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Mont Blanc Highlights

from $1,749.00

Walk the best of Mont Blanc Circuit in France and Italy

  • Reviews 10 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 14
All about the Mont Blanc Highlights.

The circuit of Mont Blanc is one of the finest walking routes in the Alps. It is in reality a series of paths linking the seven valleys that surround the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc. It normally takes a fortnight to complete the whole circuit, but for those with less time this one-week Exodus tour takes in the most outstanding sections with beautiful mountain highlights each day. Throughout this walking holiday we are based in the delightful chalet with dramatic views of Mont Blanc, and use a mix of private  bus and local trains and buses to travel out each day to re-join the next stage of our walk covering beautiful sections of the famous circuit. At the end of each day we return home for afternoon tea, or for those who wish, a dip in the chalet’s bubbling Jacuzzi.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 home cooked dinners
* Afternoon tea and cake on walking days
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Arrival & departure transfers (if meeting group timings)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (not available)

Highlights

  • Walk surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery
  • Stay in a comfortable chalet with outdoor hot tub
  • Walk with IML qualified Mountain Leader
  1. Day 1 Start Chalet Chamonix or Chocolat.

    Your holiday begins at your comfortable alpine chalet. Those making their own way to the chalet should aim to arrive early afternoon for introductions. There is plenty of time to walk into Chamonix in the afternoon before a pre-dinner briefing from the walking leader.

  2. Day 2 Drive to the head of the Chamonix Valley; walking towards Switzerland via the trekking peak L'Aiguillette des Posettes and onto Col du Possettes and then descend back towards La Tour.

    Our first walk of the week is on the slopes of the Col du Balme from where we will have stunning views back to Mont Blanc as well as into Switzerland. From the small hamlet of Montroc (1380m – 4400ft) we have a short warm-up walk before the trail turns uphill on a steady zigzag path. As the trees thin out, the views get ever better and by late morning we reach Aiguilette des Possettes (2200m – 7220 ft). This is a stunning peak from where we are rewarded with a superb panoramic view over the Chamonix Valley, the Aiguille Rouge national park and around to Switzerland. The path continues down to the Col du Possettes and then on a steady trail becoming ever more winding and finally down to La Tour. (1450m – 4750ft).6 hours walking. 820m – 2700ft up, 730m – 2400ft down

  3. Day 3 Drive to the head of the Chamonix Valley; walking towards Switzerland via the trekking peak L'Aiguillette des Posettes and onto Col du Possettes and then descend back towards La Tour.

    Today we have a spectacular walk from (1370m – 4450ft) up to the Bel Lachat refuge on the classic TMB and GR5 routes. Crossing the beautiful Carlaveyron Natural Reserve, we summit the Aiguillette des Houches (2285m – 7500ft) for one of the finest views in the Alps – looking directly across the Chamonix Valley to the Mont Blanc summit. Passing through alpine meadows we descend by a different route to La Flatière (1370m – 4500ft).7 hours walking. 900m – 2950ft up, 930m – 3050ft down

  4. Day 4 Starting from the Les Contamines. Valley we cross the Col de Voza and continue towards Les Houches.

    Approximately a 35-minute transfer from our chalet brings us to the les Contamines valley which is where we start our walk back towards the Chamonix Valley. The day starts on a valley path that narrows and steepens as we climb up towards the Passerelle de Bionnassay, a dramatic suspension bridge spanning a white-water stream that tumbles from the Bionnassay glacier a few 100 meters higher up. The route then brings us round to the Col de Voza (1653m – 5360ft) with an expansive view up the Chamonix Valley. During the afternoon we trek down to the valley floor although there is a cable car option (payable locally) for those with tired legs.7 hours walking, 11km – 7 miles, 560m –1840ft up, 610m – 2000ft down

  5. Day 5 Free day for optional walks, activities or sightseeing.

    Today is a free day for optional walks or sightseeing. Your leader will be able to advise you of possible walking routes or you may choose to visit the bustling alpine resort town of Chamonix, which has numerous shops, bars, restaurants and cafés. There are several cablecar excursions you can make from Chamonix, of which the most spectacular is the ascent to the Aiguille du Midi (3842m – 12600ft), offering fantastic views of Mont Blanc and surrounding peaks. It should also be possible to take the mountain train up to Montenvers for close up views of the glacier, Mer de Glace or if you are feeling adventurous you could enjoy a tandem Paragliding flight.

  6. Day 6 Drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy; climb to Bonatti refuge and traverse high above the spectacular Ferret Valley to Courmayeur.

