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Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights Trek

Guide(s)
Emma Jack, Becki Penrose, Charlie Boscoe, Cloud 9 Adventure
Trip options

Booking for a group?
Reserve spots for 5 or more people, and get $53 off for each

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During your trip you can share a room with another hiker or reserve a single room for an additional fee.

People
1 Person
Date(s)
--
Duration
9 day
Guide(s)
Emma Jack, Becki Penrose, Charlie Boscoe, Cloud 9 Adventure
Reserve deposit (30%) $0
Second Payment Amount: $0
  • The highlights version of Tour du Mont Blanc is the perfect option for trekkers who are short on time, but don’t want to compromise the best bits. With a seamless combo of daily hikes and transfers to make the most out of your 9-day tour, you’ll cross three different European countries before you even know it. See the Alpine wonders of France, Italy, and Switzerland in all their glory: crystal clear lakes, high cols, towering peaks, and quaint villages, just to name a few. Your tour starts and ends in the world-class mountaineering town of Chamonix, but you’ll also spend nights at unique chalets, auberges, hotels, or chambre d’hôtes along the way.

    • A charming mountain town of Chamonix is the starting point for your adventure. Spend the day as you wish—wandering its cobblestone streets or tasting French fondue. You’ll meet your guide and your group at around 6 p.m. for a briefing about the trip, followed by your first dinner together. Make sure to ask the reception to give you the Guest Card, since it entitles you to free trains and buses in the Chamonix Valley.

      Meals: Dinner
      Accommodation: Hotel or chalet

      Chamonix and Mont Blanc range in the Summer.
    • Start your day with a ride on the historic Mont Blanc Express train to the hamlet of Montroc. From there you’ll hike up to Lac Blanc, a tranquil Alpine lake with spectacular views of Mont Blanc. Now you’re in the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve, which means there’s a good chance of spotting ibex, chamois, and marmots. After you’ve taken in the beauty of the lake and had a break, descend to Flégère, take the cable car back down to Les Praz, then hop on the train or bus back to Argentière.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner
      Accommodation: Hotel or chalet
      Hiking: 6 hours
      Distance: 5.6 miles / 9km
      Ascent: +3,280 ft (+1,000m)
      Descent: -1,805 ft (-550m)

      The glacial lake lac Blanc reflecting glaciated peaks seen during TMB trek.
    • Start early with a transfer to Notre Dame de la Gorge, above Les Contamines. Trek up the old Roman road from the chapel, believed to have been a route taken by Hannibal. It’s a steep uphill to start with, but you’ll soon get into your stride, and if you’re making good time, have a coffee break. Head up to the Col du Bonhomme for a well-earned lunch. What follows is a climbing traverse, often with snowy patches until mid-July, to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme at an elevation of 2,479 m (8,135 ft). Enjoy great views of the Vanoise National Park before a 2-hour descent to Les Chapieux.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner
      Accommodation: Auberge or chambre d’hôte
      Hiking: 7-8 hours
      Distance: 10.5 miles / 17km
      Ascent: +4,423 ft (+1,348m)
      Descent: -3,150 ft (-960m)

      A village in the French Alps, Les Contamines.
    • Take a newly cut path up to Ville des Glacier. If the farmer is available, you might even be able to try the Beaufort cheese that is produced there. After passing the Refuge des Mottets, start climbing more steeply towards the Col de la Seigne—standing at 2,516m (8,255 ft), it’s the second highest pass on the Tour du Mont Blanc. You have now reached the Italian border! From there descend past the Rifugio Elisabetta to La Visaille, where you take the bus to the vibrant Italian mountain town of Courmayeur.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner
      Accommodation: Hotel
      Hiking: 6 hours
      Distance: 13 miles / 21km
      Ascent: +3,295 ft (+1,004m)
      Descent: -2,790 ft (-850m)

      Courmayeur, an alpine city in Italy.
    • Start the day with a steep walk up to the Rifugio Bertone and the Mont de la Saxe ridge. If the weather is nice, you can take the lesser-trodden variant to the ridge by ascending the Tête de la Tronche, followed by a steep descent to the Col Sapin. After descending, climb again to the Col Entre Deux Sauts. It’s a long day, but the scenery is incredible and the route is more tranquil. However, if you want to take it easy today, take the balcony path from Bertone to Bonatti—shorter, but just as sweet. Stay at Rifugio Bonatti and watch the sun set behind Mont Blanc.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner
      Accommodation: Mountain refuge*
      Hiking: 4-8 hours
      Distance: Longer route: 10.5 miles / 17km | Shorter route: 7.5 miles / 12km
      Ascent: Longer route: +5,200 ft (+1,584m) | Shorter route: +2,820 ft (+860m)
      Descent: Longer route: -3,085 ft (-940m) | Shorter route: -2,296 ft (-700m)

      *There is a chance that you will not be staying at Rifugio Bonatti and in this case, you will have an extra night at a 4* hotel in Courmayeur. Shuttles back and forth will be provided and no hiking will be missed.

