This legendary trekking tour of the Alps starts and ends in the historic mountaineering town of Chamonix, circling the majestic peaks of Mont Blanc. Alpine hiking at its best, with comfortable accommodation and luggage transfers to ease your journey

SELF-GUIDED HIKING TOUR DU MONT BLANC

Circle Mont Blanc on a 9 day self-guided hiking tour through the French, Italian and Swiss Alps

From 1,990.00€

Price per person for a group of 2 hikers.

   

Advanced tech level

 

9 days of trekking

 

10 nights in hotels, huts and gites

 

Accommodation on shared basis

 

Available July - September

 

Transport of luggage along the trek

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the classic alpine treks offering stunning scenery and unforgettable experiences every step of the way. Incredible mountain views, beautiful traverses along high ridges, lush alpine meadows, dramatic glaciers, snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes... 

This self-guided tour takes all the hassle out of planning it yourself by having the advantage of our local knowledge and years of experience. A comprehensive information pack will give you all the maps and notes that you need to navigate the route; helpful tips such as places to visit and our favourite lunch stops mean that you have the benefit of a guide but the leisure of travelling at your own pace. Your luggage will be transported ahead of you and will be waiting in the pre-booked accommodation that we organise on your behalf.

This incredible hike takes you all the way around the foot of Mont Blanc massif during 9 days of challenging but extremely rewarding hiking. You will visit 3 countries - France, Italy and Switzerland - experiencing the variations in landscape, culture and cuisine from different alpine regions.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Arrival and check-in your hotel or chalet in Argentiere. You can either relax at the chalet or go for a stroll around Argentiere village. The trip package starts with the evening dinner.

Day 2 - Chamonix to Les Contamines

Your first day starts with a transfer to the nearby town of Les Houches in the Chamonix valley. You take the Bellevue cable car up to a plateau at 1800m and set off towards the Bionnassay glacier, crossing a suspended rope bridge to reach the Col de Tricot at 2120m. A steep descent brings you to the Miage pastures where you can enjoy a refreshing drink in a pretty little chalet. From there a short climb over another col, before heading down through the forests to the small town of Les Contamines. 

Ascent: 680m

Descent: 1300m

Hiking Time: 7-8 hours

Day 3 - Les Contamines to Les Chapieux

Starting along a Roman road, you make a long ascent through mountain pastures, passing the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge and Refuge Tre la Tete to reach Col du Bonhomme at 2469m. You then traverse the hillside to Croix du Bonhomme where ibex can often be seen, before a gentle descent to the lovely hamlet of Les Chapieux, where herds of sheep, goats and cows spend the summer grazing.

Ascent: 1350m 
Descent: 850m 
Hiking Time: 8-9 hours

Day 4 - Les Chapieux to Courmayeur

Today begins with the chance to sample some local award-winning cheese at the start of the route from Ville des Glaciers. Then it is onwards up to the Col de la Seigne (2516m) on the border with Italy, saying hello to the donkeys at Refuge des Mottets on the way past. The views from the top of the col are quite incredible, form here you can see the Brenva face of Mont Blanc. The descent into Val Veny is nice and easy, taking you to the end of the Miage Glacier before one last climb up to Plan Checrouit and then a short descent to the legendary ski resort of Courmayeur, a lively and charismatic little town.

Ascent: 1200m 
Descent: 950m 
Hiking Time: 7 hours

Day 5 - Courmayeur to Refuge Bonatti

Leaving the town of Courmayeur behind, you will hike up into the mountains to visit two delightful mountain huts. First, the Rifugio Bertone at 2000m where you can relax and take in the splendid views of Les Grandes Jorasses. Then a beautiful balcony trail leads gently upwards to Rifugio Bonatti at 2025m. You can either stay here for the night (highly recommended), or continue to Arnouva and pick up a bus back to Courmayeur. 

Ascent: 1200m
Descent: 200m 
Hiking Time: 5 hours 

Day 6 - Col du Grand Ferret to La Fouly

Setting out from Rifugio Bonatti, you follow the high mountain trail along Col du Grand Ferret (2537m) until you cross another international border to hike into Switzerland. The terrain changes from rugged mountains to picturesque meadows as you descend through cowfields to La Fouly, where you spend the night in a pretty little Swiss village. 

Ascent: 850m 
Descent: 1300m 
Hiking Time: 5 hours

Day 7 - La Fouly to Champex

A chance to take it easy today with a gentle, mostly downhill walk through a very different environment to the dramatic landscapes that you will have experienced so far – fragrant alpine forests and quaint Swiss villages down to the charming lakeside town of Champex.

Ascent: 600m 
Descent: 730m 
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours 

Day 8 - Champex to Trient

The well-named Bovine Trail gives a taste of typical Swiss rural farming, as you hike up a steep path to the high pastures where cows graze on lush green grass and meadow flowers during the summer. The farms up here are famous for their traditional local cheeses and if you have time, you can even call in at one to sample the goods. Today’s route boasts magnificent views of the Bernese Alps, the Upper Rhone Valley, and the Canton of Valais, as it drops down to Trient via the Col de Forclaz (1572m)for your final night in Switzerland. 

Ascent: 700m 
Descent: 800m 
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours

Day 9 - Trient to Argentiere

Leave the village and enter the forest, emerging from the trees to enjoy your last views over the Trient glacier as you hike up to the Franco-Swiss border at Col de Balme (2191m). Back on French soil, you can either hike down through the Le Tour ski area and follow a balcony trail to Argentiere, or take a lift back down to the car park and then a bus to Argentiere.