    We drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy for a chance to soak up some Italian atmosphere! From Arp Nouva (1770m – 5805ft) we climb up and along to the Bonatti refuge. At just over (2000m – 6560ft), the view from here is one of the finest on the tour. Mont Blanc itself, the towering rocky peak of Grandes Jorasses and the glaciers that crowd the northern flank of Val Ferret are there to be admired. Following a dramatic traversing path we contour high above the valley before descending towards the valley floor. Time allowing, we head off to Courmayeur, the perfect spot for a well-deserved Italian ice-cream.7 hours walking. 450m – 1500ft up, 550m – 1804ft down

  7. Day 7 Starting from Argentiere; walk up to and along the Grand Balcon Sud to Plan Praz then descend by cable car.

    From Argentiere (1250m – 4100ft) we start our day following the petit Balcon Sud before changing tack and climbing to the Grand Balcon Sud that contours the Chamonix valley to Plan Praz (2000m – 6560ft) from where we descend by cable car back to Chamonix. The Grand Balcon Sud is a stunning must do walk in the valley and looks over to Mont Blanc and the Mont Blanc massif.  The views of snowy peaks, soaring cliffs, fractured glaciers and lush green forests ensures this trek is not just a highlight in the valley but the whole of the Alps.(Due to maintenance on the Flegere cablecar this walk has been amended from our previously advertised walk to Lac Blanc. This trek is a little longer than the original and is equally beautiful).7 hours walking. 800m – 1690ft up, 100m – 330ft down Spring and Autumn departures – The Plan Praz cablecar is open for trips starting between 15th June and 7th Sep. Outside of this time the cablecar is due to be closed and its cost is no longer included in the price of the holiday. If the timetable changes, and the lift is open, then the cable cost will be paid locally. Approx 20 euro. Alternatively we will follow a Spring and Autumn itinerary which is the same as above but instead of walking from Flegere to Plan Praz we will walk off the mountain from Flegere via the charming Chalet Floria where we will have time for a cup of tea. Due to the added decent this is a little harder that the summer itinerary but the views are equally stunning.8 hours walking. 740 m – 2430ft up, 950m – 3120ft down  – Distance covered: 12 km / 7.5 miles

  8. Day 8 End Chamonix.

    Following breakfast we say our goodbyes.

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Where you stay

These delightful alpine chalets both have 7 rooms with private bathrooms and are surrounded by large gardens with a Jacuzzi and Mont Blanc views. Both have comfortable lounges and dining rooms with a large table where delicious home cooked  meals will be served and scrumptious cakes will be provided daily for afternoon tea. Located between 15-25 minutes from the heart of Chamonix they provide the perfect base for walking the best of the Tour du Mont Blanc and a relaxing week in the Alps. Due to the natural layout of a chalet build, bedrooms vary in size and shape and some, but not all, have access to a balcony. In Chalet Chocolat one bedroom on the top floor has a Velux window as opposed to a wall mounted window and a large private bathroom on the floor below.  This room will be allocated to the last 2 people to book*. In Chalet Chamonix, two bedrooms on the top floor have Velux windows set into a gradually sloping roof. Half the room has a full height ceiling while the beds are positioned under the sloping section these two rooms will be allocated to the last 4 people to book*. Both chalets offer complementary Wi-Fi in the communal areas.

*Very occasionally these rooms may need to be allocated to those other than the last 6 people to book to enable us to match up independent travelers with a same sex roommate. On weeks where we are not full we will allocate these rooms to he first independent travelers as single rooms.

If you are booking and not on the same booking reference as a friend/s that you wish to share a chalet with please let your sales consultant know at the time of booking. Equally if you have a preference for one chalet over the other, please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to fulfill your request. Otherwise we will select a chalet for you automatically. The walking itinerary will be the same for both chalets however the order of the walks may differ slightly.

Please note: on booking your confirmation documents will name Chalet Chamonix however you may be allocated to Chalet Chocolat. This will be confirmed on your Final Joining Instructions sent 4 weeks before your departure date.

A Chalet is different from a hotel and provides open and social spaces ideal for group holidays. The atmosphere is homely and welcoming and we hope you will enjoy the chalet as much as the stunning local walks. Outside of the bedrooms both chalets have living rooms with sofas and comfortable chairs and a client kitchen which is not for preparing food but has unlimited tea and coffee making facilities and a honesty bar. Outside there is a large and scenic decking area with more seating, a grassy garden which we encourage you to go out and enjoy as well as an outdoor hot tub. In the dinning room meals are taken together around a communal table and are prepared by your two resident chalet hosts. There is no reception in the chalet. Chalet hosts live on site and can be contacted in an emergency.

Generally we don’t enter your rooms at all during the week to make beds or clean, however, if you feel your room needs to be serviced mid-week then please ask your chalet hosts and they will be happy to help. None of the rooms have air-conditioning but we do provide electric fans. A hair dryer is also available to borrow but we suggest you bring your own.

Towels: In order to look after the environment we only change towels mid-week on request. If you feel that you need a change mid-week please just ask your chalet host.

Laundry: Unfortunately there are no client laundry facilities in the chalet.

 

Bedroom of the Chalet Chocolat
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the trip. All food is home cooked in the chalet using local ingredients.

Typical Meals:

Breakfast: Buffet style breakfast will usually consist of cereal, eggs, orange juice, croissant, fresh French bread, butter, jam, tea or coffee.

