The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the most famous long-distance mountain treks in the world. Passing through France, Italy, and Switzerland, this classic trek receives thousands of visitors who conquer the 170km long trail each year. Following a counter-clockwise route around western Europe’s highest mountain, the 4810m tall Mont Blanc, trekkers get to marvel at the unique beauty of the Alps. This route ascends through lush grazing pastures, shadows of snow-capped peaks, and rocky mountain passes, until its descent into flower-filled valleys. Fresh mountain air, a peaceful atmosphere, and unique wildlife provide the perfect escape from the busy world. At the end of each day, you will get to experience unique accommodations, local cuisines, and the locals who open their arms to trekkers from around the world.

West of Mont Blanc: Chamonix to Courmayeur

Self-guided

Trek the western route of the classic ‘Tour du Mont Blanc’ from Chamonix to Courmayeur, perfect for keen trekkers wanting a short taste of this world-famous alpine trek.

Self-guided 6 Days From $1795 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

West of Mont Blanc: Chamonix to Courmayeur

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation arranged for you
  • 5 nights accommodation in 3* hotels & auberges (simple hotels)
  • 5 breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • Maps, guidebook, GPX tracks and daily route summary
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Itineraries can please flexible to account for weather conditions
  • Rest days can be added if you would like to further explore the region
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s authored comprehensive tack notes and maps

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights

Self-guided

Hike the renowned Tour du Mont Blanc in 8 days by linking the best trekking sections with short bus journeys, panoramic cable cars and mountain trains.

Self-guided 8 Days From $2595 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation arranged for you
  • 7 nights accommodation in 3* hotels, small hotels & auberges (simple hotels)
  • 5 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Maps, guidebook, GPX tracks and daily route summary
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Itineraries can please flexible to account for weather conditions
  • Rest days can be added if you would like to further explore the region
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s authored comprehensive tack notes and maps

Classic Tour du Mont Blanc by Hotels

Self-guided

The perfect TMB trip for walkers that prefer a little extra comfort. Trek Tour du Mont Blanc by day, relax in comfortable hotels, in the heart of alpine villages in the evening.

Self-guided 12 Days From $3395 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Classic Tour du Mont Blanc by Hotels

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation arranged for you
  • 11 nights accommodation in 3* hotels, simple hotels and/or mountain refuges
  • 11 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • Maps, guidebook, GPX tracks and daily route summary
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Itineraries can please flexible to account for weather conditions
  • Rest days can be added if you would like to further explore the region
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s authored comprehensive tack notes and maps

Ultimate Tour du Mont Blanc: Huts & Hotels

Self-guided

Trek the world famous, ‘Tour du Mont Blanc’ circuit through the alps of France, Italy and Switzerland. Stay in family run hotels, mountain lodgings and huts.

Self-guided 14 Days From $3895 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Ultimate Tour du Mont Blanc: Huts & Hotels

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation arranged for you
  • 13 nights accommodation in 3* hotels, simple hotels and/or mountain refuges
  • All luggage transfers
  • 13 breakfasts and 8 dinners
  • Maps, guidebook, GPX tracks and daily route summary
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Itineraries can please flexible to account for weather conditions
  • One rest day is included, more can be added if you would like to further explore the region
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s authored comprehensive tack notes and maps

OVERVIEW

We have distilled this world-class trail into four different tours to suit any trekker’s needs and wants. You can choose the classic Tour du Mont Blanc circuit, which covers the entire 170km trail over 14 days. Here you will experience real alpine life by staying in traditional chalets, family-run hotels, and remote mountain refuges. You will get to witness the chamois and ibex descend from the highest of slopes and ultimately relish in the serenity of isolation.

Reducing this trek by a couple of days allows you to stay each night in the comforts of a 3* hotel. By doing so, you can soak up the French, Italian and Swiss mountain village life and get a taste of their culture. Food, wine, architecture, and entertainment will all be available for your exploration and enjoyment.

Should you have limited time then you can choose our 8-day ‘Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights’, which combines transport links along the circuit so you can walk the best sections of the trek. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a shorter trek, ‘Chamonix to Courmayeur’ completes the westerly route of the Tour du Mont Blanc in 6 days and includes a couple nights in the chic Italian mountain town of Courmayeur.

Of course, we are more than happy to tailor itineraries to suit your needs. Just let us know at the time of booking and we can discuss your options in order to find the best route for you.

history

The Mont Blanc area has a rich and long history of alpine tourism. Records date all the way back to 1741, primarily written by men who explored the region and made note of the culture and customs of the locals. In 1760, Horace-Bénédict de Saussure made various trips to this region and wrote four volumes titled, “Journey in the Alps.”

Thermalism, the therapeutic use of hot-water springs for healing a variety of ailments, became popular during this time. When hot springs were found in the Alps, an influx of tourists seeking medical miracles led to the creation of luxurious hotels, restaurants, and shops.

After Mont Blanc was finally conquered in 1786, interest in mountaineering exploded and tourism grew even more. In 1821, the first Compagnie des Guides was formed with nearly 200 members, officially giving a name to mountaineering as a sport and pastime.
In the early 1900s, winter sports made their debut in the Mont Blanc. Skiing, skating, curling, and more winter favourites became common and drew tourists who loved to challenge themselves. When the Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix in 1924, the area became famous. Many ski resorts were built, and other winter sporting events were held over the next few decades. The area had a slow down in the 1980s once everything was built, but they still enjoy a constant stream of tourism.

Today, many tourists visit during the winter and summer. Many who visit in the summer take the long trek of the Mont Blanc massif, which is the most popular long-distance trek in Europe.

Flora & Fauna

The Mont Blanc massif region is well known for its stunning landscapes and scenery. However, there is a rich diversity of flora and fauna that thrive in the area that will capture your hearts and your camera shots.

Much of the fauna in the region are distributed based off of levels of altitude. The animals have adapted to the type of terrain and vegetation available. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule such as the fox. The fox can be found hopping through the lush valleys or in high-altitude meadows.

When hiking through the subalpine levels, you will be able to witness the chamois, deer, and ibex. These large herbivores can frequently be seen munching on grasses, flowers, and moss or balancing on rocky ledges that seem barely wide enough to support them. The male ibex is easy to spot with its massive horns and brown face; it is easy to confuse them with the chamois, a species of goat antelope. This species has much smaller horns, is typically smaller in body size, and features a distinctive white line that runs down the centre of their face.

In the area between the high forests and alpine meadows, you will see pheasants. If you happen to trek through during the spring, then you will likely witness the male pheasants fighting for the right to mate with the females.

In the meadows, you will see the occasional chamois or ibex wander through. While trekking here, you will almost certainly find the golden eagle. The golden eagle is common over most of the northern hemisphere and is characterised by its light gold feathers. It can often be confused by hikers as the bearded vulture; it is very rare to see this bird, as it was nearly hunted to extinction. As a protected species, bearded vultures have risen in numbers to about 100 breeding pairs in all of Europe. You can spot them via their tremendous wingspan of 2.8m (a golden eagle reaches about 2.3m).

The marmot makes a delicious snack for these large birds of prey, but it knows how to stay out of trouble. These giant rodents are a member of the squirrel family and are known for their defensive manoeuvres. They will “stand” and call out to others in the family if they sense danger. When a marmot emits a loud warning squeak, you will see all nearby marmots dart towards their network of underground tunnels.

Depending on the season, you may also be able to see the mountain hare or the stoat poking in and out of the scrubs. You could also see the rock ptarmigan, the alpine chough, or the great red woodpecker flitting around the trees.

