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Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek

from $2,605.00

Enjoy self-guided walking on the classic circuit through France, Switzerland
and Italy

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Challenging
    7/8
All about the Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek.

For those confident of their walking ability we offer the iconic Tour du Mont Blanc as a self-guided itinerary.The majestic beauty of the surrounding scenery is best appreciated on foot as you walk point-to-point each day, staying in friendly hotels and auberges at night. Your main baggage is transported for you by van, and using comprehensive route notes you follow the well-marked trails across the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. The walking is challenging, but the views and the sense of achievement are well worth it!

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, 7 hotel/restaurant dinners
* 7 nights 2 and 3-star hotels, 3 nights auberges and 1 night mountain refuge
* All baggage transport
* Route notes

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

Highlights

  • Admire spectacular views of Mont Blanc
  • Walk through 3 countries in 12 days
  • Quaint accommodation and local cuisine
  1. Day 1 Start Chamonix

    Start at your hotel in Chamonix. Enjoy dinner (not included) in one of the town’s many delightful restaurants.*2-Star Hotel*

  2. Day 2 Walk the balcony route to Argentiere; beautiful views of Lac Blanc

    From Chamonix walk to Les Praz and take the téléférique (cable car) to La Flégère (1,900m – 6230ft). The trail today is named the ’Grand Balcon Sud’ and is on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc, affording excellent views of the whole massif lying to your south. Initially the route contours and then climbs to reach the high point of the day, Lac Blanc (2352m/7715ft). The trail descends past the photogenic lac de Cheserys and then downwards again to Argentiere (1240m/3720ft). In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend.*2-Star Hotel*

  3. Day 3 Walk from Col du Balme to Col du Forclaz; views of Aiguille du Tour and its glacier

    A short walk to Montroc at the top of the Chamonix valley where the path begins the ascent to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m/7200ft), descends a little and then climbs towards the Col de Balme (2,191m/7190ft) where it crosses the border from France to Switzerland. Excellent views all morning of Aiguille d’Argentière and Aiguille du Tour and its glacier. You will then head to the small Swiss hamlet of Trient (1,296m/4250ft), with good views of the Trient Glacier. There is a sting in the tail today as you finish with a steep climb from Trient to our Auberge at the Col de la Forclaz (1527m/5010ft).*Auberge*

  4. Day 4 Bovine Route to Champex through meadows and alpine pastures

    Leaving the Col de la Forclaz, with views directly down into the Rhône Valley and the Swiss town of Martigny the route follows an historic path used to take the cows to high pasture, the ’Bovine route’ (2049m/6720ft). The trail takes you through meadows and high alpine pastures before descending to the charming town of Champex (1486m/4880ft) set beside a picturesque alpine lake.*3-Star Hotel*

  5. Day 5 Walk to La Fouly; enjoy the wildflowers en route

    Now on the east side of the main Mont Blanc Massif the path turns south, descending through woods to the Val Ferret and on to Issert (1,055m/3460ft) and other small, pretty, alpine farming villages. This is a good day for flowers, including orchids. 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.*Auberge*

  6. Day 6 Walk over Grand Col Ferret towards Bonatti; night in a refuge

    Still following the same valley and the river ’La Drance’, the path climbs 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. The path descends into the valley to Arp Nouva (1,770m/5800ft) then climbs and traverses a little to the refuge Walter Bonatti. (2025m/6640ft). The rooms are 2 and 4 bed. This is a splendid place to spend a night and is a true mountain hut experience (there is no baggage delivery to the hut!). There is the option to change this hut night to a hotel night in Courmayeur. Please inform your sales consultant if you would like to have this option. In this case baggage will be delivered. Depending on hotel availability there should be no change in price but dinner will not be included.*Mountain Refuge*

  7. Day 7 Walk from Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur. Spend the night in Courmayeur or La Palud

    If you spent the night in Courmayeur, after a short local bus ride you will re-join the path and climb to the Refuge Walter Bonatti. Walking from the Refuge (2025m/6640ft) the path follows a beautiful contouring route around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur. The views of the south Mont Blanc massif are exceptional as are those of the towering, cliffy peak of the ’Grandes Jorasses’ and the glaciers which crowd the northern flank of the Val Ferret. In the afternoon there is a long and reasonably steep descent to Courmayeur (1,230m/4030m) a town that boasts superb ice creams!*3-Star Hotel*

  8. Day 8 Walk over Col de la Seigne heading back into France to Les Chapieux

    After a short local bus ride to La Vissaille (1660m/5450ft) in the Val Veny the TMB path climbs gently beneath the massive glacier de Miage and past Lac Combal before the gradient becomes steeper again as it follows the old Roman road and heads for today’s pass: the ’Col de la Seigne’ (2,516m/8250ft), which marks our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through to la Ville des Glaciers (1,789m/5870ft) and finally after quite a long walking day to Les Chapieux (1,553m/5090ft), a small, remote hamlet inhabited only during the summer months.*Auberge*

  9. Day 9 Climb to reach Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and onwards to Col du Bonhomme and Les Contamines

    Having now reached the southwest corner of the circuit the route turns north to climb once again. First there is a steep sustained climb to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2,478m/8130ft), before contouring around to the Col du Bonhomme (2,328m/7640ft). From here the path descends steeply through meadows and over a Roman bridge and finally to the village of Les Contamines (1180m/5900ft).*2-Star Hotel*

