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Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

from $3,979.00

Walk the classic circuit through France, Switzerland and Italy

  • Reviews 9 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 Hotel Trek.

For those who like to enjoy the comfort of a bed every night we offer the Mont Blanc circuit as a fully accommodated walking holiday, with all nights spent in a variety of lodgings from family run 2 and 3-star hotels to basic inns or pensions. Again keeping to the ideal duration to complete the full route, we include 10 walking days and 3 rest days, in which time we cross the borders of Switzerland, Italy and France and enjoy unrivalled views of the Alps and Mont Blanc itself. The itinerary is essentially the same as on the camping version (trip code TWB); with your qualified International Mountain Leader (IML) guiding the way you still complete the famous circuit, and your baggage is transported for you by our support vehicle, but we offer the comfort of a bed in quaint, picturesque accommodations on route so you can enjoy your walking holiday in comfort. In most places we use a hotel for just one night, before moving on the next day, occasionally we settle in for a few nights and use local transport to take us to the next point of the circuit.

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, 12 hotel/restaurant dinners
* All accommodation (see below)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout (IML qualified)
* Arrival & departure transfers (if meeting group timings)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (not available on this tour, twin share only)

Highlights

  • Stay in a variety of small, friendly hotels and pensions
  • Walk in the shadow of Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc
  • Enjoy the spectacular scenery of this world-famous route
  • No camping
  1. Day 1 Start Chamonix.

    In the evening there is an introductory briefing by your leader.**

  2. Day 2 Lac Blanc and the Grand Balcon Sud from Chamonix to les Frasserands 

    From our hotel in Chamonix we walk to Les Praz and take the cable car to La Flégère (1,860m – 6100). The trail today is named the ’Grand Balcon’ and is on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc, affording excellent views of the whole massif lying to our south. Initially we contour and then climb to reach the high point of the day, Lac Blanc (2352m – 7715ft). The trail descends and then contours high above the valley before dropping steeply to the hamlet of Les Frasserands and Montroc (1,371m – 4500ft). In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend. We return to our hotel in Chamonix in the afternoon.8.00 hours walking. 500m – 1640ft up, 980m – 3220ft down* *

  3. Day 3 Over Col de Balme into Switzerland; night at Col de la Forclaz.

    We travel back to Montroc at the top of the Chamonix valley where we begin our ascent to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m – 7200ft), descend a little and then climb towards the Col de Balme (2191m – 7190ft) from 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 walk through to the small Swiss hamlet of Trient (1296m – 4250ft). Good views of the Trient Glacier. A sting in the tail today as we finish with a steep climb from Trient to our hotel at the Col de la Forclaz (1527m – 5010ft).8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1190m/3900ft up, 1060m/3466ft down

  4. Day 4 Follow Bovine Route to Champex.

    We leave the Col de la Forclaz, where we can look directly down into the Rhône valley and the Swiss town of Martigny and follow an historic path used to take the cows to high pasture, the ’Bovine route’ (2049m – 6720ft). Our trail takes us through meadows and high alpine pastures before we descend to the charming town of Champex (1486m – 4880ft) set beside a picturesque alpine lake.7.5 hours walking, 680m – 2230ft up, 720m – 2360ft down

  5. Day 5 Head up the 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 (1055m – 3460ft) and other small, pretty, alpine farming villages. This is quite a good day for flowers, including orchids. We continue up the valley to the remote village La Fouly (1600m – 5250ft). This is at the foot of Mont Dolent, whose summit is at the meeting point of France, Switzerland and Italy.6 hours walking, 440m – 1450ft down, 540m – 1780ft up

  6. Day 6 Follow river La Drance; climb to the highest point of the tour at Grand Col Ferret and into Italy. Overnight at La Palud.

    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 the Grandes Jorasses dominating the scene. We walk down the valley to Arp Nouva (1770m – 5800ft) then travel by bus to our hotel in La Palud near Courmayeur. (BLD)7 hours walking, 970m – 3180ft up, 800m – 2600ft down

  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 Entrèves to Point Helbronner (3461m – 11350ft) and on across the glacier to 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. Alternatively you might wish to relax and recover in the Spa bathes at Pre Saint Didier a short bus ride from Courmayeur.