Lunch: Picnic style lunches will normally include bread, fresh salad vegetables, cold meats or tinned fish, cheese and fresh fruit.

Evening meal: This will normally consist of a first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat or fish with rice, potatoes or pasta and vegetables, followed by dessert or fruit and tea or coffee. The price of the evening meal does not include wine, beer, bottled water or soft drinks.

Vegetarians and Gluten-free diets: We happily cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please inform us at the time of booking.

This itinerary includes 5 days hill walking with transport to and from start/end points of walks. The maximum altitude is 2350m, with an average of 1525m. Some of the days are quite long, sometimes involving an ascent of 900/950m (3000/3120ft) followed by a similar descent. This will mean steadily walking uphill for 2 to 4 hours and then the same down again. The paths are rocky and steep in sections but generally well maintained. Due to the quality of the trails, the general ‘civilisation’ of the area and the relative shortness of the trek, we rate it as an Activity level 3, Moderate. That said for those new to hill walking or not walking fit the trekking may feel quite tough.

Walking hours stated are given as approximates only and include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. However, in general, days average about six to seven hours and up to nine miles in distance. The trek should be within the capabilities of anyone good health and is reasonably fit. The route throughout is non-technical, although there is a short section with a fixed sloping ladder and metal footsteps to help traverse what would be a steeper section. We will be walking mountain paths throughout however and this trip is not advised for severe vertigo sufferers.

Spring and Autumn departures: Late spring and early autumn is a great time to visit Chamonix and walk in the mountains. The air is clear, the views are stunning and paths are quiet and tranquil. Chamonix itself is still open for business but the bustle of the high season is replaced by a more laid back vibe. Although the itinerary will be similar and we will continue to walk spectacular sections of the TMB, we will need to alter some of the days. This will be due to the cable car not running, (pre the 15th of June and post 17th September) or (especially in spring time) to snow on the paths or due to river crossings not being possible. Cafes on the mountain may well be closed for some departures too. We try to make sure that any alterations stay within the grading and overall theme of the trip but some days may be a little longer and a little harder. We will always make sure that all walks still show off the best this area has to offer. The lift schedule can occasionally change which means they may actually be running for the spring/autumn on the last/first departures. If this is the case the may be lift costs that are payable locally.

The itinerary for all departures may also be altered or modified from time to time depending on the weather, the conditions of the route, the abilities and/or wishes of the group, or other local factors. The leader will discuss these changes with you if and when they occur.

Due to the popularity of this tour, on some weeks we may use more than one chalet. If we do, the groups will be completely separate (although will share the airport bus transfer). Please note we may adjust your itinerary order to ensure the groups are following different walks each day.

Please note: On this trip it is essential to have helicopter evacuation cover within your travel insurance.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

On top of the world

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit on day 3, stunning.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic, adaptable to conditions and knew what we were capable of, nobody was pushed too hard
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get put of the normal holiday routine, you won't regret it
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fantastic hosts that really added to the holiday

Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Walks, Cakes and Japes

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stunning views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains. The trip over the border to Italy was a particular highlight of good weather, a stunning walk and finishing in a picture post card Alpine town
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Emma our erstwhile guide was great. A perfect blend of supportive, encouraging and hilarious. Like all the best guides I came away with more than a few tips as well as a wealth of knowledge about the local flaure and fauna. I wouldn't hesitate to sign up to any trip she was leading.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I thought this trip was well run and had a polished itinerary. I'd take some clothes with an elastic waistband if you are partial to a slice of cake! There are some great restaurants in Chamonix on the off day. The local Savoie wine (mainly white) and Mont Blanc beer are also worth seeking out.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A word for the accomodation and catering - delectable. I'm a self confessed food obsessive and the thought of a chalet had me slightly nervous. Putting in mind 17 year old chalet hosts with 3 dishes on hard rotation. I couldn't have been more wrong. Zohi with the able assistance of Ben cranked out delicious 3 course meals and patisserie worthy cakes from a domestic kitchen. I ate better on this trip that I have in posh hotels. The only downside was I didn't come back the svelte tanned alpine Adonis I'd hoped for.

Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Magnifique!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif,raw nature.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Very competent,thoughtful and knowledgeable. Thanks Shaun!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the experience,prepare your body beforehand.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One trip to Chamonix is not enough,come back to ski,do different walks and learn to rock and ice-climb.

Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

INCREDIBLE HIKING EXPERIENCE

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing a hike made me really proud of myself and inspired to get fitter and incorporate more hiking in my daily life and travel Standing on top of Aiguille du Midi cable car and seeing Mont Blanc, the valley and Chamonix and all the places we had hiked

Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Majestic Mont Blanc

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Any time I ate Zohi's food - made me want to stay for longer, hike more and come back to an amazing 3 course dinner!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Expert in the area, able to amend itinerary based on weather and ability of the group - would recommend Shaun to anyone!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd say you need to be a keen social hiker to really enjoy this trip. If you hike in your normal weeks/months, you'll be fine, but don't expect it to be a walk in the park.

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