Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
- Trekking & Hiking
our UK team
Arrive at Geneva airport and transfer to the beautiful mountain town of Chamonix. The drive from the airport is roughly 90 mins and on arrival, you can check in at your hotel and spend some time exploring the town. There are many typical Savoyard restaurants close to your hotel where you can sample some alpine specialties, such as cheese fondue, tartiflette or raclette.
We will catch the bus or train to Les Houches where we will take the Bellevue cable car. From the top cable car station there is a beautiful panoramic view of Mont Blanc , the Aiguilles Rouges, the Fiz chain and the Aravis. We then begin our trek in earnest, following a 1800m-high balcony that leads us to the bottom of the Bionnassay glacier. Crossing the Col de Tricot (2120m) we will descend to the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie where we will spend the night.
Today begins with a leisurely trek along the river to the beautiful baroque Church of Notre Dame de la Gorge, which marks the start of the mountain trail. A long and steep ascent leads us to the Col de Bonhomme (2329m). This pass has been used for
centuries by shepherds and their herds, armies and soldiers, pilgrims and hawkers – and now the hikers of the Tour du Mont Blanc!
We have a further climb to cross the Col des Fours (2665m) before we drop gently down to the mountain pastures where we find ourselves among herds of Tarine and Abondance breeds. The milk from these cows is used to make many cheeses, especially the Beaufort and Abondance which are local specialties. Your guide will be sure to visit some local farms to stock up for your next picnic!
Today we cross our first border, from France into Italy, via the Col de la Seigne (2516m), which lies on the watershed between the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. The view from here is breath-taking, with a series of snowy peaks appearing in front of the Italian side of ‘Monte Bianco’. As we descend into the Val Veny we will pass by picturesque glacial lakes. We spend the night at the Monte Bianco refuge, situated at the foot of the Glacier de la Brenva, under the impressive Aiguille Noire de Peuterey.
This morning we will take the bus down to the charming town of Courmayeur where we will have some free time to enjoy a delicious Italian coffee. We then hike up from the town and continue along the Val Ferret in the shadow of the impressive Grandes Jorasses. Our last night in Italy is spent at the Bonatti refuge, named after Walter Bonatti, the great Italian mountain climber. There is no vehicle access to this refuge so your luggage will not join you tonight – everything you need for your stay and tomorrow’s trek needs to be carried with you.
Time to lace up those boots and head into Switzerland! Today we will continue to ascend along the Val Ferret to reach the Grand Col de Ferret (2537m) where we will cross the border. As we head up the pass we can admire the Glacier de Pré de Bard and Mount
Dolent, the summit of which is shared by France, Italy and Switzerland. The Grand Ferret is an ancient pass connecting the Aosta Valley of Italy to the Valais Canton of Switzerland. From the village of Ferret we will catch a local bus to Champex, a quaint lakeside village.
We leave Champex, taking the Bovine Way through the high meadows where the beautiful Herens cows spend their summer months. This balcony path gives us a panoramic view of the surrounding Rhône valley, the Coude du Rhône and the Great Combins massif. We descend through a beautiful forest to the Col de la Forclaz. Then we follow the Bisses path (a Valais word meaning a water channel carved from stone or wood) to reach the village of Trient. From here, a private vehicle will take us through the Montets pass, crossing back into France, to our final destination of Argentière.
On this final day of our trek, we will discover the Aiguilles Rouges massif and reserve, facing Mont Blanc across the Chamonix valley. We will trek up to the CheserysLakes and on to Lac Blanc, from where we can enjoy a breathtaking view of Mont Blanc and the
Mer de Glace while enjoying our picnic lunch. On the way we can often see ibex, chamois and marmots. We head down on a balcony trail, crossing La Flagère and Le Brévent to reach our hotel in Chamonix. Time to relax and enjoy your evening in town.
Sadly, our fabulous week comes to an end. We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Geneva airport.
Please note: there is only one transfer to Geneva which departs at 9am.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is not to be under estimated, there is a lot of steep ascent and descent on this trek, so your legs will be getting a good workout. Yet, whilst a high level of fitness will make the days a lot easier it by no means requires super human fitness. A solid training plan will allow you to better prepare for the hikes and enjoy yourself when you're on the trail. You will need to reach particular points on the trail each night so you may find the pace of walking to be a little faster than on Kilimanjaro, for example. This is by no means a sprint, however a good level of fitness will ensure you have a positive experience.
Trekking poles are also a lifesaver, especially on the steep Alpine passes! If you are comfortable walking for 6-7 hours with an ascent of 1000m over consecutive days then you are certainly fit enough to succeed on the Tour. Think of it as climbing Snowdon or Ben Nevis every day for six days! If you can do this then there is no reason why you can't complete the entire Tour du Mont Blanc. We find that all successful hikers share a real Kandoo attitude and that means high levels of grit and determination.
This trip is on a full board basis
(except for nights in Chamonix). For your evening meals in Chamonix there is a
wide range of local restaurants for you to sample. If you have a dietary
requirement or are a vegetarian then just let us know when you book so that we
can plan a suitable menu.
The refuges provide hearty, traditional and
generous meals. Drinks are not included with dinner, so please make sure you
have some Euros and Swiss Francs with you. Refuges do not normally accept card
Packed lunches will be produced by your
guide and include local meats and cheeses, crusty bread and fresh seasonal
vegetables. The lunch items will be shared between all of the group for
carrying each day.
to bring your favourite snacks (cereal or energy bars, dried fruits, chocolate)
with you to keep you going through the day.
Tap water is typically safe to drink in
France so you can fill up your water bottle each morning at the hotel or refuge. On the
trek itself, you will be passing many refuges where you will also be able to
top up your water if needed.
in Chamonix will be in a 3-star
hotel in twin rooms. You will stay in Chamonix on the first and last
night of the trip. Please note that your evening meal is not included when you
are in Chamonix.
The mountain refuges we use are authentic huts with catering facilities and shared mixed-sex dormitory rooms of anywhere between 4-16 beds: blankets, pillows and mattresses are provided but you will need to bring a sleeping bag liner. Please only bring very basic toiletries as sometimes there is no running water available at the huts. On arrival at the huts, you will be expected to take off your boots and use the indoor shoes that the refuge provides (these are often crocs).
You will need two bags for this trip. One travel bag for your replacement clothes which will be transferred between
locations vehicle (max 10kg) Tip: Bring a bin liner to protect your clothes
from humidity. Please
do not lock your luggage as they may need to be checked by Swiss customs. Please
not leave computers, tablets, cameras and valuable objects in your travel bag. One
30-40L rucksack with a large chest strap that you will carry during
the day. You will carry your own
personal equipment (spare warm clothes, waterproofs, water bottle, camera and
sun screen) and valuables, as well as your packed lunch in your rucksack
|Book now||Enquire now|
|Book now||Enquire now|
|Book now||Enquire now|
|Book now||Enquire now|
Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!Contact us