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

    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

  9. Day 9 Cross the Col de la Seigne back to France, descend through la Ville des Glaciers to Les Chapieux.

    Today we are heading for the Val Veny and the start of our walk at La Vissaille (1660m – 5450ft). We’ll reach this by bus to then start climb gently along good paths beneath the massive glacier de Miage and pass Lac Combal before the gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road and head for today’s pass: the ’Col de la Seigne’ (2516m – 8250ft), which marks our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through la Ville des Glaciers (1789m – 5870ft) and finally after quite a long walking day to Les Chapieux (1553m – 5090ft), a small remote hamlet inhabited only during the summer months.8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 870m – 2840ft up, 970m – 3180ft down

  10. Day 10 Ascend to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, then contour across to the 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). A short bus ride down the valley takes us to the pretty village of St Gervais, the perfect place for a day off. 8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 930m – 3050ft up, 1340m – 4400ft down

  11. Day 12 Over Col de Tricot to the Chamonix Valley; overnight at Les Houches.

    Today is a challenging day with plenty of ups and downs. From St Gervais we have a 10 min transfer to re-join our route before ascending to the Chalets de Miage (1560m – 5120ft). From here we take a trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2119m – 6950ft) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay. Good views of the north side of the Mont Blanc Massif. Eventually we make another ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1652m – 5418ft) where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and make our final descent to the village of Les Houches (993m – 3225ft).8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1200m – 3980ft up, 1370m – 4500ft down

  12. Day 13 Best views of Mont Blanc today; long ascent to the Brevent, descend to Chamonix.

    We cross to the north side of the Chamonix Valley and climb steeply through pine forest and then on open mountainsides to reach the high point of the day at Brevent (2525m – 8290ft). This is a long walking day but will probably afford the best views of the French side of Mont Blanc and its neighbouring peaks that we shall have on the whole trek. We descend to Plan Praz (1970m – 6460ft) and take the cable car to Chamonix (1061m) for a well-deserved beer.7.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1500m – 4921ft up, 520m – 1690ft down

  13. Day 14 Free day in Chamonix.

    Free day in and around Chamonix. There are several good walks in the Chamonix valley. Chamonix itself is also a great place to spend a day. The most popular excursions, weather depending, would be the spectacular ascent by cable car to the Aiguille du Midi or the Montenvers cog railway.

  14. Day 15 End Chamonix.

    **

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Where you stay

Hotels, Pensions, Inns & Auberges

Throughout the trek we use long-established family run 2 or 3-star hotels, except for 3 nights where we use local auberges. One of the hotels has a Jacuzzi and sauna for guests. Most of the hotels have stunning locations often with panoramic vistas over the mountains and culturally represent the countries and environment they are in. These hotels are a vital source of income to the local community. All are clean and well run and set up with the needs of the trekker in mind.

Please be aware that room sizes (twin, double or triple rooms) and facilities will vary from hotel to hotel and sometimes from room to room within one hotel. On 11 of the nights facilities are en suite whilst the others have the possibility, depending on availability and group size, of shared bathroom and toilet facilities ‘on the landing’. Couples will always have their own room but we cannot say whether this will be twin or double. Very occasionally a room will have bunk beds. Single clients must be prepared to share with one or occasionally two other members of the same sex. We are unable to accept bookings for single rooms due to the small size of the hotels used and the fact that we are usually staying only one night in each hotel. The Auberge does not provide soap and you may wish to bring a towel, as those provided by continental hotels are sometimes small. On rare occasions the group may be split over two different accommodations but these will be of the same standard and within walking distance.

Eating and Drinking

Included in the trip are all breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches and 12 hotel/restaurant dinners. On free days 7, 11, 14 and both transfer days lunch is not provided. On the free days 7 and 14 dinner is also not included and needs to be bought locally. We take our evening meals in the hotel in which we are staying or in a nearby restaurant. These meals are usually arranged as a ‘menu’ for the whole group and as they are based on special negotiations made by us represent better value than eating independently. Please note that should the times of flights change to arrive earlier, or depart later, additional meals will not be included. Please also note that no refund will be given for meals not taken or taken other than where designated.

Typical Meals

Continental Breakfast: Will normally include coffee, tea, hot chocolate, French bread, croissant and conserves.

Picnic-Style Lunch: Generally include bread, cold meat, cheese, tinned fish, fresh salad vegetables and fresh fruit.

Evening meal: A first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat with one or two vegetables or rice or pasta, a dessert course. Beer, wine, bottled water, other drinks, coffee or tea are not included in the price of evening meals taken in restaurants.

Vegetarians: We happily cater for vegetarians but please inform us at the time of booking.

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 hotels and restaurants will provide meals that have the necessary variety to be considered satisfying when on a more restricted diet.

Drinks: Please note that drinks are not included and you will be expected to pay directly for any wine/tea/coffee taken at dinner.

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.

Your main luggage will be transported for you between accommodations but please note that you will be expected to carry this to your room.