As you trek through the Mont Blanc massif, you will see a variety of flora as well. Each type of flora is restricted to a specific altitude, similar to the animals. You will see the most vegetation in the subalpine levels which are dominated by conifer forests. Here you will find pine, spruce, and larch trees; the cones and needle-like foliage of these trees give them a distinctive look. Within the forests, you may be able to spot the rare slipper orchid or the delicate martagon lily.

As you trek upwards, the trees will thin and change to shrubs such as myrtles and rhododendrons. The bright blue petals of the Gentiana acaulis and Gentiana clusii can also be spotted. It is here that you can find the famous Edelweiss, a white flower made famous by the Edelweiss song sung by Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music.

Two flowers hold the record for living at the highest altitude in the Mont Blanc region: the Ranunculus glacialis, a small white flower with a yellow centre, and the saxifrage with two flowers.

All three countries that make up the Mont Blanc Trail put substantial effort and resources into preserving and cultivating the flora and fauna of the region. They want the stunning natural beauty of the Mont Blanc Trail to be enjoyed by all, for many years to come.

Local Cuisine

Depending on the tour you book, breakfasts are always included along with a number of dinners. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know at the time of booking so that we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, we suggest bringing along some suitable snacks since specialty ingredients and supplies can be hard to find in the mountains, without prior notice.

In many of your smaller accommodations, meals are often served at set times at a communal table. This makes it easier for the kitchen teams in the smaller accommodations to ensure everyone is served efficiently and no goes hungry after a long day of trekking. The Mont Blanc area has a rich heritage of producing cured meats, alpine cheese along and classic mountain dishes such as cheese fondue, or tartiflette (melted Reblochon cheese, baked with potatoes and bacon). Many of your accommodations can make a picnic lunch for you, or you can buy local produce from small village stores, which is a great part of the experience.

Within your daily walking notes, we have added detailed suggestions on where to dine or buy lunch each day. One of our staff favourites is the Beaufort Cheese from la Vallee des Glaciers, which you can purchase fresh from the farm.

Le Cap Horn

If you are looking for a fancy night out before you begin your walking holiday, look no further than Le Cap Horn. The restaurant is a former two-story chalet decorated with a nautical theme. A mix of French-Asian cuisine will delight your taste buds as you sip from their large selection of wines. This lovely dining experience is often quite busy, so be sure to make a reservation if you are determined to visit.

The Vert Hotel

Located in a hotel, this restaurant is ideal for someone looking for comfort food. This restaurant has a bustling atmosphere, kind staff, and affordable prices. Grab a burger or go a bit fancier with duck breast or poached cod. You will leave happy, full, and ready for your walking holiday.

Le 3842

Dining at Le 3842 is an experience that you will never forget. Le 3842 is perched on the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, hence the name of the restaurant, and is one of the highest eateries in Europe. There is a cable car that will take you up to this intimate restaurant that features the authentic flavours of the Alps. Everything is made from locally sourced produce and the view is simply incredible. If you are willing to spend the money for this experience, it is well worth it!

Le Carnotzet

Located close to your accommodation for the evening is Le Carnotzet. This charming restaurant offers an extensive menu of delectable regional food. Fantastic for a casual dinner on a warm evening, as you can dine on the terrace. Try one of their delicious fondues, but make sure to leave room for dessert!

Ristorante Pizzeria La Terrazza

Are you looking for a yummy pizza or bowl of pasta? Ristorante Pizzeria La Terrazza creates simple Mediterranean Italian cuisine that will provide you with a hearty finish to a long day. You can take advantage of their a la carte menu, the tasting menu, the special menu, or the Aosta Valley menu to find the ideal meal for you.

Restaurante Pierre Alexis 1877

This enchanting restaurant prides itself on creating delectable traditional dishes from the Aosta Valley. They focus on creating the perfect blend of flavours and textures while still focusing on the essentials of life: wine, olive oil, bread, and good friends.

Le Vieux Pommier

Le Vieux Pommier gets its name from the old apple tree that stands in the centre of the restaurant. This restaurant combines the flavours of traditional Valdostan dishes with the local flavours of the Franco-Swiss Alps. Enjoy the high altitude with a mountain pasture salad with goat cheese while sipping on local wines.

Broc’n Pub

If you are looking for eclectic décor, friendly staff, low prices, and a thirst-quenching beer, look no further than Broc’n Pub. This little pub is a fun place to relax and hang out with new friends. Pop on over at the end of the day, just remember that it is cash only!

La Cabanon

Instead of grabbing a beer at the end of the day, how about a coffee or tea? La Cabanon offers refreshing drinks that you can enjoy in the final glimmers of sunlight on the terrace. Located in the resort of Champex-Lac in Valais, it is a beautiful way to kick your feet up and chill.

Les Cheserys in Argentiere

Les Cheserys serves traditional French cuisine with a modern twist. They offer a variety of high-value options such as combining one, two, or three courses. You could try their Black Angus beef, duck breast, or the fan favourite onion soup. If you are feeling lazy, you can simply order take away; if you want to lounge in the sun, there is a lovely terrace waiting for you.

La P’tite Verte

La P’tite Verte is a traditional restaurant that focuses on the tastes of the region. You can try their tasty fondues and precisely cooked meats, finishing the meal with a creamy dessert. The menu even incorporates digestive drinks after meals to ensure that you are left feeling content.

Le Grenier

Are you in need of something sweet to end the day? Le Grenier is a restaurant and creperie. They offer mouth-watering foods and desserts on their ever-changing menu. Each day of the week, they offer a different menu composed of fresh and local products. Make sure to save plenty of room for their spectacular desserts!

ACCOMMODATION

Along this walking holiday, you will stay in 3* hotels, family-run hotels, mountain auberges, and mountain refuges. All of the accommodations are welcoming and accustomed to trekkers. With the exception of only a couple of nights, all rooms are private with an ensuite. On these 2 nights where accommodation is limited, the properties we stay in have shared bathrooms however these facilities are immaculately clean and there is always plenty of hot water for everyone.

The summer alpine trekking season is very popular and therefore, we may have to book another similar accommodation of the same standard. If this is necessary, it will be discussed during the booking process. If you request a twin room, please bear in mind that it is normal in Switzerland for two separate mattresses to be pushed together or two single mattresses to be contained in one bed frame. In addition, given the busy season, it may not be possible to have a single room in every overnight stay. We will always try to meet your requirements. Booking early will allow us time to try and meet your needs, ensuring a higher chance of success.

Hotel L’Oustalet

Hotel L’Oustalet is a charming, family-run, Savoyard hotel at the foot of the Aiguille du Midi. Located close to the centre of Chamonix and the train station, this lovely hotel is the ideal location to begin your walking holiday. Soak up the sunshine in the expansive garden, read a book in the living room, take a dip in the pool, or grab a drink at the bar before retiring to a beautiful wood-panelled room.

Hotel Gai Soleil

Hotel Gai Soleil is a 3* hotel with over 190 years of history. Built in 1823, Gai Soleil has stood the test of time and provided countless memories for thousands of adventurers over the decades. Located in the heart of the town, take in the expansive view of the Montjoie Valley from its peaceful garden. A mix of old farmhouse style and modern amenities make for a relaxing stay after a long day of walking. Each room is unique and designed to provide ultimate comfort. Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay.

Auberge de la Nova

During this leg of the journey, you have the option to stay at the Auberge de la Nova or the Refuge Mottets. The Auberge de la Nova was the second hotel built in the Les Chapieux, Now the hotel is one of the main stopovers along the trail and provides excellent services for trekkers . The majestic mountain background is the quintessential ending to a long day of fresh mountain air. Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay.

