Tour de Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc

£1,295.00£1,895.00

National Geographic rated #1 Best Hiking Trail in the World

  • Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Comfort: Comfortable
  • Start/Finish: Les Houches/Chamonix
  • Distance: 170km / 110mi
  • Duration: 12 Days & 11 Nights
  • Availability: June – September

Discover the stunning Mont Blanc massif

Meandering from France, through Switzerland and Italy – this is one journey that will last a lifetime

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Product Description

Price

£1,295.00£1,895.00

Dates

Spring & Summer

Difficulty

Moderate – Strenuous

Max Group Size

8 People

Duration

11 Days

Distance

170km / 110mi

Route Map
Overview

Time of Year

For 2018, the TMB has been extremely popular and as a result, we are only taking bookings for the persiod 23rd of July – the 13th of August. Even for these dates, we can not guarantee confirmation of the trip, so please do not book any travel arrangements until you have received full confirmation of your trip from your Destination Specialist.

The season for the Tour du Mont Blanc runs from mid June to mid September. The trail is sometimes closed until the last week of June due to snow, in which case your tour would need to be rescheduled or cancelled. Please note that public transport in the area in the shoulder months of June and September is limited. This means that certain ‘short cut’ options will not be at your disposal during these months. Those hiking in these months should be prepared to walk the full distances each day. In the itinerary description you will find the daily distances both with and without any possible short cuts.

Grade & Terrain

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a tough trek with considerable ascent and descent on each day. We would suggest that you are an experienced walker who is looking for a challenge. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.  The terrain is mountainous, rocky and rough underfoot. There are two sections that include the use of fixed ladders and footholds, and require some very light scrambling. This is on the Grand Balcon du Sud route between Tré-le-Champ and Lac Blanc/Le Flègére on Day 10 and again between Col du Brévent and Le Brévent on Day 11. Both sections can be avoided by taking an alternative route. These will be detailed in your route notes.

Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Tour du Mont Blanc is comprehensively way marked at all junctions and by regular paint marks along the trail. We supply you with detailed 1:25 000 IGN maps, a comprehensive guidebook and route notes so you should have absolutely no problem following the route. We also provide you with access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App, which you can use to navigate. We strongly recommend using this App, or at least having it on your phone ready to use should you ever be in any doubt about your direction. You should also polish up on your map and compass skills prior to departing, as weather and visibility can change very quickly in the mountains, and these kinds of skills never go out of fashion!

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel during the walk

If you are finding the going too tough you can use lifts or public transport to skip several of the stages or big ascents/descents. Public transport and lifts/funiculars are not included and although your info pack has full details of each transfer you need to pay for these.

The following transfers are necessary during your walk. You should allow about €40 for these transfers.

Day 10: Cable car from La Flégère to Chamonix

Day 11: Cable car from Chamonix to La Flégère

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Les Houches

The pretty village of Les Houches is easily accessible by either train or shuttle from Geneva Airport in just over an hour. On arrival you can settle into your comfortable hotel, stroll through the town and get ready for your adventure on the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Dinner & Overnight: Gite Tupilak**, Les Houches

Enjoying wonderful views, the 2 star Gite Tupilak owned and run by Emmanuel Ratouis, offering great service and comfortable rooms. If Emmanuel isn’t on one of his adventures, he is always keen to share his experiences with his guests.

Day 2: Les Houches to Les Contamines

Your Tour du Mont Blanc starts with either a climb from Les Houches out of the Chamonix Valley to Bellevue(1801m) or a quick 10 minute ride on the Bellevue telepherique (recommended).

At Bellevue you have the option of taking the tough route via Chalet de Miage, which is dominated by the Dôme du Goûter and Aiguille de Bionnasay as you pass just beneath the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay. After passing the idyllic Chalet de Miage you descend to Les Contamines.

The easier option winds through beautiful forests and through alpine pastures via Bionnassay to Les Contamines.

Walk via Bionnassay: 16km, 5 Hours, 650m Ascent, 630m Descent

Walk via Chalets de Miage: 18km, 7.5 Hours, 1500m ascent, 1300m descent

Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Christiana**, Les Contamines

Ideally located in the centre of the village the Mermoud family have been welcoming guests to this friendly mountain style hotel for three generations.

Day 3: Les Contamines to Refuge des Mottets/Les Chapieux

A gentle start from Les Contamines for the first 5km along the valley floor to chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge (shuttle transfer possible). Here the path turns upwards and climbs steadily on the Chemin Roman through the Contamines Montjoie Nature Reserve towards the distant Col du Bonhomme. A steady climb reveals increasingly rugged views of the high peaks and you quickly reach the rugged landscapes of the Col du Bonhomme (2329 m).

A further hour on rough and rocky ground brings up the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. Here you can either climb over the Col des Fours (2665m) and descend steeply to Refuge des Mottets or alternatively descend to Les Chapieux.

Walk to Refuge des Mottets: 20km, 1600m Ascent, 900m Descent, 8 Hours

Walk to Les Chapieux: 18km, 1300m Ascent, 950m Descent, 7 – 7.5 Hours.

Dinner & Overnight: Either Refuge des Mottets, which is an idyllically located mountain refuge that was refurbished recently and has comfortable private rooms and is well known for its hearty evening meals.

Day 4: Refuge des Mottets to Courmayeur

The Col de la Seigne (2516m) and lies a steep 750m above the Refuge des Mottets and is where you leave France for Italy. Just wait until you see the view! Stupendous! The steep southern side of the Mont Blanc Massif, made up of jagged peaks, hanging glaciers and plunging waterfalls, seems close enough to touch. The trail descends through high alpine meadows past refuge Elisabetta into the Val Veni.

Here you must choose either the tough option which climbs via Col Chécrouit to Courmayeur or the easy option of continuing past the snout of the huge Glacier du Miage to Visaille, where you catch the shuttle bus into Courmayeur.

Walk to La Visaille: 17km, 750m Ascent, 800m Descent, 5 – 5.5 Hours

Walk to Courmayeur: 27.5km, 1160m Ascent, 1820m Descent, 8 – 9 Hours

Overnight: Hotel Bouton d’Or*** , Courmayeur

Located just a few minutes from the pedestrianised centre of Courmayeur the family run Hotel Bouton d’Or is wonderfully friendly and has a calm garden and terrace in which to relax.

Guided or Not?

Guided Trek

Although it is optional to go it alone, we would strongly advise against it; unless of course this is not your first trip to Europe on the Alps. These trips are for making memories that last a lifetime, take the risk out of it and let an experienced mountain leader take control.  Not only will they offer you a training and an acclimatisation program, and look after you on the mountain they will also arrange other aspects of the ascent like planning the schedule, booking the huts and often making difficult decisions about whether or not it is safe to continue in the prevailing weather.

In addition the guides carry a GPS (Global Positioning System) which updates on the website so that family and friends can follow your journey around the Alps! This is the best way for you to enjoy your trip and your family & friends can rest easy knowing your safely still on track.

Did we miss something?

If you need to know anything else, or wish to get in contact about a bespoke hiking trip, please complete the contact form and one of the Global Trekking Team members will get in touch as soon as possible.

Additional Information

Guided or Self Guided?

Guided, Self-Guided

Dates

June, July, August, September, Self-Guided

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