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Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc

Encircle Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, as you trek through Italy, France and Switzerland. 10 days.

I'M UP FOR
Wild Hikes
DURATION
9 Nights
DIFFICULTY
Challenging
COMFORT
Basic
LOCATION
France, Italy
SEASON
June—September
NEAREST AIRPORT

Trek through the heart of the Alps. You’ll circumnavigate Mont Blanc massif, pass through Italian, Swiss and French villages and experience rustic, mountain life. Remote and authentic, it’s the perfect first foray into long-distance trekking.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 10 days trekking through the Alps
  • Local, certified guide
  • Transport during trip
  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel
  • All meals
  • 9 nights’ accommodation in guest houses, mountain huts, hostels or bed and breakfasts
  • Cable car ride on day 1 (from Les Houches to Bellevue)

Perfect for:
This is a challenging route. You’ll need good physical fitness and the ability to walk for between 15 to 20km and make ascensions of 1000m per day. That said, it’s great for beginners.

Need To Know

You’ll sample a range of local specialities. The mountain huts always offer half-board, which means you get breakfast and a three-course dinner. Breakfasts are usually continental; think juices, teas, coffee, yoghurts, bread and jams.

Meanwhile, dinners are hearty. Expect soups for the starter, a main course with meat, vegetables and a side dish (rice, polenta, pasta), and for dessert, dishes like vanilla pudding, crème brulée and fruit salads. Please note there is an extra charge for soft and alcoholic drinks.

Your hosts will provide healthy packed lunches. They’re big and include treats like 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 can be catered for, but please let them know beforehand.

Warm and sunny, but prone to turn a little chilly in the altitude. Snow is likely, as are thunderstorms (particularly in the late afternoon in August).

Hiking poles can be provided.

You should bring:

  • Warm clothes – jumpers, hats, gloves
  • Sun protection – glasses, sun cream, lip balm
  • Shorts, tee shirts (bring lots of layers, preferably synthetics)
  • Trainers
  • Water and windproof jacket and trousers
  • 35 to 40-litre backpack
  • Toiletries
  • Swimsuit/bikini/swimming trunks

In terms of equipment, you should bring:

  • 2-litre camelback for water/tea
  • Small quick-drying towel
  • Hiking boots (Strong and waterproof with a high ankle)
  • Hut sleeping bag liner (made of silk or cotton)

Yes, of course. Loads of people do and it’s a great to meet like-minded fellow adventurers. Just note that you’ll be staying in dormitories, although there is the option to book a private single room for 425 EUR if you prefer.

This is no easy feat – you’ll need to be in good physical shape, be able to hike between 6-8 hours per day (equating 10 to 16km) and make 1000m ascensions/descents. That said, it’s good for beginners.

Your hosts have not included the following in the price:

  • Flights into GVA/MXP
  • Airport transfers to CHX (Chamonix)
  • Hiking equipment
  • Luggage transfer (available on 9/10 stages) can be booked for 250 EUR per person
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • Hotel on arrival day and last day of the trekking

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Location

View map

The TMB hike is one of Europe’s best-loved. It encircles come of the area’s most breathtaking peaks and posits the chance to see an abundance of wildlife, such as marmots, mountain goats (chamois), ibexes, stone eagles, pilgrim falcons and even vultures.

Meanwhile, Chamonix itself is a beautiful mountain village known for its plethora of outdoor adventure activities. Located in France and very close to Switzerland and Italy, the resort has an international identity. It’s surrounded by mountains, glaciers, pine forests and untouched landscapes.

Start point

Chamonix at 08:00

Your adventure will begin at 08:00 on Day 1 when you’ll be picked up by your host from your hotel in Chamonix. You should arrive any time the day before the start date, and book a hotel of your choice.

We recommend you fly into Geneva Airport (GVA). It takes approximately one hour to get from Geneva Airport to Chamonix. Alternatively you can also fly into Milan Airport (LIN).

Finish point

Chamonix at 17:00

Your adventure ends at Chamonix at 17:00. You are free to make your own way back to Geneva / Milan Airport, and get any flight departing after 20:30, or stay for longer in Chamonix.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival in Chamonix

Meet your guides in your hotel’s lobby, hop in the minivan and head towards Les Houches, the start of the TMB route. You’ll take a cable car up to Bellevue where you’ll have a gentle start to the trek. Trek to Col de Tricot, passing over the famous suspension bridge over the Bionnay glacier and to the French resort Les Contamines, where you’ll spend the night.