Refuge Mottets

At this section of the trip, you have the option to stay at the Refuge Mottets or the Auberge de la Nova. Nestled in the Valley of the Glaciers, just south of the French Alps, Refuge Mottets is the epitome of peaceful comfort. Try the locally made cheeses, watch the marmots dash around the meadows, or enjoy the glittering of the stars in the darkness of the night before enjoying a well-deserved rest in one of their comfortable rooms. Breakfast and dinner is included in your stay.

Rifugio Elisabetta

At the bottom of the Val Veny, the Rifugio Elisabetta is located in one of the wildest corners of the Tour du Mont Blanc trail. Here you will be up close and personal with nature, with breathtaking landscapes just outside the door. Other travellers will be on the same circuit as you, so this is the perfect opportunity to make friends, share stories, and learn something new. Breakfast and dinner are included with your stay.

Hotel Crampon

After a night high in the mountains, Hotel Crampon’s 3* amenities are perfect to help you recuperate. The hotel is tucked away on a quiet side street in the centre of Courmayeur. After completing your trek for the day, you will be able to explore the shops, restaurants, and bars just a few minutes’ walk away. Breakfast is included with your stay.

Rifugio Bonatti

Perched high above the Val Ferret is the Rifugio Bonatti. Named after Walter Bonatti, the famous Italian mountaineer and climber, this mountain refuge provides a lovely place to rest among the wild mountain environment. Enjoy sampling their famous hot chocolate, drink a beer from the well-stocked bar, grab a bite to eat in the restaurant, and get a good night’s sleep in their comfortable rooms. When you awaken, you will be greeted by tremendous views of the mountain peaks and glaciers.

Hotel Edelweiss

Named after the famous mountain flower, the Hotel Edelweiss upholds the beauty of the flower by maintaining the original , wooden chalet exterior so very typical of picture postcard village scenes. Views over the white-capped mountains or the cosy village of La Fouly can be seen from the stylish rooms, outfitted with modern amenities. In the evening you enjoy a drink in the hotel bar before dining on local dishes. Breakfast and dinner are included.

Hotel Glacier

Hotel Glacier upholds four generations of 3* quality service in its resort-style accommodation. Take a break from the trekking by lounging on the terrace, basking in the sunny gardens or taking a stroll to the picturesque lake, only a few minutes walk from the hotel. Enjoy the charming atmosphere of the restaurant as you sample authentic dishes from the region. Comfortable rooms make for a lovely end to a long day.

La Grande Ourse

Located halfway between Chamonix and Martigny, La Grande Ourse is the ideal stop along your walking holiday. At 1300m altitude and at the foot of two glaciers, the most spectacular part of La Grande Ourse is without a doubt the view. Enjoy the hospitality of this family-run hotel at the end of your day. Breakfast and dinner are included with your stay.

Hotel de la Couronne

An effortless blend of authenticity and modern amenities perfectly describes the Hotel de la Couronne. Nestled at the foot of the Mont Blanc trail, in the alpine village of Argentiere, Hotel de la Couronne prides itself on over 150 years of incredible service. Enjoy wooden framed rooms with Wi-Fi and television as a way to relax before hitting the divine restaurant next door. Breakfast and dinner are included with your stay.

Transport

Our range of Tour du Mont Blanc treks start and finish in Chamonix, France, which can be easily reached from Geneva.

From Geneva Airport, Switzerland:

Geneva Airport is around a 90minute transfer to Chamonix Valley. From Geneva Airport, there are several regular private bus transfer services to the Chamonix Valley. We recommend using Mountain Drop-Offs who will meet you at Geneva Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Chamonix. The online booking service is very easy to use and we will supply you with a discount code at the time of confirming your booking to pre-book your required transfers.

We will transfer your luggage between accommodations along the way and walkers will only have to wear a day pack with your trekking essentials.

If you have any questions regarding transportation to Chamonix, please feel free to reach out to us and one of our knowledgeable staff members will be happy to assist you.

High speed TGV services

You may consider train travel to Geneva. High speed TGV services connect through to Paris in 3 hours and Milan in 5 hours. You will arrive into Geneva Cornavin station where we would suggest changing for the rapid airport connections (10mins) for your Mountain Drop Off transfer.

Rome2Rio planning tool

If you are looking for an alternative method of transportation, we suggest using the travel planning tool Rome2Rio.

Climate & Weather

The Tour du Mont Blanc route is open during the alpine summer season (early July through to the end of September). Daytimes are usually sunny with temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, dropping to around 10°C at night. It is also common for thunderstorms to build into the late afternoon and evening. You are more than likely to experience rain showers along. On occasion, in the height of summer, cold fronts can sweep through the alps, bringing snow at higher altitudes. Always check the weather before setting out and always carry wet and warm weather gear with you (even on the sunniest of days).

Terrain

The Tour du Mont Blanc is made up of many well-defined tracks and trails. You will hike through a variety of landscapes including forest trails, high alpine pastures, over high rocky mountain passes, and into the villages and towns where you will stay . While traversing the highest parts of the trails, there is a possibility that you will have to pass through some patches of snow, so good footwear is essential

Each day there will be prolonged ascents and descents which can be on steep but straightforward ground (the majesty of the impressive Mont Blanc Massif is great distraction on the ascents!). On the last 2 days of the longer tours (the 12 and 14 day variation), the route includes short sections of ladders and rails that have been bolted into the rock which makes for a great day of adventurous trekking. It is possible to avoid these sections and we would be more than happy to discuss daily route options with you.

when to walk

Once the winter snowfall clears, the Tour du Mont Blanc runs from July through to September. Some of the higher mountain passes may remain closed due to heavy snowfall at the beginning of the season, but on most days, there is always an alternative walk to reach your next destination. If there has been exceptionally high snowfall, the trail may remain closed for the first few weeks of our walk season. Should this happen, we will do our best to reschedule any affected tours for a later date.

At the end of the season, some transportation options to reduce the walk distances, close earlier than others, so you. must be prepared to walk to full distance everyday.

walking fitness levels

On the Tour du Mont Blanc, you will be walking around 15-20k per day with an ascent and descent of around 1500m.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is rated as moderate to challenging. It is recommended for experienced walkers that have an active lifestyle and are used to trekking 6-7 hours a day over a variety of terrain, with sustained levels of ascent and descent (up to 1500m) s. , In preparation for trekking The Tour du Mont Blanc it is suggested that trekkers exercise 3 to 4 times a week in addition to their usual walks.

If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please feel free to consult with us on the best options for you.

walking essentials

Your main piece of luggage will be transported for you each day as you walk, so when you arrive at your accommodation, it will be there waiting for you. You will only have to carry a day pack with your essentials.

If you choose to walk our Ultimate Tour du Mont Blanc, you will spend 2 nights in mountain refuges, which is a great part of the alpine experience. Owing to the remote locations of these refuges you will not have access to your main piece of luggage on these nights so will you need to carry anything you need for the overnight stay along with a silk sleeping bag liner and a lightweight travel towel. We would suggest a 30L day pack would be sufficient.

NAVIGATION
The route is well marked and you will be provided with a guidebook, a daily walk summary, and maps. We can also offer GPX tracks if you require one for your own device.

Due to the nature of the terrain, in good weather you can usually see the trail unfolding ahead of you for quite some distance (including the way markers in the distance). However, mountain weather can change quickly, reducing visibility and therefore it is strongly advisable that at least one of your trekking party feels confident using a compass and a map to locate your whereabouts, you should always be able to locate you whereabouts on the map.

