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Tour du Mont Blanc: the classic of the Alps! | Walkingholidays in France, Italy, Switzerland France Italy Most Popular Walking holiday Switzerland 

Tour du Mont Blanc: The Classic of the Alps! – SELF-GUIDED

Duration: 12 Days
Starting From: Chamonix
Locations Visited: Les Houches, Les Contamines, Courmayeur
Trip Style: Mountainous
Availability: From 29th of June to 1st of September (Special note: Detailed trip file for Comfort 12 Days)
Price From: €1,390

walking-grade-mod-to-hard or walking-grade-difficult

Summary

Highlights

  • Highest mountain
  • Iconic walking trails
  • Three countries (France, Italy and Switzerland)
  • Exquisite mountain scenery and landscapes

Would you like to navigate your way around the world-renowned Mont Blanc at your own pace, at a time that suits you best, with travel companions of your choice?

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of Europe’s most popular long distance walks. You choose which route you take, how long you spend walking and when you take breaks. If you become weary, you can get bus transfers on some stages to allow you to rest. You’ll travel through three countries, enjoying a walking tour that fulfils your desires in one of the world’s finest landscapes. We, at One Foot Abroad, want you to have the most enjoyable hiking experience possible, so we provide you with a road-book and a detailed map with the well-marked path clearly identified. We will also organise your accommodation and luggage transfer so that you enjoy a carefree walk.
Our Tour du Mont Blanc operates from late June to early September every year. We offer you three options which are detailed on the Itinerary tab on this webpage. You can choose between trips of 8 or 13 days, which involve different levels of fitness. Intrepid hikers who choose the more challenging routes will be rewarded with the most awe-inspiring views of mountains and valleys.
This iconic walking trail through the Alps passes through three countries offering three diverse experiences: the Italian slopes with their large rock faces; the Swiss slopes with their soft valleys; and the French glacial slopes. Depending on the precise route you take, there are ten or eleven passes to cross as the tour progresses from one valley to the next. Each of these valleys showcases unforgettable views and each has its own individual character.
The ‘official’ route has changed over the course of the years and many alternatives, or ‘Variantes’, exist to the standard route. We’ve selected these stages on the TMB trail paths which save you from having to carry any unnecessary heavy equipment. There is no need for a bivouac, tent, stove or pan so you can hike in comfort with just a day pack. Altitude ranges between 1164m (Argentiere) and 2671m (Window of Arpette). The paths are well marked to ensure you remain safely on the route and this is a comfortable climb for hikers with a reasonable level of fitness.

Profile of Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc is more than just the highest mountain in Europe west of the Caucasus. In fact, it’s a mountain range, compact and complete in itself. The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is the most popular long walk in Europe and a highly desirable adventure for everyone who loves hiking in a beautiful environment. The TMB reveals some of the most exquisite mountain scenery and landscapes in the world. The first pedestrian tour around Mont Blanc took place as long ago as 1767, when Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and friends set out from Chamonix. Arthur Schopenhauer includes an anecdote that “Saussure is reported to have seen a moon so large that, when it rose over Mont Blanc, he did not recognize it and fainted with terror”.
“Mont Blanc is the monarch of mountains; they crowned him long ago on a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds, with a diadem of snow.” Lord Byron
How To Book
Treat yourself to this classic high alpine tour of the Mont Blanc Massif with our 8- or 13-day itinerary! Enjoy the flexibility of a self-guided tour in a gorgeous landscape with the security of One Foot Abroad’s support. Because you can start the tour on any day you choose, this allows you to select the most convenient flight. Once on the tour, you and your party can start each day at a time that suits you best and you can walk at your own pace. So if you have a reasonable level of fitness and would love to circle the Mont Blanc mountain range, book now to experience one of the best walking holidays in the world.

Itinerary

Comfort 12 days      Authentic 13 days      Comfort 8 days      Itinerary description      Map

Comfort 12 days – Complete tour – Private rooms in Gite / 2* hotel / 3* hotel   walking-grade-mod-to-hard
This itinerary allows you to walk the complete tour of Mont Blanc in Comfort, i.e. you will always have a private room with a bathroom en suite (except Day 4 and 6 where there is only a possibility for a shared bathroom). The idea is to provide you with the highest possible standard of accommodation around Mont Blanc while being truthful to the path and to the walking interest. Dinners are included where there are no other options (for instance in Les Chapieux). In bigger towns, like Chamonix or Courmayeur, it is on B&B basis.