      A group of hikers posing for a photo in front of rugged mountain peaks seen during their Tour du Mont Blanc trip.
    • Kick off your day with a rising traverse, before descending to the head of the Val Ferret. Your climb up the Grand Col Ferret begins, which is the highest col on the route, standing at 2,543m (8,345 ft). You’ll see panoramic views of Grandes Jorasses, the Grand Combin, and Mont Dolent. At the top of the col you’ll cross the border to Switzerland, where—yet again—the scenery changes. Following a coffee break, leave the signposted TMB and head to La Fouly via a higher balcony path. La Fouly is a quaint Alpine village with traditional ‘chocolate box’ chalets. Transfer to the Swiss lakeside town of Champex.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner
      Accommodation: Hotel
      Hiking: 6-7 hours
      Distance: 12.5 miles / 20km
      Ascent: +3,700 ft (+1,128m)
      Descent: -5,185 ft (-1,580m)

      The small village of Champex and its lake, near Mont Blanc, Switzerland.
    • You have two options today. If you’re feeling energetic and the weather serves you, you’re taking the Fenêtre d’Arpette, which would be the highest col of the trip at 2,665m (8,745 ft). It’s a fantastic route with views of the Trient Glacier. Alternatively, you could take the normal route—via Bovine, to the Col de la Forclaz. Continue down to the valley of Trient, your Swiss base for the night.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner
      Accommodation: Auberge
      Distance: 9.3 miles / 15km
      Hiking: 6 hours
      Ascent: via Fenêtre d’Arpette: +4,870 ft (+1,484m) | via Bovine: +1,870 ft (+570m)
      Descent: via Fenêtre d’Arpette: -5,775 ft (-1,760m) | via Bovine: -1,970 ft (-600m)

      The village of Trient with a characteristic pink church, in the French Alps.
    • Today you’re taking another variant from the official Tour du Mont Blanc—a lesser-traveled route via Les Tseppes. The views are, once again, spectacular, and it’s a lot quieter. If the weather is bad, you’ll take the normal TMB route. Both of them take you to the Col de Balme and back into France. If you’re still feeling strong, you might do the Aiguillette des Posettes, and descend into the Chamonix valley at Tré-le-Champ. From there it’s an hour’s walk to Argentière along the river and through the old town. Another option is descending directly to Le Tour, where you’d take the Petit Balcon Nord into Argentière. Transfer to Chamonix.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner
      Accommodation: Hotel or chalet
      Distance: 11 miles / 18km
      Hiking: 7 hours
      Ascent: +3,940 ft (+1,200m)
      Descent: -4,920 ft (-1,500m)

      The village of Argentiere in the French Alps.
    • Your adventure in the Alps has come to an end. Say goodbye to your guide and your team. Leave Chamonix or stay a bit longer to explore the area.

      The town of Chamonix, French Alps, Tour du Mont Blanc.
    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area (International Mountain Leader)
        • 9-day TMB Highlights Trek (7 days of hiking)
        • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
        • All breakfasts and all evening meals (detailed in the itinerary)
        • Cable cars and transport as indicated in the itinerary
        • Daily luggage delivery (apart from the night spent at the hut, where vehicle access is not possible)

      What’s not included:

        • Transportation to and from Chamonix
        • Airport transfers — we recommend Mountain Drop-Offs
        • Personal drinks and snacks
        • Packed lunches
        • Any transport or accommodation due to a participant being unable to complete the itinerary
        • Mountain rescue / travel insurance
        • Guide gratuities — optional
    • Even though Tour du Mont Blanc is not technically difficult, it is generally recommended for those with at least an extensive experience of longer day hikes on mountain trails and great fitness. You can expect up to 3,000ft of daily ascent and descent and hiking 10 miles on average for 7 consecutive days. Keep in mind that hiking can be made difficult because of changing weather. However, you will be able to take many breaks and your guide will adjust the route if it gets too strenuous for your group. Due to some more exposed sections, the tour is not recommended for those with severe fear of heights.

      If you think you may not be ready for this trek at the moment, we suggest you adopt a training regiment in the weeks leading up to the trip, with long daily hikes in hilly terrain, as well as activities like jogging, swimming, playing squash, or circuit training. By adequately preparing both physically and mentally for this adventure, the vast majority of the hikers can fully enjoy the challenges and rewards that this remarkable trek has to offer.

