Tour Du Mont Blanc - 8 & 12-day packages

Tour Du Mont Blanc - 8 & 12-day packages

Switzerland, Italy, France » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • One of the best and most famous treks worldwide
  • The Alps in 3 countries - France, Italy & Switzerland
  • Green meadows, glaciers, rugged peaks
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 820 €

Duration (days): 8/12

Difficulty grade:  

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The tour around Mont Blanc (meaning “The White Mountain”) is recognized as one of the best of the world’s classic self-guided walks. Faithful to its myth, the Mont Blanc is no doubt one of the most beautiful massifs of the Alps. Although the route does not bring you to the peak itself, the circuit will lead you from France to Italy and Switzerland in order to discover its various faces. The sceneries are stunning with innumerable alpine peaks and beautiful glaciers all around with the impressive Mont Blanc massif constantly in the background. This walk is reasonably demanding, but you only need to carry a light backpack each day and in the evening you will enjoy French and Italian cooking and Swiss hospitality in the traditional alpine villages you stay in.
The Tour of Mont Blanc is a very well marked circuit:
- In France: marked with red and white stripes (and at altitude in Switzerland)
- In the vallleys of Switzerland and Italy: marked with a black diamond shape on a yellow background.
The markings are in both directions; they are made with paint and are easily visible. These marks are placed regularly on trees, rocks, walls, and fences, etc.

8-DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: CHAMONIX
Arrival day.
Day 2: LES PRAZ DE CHAMONIX - LE TOUR
Bus transfer from Chamonix to Les Praz (or beginning of the hike from Planpraz cable car instead of la Flégère). Ascent by the Flégère cablecar to the Balcons du Mont Blanc in order to reach Lac Blanc at 2300m. Descent via the Col des Montets (by the vistors centre of the Aiguilles Rouges). Descent to the village of Argentiere and overnight there.
5.5 hour walk / Elevation: +450 to -1150 m (6.5 hour walk if you start from Planpraz)
Day 3: TRIENT – CHAMPEX
Bus transfer to Trient (20 min). Crossing through the pastures of Bovine via a balcony trail overlooking the Rhone valley or take a more ‘high altitude’ detour via La Fenêtre d’Arpette. Descent to Champex and overnight there.
6 hour walk / Elevation: + 1100m - 750m (via Bovine) or 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: + 1300m - 970m (via Arpette)
Day 4: CHAMPEX – GRAND COL FERRET - LA VACHEY
Transfer by local bus to cross the Val Fouly. Climb up through the vast pastures to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) (with possible detour to the Tête Ferret). The crossing of Grand col Ferret takes the Tour of Mont Blanc trail from Switzerland into Italy. After crossing the border, descent to the Italian Val Ferret at the foothills on the opposite side of the Mont Blanc. From here you will enjoy the view of the magnificent Grandes Jorasses. Overnight in La Vachey.
6 hour walk / Elevation: + 850 m -800 m
Day 5: LA VACHEY – COL DE LA SEIGNE – LES CHAPIEUX
Transfer by local bus to the Val Veny. Climb the Val Veny to Refuge Elisabetta and continue up to the Col de la Seigne. On this stage the Tour du Mont Blanc trail leaves Italy and enters France at the Col de la Seigne, one of the easiest crossings of the circuit, but one which also happens to be among the most scenic. Given reasonable visibility, the view of Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Noire from Col de la Seigne is stunning. A short detour takes you to the glacial Lake Miage at the foot of the Miage glacier. Descent to Refuge Les Mottets or a little further on to La Nova hostel (depending on availability). A detour is possible via le Balcon de Chécroui and le Mont Fortin.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: + 850m - 650m
Day 6: LES CHAPIEUX – LES CONTAMINES
Climb to the Col des Fours (2665 m) to reach the highest point of the tour. Followed by a descent to the Col du Bonhomme, once frequented by paddlers. If you have spent the previous night at La Nova you can climb directly to the Col du Bonhomme. On this stage the Tour of Mont Blanc goes right to the head of Val Montjoie and crosses over into the Vallée des Glaciers. Descend via the old Roman road to the chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge. From the authentic village of Les Contamines you take the bus to Chamonix and stay overnight there.
6.5 hour walk / Elevation: + 850m -1500m
Day 7: LES CONTAMINES - MONTJOIE - LES HOUCHES
Transfer (included) to La Gruvaz and climb up to the Bionnassay Glacier through the village of Champel or via the Col du Tricot (2100m) with an very scenic views close to the Dômes de Miage, the Chamonix valley and the Mont Blanc. Descent to the village of Les Houches. Bus transfer to Chamonix and overnight.
5 hour walk / Elevation: +750m -800m (via Champel) or 6.5 hour walk / Elevation: +1100m -1250m (via the Col du Tricot)
Day 8: Departure

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
Double/triple private rooms in mountain cottages with sometimes shared facilities and 2-3* hotels with en-suite rooms (rest days); breakfast and dinner are included, except for Chamonix (Days 1, 6 and 7), where only breakfast is included; luggage transfers between the inns is included;
 



12-DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Chamonix
Located in the French Alps, Chamonix offers a true French European mountain experience with stunning hiking, old Savoyard culture and of course unforgettable views. Towering above Chamonix, Mont-Blanc is the tallest mountain in Europe reaching 4810m, 15,781ft. The views will blow you away.