Day 1: Chamonix B&B (hotel 2*/3*)
Day 2: from Chamonix to Les Houches B&B (hotel 2*/3*): 19km/4h50
Day 3: from Les Houches to Les Contamines B&B (hotel 2*/3*)
 By TMB: 16km/5h15
 By variante Châlet de Miage: 18km/7h30
Day 4: from Les Contamines to Les Chapieux HB (private room / shared bathroom): 18km/7h15
Day 5: from Les Chapieux to Courmayeur B&B (hotel 2*/3*): 28km/10h
Possibility of reducing the stage to 8h30 by using local bus
(from 1st July)
Day 6: from Courmayeur to Lavachey HB (private room / shared bathroom)
 By TMB: 12km/5h15
 By variante Col Sapin: 18km/7h30
Day 7: from Lavachey to La Fouly HB (hotel 2*): 20km/7h30
Day 8: from la Fouly to Champex HB (hotel 3*): 15km/4h15
Day 9: from Champex to Trient HB (gite/hotel)
 By TMB: 16km/4h45
 By Fenêtre d’Arpette: 14km/6h15
Day 10: from Col de la Forclaz to Argentiere B&B (hotel 2*/3*)
 By TMB: 15km/6h
 By Aiguillete des Posettes: 20km/6h30
Day 11: from Argentiere to Chamonix B&B (hotel 2*/3*)
By Refuge Planpraz: 13km/5h30
By TMB main route (until Le Brévent): 17,5km – 7h30
By Lac Blanc option: 18,5km/8h15
Day 12: Chamonix – End of trip

Authentic 13 days – Complete tour – Shared dorms in Mountain huts / Gite  walking-grade-mod-to-hard
This itinerary is the most authentic of all. Not only you will walk the whole tour without any bus transfer, but you will stay in accommodation high up in the mountains (mountain huts called refuges and gites when in town or villages). Refuges worth the experience. You share a hearty meal with your co- guests of the evening and sleep in dorms (we always privilege small dorms of 4/6/8 persons when possible). The next morning, you wake up in the middle of the mountain in an environment where you will be the first person of the day to step in, still virgin of other TMB walkers. And of course, this option happens to be the cheapest one with most dinners included.

Day 1: Chamonix (gite in dorms of 4/6/8 persons – shared bathroom) B&B
Day 2: from Chamonix to Les Houches (gite in dorms of 4/6/8 pers – shared bathroom) – Night only: 19km/4h50
Day 3: from Les Houches to Refuge des Chalets de Miage – Dinner & breakfast: 10km/5h15
Day 4: from Refuge des Chalets de Miage to Refuge du Nant Borrant – Dinner & breakfast: 13,5km/4h00
Day 5: from Refuge du Nant Borrant to Refuge des Mottets – Dinner & breakfast: 14km/6h30
Day 6: from Refuge des Mottets to Refuge Maison Vieille – Dinner & breakfast: 21km/7h
Day 7: from Refuge Maison Vieille to Refuge Bonatti – Dinner & breakfast
 By TMB: 18,5km/6h15
 By variante Col Sapin: 21,5km/8h15
Day 8: from Refuge Bonatti to La Fouly – Dinner & breakfast: 20km/6h30
Day 9: from La Fouly to Champex – B&B 15km/4h15
Day 10: from Champex to Trient – Dinner & breakfast
 By TMB: 17km/5h
 By Fenêtre d’Arpette: 15km/6h45
Day 11: from Trient to Tré Le Champ – Dinner & breakfast
 By TMB: 13km/5h30
 By Aiguillete des Posettes: 18km/6h
Day 12: from Tré Le Champ to Chamonix (gite in dorms of 4/6/8 persons – shared bathroom) B&B
By TMB: 22km/8h30
By Col des Montets & Lac Blanc: 23km/9h
Day 13: Chamonix – End of trip

Comfort 8 days – tour with transfers – Private rooms in Gite / 2* hotel / 3* hotel  walking-grade-difficult
This itinerary allows you to walk the tour of Mont Blanc in Comfort in only 8 days, i.e. you will always have a private room with a bathroom en suite The idea is to provide you with the highest possible standard of accommodation around Mont Blanc while allowing you to experience the Tour of Mont Blanc within a week period. Dinners are included where there are no other options (for instance in Les Chapieux). In bigger towns, like Chamonix or Courmayeur, it is on B&B basis.

