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Classic Hiking or Fastpacking of Tour du Mont Blanc

Dario Trovatelli, 3 Peaks Adventures
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10 day
Dario Trovatelli, 3 Peaks Adventures
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  • Tour du Mont Blanc—it’s one of the most famous long-distance treks in the world, and it’s time you finally cross it off your bucket list. What better way to do it than by doing it the classic way: over 10 days, going hut-to-hut. You will get to know the heart of the Alps and hit the high-altitude hiking trails around Mont Blanc, and there will be an experienced guide by your side the whole way through! Remember, this trek is a lot more than just hiking: you will also get to know the cultural, historical, and gastronomical aspects of the area at the crossroads of 3 countries. Find out for yourself what makes this one of the world’s greatest treks!

    • Your adventure starts at the Planpraz cable car station, easily reached by foot from Chamonix center. Get on the trail and hike along the Grand Balcon, passing through alpine meadows and serene forests—showcasing the diverse natural beauty of the region. Pass by the Aiguille Rouges nature reserve and the Chésery mountain lakes. Today you’ll have a shorter walk, allowing you to gradually adjust to the altitude and terrain.

      Accommodation: Gîte le Moulin
      Hiking: 5 hours, 13 km / 8 miles
      Elevation gain: +500 m / +1,640 ft

      Lake Chesery, Mont Blanc
    • After a hearty breakfast, leave Montroc and set out for the stunning Col de Balme, a high mountain pass marking the border between France and Switzerland. This stage offers a terrific opportunity to take incredible photos of the monumental Alps. After crossing into Switzerland, make your way back down to Trient, a charming Swiss village nestled in the Valais Alps—this is where you’ll end your day.

      Accommodation: Auberge Mont Blanc
      Hiking: 6 hours, 13 km / 8 miles
      Elevation gain: +900 m / +2,950 ft

      Mountain pass Col de Balme with alpine flowers and great views of glaciated peaks.
    • As you depart Trient, you’ll gradually ascend towards the Col de la Forclaz, and then further through forests to reach the Bovine meadow. Walk amidst open meadows, where cows and sheep graze in the summer months, and be treated to stunning views of the Rhone Valley stretched out below. You will then enter a serene forested area around Champex-d’en-Haut. Pass through the cool shade of the trees and soak in the tranquil vibes before arriving at the Col de Champex.

      Accommodation: Gîte Bon Abri
      Hiking: 7 hours, 16 km / 10 miles
      Elevation gain: +900 m / +2,950 ft

      Alpine valley nestled between gradual slopes and rugged peaks and covered in trees.
    • Start hiking and you’ll soon be treated to the captivating sight of Lac de Champex, a pristine mountain lake surrounded by forests. Descend to the valley of the Dranse river and follow it meander through the Val Ferret. This section is notably shorter and easier than some of the other sections of the trek. Today’s hiking ends in La Fouly, a cozy Swiss village that provides the ideal backdrop for a peaceful evening of relaxation.

      Accommodation: Auberge des Glaciers
      Hiking: 6 hours, 15 km / 9.3 miles
      Elevation gain: +600 m / +1,970 ft

      Champex le Lac
    • Starting in La Fouly, journey past the charming hamlet of Ferret and start a long climb over the Grand Col Ferret. This pass marks the border between Switzerland and Italy, and it’s the highest point of the Tour du Mont Blanc! Here is where hikers get to take in breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc massif dominating the skyline. A steep descent leads you to the Italian Val Ferret, where you’ll reach the Rifugio Bonatti after a long day of hiking. The hut is situated on a balcony opposite the Mont Blanc massif, offering spectacular views of the mountain.

      Accommodation: Rifugio Bonatti
      Hiking: 9 hours, 19 km / 11.8 miles
      Elevation gain: +1,300 m / +4,265 ft

    • Leave the rifugio and follow the contours of the Mont de la Saxe, offering incredible views of the Mont Blanc range. The path then descends, leading you down into the charming town of Courmayeur, an Italian alpine resort known for its lovely streets, vibrant atmosphere, and delicious cuisine. Final leg of the day is a steep ascent to Maison Vieille, a refuge perched high above the valley. Positioned strategically on the trail, it serves as an ideal place for trekkers to rest, mingle, and enjoy the panoramas.

      Accommodation: Rifugio Maison Vieille
      Hiking: 8 hours, 17 km / 10.6 miles
      Elevation gain: +1,000 m / +3,280 ft

      Courmayeur in Italy
    • Departing from the rifugio, you’ll follow the Mont Favre ridgeline with more spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif. Pass the last few trees on the way down to the Veny valley before it leads you on a long and gradual climb to the Col de la Seigne. This high mountain pass is the border between Italy and France, and it’s the second highest point along the entire Tour du Mont Blanc. Continue going down to the Refuge des Mottets, a welcoming mountain hut that concludes the day’s journey.

      Accommodation: Refuge des Mottets
      Hiking: 8 hours, 18 km / 11.2 miles
      Elevation gain: +1,000 m / +3,280 ft

    • Today starts with an easy downhill path to Les Chapieux. This stage stands out for its complete lack of forested areas, allowing trekkers to fully immerse themselves in the open alpine landscapes. As you leave Les Chapieux, the trail takes a challenging turn, with a steep climb leading to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. Descend down into the picturesque La Balme pasture and finally, after a long day, reach the modern refuge des Prés above the Montjoie valley.