As with any journey, it is essential to be prepared for your self-guided walking holiday. While we will be transporting your luggage from accommodation to accommodation, you will still be carrying a lightweight day pack with you. Here is what we suggest that you carry with you each day:

  • Guidebook, maps, map case, compass and walk summary
  • Picnic lunch packed in an insulated container
  • Quality waterproof jacket with a hood and waterproof pants
  • Quick drying fleece or jumper
  • Extra long sleeve layer
  • Sun protection
  • Comfortable walking boots
  • Sunscreen (at least 15 SPF+)
  • 2 to 3 litres of water
  • First aid kit, personal medication, insect repellant
  • Toilet paper
  • Local currency and credit card
  • Mobile phone (please note that reception is not available in all walk areas)
  • A small container of salt mixed with rice grains
  • Any other personal effects
  • And don’t forget to waterproof your bag!

Now that we have the essentials packed, it is time to think of any additional items that may be worth taking along with you. These items may include but are not limited to:

  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Extra socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana or buff
  • Camera (with an extra battery or SIM cards)
  • Battery pack and charging cable for phone
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook and pen
  • Matches
  • Small torch
  • Walking stick / walking poles
  • Additional snacks

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office and have a chat with our friendly team. We will happily advise you on what types of clothing, backpacks, boots, and other materials you may need for your walking holiday.

locations

Chamonix

Chamonix is the starting and ending village for our walking holidays of the Tour du Mont Blanc. This famous town is a popular destination for tourists from around the world. In the winter, they congregate here for skiing. In the summer, they typically hike the beautiful trails and enjoy nature. There is more here than just the great outdoors! Chamonix offers a wide variety of shopping, restaurants, museums, spas, and bars.

Bellevue Cable Car

Rise 1800m to the Bellevue plateau in just a few minutes to begin your day of trekking. Take in the glorious 360° view of the Mont Blanc massif as you shave off some of your walking time. By taking the cable car the Bellevue cable car you will reduce your walking time from Les Houches to Les Contamines by two hours and your ascension by about 700-800m.

Les Contamines

On the western side of the Mont Blanc massif, sits the quaint village of Les Contamines. This quiet village is the epitome of ease, with an unhurried feel in the atmosphere. Visit the impressive church or enjoy a drink in one of the village bars.

Col de Tricot or Le Champel

Along your walking holiday, you have the option to cross the Col de Tricot or through Le Champel. By crossing Col de Tricot mountain pass, you will get to walk in the shadows of the beautiful Bionnassay and Aiguille glaciers, as well as cross a suspension bridge over the Bionnassay glacier stream.

If you would like to avoid the mountain pass, you can instead trek through the high alpine pastures and rich woodlands of Bionnassay and Le Champel, which takes you to the village of Les Contamines. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the unique fauna hiding within the small grasses or high in the trees.

Notre-Dame de la Gorge

Just 3.5km down the river from Les Contamines is Notre-Dame de la Gorge, which marks the beginning of an old mountain road. From the 13th century until the early 19th century, this stunning white church was the centre of spirituality and a sanctuary to the Marian cult. Now, many trekkers stop and pray for safe passage along their journey. Make sure to look up at the beautifully painted fresco!

Col du Bonhomme

The Col du Bonhomme is one of the most challenging and rewarding passes of the route. At 2329m, the pass has spectacular views across the alps and it’s well worth enjoying the views here before continuing to ascend to the Col du Croix Bonhomme (2443m).

Col des Fours

If time permits after crossing the Col du Bonhomme, you have the option to hike over to the Col des Fours but should only be attempted in good weather (and if the legs are in good shape!). The Col des Fours, at 2665m, is tied with Fenetre d’Arpette for the highest mountain pass on the Tour du Mont Blanc. The spectacular views are worth the extra effort if you have a little bit of steam left.

La Ville des Glaciers

La Ville des Glaciers takes you along a wide track gently rising in elevation. High above the views of the glaciers and herds of alpine cowes will have you pausing for many photos. This section also boasts some of the best locally produced Beaufort cheese and if you’re lucky enough you may see cheesemakers in action in one of the many farms.

Col de la Seigne

The Col de la Seigne is a steep climb up from La Ville des Glaciers, at a height of 2516m. At this point in the journey, you will cross over from France into Italy. You will pass through high alpine meadows and get to take in the incredible view of this spectacular mountain border. How often is it that you get to trek from one country to another?

Vallon de la Lee Blanche

As you descend down into the Vallon de la Lee Blanche, it will open up into a wide, flat area on the northern side of the river. Keep an eye out for the many marmot families that call this valley home. If you happen to hear them squeak, then you know that they think you are a threat!

La Casermetta Museum

You will pass this mountain museum along your hike, and if you have the extra time, you may be able to go in. Owned by the Regione Valle d’Aosta, it is a cross-border environmental education centre where they also collect socio-demographic data about the Tour du Mont Blanc. One of the most incredible parts of the museum is the 3D plastic model of the Mont Blanc massif.

Col Checrouit

After following the trail past Lac Combal and through the Arp Vieille, you will trek along the spectacular balcony trail to Col Checrouit. The epic views of the southern Mont Blanc Massif can be seen here, so make sure to take in as much as you can. Keep your eyes peeled for marmots as well, you never know when they will poke out of their tunnels. Lastly, if you want to take your time and enjoy the ascent, you have the option to take the chairlift down to Courmayeur at the end.

Courmayeur

Courmayeur is one of northern Italy’s premier mountain towns, This cobblestone-laden town boasts everything from high-end boutiques to ancient churches. If you feel like shopping, you have the opportunity to experience real Italian shopping with Prada, Gucci, and Fendi. You can also simply window shop, enjoy a local meal or visit the galleries.

La Montagne de la Saxe

Travelling on foot from the town of Courmayeur, you will ascend the steep forested slopes to La Montagne de la Saxe. Witness tremendous views of the Grandes Jorasses and the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Take a moment to rest and soak up the views before continuing on with your journey.

Grand Col Ferret

The Grand Col Ferret is a mountain pass rising to 2563m that allows hikers to cross from Italy into Switzerland. At the col you can appreciate views up to Mount Dolent, a shared peak between France, Italy and Switzerland.

Arlaches Village

Wander through the flower-filled Swiss gardens of the chocolate box village, Arlaches. The medieval wooden buildings are decorated with gorgeous flower boxes. This village will take you back in time to simpler days but keep an eye out for hidden gnomes. This is also a perfect time to stop for a snack or a refreshing drink.

Bovine Trail or Fenetre d’Arpette

When walking from Champex to Trient you have the option of taking the Bovine Trail or walking the Fenetre d’Arpette. The Bovine Trail is the easier choice of the two; you will walk through pine forests, over glacial rivers, and across the high alpine pastures. Here you will see the famous Swiss fighting cows. Along the way, you will pass the Bovine Hut. We recommend that you stop and enjoy a delicious slice of homemade apple cake. Yum!

If you would prefer more of a challenge than the Bovine Trail, you can choose to take on the Fenetre d’Arpette at a height of 2665m. This is considered the most challenging mountain pass of the Tour du Mont Blanc and should only be attempted in good conditions. You will ascend and descend on a steep rocky trail across boulder fields and endless switchbacks. Once you reach the top, the expansive views are worth the effort!

Col de Balme (with the additional option of Aiguillettes des Posettes)

After crossing back into France, you can choose to either relax at the Col de Balme Hut or hike the Aiguillette des Posettes. Located between Chamonix Valley and the Trient Valley, the Col de Balme Hut is used by many hikers and is the perfect resting place.