  10. Day 10 Col du Voza to Les Houches; challenging day of ascents and descents

    Today is a challenging day with plenty of ups and downs. From Les Contamines the path re-joins the TMB route ascending to the Chalets de Miage (1,560m/5120ft). From here the trail climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2,119m/6950ft) before descending and passing very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay. There are good views of the north side of the Mont Blanc Massif. The path then re-ascends to reach the Col de Voza (1,652m/5418ft) and ahead lies the Chamonix Valley and the final descent to the village of Les Houches (993m/3225ft).*2-Star Hotel*

  11. Day 11 Brevent to Chamonix; fantastic views of Mont Blanc

    Crossing to the north side of the Chamonix Valley the path climbs steeply through pine forest and then on open mountainsides to reach the high point of the day at Brevent (2,525m/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 will be seen on the whole trek. The path then descend to Plan Praz (1970m/6460ft) from where you can take an optional cable car to Chamonix (1,061m) for a well-deserved drink.*2-Star Hotel*

  12. Day 12 End Chamonix

    Check out of your Chamonix hotel after breakfast.

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Where you stay

Hotels, Auberges and 1 night in refuge

You will spend 5 nights in 2-star hotels , 2 nights in 3-star hotels, 3 nights in an auberge and 1 night in a mountain refuge. The hotels have ensuite facilities but depending on the availability there may be shared facilities in the auberge and refuge. Couples travelling together will have their own room but we cannot always say whether this will be twin or double or even very occasionally a room with bunk beds. It is also possible that on day six, Refuge Bonatti, and day 8, Les Chapieux, where availability of rooms are very limited that only shared dormitory space will be available. Dormitories are for the most part 8 to 12 bed rooms with separate bunkbeds. If you accept a dormitory option then we will put you on the wait list to be upgraded to rooms if a room becomes available. If it does not then we will refund you the difference in Euros locally at the beginning of the trip.  Single traveler supplement is not available for this trip. A single room is on a request basis.

Eating and Drinking

Included in the trip are all breakfasts and 7 hotel/restaurant dinners. Evening meals are taken in the hotel in which you are staying or a nearby restaurant. For dinners not included expect to pay €20 for a good 3 course menu (not including drinks). Lunch prices can vary depending on whether you have a picnic or eat in a restaurant, but €15 is a good estimate for a sit down meal. You can order a packed lunch from the hotel in which you are staying when you check in.

Typical Meals:

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

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: Although vegetarianism is not common in this part of Europe and most meals are based on meat and fish there are no problems catering for vegetarians as long as they are prepared to be flexible. If you eat a vegan diet you should expect that the variety of food may be limited while 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.

Activity level 5 – Challenging

10 days walking; 2 days Moderate, 8 days Challenging

Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc is a wonderful experience and challenge. Many choose to enjoy this trek with a guided group and this offers numerous advantages. If you think you would prefer trekking within a group being led by a qualified and informative mountain leader, Exodus run one and two week versions of the trip either camping orhotel based. Please see trip codes TWO, TWB and TWP. Some people prefer to trek independently, without the constraints of a group. Please consider carefully if this is for you. Although the Tour du Mont Blanc is a well trekked route please only book an self-guided trek if you are an experienced mountain walker and have trekked independently in challenging mountain terrain.

Please consider if you have the skills to remain safe in bad weather, bad visibility, snow and snow covered paths, steep, loose or slippery ground, possibly all at the same time. Although comprehensive route notes and local information will be provided, we would still expect travellers on this trip to have good navigational and first aid skills and be able to find and understand a weather forecast for the region and assess the dangers. Finally please be aware that not everyone will speak English. It is your responsibility to assess your own abilities and choose if it is safe to trek on any given day. On bad weather days you may need to turn back and take public transport to the next hotel. We will provide suggestions for this in the route notes.

The Tour du Mont Blanc has many variations and options and is not one set route. We have provided notes for what we believe is the best route. That said you may choose to follow variations and in which case our estimated timings and distances will no longer be valid.

Most of the days are long, quite often involving an ascent of 900-1200m (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. You need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace allowing you 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.

This trek is graded Activity level 5 – Challenging as it has 2 easier moderate graded days and 8 challenging graded days. A Challenging graded day would be equivalent to walking up Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis 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. Walking hours stated are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

We suggest this as a family trip for children over 12. That said, although there are on some days options to take public transport, please consider carefully the fitness of you children before booking this trip. If you would like further advice please do ask a sales consultant.

Please note: We book hotels when you book the holiday so there will be approximately a weeks delay before you receive a definitive confirmation. This adds a lot of flexibility as it allows you to select any departure date you want well as add free days to the trip enroute if you wish. We need to contact 10 different hotels and we don’t always get our first choice and may have to look for other similar hotels locally and the price may increase or decrease marginally because of this. It is also the case that occasionally on the refuge night (night 6) and also in Les Chapieux (night 8) there may only be dormitory accommodation available. If this is the case we will book a dormitory for you and put you on the wait list for a room. If there are any discounts because we have had to use a dormitories or cheaper hotels then we will refund you locally in cash at the start of your holiday. If there are any moderate additions to the price due to an upgraded room or hotel then you will be charged this addition when you make final payment.

We ask you to pay a deposit before we book the hotels. We also require you to accept the risk that there may be up to two dormitory nights. If after you have asked us to make the booking you choose to cancel or change the dates then there will be a $75 per person admin fee charged. If we can’t make the booking for you due to no availability, or there are more than 2 dormitory nights, or we could not find a hotel at only a moderate increase in price then you can cancel with no penalty. 

Overall Rating
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