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

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 07/10/2019
5/5

This is an absolute ‘must do’ trip!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved it all. Every single minute :)
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    I originally thought about doing this trip self guided but I couldn’t be happier that I didn’t! Our guide, Egle, made this trip for me! She was fantastic, She looked after absolutely everything so all I needed to do was enjoy myself as we wandered around the TMB :) !! Her love for the Alps is infectious and she’s just awesome to be around!

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

You HAVE to book this trip!!!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it up Brevent on the the last climb to complete the two-week trek!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    John is an exceptional Mountain Leader: very experienced and certainly knows his stuff. He had a knack of popping up beside you for support any time you were feeling anxious about the path or there was a precarious snowy/icy section or river crossing. Certainly felt very safe in his hands. He is very knowledgable about the mountains, flora and fauna and has stories about his own adventures around the world to keep you entertained with. Set the perfect 'Fairy Step' pace on the hikes to make it seem almost effortless, which made all the difference, especially in the 35 degree heat we had on some days. Very well organised and always made sure we had a good spread for lunch. Even good at opening the impossible gherkin jars!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although this is a summer trek, there was plenty of snow still on the path for our trip in June, so be prepared!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do not hesitate to book this trip - you will not regret it!

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Fantastic tour

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sense of achievement of completing the last day’s climb was fantastic. John kept us together always as a group. Everyone felt supported Shen they needed it.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. John managed to create a cohesive group. He managed to keep a sense of fun while inspiring great trust in his knowledge and skills. Could not have been better.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! It is challenging but manageable for anyone who is fairly fit.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Tour du Mount Blanc Hotel - terrific two week Alpine trek through three countries

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In terms of hiking, probably ascending the 2,500 m cols which took us across the frontiers into each of Switzerland, Italy & France, plus the steep (600 m) ascent of the Col du Trichot on walking day 9, and the sumptuous views of Mt Blanc as we ascended 1,600m to Brevet on the final morning - celebrated with champagne at the top. Aside from the hiking were two "Must Do"s. One was on the first rest day - taking the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car from Cormayeaur up to Punta Herbronner and then the frankly fantastic 5km panorama trip over to the Aiguille du Midi. Absolutely superb views over the glacier and of Mt Blanc itself. Kim suggested we get there for 06:30 when it opened which proved great advice as we had the viewing platform to ourselves & avoided the later crowds and queues. The other was the tramway from St Gervais up to Nid D'Aigle. Impressive engineering, great views and a chance to hike to the Bionnassay glacier. Do both. Take layers.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Kim was an experienced IML (International Mountain Leader) and clearly knew the area like the back of her hand - she didn't consult a map once across the whole trip. Her briefings each evening were comprehensive - almost too much so. She was up early each morning to set out food so we could select content of our lunches before we went into breakfast, and her timetabling meant we had plenty of time at every point despite the scale of the hiking each day. She set a steady sensible pace on the ascents and was a demon on the descents - we had fun trying to keep up with her, despite her being older than all the trip participants.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes liken the walking to ascending Ben Nevis or Scarfell Pike. This is not an exaggeration as we coincidentally did both three weeks before the trip. You need to be hiking fit to cope with repeated 10+ mile / 1,000+m hikes. Take layers - the weather can change quickly. Carrying gloves, woolly hat, down jacket, rain top, & over-trousers seemed OTT until the sudden thunderstorm on the Col du Bonhomme. Good boots, walking poles plenty of sun screen are also recommended. Finally, those with water bladders proved more adept with keeping hydrated than those us with water bottles. I picked one up in Decathlon (£10) on our return to Chamonix.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would certainly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys hiking. The route well chosen, food plentiful, accommodation sound and guide knowledgeable. The scenery is simply glorious.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Summer in the mountains surrounding Mont Blanc

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly enjoyed walking over the cols to the next valleys. Always a wow moment.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Nick was a great guide, and knew a lot about the mountains and the things living in them. I don't think anyone was ever anxious about what the day might bring as trickier parts of the walk were dealt with as we arrived at them and not over thought of before. He had a calm, relaxed manner which made all the days enjoyable.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Always carry wet weather gear. We only had just over an hour of rain on one occasion whilst walking but I was grateful for the waterproofs I'd carried for nearly a fortnight. Do get fit but don't over worry. We live in a very flat area so only really walk up hills and mountains whilst on holiday and we had no problem. Carry plenty of water. Be prepared to wait for slower members of the group... never a problem when you're an such beautiful surroundings!

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
June 13, 2020
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$3,979.00
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June 27, 2020
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$4,149.00
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July 25, 2020
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June 19, 2021
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June 26, 2021
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July 10, 2021
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