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Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek

from $2,449.00

Walk the iconic alpine trail through Switzerland, Italy and France

  • Reviews 74 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate / Challenging
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 14
All about the Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek.

Experience has taught us that 15 days is the perfect duration to fully appreciate this iconic circuit around Mont Blanc – 10 days of trekking complemented by three days of relaxation. Led by an experienced International Mountain Leader (IML) the circuit crosses three borders, climbs over six passes, traverses beneath huge glaciers, and meanders through beautiful alpine meadows and picture-book villages. To lighten our load our baggage is transported between each campsite by support vehicle, leaving us free to enjoy the inspiring scenery found only on this classic trek, hiking around Mont Blanc.

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, 10 picnic lunches, 8 dinners
* 14 nights camping, mostly in good campsites with hot showers
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Fully supported camping
  • Admire spectacular views of Mont Blanc
  • Enjoy 3 rest days to relax or sightsee
  1. Day 1 Start at Les Bossons, near Chamonix.

    Our start point is the campsite in Les Bossons, with wonderful views from the campsite of Mont Blanc and the dramatic crevassed Glacier des Bossons, especially at sunset. In the evening there is an introductory briefing by the trek crew.*Campsite:** *Camping Les Marmottes, Le Bossons

  2. Day 2 Follow the Grand Balcon Sud from Chamonix to les Frasserands.

    From Les Bossons (1012m – 3320ft) we have a short bus journey to Chamonix from where we take a gondola to Plan Praz (2000m – 6560ft). The trail today is named the ’Grand Balcon Sud’ and is a must do trek for anyone visiting the area. The trail contours on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc and has excellent views of the whole massif lying to the south. We walk from Plan Praz to Flegere (1,900m – 6230ft) and onwards to Les Frasserands (1371m – 4500ft) where we finish our day. If timings allow we will climb to the picturesque lac des Cheserys (2200m- 7220ft). This walk has been amended from our previously advertised walk that brought us up the cable car to Flegere from where we then walked to Lac Blanc. The Flegere cablecar is being renovated during summer 2019. This amended trek is a little longer than the original and is equally beautiful. 8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 380m – 1250ft up, 1050m – 3450ft down*Campsite*: Camping Pierre Semard, Les Frasserands

  3. Day 3 Cross over Col de Balme to Switzerland and camp at Trient.

    We begin by climbing steeply to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m – 7200ft), descend a little and then ascend towards the Col de Balme (2,191m – 7190ft) where we follow one of the paths across the border from France to Switzerland. Excellent views all morning of Aiguille d’Argentière and Aiguille du Tour and its glacier. After lunch we descend to the small hamlet of Trient (1296m – 4250ft). Good views of the Trient Glacier. 7.5 hours walking. 970m – 3200ft up, 1060m – 3466ft*Campsite*: Basic Camping, near Trient

  4. Day 4 Cross Col de la Forclaz to Champex.

    We climb first to the Col de Forclaz (1527m – 5010ft) and then onwards from where we can look directly down into the Rhône Valley and the Swiss town of Martigny. We follow a historic path used to take the cows to summer grazing, the ’Bovine route’ (2049m – 6720ft) that takes us through meadows and high alpine pastures before descending to the charming town of Champex (1486m – 4880ft) set beside a picturesque alpine lake.7 hours walking. 920m – 3017ft up, 720m – 3261ft down*Campsite*: Camping Les Rocailles, Champex Lac

  5. Day 5 Head up Val Ferret to La Fouly.

    Now on the east side of the main Mont Blanc massif we walk south, descending through woods to the Val Ferret and on to Issert (1,055m – 3460ft) and other pretty alpine farming villages. This is also quite a good day for flowers earlier in the season, including orchids. We continue up the valley to the remote village of La Fouly (1600m – 5250ft) which lies at the foot of Mont Dolent, whose summit marks the meeting point of France, Switzerland and Italy.6 hours walking, 440m – 1450ft down, 540m – 1780ft up*Campsite*: Camping les Glaciers, La Fouly