      Accommodation: Refuge des Prés
      Hiking: 8 hours, 17 km / 10.6 miles
      Elevation gain: +1,000 m / +3,280 ft

    • The ninth day of the Tour du Mont Blanc begins with a gentle descent, guiding you to Pont Romain, a relic of ancient Roman roads. You’ll reach Notre Dame de la Gorge, a picturesque chapel nestled along the trail. Continue onto Les Contamines, a charming Alpine commune where you can grab a coffee or try one of the delicious French pastries. The route then leads you along a gradual ascent, taking you back to Mont Truc to conclude the day. This grassy hilltop offers views of the impressive Mont Joly and Aiguille de Bionnassay.

      Accommodation: Chalet du Truc or Chalets des Miages
      Hiking: 5 hours, 13 km / 8 miles
      Elevation gain: +600 m / +1,970 ft

    • Last day of Tour du Mont Blanc! Starting from the refuge, pass the Chalets de Miages, an Alpine hamlet. As the trail continues, a short but steep ascent towards the Col de Tricot brings you to the highest point of the day. Take in the views and start descending, crossing a suspension bridge that spans the Torrent de Bionnassay. The trail then takes you uphill to Bellevue, where you can catch your first glimpse of Chamonix, offering a sense of achievement. A final downhill brings you to Les Houches, where the finish arch awaits at the Tourism Office.

      Congrats! You’ve just finished the iconic Tour du Mont Blanc!

      Hiking: 5 hours, 12 km / 7.5
      Elevation gain: +700 m / +2,300 ft

    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • Tour du Mont Blanc (either the classic 10-day or the fastpacking 7-day option)
        • Accommodation during the tour (details in the itinerary)
        • Cable cars and transportation as indicated in the itinerary
        • All meals during the trip (starting with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on the last day)

      What’s not included:

        • Transportation to and from Chamonix, France
        • Airport transfers — we recommend Mountain Drop-Offs
        • Accommodations prior to and after the tour
        • Sleeping bag liner
        • Personal drinks and snacks — bring you favorites, but they can be bought along the way in towns and at huts
        • Travel and health insurance
        • Guide gratuities — optional
    • You’ve got two options when it comes to Tour du Mont Blanc hut-to-hut hiking—the classic Tour du Mont Blanc and the fastpacking version of it. Regardless of the version you choose, keep in mind that you’ll be carrying your backpack with all your belongings the whole way through. There will also be some exposed sections, so Tour du Mont Blanc is not recommended for those with severe fear of heights. The weather also plays a major role in how relaxing the hike can be, but there will always be a very experienced and professional guide by your side! Regarding your physical condition, both of the itineraries are challenging.

      For the classic Tour du Mont Blanc, great fitness and extensive experience of longer day hikes are mandatory. You will be…

        • Covering between 12 and 19 km (7.4-11.8 miles) per day
        • Hiking for 10 days in a row
        • Gaining up to 1,300 m (4,265 ft) of elevation in a single day.

      For those wanting to speed through the trek, the fastpacking Tour du Mont Blanc is the way to go. You will be…

        • Covering between 18 and 27 km (11.2-16.8 miles) per day
        • Hiking for 7 days in a row
        • Gaining up to 2,000 m (6,562 ft) of elevation in a single day.

      For more day-to-day details, check out the itinerary.

    • Fastpacking is distance trail running and ultralight backpacking rolled into one epic outdoor adventure. You will move fast (most opt for running or jogging) while covering long distances, carrying just the essentials needed for a multi-day adventure. One of the main values of fastpacking is that you’ll cover more ground and see more in a shorter time than you otherwise would be able to if you’re just backpacking.

    • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

        • Backpack large enough to carry all your personal belongings for the entire duration of the trek (45L) — possible to rent
        • Sleeping bag liner (silk or cotton)
        • Hiking poles — optional, possible to rent
        • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
        • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
        • Spare clothes for layering
        • Rain gear — possible to rent
        • Clothing for the evenings
        • Warm hat and gloves
        • Space blanket
        • Sunhat
        • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, bandages, etc.)
        • Headlamp or flashlight
        • Sunglasses
        • Camera — optional (but recommended)
          Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
    • Group sizes and prices:

        • For these Tour du Mont Blanc hut-to-hut hiking tours, the client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
        • It takes a minimum of 4 people for this tour to operate.
        • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

      Tour du Mont Blanc hut-to-hut hiking tours can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • To get to Chamonix, the starting point of your Tour du Mont Blanc hut-to-hut hiking tour, most people fly into Geneva International Airport (GVA), one hour away. Once you arrive, there are several ways to reach your destination, including public transport. Looking to make it hassle-free? Check out Mountain Drop-Offs—they provide door-to-door service in their comfy and spacious shuttles.

      You will meet your guide in the morning of Day 1 of the tour. Please keep in mind that you will have to overnight in Chamonix the day prior to the tour, as well as on the last day of the tour, as it’s a full hiking day. These are the starting points:

        • Classic Tour du Mont Blanc: Planpraz cable car station (accessible by foot from Chamonix center)
        • Fastpacking Tour du Mont Blanc: Tourist office in Les Houches (accessible by bus from Chamonix center)
    • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

      Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

      We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to.

      If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

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