If you have some extra energy left, you can add one last short ascent up the ridge of Aiguillette des Posettes to enjoy the sweeping views of the Mont Blanc massif. This area is also rich with wildflowers that bloom in beautiful colours.

Mont Blanc Express Train

The Mont Blanc Express train services the whole length of the Chamonix Valley from St. Gervais Le Fayet to Martigny in Switzerland. You will be able to take this train as a shortcut into Chamonix, which will be a welcome reprieve for your tired feet. After your walking holiday, you can also use this train for scenic trips, without much walking, if you haven’t had enough of the beautiful mountains.

Aiguille Rouge Nature Reserve

You will get to explore deep into the Aiguille Rouge Nature Reserve, a biodiverse area of more than 16,000 hectares. Here you will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the agile ibex mountain goats. Along the way, you relax next to the icy blue lakes and whilst you may see other trekkers taking a dip, the national park forbid bathing in mountain lakes.

Plan Praz Cable Car

During your trek, you will use the Plan Praz Cable Car to end a day on your hike with a descent back into Chamonix and then use it again to start the following day at the height of 2000m. This is a beautiful way to end and begin the day, with its fantastic views and the ability to rest.

Col du Brevent

Hiking up Col du Brevent is the perfect last ascent of your walking holiday. You will have sweeping views over the north and west of the Aiguilles Rouges. As you wander through the high alpine trail, make sure to take a deep breath of that clean mountain air or pause to smell the sweet scents of the wildflowers.

Les Houches or Brevent Cable Car

As we end our journey, you have the option to descend to Chamonix via the Brevent Cable Car or walk down on foot and go through Les Houches village and take the train/bus back to Chamonix. By taking the cable car, you will follow the same path as the day before and be returned early to Chamonix to finish the day as you please.

If you wish to have a few more moments of walking among the mountains, you can descend through the alpine woodlands via Les Houches. This charming little village has around 3000 inhabitants and is famous for its large winter sports resort. In the summer, you can experience its historical heritage without the swarms of tourists and perhaps stop for a little snack.

non-walking activites

Mountain Museum

The Mountain Museum, located in a house dating back to 1750, details the mountain way of life over the centuries. There are records displaying traditional dwellings, tools, and everyday objects used by the mountain villagers long ago.

Chamonix Touristic City Train

This adorable little train will take you on an educational tour of the city centre. Learn all of the critical facts about Chamonix’s origins, history, monuments, buildings, sports, and activities. You can take the day time or night time tour for an hour of fun.

Alpine Museum

The Musee Alpin is housed in the former Chamonix Palace. Dating back to the 20th century, this museum shows the history of the first tourists that came to Chamonix to admire the glaciers and to compete in the golden age of winter sports. Here you can see the valley through the eyes of past visitors through photographs, relief maps, paintings, and more.

Le Spa du Mont-Blanc

Start or end your trip in the most relaxing fashion at the 5* Le Spa du Mont-Blanc. You may wish to book in for a massage or facial, lounge in the sauna, or take a dip in the refreshing pool. Le Spa is an idyllic location to prep your muscles for the long haul ahead, or to repair them when you have finished.

The Church of the Holy Trinity

Visit the impressive Church of the Holy Trinity in the centre of Les Contamines. This church was completed in 1759 and showcases outstanding features of the baroque heritage in the Savoie region of France. The base of the bell tower was once a part of the ancient Montjoie castle. It somehow managed to survive the French Revolution, the annexation of the Mont-Blanc region, and the Napoleonic wars. However, the secret to making the tin-plated scales that lined the roof, once giving it a golden effect, has been long lost; the roof had to be redone with stainless steel. As you pass through town, it is worth visiting!

Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster

Have a need for speed? Try the alpine luge roller coaster! The rail track is 1300m long with jumps, turns, and spins at 540°. The coaster is extremely safe and features easy speed controls, making for the perfect ride to get your heart pumping. You can even go at night time and ride in the dark!

Tairraz Centre – Crystal Museum

Created as a collaboration between the Mineralogy Club and the town of Chamonix, the Crystal Museum features a wide variety of crystals, minerals, and rocks found within the Mont Blanc region. There is also an interactive section on mountaineering and climbing that will surely engage you.

Saussurea Alpine Botanical Garden

If you haven’t had quite enough of nature yet, take the time to enjoy the sweet scents of the Saussurea Alpine Botanical Garden in Courmayeur. Spend a couple of hours strolling through gorgeous gardens, learning about the flora, and taking in the views of the mountains.

Museo Alpino Duca Abruzzi

The Guides museum, inaugurated in 1929, was originally created by the Duke of Abruzzi. This museum contains guides of the Tour du Mont Blanc over the past century. It highlights detailed notes made by explorers on how they traversed this marvellous landscape. There are other delightful showcases within the museum that will give you perspective and knowledge of the region you are currently trekking.

Go Golfing

Can you imagine golfing with the dramatic mountain landscape in the background? There are 5 gorgeous golf courses in the Aosta Valley; there’s one in Courmayeur, Ginod, Pila, Gressoney-Saint, and Cervinia. These 9-hole golf courses are a great way to spend half the day. If serious golfing isn’t your thing, there is also a mini-golf course in Cogne!

Overview

OVERVIEW

We have distilled this world-class trail into four different tours to suit any trekker’s needs and wants. You can choose the classic Tour du Mont Blanc circuit, which covers the entire 170km trail over 14 days. Here you will experience real alpine life by staying in traditional chalets, family-run hotels, and remote mountain refuges. You will get to witness the chamois and ibex descend from the highest of slopes and ultimately relish in the serenity of isolation.

Reducing this trek by a couple of days allows you to stay each night in the comforts of a 3* hotel. By doing so, you can soak up the French, Italian and Swiss mountain village life and get a taste of their culture. Food, wine, architecture, and entertainment will all be available for your exploration and enjoyment.

Should you have limited time then you can choose our 8-day ‘Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights’, which combines transport links along the circuit so you can walk the best sections of the trek. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a shorter trek, ‘Chamonix to Courmayeur’ completes the westerly route of the Tour du Mont Blanc in 6 days and includes a couple nights in the chic Italian mountain town of Courmayeur.

Of course, we are more than happy to tailor itineraries to suit your needs. Just let us know at the time of booking and we can discuss your options in order to find the best route for you.

History

History

The Mont Blanc area has a rich and long history of alpine tourism. Records date all the way back to 1741, primarily written by men who explored the region and made note of the culture and customs of the locals. In 1760, Horace-Bénédict de Saussure made various trips to this region and wrote four volumes titled, “Journey in the Alps.”

Thermalism, the therapeutic use of hot-water springs for healing a variety of ailments, became popular during this time. When hot springs were found in the Alps, an influx of tourists seeking medical miracles led to the creation of luxurious hotels, restaurants, and shops.

After Mont Blanc was finally conquered in 1786, interest in mountaineering exploded and tourism grew even more. In 1821, the first Compagnie des Guides was formed with nearly 200 members, officially giving a name to mountaineering as a sport and pastime.
In the early 1900s, winter sports made their debut in the Mont Blanc. Skiing, skating, curling, and more winter favourites became common and drew tourists who loved to challenge themselves. When the Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix in 1924, the area became famous. Many ski resorts were built, and other winter sporting events were held over the next few decades. The area had a slow down in the 1980s once everything was built, but they still enjoy a constant stream of tourism.

Today, many tourists visit during the winter and summer. Many who visit in the summer take the long trek of the Mont Blanc massif, which is the most popular long-distance trek in Europe.

