Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc

Trek through Italy, France and Switzerland on one of the world’s great hikes

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Trip Ref #9605

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc

Trek through Italy, France and Switzerland on one of the world’s great hikes

DURATION

9 nights

LOCATION

France, Italy, Switzerland

ANNUAL LEAVE

10 days off work

SEASON

Jun-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Central Chamonix

ACCOMMODATION

Guesthouse · Mountain hut

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

Make no mistake, with 15-20km a day and some serious alpine ascents, you will need good fitness, and ideally multi-day hiking experience

Trek across three countries and through the heart of the Alps as you circumnavigate the Mont Blanc massif

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

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Kendra, June 2022

    Wonderful trip - exceeded expectations! A fun group and knowledgeable and friendly local host who handled all the details.

    Richard, June 2022

    A fabulous trip through the most spectacular scenery. Unforgettable experience, great local host, lovely fellow hikers, I want to go back again soon!

    Jon, June 2022

    Awesome trip with spectacular views, great accommodation and lovely group of people. Our guide Joel was exceptional and had a wealth of local knowledge and experience. A truly unforgettable experience.

    Michael, June 2022

    A really enjoyable hike with an excellent guide. It will live long in the memory...............

    James, June 2022

    When it says it is challenging, it really is, do make sure you are fit enough for it, and pack light!

    Gergely, September 2021

    Fantastic trek - great views, the right amount of challenging hikes, awesome variety of landscape, food and environments.

    Anshu, August 2019

    Everything was great.

    Lenka Moore, September 2018

    Great food, great company, the highlight was our guide, Jack! Knowledgable, competent and very funny.

    Gearoid Conerney, September 2018

    Excellent guide, great food and fantastic trekking.

    Kirsty Clancy, September 2018

    Literally, EVERYTHING was great!! our guide Jack was amazing, the hosts Raffael and Anya were just so welcoming and I was lucky enough to have the best group you could wish for. And the terrain and selection of hiking areas were spot on.

    Included

    Guides

    Experienced, English speaking guides

    Accommodation

    9 nights in remote mountain huts and guesthouses

    Meals

    Munch on tasty food throughout

    Transfers

    To and from Chamonix

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Chamonix Sud bus station

    08:00 on Day 1

    Ends

    Chamonix

    17:00 on Day 10

    Transfers

    Your adventure will begin at 08:00 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

    Travel options

    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, 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.

    Day 1

    Guesthouse · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2 – Day 4

    Guesthouse · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 5

    Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 6 – Day 7

    Guesthouse · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 8

    Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 9

    Guesthouse · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 10

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    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?

    The Alps

    You’ll stay in remote mountain huts and traditional guesthouses.

    • Day 1: Gite Le Pontet (Les Contamines)
    • Day 2: Refuge des Mottets (Les Chapieux)
    • Day 3: Rifugio Monte Bianco (Val Veny)
    • Day 4: Hotel Croux (Courmayeur)
    • Day 5: Rifugio Elena (Val Ferret)
    • Day 6: Hotel Edelweiss (La Fouly)
    • Day 7: Pension en Plein Air (Champex)
    • Day 8: Hotel la Grande Ourse or Refuge Le Peuty (Trient)
    • Day 9: Auberge La Boerne (Argentière)

    Each 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).

    Upgrades

    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 Extra for prices.

    Day 1

    Chamonix

    Hiking

    6hrs · 15km · 672m up · 1142m down

    Travel to the commune of Les Houches, 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.

    Day 2

    France

    Hiking

    8hrs · 15km · 1274m up · 923m down

    Take a moment to explore Notre Dame de la Gorge, an ancient church with a fascinating history that dates back to the 14th century. Climb up the 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.

    Day 3

    Italy

    Hiking

    6.5hrs · 15km · 800m up · 1034m down

    Follow the river as it winds its way through Alpine valleys and climb up to the Col de la Seigne, 2516 meters above sea level and straddling the French-Italian border. From there, make your way back down to the Rifugio Monte Bianco, where you can rest up and take in the views.

    Day 4

    The high 4000’s

    Hiking

    6hrs · 11km · 500m up · 1283m down

    Experience some of the route’s most beautiful views (and that's saying something) as you trek from Rifugio Monte Bianco to Courmayeur. Fall silent as you see the range’s famous 4000-meter peaks and explore the village of Courmayeur, where you'll stay tonight.

    Day 5

    Refuge Elena

    Hiking

    7.5hrs · 16km · 1171m up · 612m down

    Hike through the Val Ferret on the Italy/Swiss border. See Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géants and the Grandes Jorasses massif in the distance, before arriving at your mountain hut, Refuge Elena with views over two countries.

    Day 6

    The Grand Col Ferret

    Hiking

    6.5hrs · 13km · 600m up · 1005m down

    Wake up early and climb 500 meters to the Grand Col Ferret and step over the border into Switzerland. It's now time for the final stage of your trek, beginning with a hike to the lovely village of La Fouly where you’ll spend the night.

    Day 7

    Amble through La Fouly

    Hiking

    5hrs · 17km · 617m up · 781m down

    Enjoy a (significantly) easier day as you walk through rolling, green valleys. See quaint villages and rustic farmhouses, before arriving in the picturesque Swiss mountain resort of Champex.

    Day 8

    Trient

    Hiking

    6hrs · 14km · 739m up · 873m down

    There are two options today: take the hard route over the Fenetre d’Arpette, or the slightly easier (official) one over Bovine. Both are beautiful, but the harder route takes you to the highest point so far with views to match. Whichever you choose, you’ll end the day in the small village of Trient where your accommodation awaits.

    Day 9

    The Col de Balme

    Hiking

    7hrs · 13km · 875m up · 992m down

    Travel to the Col de Balme marking the Swiss-French border at an altitude of 2190 meters. Lose yourself in the views of the Aiguille du Midi and Aiguilette de Possettes and finish the day in Tré-le-Champ.

    Day 10

    Back to Chamonix

    Hiking

    7.5hrs · 15km · 1041m up

    Trek over the Grand Balcon Sud and past the Lac Blanc, before heading to either Flégère or Planpraz. If you’re keen for more, hike back to Chamonix, or alternatively ride the cable car one last time, before your epic trek comes to an end.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What do I need to bring?

    • 35 to 40-litre backpack
    • 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, tee shirts (bring lots of layers, preferably synthetics)
    • Trainers for the evenings
    • Water and windproof jacket and trousers
    • Sun protection – glasses, sun cream, lip balm
    • Toiletries
    • Swimwear
    • 2-litre camelback for water or 2 x 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!

    One Night Private Room - Double / Twin Occupancy

    Payable Before Departure

    One Night Private Room - Double / Twin Occupancy

    Per Night

    One Night Private Room - Solo Occupancy

    Payable Before Departure

    One Night Private Room - Solo Occupancy

    Per Night

    Luggage Transfer - Single Bag, max 15kg

    Payable Before Departure

    Luggage Transfer - Single Bag, max 15kg

    Walking Poles

    Payable In Resort

    Walking Poles

    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. You'll need to carry your own main pack during the trek (unless you book the luggage transfer service - see Optional Extras) which further adds to the challenge. If you have not undertaken multi-day treks before then we recommend doing some walking weekends with a weighted backpack beforehand and putting in some physical preparation as the day-after-day exertion can take its toll. That said, it's a great trip for those who are new to long-distance hiking with no previous technical hiking experience 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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