  6. Day 6 Climb to Grand Col Ferret, the highest pass of the trek.

    Still following the same valley and the river ’La Drance’, we climb to the ’Grand Col Ferret’ (2537m – 8320ft), the highest pass of the tour. Now in Italy, the valley is also called ’Val Ferret’. The mountain views from the Col are stunning with Grandes Jorasses dominating the scene. We walk down the valley to Arp Nouva (1,770m – 5800ft) where we then take an optional bus to Planpincieux (1,600m – 5250ft). For the first and last trip of the season the bus may not be running and we may need to walk to camp.7.5 hours walking. 970m – 3180ft up, 800m – 2600ft down.*Campsite*: Camping Grands Jorasses, Val Ferret

  7. Day 7 Rest day.

    The nearby ex-spa towns of Courmayeur and Entrèves have picturesque older sections, which are worth a visit, especially for the keen photographer. There is a cable car from La Palud to Point Helbronner (3461m – 11350ft) and on across the glacier to the Aiguille du Midi (and in fact on down to Chamonix). This is a splendid (optional) excursion, which gives close-up views of all the big peaks.*Campsite*: Camping Grands Jorasses, Val Ferret

  8. Day 8 Climb to Bonatti refuge and traverse high above the spectacular Ferret Valley around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur and on to Val Veny.

    We start with a short bus ride to pick up the TMB and from the road (1675m – 5500ft ) climb up to the Bonatti refuge (2025m – 6640ft). Today we follow a beautiful contouring path around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur. The views of the south Mont Blanc massif are exceptional as are those of the towering, peaks of the ’Grandes Jorasses’ and the glaciers which crowd the northern flank of the Val Ferret. In the afternoon we have a long, steep descent to Courmayeur (1230m – 4030m) (superb ice creams!) from where we take a short bus ride into the spectacular Val Veny (1530m – 5020ft).8 hours walking. 500m – 1640ft up, 900m 4400ft down*Campsite*: Camping Aiguille Noire, Val Veny

  9. Day 9 Re-enter France across Col de la Seigne and through La Ville des Glaciers to Les Chapieux.

    The trail climbs gently along the Val Veny beneath the moraine of the massive glacier du Miage and passes Lac Combal before the gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road across today’s pass, the ’Col de la Seigne’ (2516m – 8250ft), marking our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through La Ville des Glaciers (1,789m – 5870ft) and finally to Les Chapieux (1553m – 5090ft), a small hamlet which is only inhabited in the summer months. This is one of the longer walking days.8.5 hours walking. 990m – 3250ft up, 970m – 3180ft down*Campsite*: Basic Camping, Chapieux

  10. Day 10 Climb to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and contour around to Col du Bonhomme.

    We have now reached the southwest corner of the circuit and turn north to climb once again. Today is a longer day; first we make a steep climb to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2478m – 8130ft) and then contour around to the Col du Bonhomme (2328m – 7640ft). We then descend (again on a Roman road) to our campsite in Les Contamines (1180m – 5900ft).8 hours walking. 930m – 3050ft up, 1375m – 4510ft*Campsite*: Camping le Pontet, Les Contamines

  11. Day 11 Rest day.

    There are short and long optional walks in the area. Time can be spent visiting the half-day market in Les Contamines, or you can simply relax around town or in camp and recharge your batteries for the days ahead.*Campsite*: Camping le Pontet, Les Contamines

  12. Day 12 Cross Col de Tricot and Col de Voza to re-enter Chamonix Valley and descend to village of Les Houches.

    Another long day; we walk through Les Contamines, ascend to Chalets du Truc (1720m – 5614ft) and then descend to the Chalets de Miage (1,560m – 4120ft). From here we take the trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2119m – 6950ft) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay where we will enjoy good views of the north side of the Mont Blanc massif. Eventually we make another short ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1652m – 5418ft) where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and descend to the village of Les Houches (dependent on the time of year there is optional cable car descent from Bellevue to Les Houches). A short bus ride takes us to our camp in Les Bossons (1,012m – 3320ft).9 hours walking. 1200m – 3980ft up, 1370m – 4500ft down*Campsite*: Camping les Marmottes, Les Bossons