Flora & Fauna

Flora & Fauna

The Mont Blanc massif region is well known for its stunning landscapes and scenery. However, there is a rich diversity of flora and fauna that thrive in the area that will capture your hearts and your camera shots.

Much of the fauna in the region are distributed based off of levels of altitude. The animals have adapted to the type of terrain and vegetation available. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule such as the fox. The fox can be found hopping through the lush valleys or in high-altitude meadows.

When hiking through the subalpine levels, you will be able to witness the chamois, deer, and ibex. These large herbivores can frequently be seen munching on grasses, flowers, and moss or balancing on rocky ledges that seem barely wide enough to support them. The male ibex is easy to spot with its massive horns and brown face; it is easy to confuse them with the chamois, a species of goat antelope. This species has much smaller horns, is typically smaller in body size, and features a distinctive white line that runs down the centre of their face.

In the area between the high forests and alpine meadows, you will see pheasants. If you happen to trek through during the spring, then you will likely witness the male pheasants fighting for the right to mate with the females.

In the meadows, you will see the occasional chamois or ibex wander through. While trekking here, you will almost certainly find the golden eagle. The golden eagle is common over most of the northern hemisphere and is characterised by its light gold feathers. It can often be confused by hikers as the bearded vulture; it is very rare to see this bird, as it was nearly hunted to extinction. As a protected species, bearded vultures have risen in numbers to about 100 breeding pairs in all of Europe. You can spot them via their tremendous wingspan of 2.8m (a golden eagle reaches about 2.3m).

The marmot makes a delicious snack for these large birds of prey, but it knows how to stay out of trouble. These giant rodents are a member of the squirrel family and are known for their defensive manoeuvres. They will “stand” and call out to others in the family if they sense danger. When a marmot emits a loud warning squeak, you will see all nearby marmots dart towards their network of underground tunnels.

Depending on the season, you may also be able to see the mountain hare or the stoat poking in and out of the scrubs. You could also see the rock ptarmigan, the alpine chough, or the great red woodpecker flitting around the trees.

As you trek through the Mont Blanc massif, you will see a variety of flora as well. Each type of flora is restricted to a specific altitude, similar to the animals. You will see the most vegetation in the subalpine levels which are dominated by conifer forests. Here you will find pine, spruce, and larch trees; the cones and needle-like foliage of these trees give them a distinctive look. Within the forests, you may be able to spot the rare slipper orchid or the delicate martagon lily.

As you trek upwards, the trees will thin and change to shrubs such as myrtles and rhododendrons. The bright blue petals of the Gentiana acaulis and Gentiana clusii can also be spotted. It is here that you can find the famous Edelweiss, a white flower made famous by the Edelweiss song sung by Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music.

Two flowers hold the record for living at the highest altitude in the Mont Blanc region: the Ranunculus glacialis, a small white flower with a yellow centre, and the saxifrage with two flowers.

All three countries that make up the Mont Blanc Trail put substantial effort and resources into preserving and cultivating the flora and fauna of the region. They want the stunning natural beauty of the Mont Blanc Trail to be enjoyed by all, for many years to come.

Local Cuisine

Local Cuisine

Depending on the tour you book, breakfasts are always included along with a number of dinners. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know at the time of booking so that we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, we suggest bringing along some suitable snacks since specialty ingredients and supplies can be hard to find in the mountains, without prior notice.

In many of your smaller accommodations, meals are often served at set times at a communal table. This makes it easier for the kitchen teams in the smaller accommodations to ensure everyone is served efficiently and no goes hungry after a long day of trekking. The Mont Blanc area has a rich heritage of producing cured meats, alpine cheese along and classic mountain dishes such as cheese fondue, or tartiflette (melted Reblochon cheese, baked with potatoes and bacon). Many of your accommodations can make a picnic lunch for you, or you can buy local produce from small village stores, which is a great part of the experience.

Within your daily walking notes, we have added detailed suggestions on where to dine or buy lunch each day. One of our staff favourites is the Beaufort Cheese from la Vallee des Glaciers, which you can purchase fresh from the farm.

Le Cap Horn

If you are looking for a fancy night out before you begin your walking holiday, look no further than Le Cap Horn. The restaurant is a former two-story chalet decorated with a nautical theme. A mix of French-Asian cuisine will delight your taste buds as you sip from their large selection of wines. This lovely dining experience is often quite busy, so be sure to make a reservation if you are determined to visit.

The Vert Hotel

Located in a hotel, this restaurant is ideal for someone looking for comfort food. This restaurant has a bustling atmosphere, kind staff, and affordable prices. Grab a burger or go a bit fancier with duck breast or poached cod. You will leave happy, full, and ready for your walking holiday.

Le 3842

Dining at Le 3842 is an experience that you will never forget. Le 3842 is perched on the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, hence the name of the restaurant, and is one of the highest eateries in Europe. There is a cable car that will take you up to this intimate restaurant that features the authentic flavours of the Alps. Everything is made from locally sourced produce and the view is simply incredible. If you are willing to spend the money for this experience, it is well worth it!

Le Carnotzet

Located close to your accommodation for the evening is Le Carnotzet. This charming restaurant offers an extensive menu of delectable regional food. Fantastic for a casual dinner on a warm evening, as you can dine on the terrace. Try one of their delicious fondues, but make sure to leave room for dessert!

Ristorante Pizzeria La Terrazza

Are you looking for a yummy pizza or bowl of pasta? Ristorante Pizzeria La Terrazza creates simple Mediterranean Italian cuisine that will provide you with a hearty finish to a long day. You can take advantage of their a la carte menu, the tasting menu, the special menu, or the Aosta Valley menu to find the ideal meal for you.

Restaurante Pierre Alexis 1877

This enchanting restaurant prides itself on creating delectable traditional dishes from the Aosta Valley. They focus on creating the perfect blend of flavours and textures while still focusing on the essentials of life: wine, olive oil, bread, and good friends.

Le Vieux Pommier

Le Vieux Pommier gets its name from the old apple tree that stands in the centre of the restaurant. This restaurant combines the flavours of traditional Valdostan dishes with the local flavours of the Franco-Swiss Alps. Enjoy the high altitude with a mountain pasture salad with goat cheese while sipping on local wines.

Broc’n Pub

If you are looking for eclectic décor, friendly staff, low prices, and a thirst-quenching beer, look no further than Broc’n Pub. This little pub is a fun place to relax and hang out with new friends. Pop on over at the end of the day, just remember that it is cash only!

La Cabanon

Instead of grabbing a beer at the end of the day, how about a coffee or tea? La Cabanon offers refreshing drinks that you can enjoy in the final glimmers of sunlight on the terrace. Located in the resort of Champex-Lac in Valais, it is a beautiful way to kick your feet up and chill.

Les Cheserys in Argentiere

Les Cheserys serves traditional French cuisine with a modern twist. They offer a variety of high-value options such as combining one, two, or three courses. You could try their Black Angus beef, duck breast, or the fan favourite onion soup. If you are feeling lazy, you can simply order take away; if you want to lounge in the sun, there is a lovely terrace waiting for you.

La P’tite Verte

La P’tite Verte is a traditional restaurant that focuses on the tastes of the region. You can try their tasty fondues and precisely cooked meats, finishing the meal with a creamy dessert. The menu even incorporates digestive drinks after meals to ensure that you are left feeling content.

Le Grenier

Are you in need of something sweet to end the day? Le Grenier is a restaurant and creperie. They offer mouth-watering foods and desserts on their ever-changing menu. Each day of the week, they offer a different menu composed of fresh and local products. Make sure to save plenty of room for their spectacular desserts!