15.3km, 716m ascent, 1348m descent

Day 2: Experience Authentic and Ancient France

Begin the day in Les Contamines, in the centre of the village. Before setting off, you’ll get a chance to stop and explore Notre Dame de la Gorge, an ancient church with a great history starting in the 14th century. Then climb up to the Col du Bonhomme, you’ll walk through Savoie county and its nature reserve and mountain pass. You’ll see a Roman bridge, beautiful mountain lakes and traditional farmhouses (Le Balme). After lunch, make your descent into the village of Les Chapieux, where you’ll spend the night.

17.8km, 1339m ascent, 963m descent

Day 3: Trek into Italy

Trek along the river and climb up to the Col de la Seigne, which straddles the French-Italian border and stands at 2516 meters above sea level. Then make your way back down to the Cabane du Combal, where you’ll rest up.

14.7km, 800m ascent, 1034m descent

Day 4: Reach the Alp’s 4000-metre peaks

Experience some of the route’s most beautiful views as you trek from Cabane du Combal to Courmayeur. Eventually, you’ll reach the crescendo of the path and be rewarded with panoramic views of the range’s famous 4000-meter peaks. Hike to the village of Courmayeur, where you can take some time to explore before taking a bus to your accommodation for the night, La Palud.

11.3km, 500m ascent, 1283m descent

Day 5: Last Day in Italy

After spending the night in a hotel recharging, jump up and follow the TMB through the Italian Val Ferret and into Switzerland. You’ll be treated to views of Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géants and the Grandes Jorasses massif. Arrive at your mountain hut, Refuge Elena.

16km, 1171m ascent, 612m descent

Day 6: Trek to Switzerland

Wake up early and start the journey into Switzerland. Climb 500 meters to the Grand Col Ferret, the Italian-Swiss border. Then descend into Switzerland and the final stage, a small village called La Fouly where you’ll stay overnight.

13.1km, 600m ascent, 1005m descent

Day 7: Amble Through La Fouly and Champex

Significantly easier than other days, today you’ll wake up later than usual and gently walk through the area’s rolling, green valleys. See quaint villages and rustic farmhouses, before arriving in Champex, a picturesque Swiss mountain resort.

16.6km, 617m ascent, 781m descent

Day 8: Optional Routes to Trient

There are two options for today: one is to 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 the highest up yet. Both routes end in a small village called Trient where your accommodation, Refuge Le Peuty, awaits.

13.8km, 739m ascent, 873m descent

Day 9: Penultimate Trek to Argentière

From Trient you will travel to the Col de Balme, the Swiss-French border, which is at an altitude of 2190 meters. You’ll be immersed in wonderful views as you traverse the Aiguille du Midi and cross into the Aiguilette de Possettes. After a while, you’ll arrive in Tré-le-Champ.

13.1km, 875m ascent, 992m descent

Day 10: Trek back to Chamonix

For your final day, you’ll trek from Tré-le-Champ over the Grand Balcon Sud, over the Lac Blanc before heading to either Flégère or from Planpraz. Take the cable car down or walk back to Chamonix.

15.1km, 1041m ascent, 1357m descent

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

You will experience the mountain lifestyle and sleep in authentic places. You’ll be staying in a range of mountain huts and guests houses in the mountains, including:

  • Day 1: Gite Le Pontet (Les Contamines)
  • Day 2: Refuge des Mottets (Les Chapieux)
  • Day 3: Cabane du Combal (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: Refuge Le Peuty (Trient)
  • Day 9: Auberge La Boerne (Argentière)

You’ll be staying in dormitories, although there is the option to book a private double/twin room for 350 EUR per person and a single for 425 EUR. Please note that even if you do get a private room, it will not be like a hotel one. The accommodation includes services such as electricity, hot showers and running water, bunk beds with a pillow and blanket, and a bar with cold drinks.

The accommodation offers many services such as a hot shower and running water (usually in a shared bathroom on the floor, sometimes restricted with a time limit), bunk beds with a pillow and blankets (packing a thin and light sleeping bag liner is advisable for hygienic reasons), a bar with cold drinks. In almost every place there is electricity to charge your batteries and Wi-Fi for free.

The refuges have a social and fun atmosphere. You’ll unwind in the mountains or in typical, tiny villages. It’s basic but friendly and provides an excellent opportunity to get away from civilisation and reconnect with nature.

Dates & Prices

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Prices include

Accommodation · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Routes & Maps · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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