B&B Hotel
Day 2: Chamonix to Les Houches 19km/4h50 (Highest point: 2159m)
Don’t worry, there are not many trails but only some and they are marked TMB.  You are now ready to begin one of the most famous and impressive ascents all over the world for its legends. As soon as you leave Chamonix, wherever you are look up and you’ll see ‘it’ there… 4,810 metres (15,781 ft) of rock, snow, ice and dreams of things to come.
B&B Hotel
Day 3: Les Houches to Les Contamines; By TMB: 16km/5h15; By option Châlet de Miage: 18km/7h30 (Highest point: Col de Voza, 1653m or Col de Tricot, 2120m)
Les Houches is located 6 kilometres from Chamonix. This charming village offers mountain sides with tree-lined slopes and impressive views of the Mont Blanc massif and the Chamonix valley. Just before reaching Col de la Voza, a row of aiguilles that guard Mont Blanc offer themselves for inspection. The Dôme du Goûter and Aiguilles de Bionnassay then dominate views on the south side of the col, with the impressive Bionnassay glacier spilling between them, while from the hamlet of Le Champel the whole Val Montjoie is seen ahead with a hint of the Col du Bonhomme at its southern end.
B&B Hotel
Day 4: Les Contamines to Les Chapieux; 18km/7h15 (Highes point: Col de la Croix du Bonnhomme, 2483m or Col des Fours, 2665m)
At the foot of Mont-Blanc, discover a village quite unlike any other: tradition & authenticity. By tradition we mean true alpine values, the respect of local architecture and the surrounding environment. By authentic we mean traditional buildings made of wood, stone and slate. On this stage the TMB goes right to the head of Val Montjoie and crosses over into the Vallée des Glaciers by way of Col du Bonhomme. Early in the season snow will no doubt remain in patches between the two cols. At the end of this stage you arrive in Les Chapieux, where you will find a relaxing atmosphere on a bend in the Vallée des Glaciers.
Refuge, incl. breakfast and dinner
Day 5: Les Chapieux to Courmayeur; 33km/10h (Possibility of reducing the stage to 8h30 by using local bus (from 1st July) (Highest point: Col de la Seign, 2516m)
On this stage the TMB crosses out of France and enters Italy at the Col de la Seigne, one of the easiest crossings of the circuit, but one which also happens to be among the most scenic. Given reasonable visibility, the view of Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Noire from Col de la Seigne is stunning, and is seen at its best early in the morning.
B&B Hotel
Day 6: Courmayeur to Lavachey; By TMB: 12km/5h15; By option Col Sapin: 18km/7h30 (Highest point: 2023m)
The beauty of the Italian side of the Mont Blanc is breathtaking all year round. Situated at the foot of the Italian side of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur, the Val Veny and Val Ferret are in summer popular with climbers, walkers, bikers and anglers. Nature, flora and fauna are intact. As in the Val d’Aosta, the breeding of cows is very present. Many herds of cattle and sheep also come to spend the summer pastures. The sound of bells will accompany your stay in these times so beautiful valleys. In good conditions this stage promises to be one of the highlights of the Tour of Mont-Blanc. The grandeur of yesterday’s view are matched on this stage along the flank of Mont de la Saxe where an easy, undulating path can be walked at leisure with eyes forever turning to the great wall of rock and ice across the Val Ferret. You could see the impressive and magnificent Grandes Jorasses on your way too.
Refuge, incl. breakfast and dinner
Day 7: Lavachey to La Fouly; 20km/7h15 (Highest point: Grand Col Ferret, 2537m)
The crossing of Grand col Ferret takes the TMB out of Italy, into Switzerland and along the eastern edge of the Mont Blanc range. Among the highlights of this stage will undoubtedly be the view from the col looking back, a view partly framed by monstrous buttresses of rock. In the Swiss Val Ferret, the way to La Fouly has other characteristics to enjoy: it has flower meadows and chalets with window boxes bursting with geraniums and petunia; it has milky streams, the clanging of cowbells, neat patches of forest and hamlets that appear to be untouched by passing centuries.
B&B Hotel
Day 8: La Fouly to Champex; 15km/4h15 (Highest point: Champex, 1466m)
The small village La Fouly, situated in the Val Ferret in the Swiss canton of Valais sits at the foot of Mont Dolent (3,823m) and the Tour Noir (3,836m) in the Mont Blanc massif. This is the easiest stage of the TMB, and with a modest amount of height gain and loss the day can be taken at a leisurely pace. Here we experience the pastoral nature of a Swiss mountain valley, where the way of life of the local farming communities appears at first glance to have been barely touched by modern technology.
B&B Hotel
Day 9: Champex to Col de la Forclaz; By TMB: 16km/4h45; By Fenêtre d’Arpette: 14km/6h15 (Highest point: Collet Portalo, 2040m or Fenêtre d’Arpette, 2665m)
An idyllic retreat high up in the Swiss mountains, Champex is an ideal location to escape from the pressures of the modern world. Two charming places can be visited: Fort d’Artillerie, a fascinating underground fortress and Les Gorges du Durnand. It curves, dips and rises over unsettled contours and in and out of indents in the hillside. There are neat meadows, patches of forest, rough combs and high alpine pastures leading to the simple alp buildings of Bovine. The Fenêtre d’Arpette, highest point reached on the Tour of Mont Blanc, is a true mountain pass and one to enjoy for the sudden extraordinary vision of the upper Trient glacier revealed as you emerge through to the western side.
Refuge, incl. breakfast and dinner
Day 10: Col de la Forclaz to Argentière; By TMB: 15km/6h; By Refuge Les Grands: 20km/6h30 (Highest point: Aiguillette des Posettes, 2201m or Col de Balme, 2191m)
Col de la Forclaz marks the northern extent of the TMB, the furthest point from the summit of Mont Blanc, but this stage carries the route over the final mountain barrier and returns it to the Vallée de l’Arve, which flows at the foot of the Monarch of the Alps. Col de Balme, across which runs Franco-Swiss border, provides the first view, and the lovely snow dome remains in sight for most of the descent to Tré-le-Champ. This is achieved along the crest of the Aiguillette des Posettes, an elevated path with a huge panorama.
B&B Hotel
Day 11: Argentière to Chamonix; By Les Praz-de-Chamonix: 20km/5h10; By Planpraz: 21km/5h20; By Alpages de Charlanon: 24km/6h (Highest point: Le Brévent, 2526m)
Picturesque alpine walking and mountaineering  village, Argentière is located near the head of the valley of Chamonix approximately 7 km from Chamonix town. The Argentière glacier lies to the south-east of the village, and is bound on its north-east side by the Aiguille du Chardonnet, the Aiguille d’Argentière and the Tour Noir, and on its south-west by the Aiguille Verte, Les Droites and Les Courtes. The final stage of the Tour of Mont Blanc is as varied as any on this walk. It adopts the highly acclaimed Grand Balcon Sud, one of the most scenic of all alpine belvedere paths, which runs along the mid-height slopes on the north side of the Vallée de l’Arve to provide an almost uninterrupted panorama of the Mont Blanc range. At a junction of paths you discover a cairn which marks a boundary of the Réserve Naturell des Aiguilles Rouges. Le Brévent, the altitude high point of this stage, offers a visual splendour of that lofty panorama remains as magical as ever.
B&B Hotel
Day 12: Chamonix: Departure day