ACCOMMODATION

ACCOMMODATION

Along this walking holiday, you will stay in 3* hotels, family-run hotels, mountain auberges, and mountain refuges. All of the accommodations are welcoming and accustomed to trekkers. With the exception of only a couple of nights, all rooms are private with an ensuite. On these 2 nights where accommodation is limited, the properties we stay in have shared bathrooms however these facilities are immaculately clean and there is always plenty of hot water for everyone.

The summer alpine trekking season is very popular and therefore, we may have to book another similar accommodation of the same standard. If this is necessary, it will be discussed during the booking process. If you request a twin room, please bear in mind that it is normal in Switzerland for two separate mattresses to be pushed together or two single mattresses to be contained in one bed frame. In addition, given the busy season, it may not be possible to have a single room in every overnight stay. We will always try to meet your requirements. Booking early will allow us time to try and meet your needs, ensuring a higher chance of success.

Hotel L’Oustalet

Hotel L’Oustalet is a charming, family-run, Savoyard hotel at the foot of the Aiguille du Midi. Located close to the centre of Chamonix and the train station, this lovely hotel is the ideal location to begin your walking holiday. Soak up the sunshine in the expansive garden, read a book in the living room, take a dip in the pool, or grab a drink at the bar before retiring to a beautiful wood-panelled room.

Hotel Gai Soleil

Hotel Gai Soleil is a 3* hotel with over 190 years of history. Built in 1823, Gai Soleil has stood the test of time and provided countless memories for thousands of adventurers over the decades. Located in the heart of the town, take in the expansive view of the Montjoie Valley from its peaceful garden. A mix of old farmhouse style and modern amenities make for a relaxing stay after a long day of walking. Each room is unique and designed to provide ultimate comfort. Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay.

Auberge de la Nova

During this leg of the journey, you have the option to stay at the Auberge de la Nova or the Refuge Mottets. The Auberge de la Nova was the second hotel built in the Les Chapieux, Now the hotel is one of the main stopovers along the trail and provides excellent services for trekkers . The majestic mountain background is the quintessential ending to a long day of fresh mountain air. Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay.

Refuge Mottets

At this section of the trip, you have the option to stay at the Refuge Mottets or the Auberge de la Nova. Nestled in the Valley of the Glaciers, just south of the French Alps, Refuge Mottets is the epitome of peaceful comfort. Try the locally made cheeses, watch the marmots dash around the meadows, or enjoy the glittering of the stars in the darkness of the night before enjoying a well-deserved rest in one of their comfortable rooms. Breakfast and dinner is included in your stay.

Rifugio Elisabetta

At the bottom of the Val Veny, the Rifugio Elisabetta is located in one of the wildest corners of the Tour du Mont Blanc trail. Here you will be up close and personal with nature, with breathtaking landscapes just outside the door. Other travellers will be on the same circuit as you, so this is the perfect opportunity to make friends, share stories, and learn something new. Breakfast and dinner are included with your stay.

Hotel Crampon

After a night high in the mountains, Hotel Crampon’s 3* amenities are perfect to help you recuperate. The hotel is tucked away on a quiet side street in the centre of Courmayeur. After completing your trek for the day, you will be able to explore the shops, restaurants, and bars just a few minutes’ walk away. Breakfast is included with your stay.

Rifugio Bonatti

Perched high above the Val Ferret is the Rifugio Bonatti. Named after Walter Bonatti, the famous Italian mountaineer and climber, this mountain refuge provides a lovely place to rest among the wild mountain environment. Enjoy sampling their famous hot chocolate, drink a beer from the well-stocked bar, grab a bite to eat in the restaurant, and get a good night’s sleep in their comfortable rooms. When you awaken, you will be greeted by tremendous views of the mountain peaks and glaciers.

Hotel Edelweiss

Named after the famous mountain flower, the Hotel Edelweiss upholds the beauty of the flower by maintaining the original , wooden chalet exterior so very typical of picture postcard village scenes. Views over the white-capped mountains or the cosy village of La Fouly can be seen from the stylish rooms, outfitted with modern amenities. In the evening you enjoy a drink in the hotel bar before dining on local dishes. Breakfast and dinner are included.

Hotel Glacier

Hotel Glacier upholds four generations of 3* quality service in its resort-style accommodation. Take a break from the trekking by lounging on the terrace, basking in the sunny gardens or taking a stroll to the picturesque lake, only a few minutes walk from the hotel. Enjoy the charming atmosphere of the restaurant as you sample authentic dishes from the region. Comfortable rooms make for a lovely end to a long day.

La Grande Ourse

Located halfway between Chamonix and Martigny, La Grande Ourse is the ideal stop along your walking holiday. At 1300m altitude and at the foot of two glaciers, the most spectacular part of La Grande Ourse is without a doubt the view. Enjoy the hospitality of this family-run hotel at the end of your day. Breakfast and dinner are included with your stay.

Hotel de la Couronne

An effortless blend of authenticity and modern amenities perfectly describes the Hotel de la Couronne. Nestled at the foot of the Mont Blanc trail, in the alpine village of Argentiere, Hotel de la Couronne prides itself on over 150 years of incredible service. Enjoy wooden framed rooms with Wi-Fi and television as a way to relax before hitting the divine restaurant next door. Breakfast and dinner are included with your stay.

Transport

Transport

Our range of Tour du Mont Blanc treks start and finish in Chamonix, France, which can be easily reached from Geneva.

From Geneva Airport, Switzerland:

Geneva Airport is around a 90minute transfer to Chamonix Valley. From Geneva Airport, there are several regular private bus transfer services to the Chamonix Valley. We recommend using Mountain Drop-Offs who will meet you at Geneva Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Chamonix. The online booking service is very easy to use and we will supply you with a discount code at the time of confirming your booking to pre-book your required transfers.

We will transfer your luggage between accommodations along the way and walkers will only have to wear a day pack with your trekking essentials.

If you have any questions regarding transportation to Chamonix, please feel free to reach out to us and one of our knowledgeable staff members will be happy to assist you.

1. High speed TGV services

You may consider train travel to Geneva. High speed TGV services connect through to Paris in 3 hours and Milan in 5 hours. You will arrive into Geneva Cornavin station where we would suggest changing for the rapid airport connections (10mins) for your Mountain Drop Off transfer.

2. Rome2Rio planning tool

If you are looking for an alternative method of transportation, we suggest using the travel planning tool Rome2Rio.

Climate & Weather

Climate & Weather

The Tour du Mont Blanc route is open during the alpine summer season (early July through to the end of September). Daytimes are usually sunny with temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, dropping to around 10°C at night. It is also common for thunderstorms to build into the late afternoon and evening. You are more than likely to experience rain showers along. On occasion, in the height of summer, cold fronts can sweep through the alps, bringing snow at higher altitudes. Always check the weather before setting out and always carry wet and warm weather gear with you (even on the sunniest of days).

Terrain

Terrain

The Tour du Mont Blanc is made up of many well-defined tracks and trails. You will hike through a variety of landscapes including forest trails, high alpine pastures, over high rocky mountain passes, and into the villages and towns where you will stay . While traversing the highest parts of the trails, there is a possibility that you will have to pass through some patches of snow, so good footwear is essential

Each day there will be prolonged ascents and descents which can be on steep but straightforward ground (the majesty of the impressive Mont Blanc Massif is great distraction on the ascents!). On the last 2 days of the longer tours (the 12 and 14 day variation), the route includes short sections of ladders and rails that have been bolted into the rock which makes for a great day of adventurous trekking. It is possible to avoid these sections and we would be more than happy to discuss daily route options with you.

when to walk

when to walk

Once the winter snowfall clears, the Tour du Mont Blanc runs from July through to September. Some of the higher mountain passes may remain closed due to heavy snowfall at the beginning of the season, but on most days, there is always an alternative walk to reach your next destination. If there has been exceptionally high snowfall, the trail may remain closed for the first few weeks of our walk season. Should this happen, we will do our best to reschedule any affected tours for a later date.

