THERE'S MORE WHERE THIS CAME FROM...

Compare all our Tour du Mont Blanc treks.
Lac Blanc
4.9
| 59 reviews

Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc: The Full Circuit

9 nights
Challenging

Tackle the classic TMB route through Italy, France and Switzerland, hiking among epic landscapes on one of the world’s great hikes

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with experienced, English-speaking IML-certified guides

Guesthouse & Mountain hut

9 nights in remote mountain huts and guesthouses

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Equipment

Pillows and blankets are provided at the refuges. Trekking poles are available for hire.

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 12 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.9
| 59 reviews
Another Great Trip with MBA
July 2024
JAMES W.
Another Great Trip with MBA
July 2024
JAMES W.
Another Great Trip with MBA
July 2024
JAMES W.
Another Great Trip with MBA
July 2024
JAMES W.
Another Great Trip with MBA
July 2024
JAMES W.
Amazing experience!
July 2024
Mollie F.
Amazing experience!
July 2024
Mollie F.
Amazing experience!
July 2024
Mollie F.
Amazing experience!
July 2024
Mollie F.
Amazing experience!
July 2024
Mollie F.
Amazing experience!
July 2024
Mollie F.
An epic adventure!
July 2024
Alex C.
An epic adventure!
July 2024
Alex C.
An epic adventure!
July 2024
Alex C.
An epic adventure!
July 2024
Alex C.
An epic adventure!
July 2024
Alex C.
An awesome time on this
June 2024
Nicola S.
An awesome time on this
June 2024
Nicola S.
An awesome time on this
June 2024
Nicola S.
Trip of a lifetime!
June 2024
Huang Y.
Trip of a lifetime!
June 2024
Huang Y.
Trip of a lifetime!
June 2024
Huang Y.
Trip of a lifetime!
June 2024
Huang Y.
Trip of a lifetime!
June 2024
Huang Y.
Trip of a lifetime!
June 2024
Huang Y.
TMB
June 2024
Luiz S.
TMB
June 2024
Luiz S.
TMB
June 2024
Luiz S.
TMB
June 2024
Luiz S.
TMB
June 2024
Luiz S.

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, it's 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

Not quite got 10 days to spare? Then check out our shorter version of this trip, Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc in a Week

Key Information

Day 1

Chamonix

View from Col du Voza

Hiking

7hrs · 16km · 730m up · 1300m down

Travel to the commune of Les Houches, the traditional starting point for the Tour du 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, along the way crossing a suspension bridge over the waterfalls cascading from the Bionnassay Glacier. If there is adverse weather then the classic trail takes you through the more protected forest route and along the Contamines Valley. End the day in the French resort village of Les Contamines-Montjoie.

Day 2

France

Day 2

Hiking

9hrs · 20km · 1450m up · 1000m 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 your alpine accommodation in the small hamlet of Les Chapieux, where you'll spend the night.

Day 3

Italy

Hiking

7-8hrs · 20km · 820m up · 100m 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

To La Palud

Hiking

3-4hrs · 9km · 350m up · 800m 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

Refugio Walter Bonatti

Val Ferret

Hiking

6-7hrs · 13km · 1100m up · 300m down

Hike through the Val Ferret towards the Italy-Swiss border. See Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géants and the Grandes Jorasses massif towering above you, before arriving at your mountain hut, the famous Refugio Walter Bonatti with epic mountain views.

Day 6

The Grand Col Ferret

To La Fouly

Hiking

8-9hrs · 21km · 950m up · 1350m down

Start the day by traversing the High Balcon Val Ferret trail, then drop down to Chalet Ferret for that last sip of Italian coffee! You'll then climb 700m to the top of the Grand Col Ferret on the Italian-Swiss border before descending to the lovely village of La Fouly where you will spend the night

Day 7

Amble through La Fouly

Tour de Mont Blanc

Hiking

5-6hrs · 17km · 600m up · 700m 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

Trient

Hiking

7-8hrs · 18km · 850m up · 1050m 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 chosen by your guide, you’ll end the day in the small village of Trient where your accommodation awaits.

Day 9

The Col de Balme

Col de Balme

Hiking

5-6hrs · 15km · 980m up · 850m down

Travel to the Col de Balme marking the Swiss-French border at an altitude of 2190 meters. From L'Aiguilette des Possettes lose yourself in the views down the Chamonix Valley to the Aiguille du Midi and summit of Mont Blanc before descending to finish the day in Tré-le-Champ.

