanc is generally warm and fair, but the weather can change very quickly in the high mountains, bringing cold rain and wind. Average temperatures range from 6 to 26 °C. It rains roughly half of the days each month, but storms generally pass through quickly. Even in the peak of summer you can have very mixed conditions, especially when climbing over the high mountain passes above 2000m. Heatwaves have also been a feature of recent European summers. Our kit list is intended to guide you on what to pack for this trip.
Yes, you will be carrying your own 30-50L pack between the refuges, with everything you need for the four day trek. So don't over pack, a lighter pack will be more enjoyable, but also don't skip the essentials and risk getting caught out in bad weather. It's a good idea to do some hiking before the trip so you are comfortable with the gear you plan to bring on the trek. Check out our kit list section for the basics to consider putting in your pack.
Yes. Any excess luggage that you don't need during the trek can be stored for the entire trip. There is a storage fee of 25.00 EUR per bag; 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.
Yes, of course! If you decide to make your own way to Chamonix or spend a few days there beforehand you are more than welcome to do this, just make sure you let your host know in advance.
The meeting point is at Les Houches by the TMB Archway next to the tourism office, at 12:15 on Day 1. This is a short local bus journey from central Chamonix. See the Getting There section for more details.
If you are unable to join the included transfer from Geneva Airport at 11:30 on Day 1 due to flight delays, contact your host as soon as possible. Whilst it may not be possible to catch up with the group on the first day, with an overnight stay in either Chamonix or Courmayeur it may be possible to connect with the on the morning of Day 2 in Val Ferret before they ascend over the pass into Switzerland. Your host will be best placed to advise you in this situation.
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.
Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.
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.
You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.
Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.
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