Ascent: 950m 
Descent: 950m 
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours

Day 10 - Lac Blanc

Your final day starts with a climb up through the Aiguilles Rouges, on the opposite side of the Chamonix valley from Mont Blanc. Climbing up through forests, the path takes you through part of a nature reserve where you can often seen alpine wildlife such as marmottes and bouquetin. Once you come out of the trees the views across the valley are spectacular - jagged granite peaks, interspersed with glaciers and the rounded snowy summit of Mont Blanc. You will hike past Lac des Chéserys and up to Lac Blanc, a dramatic pool of clear water that reflects the mountains like a mirror. It is the perfect place to enjoy lunch before descending back to La Flegere, from where you can either continue hiking down the trail or take the cable car to Les Praz, a small village in between Chamonix and Argentiere.

Ascent: 950m 
Descent: 950m 
Time: 5 hours

Day 11 - Departure Day

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before checking out. From Argentiere you can take a free bus or train to Chamonix if you wish to stay and do some sightseeing.

Level Requirements

Physical Fitness

Fit and active walkers should have no problem reaching the destinations at the end of each day within 5-6 hours. Be aware though that the trek involves a good amount of ascent and descent each day (up to 1300m) and many of the trails are at high altitude, which can be more tiring. You will only be carrying a small daypack while you are hiking, as your main trip bag will be transported between the refuges by our vehicle support team.

Technical Level & Experience

We recommend that you have some previous hiking experience in the mountains before you attempt a long and committed multiday trek such as the Tour du Mont Blanc. The route follows well-trodden and signposted trails but knowledge of map reading is essential.

Training

Running, swimming and cycling are all good sports to practice in the run-up to your trip in order to increase your stamina. We also recommend that you undertake several long hikes with a decent amount of up and down hill before the trip to prepare yourself for the terrain.

Equipment

Clothing

Warm hat

Warm hat

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Sun hat

Sun hat

Hiking boots

Hiking boots

Hiking trousers

Hiking trousers

T-shirts

T-shirts

Shorts

Shorts

Long sleeve shirt

Long sleeve shirt

Technical gear

25-30 litres rucksack

25-30 litres rucksack

Trekking poles

Trekking poles

Other essentials

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Washbag and toiletries

Washbag and toiletries

Towel

Towel

Earplugs

Earplugs

Tupperware lunch box (0.6 litre)

Tupperware lunch box (0.6 litre)

Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

Basic first aid kit

Basic first aid kit

Sleeping bag liner - lightweight

Sleeping bag liner - lightweight

Included or not

Included

Accommodation

10 nights in hotels, mountain huts and gites. All the accommodation is on shared basis. 

Meals

All breakfasts and dinners are included in the trip package. The dinners are on pre-set menu basis. Lunches, snacks and drinks are not included in the trip package. You can easily purchase packed lunches in the huts and hotels. We recomend to bring your favourite snacks for the trek as the choice maybe limited on the trek.

Map of the itinerary

Luggage Transport

Transport of luggage between accommodation.

Not Included

Lift passes and personal transport

Personal Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need on this trip / course.  For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your personalised kit list.

Insurance

Travel insurance including a mountain search and rescue insurance is mandatory on all our trips (we can organise the mountai search and rescue insurance for you on request). We highly advice to have a policy covering the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation. When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Accommodation on this trip is on shared basis

The first night will be spent in a comfortable hotel or chalet in Argentiere. The following 7 nights will be booked in simple but comfortable hotels, with 1 night in a mountain refuge and 1 night in a guesthouse, before returning to a hotel in Argentierefor the final 2 nights. All accommodation is on a twin or double room basis, with triple rooms sometimes available for groups of three people travelling together. Mountain huts offer a wonderful authentic experience, as long as you are happy with basic sleeping arrangements (mixed dormitories with bunk beds) and a shared bathroom.

Food

Meals are included on a half board basis, from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on the last day. Daily packed lunches can be provided on request from some of the hotels, or there are plenty of mountain huts and rural restaurants where you can stop for lunch along the way. You will usually be spending the night in places where you can buy trail snacks and provisions before you set off each morning. Dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice, please inform us at time of booking if you have any special requests.

Luggage

Your luggage will be transported between the accommodations so you will have to carry only a small daypack (of around 30-40 litres). Your main bag (maximum weight 15kg) will be transferred between accommodations and you should have this ready for collection by 8:30 each morning. The bag will normally be delivered to your hotel by 16:00. Please note that the car can’t transport passengers, only the luggage. There will only be space to transport one bag per person.

Additional costs

The package price includes route information, maps, accommodation, and meals on a half board basis. You should make an allowance for daily lunches, additional snacks, drinks etc. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available at your accommodation each night. Please note that a part of the route is in Switzerland but Euros are accepted in most places we stay.

Shorter itinerary

If this trip is too long for you, do not hesitate to contact us for a shorter itinerary option. 

Additional Services

Insurance

We highly recommend that you take out specific insurance for mountain activities. We can organise this at a cost of 8€ per day for EU citizens and 12€ per day for non-EU citizens. This will cover you for search and rescue services, evacuation by helicopter and emergency medical treatment. You should also make sure that you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for the usual things such as cancelled flights, lost luggage, hospital treatment, etc. Please contact us to organise mountain rescue insurance for your trip.

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well-established airport transfer companies that we trust will provide our clients with a great service. Please contact us for further information regarding either shared or private airport transfers.