Day 10

Back to Chamonix

Lac Blanc

Hiking

7-8hrs · 17km · 1100m up · 1400m down

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 down to Chamonix, or alternatively ride the cable car one last time, before your epic trek comes to an end.

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?

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?

The Alps

You’ll stay in remote mountain refuges and traditional guesthouses. Groups usually stay in:

  • Day 1: Gite Le Pontet (Les Contamines)
  • Day 2: Refuge Mottets, Chambres du Soleil, Base Camp Lodge or Auberge Nova (Les Chapieux, Bourg St Maurice)
  • Day 3: Rifugio Monte Bianco (Val Veny)
  • Day 4: Hotel Croux (Courmayeur)
  • Day 5: Rifugio Bonatti (Val Ferret)
  • Day 6: Auberge Maya Joie (La Fouly)
  • Day 7: Relais d'Arpette (Champex)
  • Day 8: Refuge Le Peuty or Hotel Forclaz (Trient)
  • Day 9: Gite le Moulin (Argentière)

The accommodation is simple, clean and comfortable, and there is a variety of accommodation options used throughout the hiking season. 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, others have a more traditional heritage, most are busy throughout the hiking season; 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. Each of the mountain huts listed is the first choice option, but will be subject to availability. Where alternate accommodation is required, it will be of a similar style and standard.

This trip has been rated as Challenging

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, (unless you book the luggage transfer service - see Optional Extras), 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!

What will I need to carry?

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 (See Optional Extras). The luggage transportation service is available on 8 out of 9 nights: this means you'll need to carry things for just one overnight stay, on the 5th night at Rifugio Bonatti as there is no road access (although you won't need to carry all your luggage, just an overnight bag). 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. There is a size restriction of the bags but the weight is limited to 15kg per bag.

See Optional Extras for prices.

The Tour du Mont Blanc trekking season is from June to September. 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. There can be snow on the mountain passes at the start of the season. 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.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Les Houches

09:00 on Day 1

Ends

Chamonix

17:00 on Day 10

Transfers

Your adventure will begin at 09:00 on Day 1 in Les Houches, at the TMB Archway next to the tourism office, the traditional starting point of the trail. Les Houches is easily reachable from central Chamonix using the local bus network, there is also a local train service which links the valley.

You should arrive any time the day before the start date and book a hotel of your choice in the Chamonix area. There are regular buses from Geneva Airport and Geneva Bus Station to Chamonix, which take around an hour. Your host will be able to recommend an airport transfer company. Alternatively, you could also fly to Milan Airport (LIN) about three hours from Chamonix.

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) about three hours from Chamonix.

For those who wish to avoid flying, why not travel by train instead? Chamonix is 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.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

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 ten 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.

KIT

  • 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
  • Quick-dry/Travel Towel
  • 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)
  • Headlamp

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof Jacket (with hood) and Trousers
  • Synthetic (e.g. Primaloft) or Down Puffy 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/T-shirts and trousers (zip-off preferable) or shorts for hiking
  • Comfortable clothes to wear post-hike in the refuges
  • 2+ pairs of hiking socks, wool or synthetic (not cotton)
  • Sturdy hiking boots or shoes (worn in)
  • Comfortable light shoes for around the refuge
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Luggage Transfer - Max Weight 15kg, One Bag Per Person

Payable Before Departure

Luggage Transfer - Max Weight 15kg, One Bag Per Person

Trekking Poles

Payable In Resort

Trekking Poles

Cristen B.(July 2024)
Parade of Mountains

This trek is a challenge, but the beauty makes the effort worth every step. At first I was skeptical of the value-add of a guided trip vs self-guided, but immediately after day one knew I made the right choice to be led in a group with a guide. We got to see so much more varied landscapes, experience so much more adventure, eat so much more variety, and laugh so much more in the shared fun of being together as a group.

Shannon C.(July 2024)
Pretend hikers. Real hike.

Do your research as I’d call this hard rather than ‘moderate’… or do it like us and do not think about it and just go for it. Very fun and challenging. A real adventure. Loved it all.

Thomas D.(July 2024)
5 Star Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc: The Full Circuit

An amazing trip - would highly recommend! Great refuges, fantastic guide, and value for money. Can't wait for the next trip with Much Better Adventures!

JAMES W.(July 2024)
Another Great Trip with MBA
Another Great Trip with MBA
Another Great Trip with MBA
Another Great Trip with MBA
Another Great Trip with MBA
Another Great Trip with MBA

What a fantastic hike: the TMB is a classic trek and so is was great to share it with a wonderful group and our brilliant guide, Kirsti.