      If you’re looking for guided TMB adventures suitable for advanced hikers, check out this high-level Tour du Mont Blanc adventure and this more rugged version of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

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

        • Good, comfortable, waterproofed mountain hiking shoes with good tread
        • Comfortable rucksack (30 to 40L)
        • Kit bag or suitcase (for your main luggage)
        • Hiking poles
        • Waterproof jacket and waterproof hiking pants
        • Moisture-wicking T-shirts
        • Warm sweater or a fleece
        • Lightweight warm jacket and hat (in case of unexpected weather conditions)
        • 2 Pairs of lightweight hiking pants and shorts
        • Swimwear (some hotels feature pools)
        • Cap and a sunhat
        • 2-3 Pairs of gloves (liner gloves, waterproof gloves, and warm gloves)
        • Hiking socks and underwear
        • Pair of outdoor shoes
        • Sheet or a sleeping bag liner
        • 2L water bottle
        • Swiss knife, compass, whistle, head torch
        • Plastic bags / dry sacks to keep essentials dry
        • Good sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip protection
        • Your toiletry bag and a mini first-aid kit
        • Other clothes and personal change
        • Small towel (for the mountain hut)
        • Travel bag or a small suitcase for the luggage transport
        • Camera — optional (but recommended)

      Typically, the weather along the route is warm and fairly stable, requiring minimal extra gear. However, it’s crucial to bring all the items from the list due to unseasonal conditions that can occasionally occur. At least once every summer hikers witness unseasonal snow and heavy rainfall, with temperatures plummeting from mid-30s°C (86°F) to below zero (0°C/32°F).
      For rain, waterproof jackets and trousers are essential, along with multiple pairs of gloves. In the event of snow, quality hiking boots, walking poles, warm clothing, and gloves are necessary. Sometimes hikers experience heatwaves, meaning that they need to be equipped with rehydration salts, 3-4L of water, and a sun hat.

      Don’t underestimate the importance of proper gear; be well-prepared for any situation. You’ll be able to discuss your packing list with your guide prior to your trip.

    • During your guided Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights hiking tour, all breakfasts and evening meals are included. Most nights, you’ll dine in the accommodation you’ll be staying at, enjoying a fixed 3-course menu that showcases excellent local food from France, Italy, and Switzerland. Hotel breakfasts are continental-style, featuring tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juice, croissants, bread, jams, cereals, yogurts, and often eggs, cheese, and local meats. Breakfasts in mountain huts and simpler auberges are more basic, typically offering tea, coffee, bread, jam, and cereal.

      Vegetarians are accommodated with an improving range of options, although some places may offer simpler choices like omelets or pasta. Vegans can also be catered for, but occasional breakfasts may consist mainly of fruit, so having a few snacks on hand is advisable. Your guides are vigilant and work to improve options for vegan diets with local hoteliers. Special diets due to allergies or intolerances, such as gluten-free, nut-free, or lactose-free, are accommodated to the best extent possible. However, given the set meal service in many accommodations, a wide range of options might not be available. We appreciate sticking to the specified diet, as last-minute changes are often challenging for hoteliers serving large groups.

      Lunches are not included to provide flexibility. Your guide will advise on ordering lunch via the hotel, stopping at a shop or bakery for snacks, or enjoying a sit-down lunch in the refuges. While drinks are not included, you can order beer, wine, and soft drinks at all hotels, including mountain refuges. Tap water is drinkable throughout the trip.

    • During your guided Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights hiking trip, you can expect a range of accommodations. In larger towns like Chamonix, Les Contamines, Courmayeur, Champex, and Argentière, minimum 3* hotels are chosen, providing twin-share rooms with en-suite facilities. In smaller hamlets like Les Chapieux, La Fouly, and Trient/Forclaz, where simpler accommodations prevail, the best available lodging options—mostly auberges—will be selected, although en-suite facilities may be limited.

      We have one night in a mountain hut*: the Rifugio Bonatti, one of our favorite huts in the Alps. We try to book small private rooms of two, three, or four people here rather than dorms, but they are always fully booked. Dorm-style rooms are mixed-gender and can have between 10 and 20 people. There are no en-suite facilities at the hut, but you can expect hot showers, which are limited to a few minutes.

      If you opt for a single supplement, please note that this excludes Les Chapieux and Bonatti, where there are no single rooms. Single rooms may also not be available in Trient/Forclaz — it depends at which point you booked.

      *There is a chance that you will not be staying at Rifugio Bonatti and in this case, you will have an extra night at a 4* hotel in Courmayeur. Shuttles back and forth will be provided and no hiking will be missed.

    • Group sizes and prices:

        • For this group adventure, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is around 10:1.
        • It takes a minimum of 4 people for this tour to operate.
        • The cost is per person and does not decrease as the group grows.

      Hiking the Highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc can be arranged for larger or private groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
        • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

      If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • To get to Chamonix, 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 the airport transfer hassle-free? Check out Mountain Drop-Offs—they provide door-to-door service in their comfy and spacious shuttles.

      Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at your hotel in Chamonix at 6 p.m. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group to start off the tour the following morning.

    • It is obligatory for this adventure 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. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in France, Switzerland, and Italy please refer to the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affair travel information on France, Switzerland, and Italy.

      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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