  13. Day 13 Probably best views of Mont Blanc today on the long ascent to Brevent; descend to Plan Praz.

    We cross to the north side of the Chamonix Valley and climb through pine forest. The high point of the day is Brevent (2525m – 8290ft) from where there are panoramic views of the Mont Blanc Massif and the Chamonix Valley. We walk down to Plan Praz (1970m – 6460ft) and then descend by cable car to Chamonix and then on to our camp at Les Bossons (1012m – 3320ft). It is possible to take the cable car descent from the top (dependent on the time of the season), this extra journey will be payble locally should you choose not to walk. Our last day on the TMB circuit is long with a tough climb of over 1500m but affords the best views of Mont Blanc and its neighbours of the whole trek.7.5 hours walking. 1480m – 4850ft up, 520m – 1690ft down*Campsite*: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

  14. Day 14 Free day at Les Bossons.

    Free day at Les Bossons (near Chamonix). There are several good walks in the Chamonix Valley. Chamonix itself is also a great place to spend a day. The most popular excursion, weather depending, would be the spectacular ascent by cable car to the Aiguille du Midi or the Montenvers cog railway.*Campsite*: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

  15. Day 15 End Les Bossons.

    **

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Where you stay

Camping

The campsites are mainly comfortable and modern with hot showers and electricity to recharge batteries etc. Many have a bar and WiFi and a lounge or sitting area to relax in. We provide a large communal tent (if we do not use the campsites communal area) where we eat at tables with chairs and have an unlimited tea and coffee station, camp bar and some more relaxing seating such as inflatable sofas. The campsite are in stunning settings and sharing an after trek drink with newly made friends as the sun sets over a glaciated mountain vista is the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors.

Accompanying you throughout the trek is a dedicated camp support leader who will take care of all the logistics and catering. Your tent will be put up for you each night. In the morning you will be asked to take your own tent down, put your bag in the back of the van and wash up your own personal breakfast dish. On four nights out of fourteen you will be asked to join a washing team and help with dishes of that night. A 20 minute job. Otherwise you are free to relax and your time is your own.

You will spend 14 nights camping in roomy 3 person tents, but with a maximum of 2 people per tent. Single tents are available for a small additional cost, please ask your sales consultant for further information. Mattress hire and sleeping bag hire is also available.

Two campsites are a little more basic than average and don’t have showers. We eat in restaurants on these nights.

Eating and Drinking

We provide 8 home cooked 3 course group meals in camp, 14 breakfasts and 10 picnic lunches. 5 group menu meals will be taken in local restaurants and will be payable locally €110 per person. Due to the small size and remoteness of several of these restaurants and for speed when serving a large group these will be set menus. Your leader will collect money for these at the beginning of the trip. If you wish to opt out of these please let them know.

Breakfast: Will usually consist of coffee, tea, cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, bread, and conserves.

Lunch: Picnic style lunches will normally include bread, cold meat, cheese, sometimes boiled eggs or tinned fish, fresh salad vegetables and fresh fruit. You may wish to bring (or purchase locally), snack bars for an extra energy boost throughout the day.

Evening meal: Whether in camp or in a nearby restaurant will consist of a first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat with one or two vegetables or rice or pasta and a dessert course.

Beer, wine, bottled water, coffee, tea or other drinks are not included in the price of evening meals taken in restaurants. Coffee and tea are included with the evening meal when we eat in camp and beer and wine are also available for purchase at a modest cost.

Vegetarians will usually find that there is little difficulty, as long as they are prepared to be reasonably flexible.

If you take a vegan diet you should expect that variety of food may be limited whilst on this trip as this kind of diet is relatively uncommon in this region. We cannot guarantee that the restaurants will provide meals that have the necessary variety to be considered satisfying when on a more restricted diet.

The feedback we receive for the food we serve is great but please be aware that facilities are limited and practicality forces us to put our efforts in to make one excellent group meal with a vegetarian option. Of course, we will respect allergies but otherwise please don’t expect us to be able to make cook you an a la crate meal to suit your personal tastes.