At the end of the season, some transportation options to reduce the walk distances, close earlier than others, so you. must be prepared to walk to full distance everyday.

walking fitness levels

walking fitness levels

On the Tour du Mont Blanc, you will be walking around 15-20k per day with an ascent and descent of around 1500m.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is rated as moderate to challenging. It is recommended for experienced walkers that have an active lifestyle and are used to trekking 6-7 hours a day over a variety of terrain, with sustained levels of ascent and descent (up to 1500m) s. , In preparation for trekking The Tour du Mont Blanc it is suggested that trekkers exercise 3 to 4 times a week in addition to their usual walks.

If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please feel free to consult with us on the best options for you.

walking essentials

walking essentials

Your main piece of luggage will be transported for you each day as you walk, so when you arrive at your accommodation, it will be there waiting for you. You will only have to carry a day pack with your essentials.

If you choose to walk our Ultimate Tour du Mont Blanc, you will spend 2 nights in mountain refuges, which is a great part of the alpine experience. Owing to the remote locations of these refuges you will not have access to your main piece of luggage on these nights so will you need to carry anything you need for the overnight stay along with a silk sleeping bag liner and a lightweight travel towel. We would suggest a 30L day pack would be sufficient.

NAVIGATION
The route is well marked and you will be provided with a guidebook, a daily walk summary, and maps. We can also offer GPX tracks if you require one for your own device.

Due to the nature of the terrain, in good weather you can usually see the trail unfolding ahead of you for quite some distance (including the way markers in the distance). However, mountain weather can change quickly, reducing visibility and therefore it is strongly advisable that at least one of your trekking party feels confident using a compass and a map to locate your whereabouts, you should always be able to locate you whereabouts on the map.

As with any journey, it is essential to be prepared for your self-guided walking holiday. While we will be transporting your luggage from accommodation to accommodation, you will still be carrying a lightweight day pack with you. Here is what we suggest that you carry with you each day:

  • Guidebook, maps, map case, compass and walk summary
  • Picnic lunch packed in an insulated container
  • Quality waterproof jacket with a hood and waterproof pants
  • Quick drying fleece or jumper
  • Extra long sleeve layer
  • Sun protection
  • Comfortable walking boots
  • Sunscreen (at least 15 SPF+)
  • 2 to 3 litres of water
  • First aid kit, personal medication, insect repellant
  • Toilet paper
  • Local currency and credit card
  • Mobile phone (please note that reception is not available in all walk areas)
  • A small container of salt mixed with rice grains
  • Any other personal effects
  • And don’t forget to waterproof your bag!

Now that we have the essentials packed, it is time to think of any additional items that may be worth taking along with you. These items may include but are not limited to:

  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Extra socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana or buff
  • Camera (with an extra battery or SIM cards)
  • Battery pack and charging cable for phone
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook and pen
  • Matches
  • Small torch
  • Walking stick / walking poles
  • Additional snacks

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office and have a chat with our friendly team. We will happily advise you on what types of clothing, backpacks, boots, and other materials you may need for your walking holiday.

locations

locations

non-walking activites

non-walking activites

Mountain Museum

The Mountain Museum, located in a house dating back to 1750, details the mountain way of life over the centuries. There are records displaying traditional dwellings, tools, and everyday objects used by the mountain villagers long ago.

Chamonix Touristic City Train

This adorable little train will take you on an educational tour of the city centre. Learn all of the critical facts about Chamonix’s origins, history, monuments, buildings, sports, and activities. You can take the day time or night time tour for an hour of fun.

Alpine Museum

The Musee Alpin is housed in the former Chamonix Palace. Dating back to the 20th century, this museum shows the history of the first tourists that came to Chamonix to admire the glaciers and to compete in the golden age of winter sports. Here you can see the valley through the eyes of past visitors through photographs, relief maps, paintings, and more.

Le Spa du Mont-Blanc

Start or end your trip in the most relaxing fashion at the 5* Le Spa du Mont-Blanc. You may wish to book in for a massage or facial, lounge in the sauna, or take a dip in the refreshing pool. Le Spa is an idyllic location to prep your muscles for the long haul ahead, or to repair them when you have finished.

The Church of the Holy Trinity

Visit the impressive Church of the Holy Trinity in the centre of Les Contamines. This church was completed in 1759 and showcases outstanding features of the baroque heritage in the Savoie region of France. The base of the bell tower was once a part of the ancient Montjoie castle. It somehow managed to survive the French Revolution, the annexation of the Mont-Blanc region, and the Napoleonic wars. However, the secret to making the tin-plated scales that lined the roof, once giving it a golden effect, has been long lost; the roof had to be redone with stainless steel. As you pass through town, it is worth visiting!

Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster

Have a need for speed? Try the alpine luge roller coaster! The rail track is 1300m long with jumps, turns, and spins at 540°. The coaster is extremely safe and features easy speed controls, making for the perfect ride to get your heart pumping. You can even go at night time and ride in the dark!

Tairraz Centre – Crystal Museum

Created as a collaboration between the Mineralogy Club and the town of Chamonix, the Crystal Museum features a wide variety of crystals, minerals, and rocks found within the Mont Blanc region. There is also an interactive section on mountaineering and climbing that will surely engage you.

Saussurea Alpine Botanical Garden

If you haven’t had quite enough of nature yet, take the time to enjoy the sweet scents of the Saussurea Alpine Botanical Garden in Courmayeur. Spend a couple of hours strolling through gorgeous gardens, learning about the flora, and taking in the views of the mountains.

Museo Alpino Duca Abruzzi

The Guides museum, inaugurated in 1929, was originally created by the Duke of Abruzzi. This museum contains guides of the Tour du Mont Blanc over the past century. It highlights detailed notes made by explorers on how they traversed this marvellous landscape. There are other delightful showcases within the museum that will give you perspective and knowledge of the region you are currently trekking.

Go Golfing

Can you imagine golfing with the dramatic mountain landscape in the background? There are 5 gorgeous golf courses in the Aosta Valley; there’s one in Courmayeur, Ginod, Pila, Gressoney-Saint, and Cervinia. These 9-hole golf courses are a great way to spend half the day. If serious golfing isn’t your thing, there is also a mini-golf course in Cogne!

blog

October 2, 2019

The Cotswolds | England’s Living History

Read More
August 16, 2019

Walk the walk, for Biodiversity

Read More
August 13, 2019

Slow Travel – lessons from a man with a whip

Read More
July 2, 2019

How to Become a Dual Pilgrim, and More Importantly, Why…?

Read More
June 14, 2019

Amazing Places to See Aboriginal Rock Art in Australia

Read More
June 3, 2019

Wild Animals of the Larapinta Trail

Read More
June 3, 2019

How to Get Fit For a Walking Holiday

Read More
May 14, 2019

5 Best Walks in The Blue Mountains

Read More
May 7, 2019

Photography Tips for Non-Photographers

Read More
May 7, 2019

The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail

Read More

ENQUIRE NOW

If you’re looking for further information on any of our walking holidays please fill out the enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.

Get in touch