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
Gite (mountain cotages) and 2-3* hotels with en-suite facilities most nights (some nights in Gite may be with shared facilities on the floor, but rooms will be private); breakfast included, dinners as per itinerary (in refuges only); luggage transfers included all days except for the nights with overnight in accessible refuges (then you need to pack a change of clothes for two days);

Tour starting days (between July and mid-September):
Generally Day 1 should be planned for Friday/Saturday, Sunday (12-day) and Tuesday (8-day). Other week days will be considered on request.


Price:
- 8-day itinerary: 820 Euro/persons
- 12-day itinerary: 1390 Euro/person

Single room supplement: -

Min. group size: 2 persons

The price includes: Roadbook (itinerary description in English and detailed walking maps - 1 set per reservation); accommodation and meals as mentioned under Itinerary, luggage transfers; bus transfer on Day 3 (8-day tour)

The price does not include: other meals and transfers (picnic lunches can be ordered on spot in the accommodations the previous evening at the price of 12-15 Euros/person), local bus tickets (appr. 20 Euros per person), lift tickets (appr. 20 Euros per person), personal expenses, mountain insurance, entry fees;

Tips: For hygiene reasons it is recommended to bring a sleeping sheet for the overnight in the cottages; Two blankets are provided per person in all accommodations; Hot showers are available in all accommodations; During the stages of your tour in Switzerland, Euros are widely accepted and it is not essential to carry Swiss Francs; Thunderstorms are frequent in summer, especially in the afternoon; Try to leave most of the hiking trail behind you by noon; Trains service the line between Paris (Gare de Lyon) and Chamonix (visit www.sncf.com for more details). See SNCF bus times http://www.chamonix.com/pdf/train-travaux-4-06-8-12.pdf and buses in the Chamonix valley http://www.chamonix.com/pdf/chambus.pdf