Day 1: Chamonix B&B (hotel 2*/3*)
Day 2: Transfer to Les Houches + walk from Les Houches to Les Contamines B&B (hotel 2*/3*)
By TMB: 16km/5h15
By variante Châlet de Miage: 18km/7h30
Day 3: from Les Contamines to Les Chapieux HB (private room / shared bathroom): 18km/7h15
Day 4: from Les Chapieux to Courmayeur B&B (hotel 2*/3*):33km/10h
Possibility of reducing the stage to 8h30 by using local bus
(from 1st July)
Day 5: transfer to Arnuva + walk from Arnuva to La Fouly + transfer to Champex B&B (hotel 3*): 14,5km/5h
Day 6: from Champex to Trient HB (gite/hotel)
By TMB: 16km/4h45
By Fenêtre d’Arpette: 14km/6h15
Day 7: from Col de la Forclaz to Argentiere + transfer to Chamonix B&B (hotel 2*/3*)
By TMB: 15km/6h
By Aiguillete des Posettes: 20km/6h30
Day 8: Chamonix

Itinerary description (based on comfort trip):

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.

 Day 2: Chamonix to Les Houches 19km/4h50
High 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.

Day 3: Les Houches to Les Contamines
 By TMB: 16km/5h15
By variante Châlet de Miage: 18km/7h30

High 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.

Day 4: Les Contamines to Les Chapieux 18km/7h15
High 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.

Day 5: Les Chapieux to Courmayeur 33km/10h
Possibility of reducing the stage to 8h30 by using local bus
(from 1st July)

High 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.

Day 6: Courmayeur to Lavachey
 By TMB: 12km/5h15
By variante Col Sapin: 18km/7h30

High 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.

Day 7: Lavachey to La Fouly 20km/7h15
High 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.

Day 8: La Fouly to Champex 15km/4h15
High 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.

Day 9: Champex to Col de la Forclaz
 By TMB: 16km/4h45
By Fenêtre d’Arpette: 14km/6h15

High 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.

Day 10: Col de la Forclaz to Argentière
 By TMB: 15km/6h
By Refuge Les Grands: 20km/6h30

High 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.

Day 11: Argentière to Chamonix
 By Les Praz-de-Chamonix: 20km/5h10
By Planpraz: 21km/5h20
By Alpages de Charlanon: 24km/6h

High 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.

Day 12: Chamonix
We can arrange extra nights anywhere on the itinerary after your last walking day. We can also arrange station/airport transfer. Please get in touch: info@onefootabroad.com for more info.

Special note :

On the last week end of August (due to the UTMB), a supplement of €50 per night per person will apply for the night(s) in Chamonix. Also a transfer (included) will be arranged to an available hotel in one of the nearby towns.

Access

Best airport is Geneva International Airport. Other possible airports: Lyon International Airport or Paris Orly and Paris Charles De Gaulle.
Check train transfers below to choose the most convenient airport.

Geneva International Airport, 88 km west of Chamonix.
Daily direct flights:
Geneva – London Stanted (1.35 hrs) – British Airways
Geneva – Dublin ( 2.10 hrs) – Aerlingus
Geneva – Cork (3.50 hrs) – KLM
Lyon – Dublin (2.05 hrs) – Aerlingus

Daily TGV from/to:
Genova – Chamonix (6.45 hrs)
Lyon – Chamonix (4.00 hrs) – 1 connection in St Gervais Les Bains
Paris – Chamonix (6.45 hrs) – 1 connection Bellegarde

Details on prices and time on the sncf website

Motorway:
Geneva/Chamonix: 80 km (A40)
Annecy/Chamonix 100 km (A40)
Lyon/Chamonix: 220 km (A42, then A40)
Paris/Chamonix: 615 km (A6, then A40)

Geneva/Chamonix: schedules
Chamonix bus: schedules

See our options in Date & Prices 

Included

Included
7 or 12 nights in 2*/3* hotels or Auberges/Gites/Refuges
7 or 12 Breakfasts (Dinners where it is specified in the itinerary)
Roadbook (Guidebook)
Luggage Transfer (except in some stages: refuges or gites inaccessible)
24/7 Customer Care

Optional
Transfer from/to airport
Extra Night stays
Upgrade Hotels: 3* or 4*

Not Included
Flights/trains (see access tab)
Insurance
Drinks
Small ground transfers for the 8 days itinerary and the 10 days itinerary

Enquire now

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