The hike has some tough long days, so you will benefit from being as fit as you are able in order to get the best from the experience.

Our group of 12 ranged from 23 to 56 years of age from a diverse range of backgrounds but all sharing a love of the outdoors, adventure and challenge.

The group gelled quickly and seemed to really enjoy each other's company: people quickly found their own rhythm and ways to encourage each other in challenging sections. They were a really exceptional bunch of people.

As we trekked early in the season, we encountered snow on the high passes and found micro spikes to be very helpful. Crossing snow bridges and bum sliding down snowy slopes were an unexpected bonus.

I really enjoyed traveling through different countries and was surprised at how instantly you knew you had crossed the border.

Apart from one very nice hotel, the accommodation was in shared rooms in hostels - all were basic but great. Food was also good and varied.

Special mention to Kirsti our guide, who kept us all informed, motivated and safe at all times: she went the extra mile on a number of occasions, helping any members of the group who needed a little extra attention and encouragement.

If I had one small observation, it would be that, although this trip is described as 'the full circuit', it is not. It starts at the official starting arch in Les Houches but finished in Chamonix. A few of the group, who stayed in Chamonix a few extra days, did finish off the route, but it seems a shame, that we could not all complete the full route together.

Saying that, it was still a fantastic experience, shared with fantastic people - all in all a great trip that I would highly recommend.

Ravi-Inder S.(July 2024)
I thoroughly enjoyed the 10

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 day TMB despite the rainy weather. I can't say enough about my fellow participants, they were models of positivity and perseverance. Our guide Nico was excellent, happy to share his knowledge and expertise, as well as his love of cheese! The trek was well organized, accommodations and food were generally quite good, and in some cases, excellent. I would highly recommend this trip.

Karen F.(July 2024)
Good for the soul

This was every bit as beautiful as I had read about, and more. I have come back home with the heart full and stress free.

It surprised me how every day was different in terms of weather, scenery, terrain. We were the first group of the year, so there was still a lot of snow, and ferocious rivers. On days 2 and 3 we spent several solid hours walking over snow without a break, so if that isn't for you, avoid June. I booked it deliberately because I wanted the snow and wasn't disappointed. We had great fun on the downhills bum sliding back down the mountain like kids.

Poles are a must. I haven't been a fan of using them in the past, but they help with posture on the uphill when trying to counteract a heavy pack, stability over uneven ground or snow, and to take some of the load on the downhill. They meant I didn't find the downhills a problem at all.

The uphills are unrelenting and not to be underestimated. Underfoot is often loose. You'll find yourself climbing up without any flattening out for several hundred meters of ascent, and obviously a heavy pack and the altitude add to the difficulty. Many of our group had done Everest Base Camp, Anapurna Trail, Kilimanjaro, but agreed that the climbs were much tougher on the TMB. While stopping to regroup though, the views are stunning and once getting to the top, looking back down at where you've come from is a joy.

We all found it interesting how plant life and the 'feel' of things changed when going from country to country, even though just crossing a border.

We found in no time at all, our group became a team as we were living together so closely, and it was another thing that made the trip so special.

While this isn't a technically challenging trip, a good level of strength, and particularly cardio fitness is required if you want to keep up with the group. If you're nervous, don't struggle. There is no harm in paying a bit extra to get your pack transfered and just take a day pack. It'll be more enjoyable for you and everyone else.

I cannot recommend this trip more highly. I have memories that will last a lifetime, with the people, our guide, Dave and the views. No photograph can describe the magical feeling that comes with it all.

Mollie F.(July 2024)
Amazing experience!
Amazing experience!
Amazing experience!
Amazing experience!
Amazing experience!
Amazing experience!
Amazing experience!

I had never done a backpacking trip, and was so scared before this trip! But I am beyond happy I did this and did it through much better adventures. Our guide, Nico, was so awesome -- funny, knowledgeable, and made us all feel safe and taken care of. I am 28 and did this with my husband, and we got to meet some great people! It was so fun doing this hike alongside a group of kind, interesting strangers that become friends! The days were long but there are a few shorter ones where you can recover. This trip was challenging, but rewarding and very very doable! My husband and I will be booking our next trip through much better adventures and hopefully be coordinating one with Nico as our guide!

I selected the vegan option and was worried about not getting enough food but I was completely fine! I did bring bars and nut butters for snacks because I do eat a lot, so needed to supplement. But overall was great!

If you are in doubt... do it!

Alex C.(July 2024)
An epic adventure!
An epic adventure!
An epic adventure!
An epic adventure!