This trip is graded Activity Level 4 (moderate/challenging) – it involves 10 days of walking; 2 days at a Moderate level and 8 days at a Challenging level. Most of the days are long, quite often involving an ascent of 900-1200m (or 3000 – 4000 feet), equivalent to 3 to 4 hours walking uphill, followed by a similar descent. Although the paths are well maintained there are sections that are rough underfoot. On day 2 there are 2 metal ladders to descend en route from Lac Blanc, these are secured against the rock, consist of approximately 12 steps and are not difficult to climb. The route throughout is non-technical however we will be walking mountain paths throughout and this trip is not advised for severe vertigo sufferers.

Please be aware on days 6 and 8 we take a short bus transfer to avoid trekking on busy roads.

Most people trek the TMB anti clockwise. From years of experience we have discovered that trekking the route clockwise allows for quieter trails and avoids a tough ascent of the first couple of days. The views and walks are still just as beautiful in this direction.

As this is a group holiday you need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace that matches the group average, therefore allowing the group to finish the day at a reasonable time. You will also enjoy the trek a great deal more if your fitness allows you to walk the route in relative ease. A Challenging graded day would be equivalent to walking up Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis in the UK and take between 3 to 5 hours of walking up hill and up to 9 hours in total depending on the pace. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for the trip.

If you are unable to walk during the itinerary and want to opt out of a day, please take note that this can sometimes be a little tricky dependent on where on the circuit you are. To reach the next point you will need to take a public bus (which run at limited times) or taxi (which can be expensive when in a more remote location). Our support vehicle is not suitable for taking passengers so please be aware of this when deciding to book this trip.

All ascents, descents and walking distances listed below are approximates. We have decided the most accurate method is to map the routes carefully using google earth. That said it is impossible to obtain a completely true figure of the distances walked. Regarding GPS – due to the inherent inaccuracies of defining an exact waypoint with a GPS and the cumulative overall inaccuracy this causes, you may find that our distances and GPS distances you obtain on trek with your personal GPS/phone, may differ by quite a margin. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

This trek is based on the ‘supported camping’ concept, with a vehicle doing all the hard work of transporting luggage, equipment and supplies. Whilst camping the support leader will erect your tent but in the morning you will be expected to pack away your own tent (these are modern pop up style tents that are very easy and quick to fold away and pack) and the whole group generally helps to load the support vehicle on the days when we move camp. On half of the nights we eat in camp, you should expect to help with the washing up.

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

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

MONT BLANC CIRCUIT

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the border crossings, from France to Switzerland, Switzerland to Italy and Italy to France were all spectacular - difficult days that made me feel a sense of achievement as passes were crossed, moving from one country to another. On two of the rest days I took the opprtunity to take the respective cable cars up to stations high up on glaciers. An amazing experience to see the high mountains without having to be a mountaineer. 
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Jenny was quite frankly superb. She was organised, kept us well briefed throughout the trek, and was tremendous fun to socialise with. It was pretty obvious she had many years of leading and her experience showed.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For anyone who walks regularly or is reasonably active, this trek should not pose any significant physical challenges as long as you are reasonably fit before you come on this trek. That being said the more physical preparation you can do pre departure, the more you can enjoy the trek. Read the pre departre notes and even look at the Exodus trekking fitness guide and be honest with yourself you can do what's described. You want a challenge not an ordeal.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Graham, our support: supported the camp site, drove the support vehicle and was our camp cook. The meals Graham made for us on trek were fabulous; he really put a lot of effort into the meals and it showed in the quality of the cuisine he prepared. We were also lucky to have as a bonus a trainee leader on trek, Tom. Tom, Graham and Jenny made a great team who at all times went out of their way to make our trek as enjoyable and hassle free as possible - they were friendly, social and thoroughly good fun to trek with -what a great holiday, thanks guys. 

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Great Trip!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My highlights were swimming in the lake above Chamonix (though very very cold!!) and seeing a Wallcreeper.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Rupert made the trip very interesting by sharing his knowledge of wild flowers and knowledge of the local cuisine and best coffee stops! His knowledge of the area was excellent and due to this we could do little detours to see glacial lakes and Bernard the cheese farmer that you would miss if you stuck rigidly to the TMB. I also loved having 2 half-lunches, will do this on hikes in the future!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep your pack as light as possible - I wished I'd taken a small pair of binoculars though. Do take your swimmers & sports towel with you as it is great to go in the lake! If you have any knee problems, use hiking poles and bring knee supports with you. There is a lot of downhill on this trip!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Mont Blanc Circuit 12th - 26th July

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There wasn't really one - every day was different and in the early stages each day surpassed the previous one. If you haven't done it before, the fact that you don't know what is round the next corner inspires you to keep walking.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    John the group leader was superb. A very experienced guide, he was patient with our different walking speeds from the outset and when he got to know us a bit better, gradually let some of us venture out ahead when the conditions allowed. He was eager to impart his local knowledge on us and looked after us conscientiously. Totally trustworthy and a good bloke.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Pay for your own tent instead of sharing with a stranger - I'm glad I did - you'll need the extra room. 2. Bring a biggish rucksack - mine was a 25L but I could have done with a 35L (to load waterproofs, lunch, etc) 3. All the local walkers wore waterproof ponchos that also covered their rucksacks when it rained. They didn't care what they looked like as long as they stayed dry. If you don't fancy one, make sure your backpack has a cover / liner because when it rains it rains hard. 4. There was no wind on the hills so a portable umbrella would have been useful. 5. Bring lots of easy dry wicking tops - they don't smell even after a few days, are easy to wash and dry and don't crease. 6. Bring two towels - biggest problem with camping is keeping stuff dry and when it is damp it starts to smell. 7. Spare plastic bags to keep stuff dry or put damp stuff in eg Tesco sandwich bags, carrier bags for dirty clothes. 8. Compeed for blisters, spare dry socks, woolly hat and gloves for high climbs in low cloud as it gets cold. 9. I walked in shorts most of the time - it was cooler to walk in shorts when wearing waterproof trousers.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You won't regret doing this walk - the scenery is stunning.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Mont Blanc Circuit - 5*

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1) The view from the Grand Col Ferret and the optional Tete Ferret next to it. 2) The campsite at La Fouly - directly beneath a glacier and Mont Dolent - the border between Italy, France and Switzerland at the same place. 3) The option to go up two cable cars on our free days - Hellbronner and Aiguille Du Midi, which gave stunning views of Mont Blanc and surrounding peaks and glaciers 4) Swimming in Champex Lac - cold, but great after a long days walking in temperatures around 30 degrees.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    John was a really good guide and a good laugh as well. He knew his stuff about the local area and really tried to pass his knowledge on to the group. He gauged the average pace of the group really quickly, allowing everyone to enjoy the scenery but not making the days too long. On a day when a client was unwell in poor weather conditions he kept the group together and ensured our safe return off the mountain. He also mixed well with the group socially, sharing a few beers in the evening. Graham and Charlotte looked after the campsites really well, providing good food and helping out where they could.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have good waterproof gear - coat, trousers and rucksack/cover/liner - it will rain at some point on the trip and its important to keep yourself as dry as possible to avoid getting cold. If you are fit enough before you go you will really enjoy the trip and there are options to do further peaks for those who want to - and they are definitely worth it if you are fit enough.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take enough money, as you are encouraged to buy drinks/cake etc. at the mountain refuges, - it is worth it though, as they do great cakes and hot chocolates etc. Average cake/tart = 4 euros, average hot choc= 3.50, coffee = 2.00, so you will soon spend your cash if you do buy things at the refuges. If you do the cable cars as well you can spend about 350-400 euros. There are cash points in Chamonix, les contamines and courmayur if you need to use them.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Excellent trip with well supported camping

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were some really amazing days walking up to high passes with some optional peak ascents for those that wanted to do a little more. Looking down from 2700m onto peaks shrouded in cloud was pretty good!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    John put in a lot of effort to make sure everyone got what they wanted out of the trip - which was different for everybody. He was always helpful and willing to answer questions, give advice etc. Gave a few laughs along the way as well. Graham and Charlotte did an excellent job in providing the camp support. Graham's meals were a definite highlight (and much better than we ate onthe local restaurants nights) and he was really good at providing anything people particularly wanted and catering to everyones needs.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you prepare for all weather conditions. We had quite a lot of rain and it could be cold at night, but equally I think it could be really warm and sunny every day. There are some really tough descents so I would suggest walking poles are a must.

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June 12, 2021
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June 26, 2021
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