Mags: Self Guided TMB Family 4.5 Days - Adventure Base
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Self Guided TMB Family 4.5 Days

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 170 km trekking trail through France and Italy. Circumnavigating Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, it is one of the world’s most famous classic multi day treks and is on every serious hiker’s bucket list. This 4.5 day self-guided version is specifically designed for families with shorter hiking days to cater for younger kids.

    Adventure Snapshot

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    Duration

    4 nights, 4.5 Days

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    Start Location

    Les Contamines

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    Date(s)

    July - August

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    Price

    From €716

Book Now €716

FRANCE & ITALY / 4 NIGHTS / 4.5 DAYS

This 4 night / 4.5 day version of the Tour du Mont Blanc trek is an incredible opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the mountains and enjoy the natural beauty of the valleys that surround western Europe’s highest mountain. The trek offers an unusual variety of spectacular scenery and varied walks and you are sure to come away from this trek refreshed and invigorated, if a little creaky at the joints.

The route crosses three borders (France, Italy and Switzerland) over 8 days, traversing beneath huge glaciers, and meandering through beautiful alpine meadows and picture-book villages. That's right, this is a truly memorable journey and one of worlds classic long-distance hiking routes.

This 4.5 day self-guided version is specifically designed for families with shorter hiking days to cater for younger kids.

Not sure whether you're ready? No problem. Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test or join us on our Tour du Mont Blanc guided trips:

Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test

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YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

WHO IS THIS FOR?

The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek is well suited to fit hillwalkers, capable of trekking for multiple days carrying a reasonably heavy rucksack. You follow footpaths each day and the terrain is very hilly. You can expect to do up to and over 1000m ascent and descent per day.  You stay in a mixture of mountain refuges, gites and auberges during the trek, which all provide basic but comfortable lodging and good food. This helps keep your packs fairly light carrying only snacks, clothing and essentials.

It might seem like a lot to take in so if you're not sure if you're ready.. No problem. Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test or join us on one of our Tour du Mont Blanc guided trips: Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test

    Adventure Overview

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    Duration

    4 nights, 4.5 Days

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    Start Location

    Les Contamines

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    Date(s)

    July - August

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    Guide Ratio

    Self Guided

  • Ability

    Level A

    Level A

    You’re not quite sure where to start but you’re hungry for an adventure and can’t wait to get going. Bring it on!

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    Price

    From €716

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ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'Better Business' page.

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See real footage of previous expeditions

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The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek

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Stunning views and great memories. This is the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek.

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What is Self Guided Trekking?

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Olly and Charlie discuss what a self guided trip looks like.

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Beginner Hikes Tour Du Mont Blanc

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Check out Dave’s experience on the Tour du Mont Blanc with us.

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Omar's Trip

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A snapshot at Omar’s experience on the trails with us.

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Meet The Team

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Introducing our crack squad of mountain lovers and adventure junkies. We spend most of our days plotting, planning and building some of the very best trips out there for you all to enjoy.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THIS TRIP

Please note this is a guide and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival dependent on the weather and changes in itinerary.

For the full downloadable Tour Du Mont Blanc Trek kit list please click here.

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FINER DETAILS

YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE 

The trek begins in Les Houches at the Bellevue cable car in the Chamonix valley. Typically people will arrive the night before and overnight either in Les Houches or overnight in Chamonix and take the train from Chamonix to Les Houches in the morning to start the hike. If you would like us to book your accommodation for the first night please ask.

What's Included?

  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 4 Nights accommodation
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 4 Breakfasts
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 4 Dinners
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. Planning and reservations
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. Access to the Adventure Base travel app with your detailed itinerary and GPX tracks
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 24/7 Support communication with our Chamonix based team

What's not Included?

  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Flights
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Airport transfers (approx €50 pp each way)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. In-resort travel (bus / lifts / trains)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Lunches, snacks and drinks (approx €15 a day)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Luggage transfers (approx €35 a day)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Additional nights before, during and after trip (can be added on request)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Travel insurance (required)

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ACCOMMODATION

We know the importance of having comfortable accommodation on this trip. After a long day of trekking it's vital to have a comfortable bed and good food to enjoy in a scenic location. We've handpicked refuges and other mountain accommodation along the way that we're sure you're going to love. (A single room supplement is available where possible, please request this far in advance)

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ON THE TREK

The majority of the accommodation on the trip will be in dormitories and / or small shared rooms. You can upgrade in some of the accommodation options if requested in advance and based on availability.

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    Duration

    4 Nights

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    Internet

    Not included

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    Beds

    Shared arrangements

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    Food

    4 Breakfasts + 4 Dinners

Mountains

Immerse yourself in Nature

Adventure Itinerary

Here you'll find the full itinerary including distances (KM) ascents and descents each day and a rough estimate of how long it will take.
Start point: Les Contamines
End point: Courmayeur
Length: 4.5 days
Whilst we aim to stick to the itinerary below, accommodation in some of the locations may not always be available. In this instance you will be booked into a suitable alternative accommodation.

  • Day 1:
    Les Contamines - Val Montjoie

    Today is an arrival day with around two to three hours of hiking depending on the age of your children. If you’re flying into Geneva Airport get an airport transfer to Les Contamines (1-1.5hrs). Explore the French town of Les Contamines and soak up la vie francais. Visit the boulangerie, stock up on local dried saucisson and heavenly Beaufort cheese before heading to the first mountain hut on the trail, approximately 2 hours away, Refuge Nant Borrant.

    From the tourist office in Les Contamines head south along the Main Street to pick up the trail alongside the river. It’s around a one hour hike to the chapel, Notre Dame de la Gorge, the trail start point and the end of the road. Take a moment to visit the beautiful Notre Dame de la Gorge chapel next to the gushing water before setting out on the well marked path. Warning – the trail is VERY steep here along an ancient slabbed Roman road to Refuge Nant Borrant but pleasantly flanks the bubbling racing gorge for much of the ascent. Be sure to look out for the pont naturel sign leading to a natural arch on the river, just a minute from the trail. Cross the roman bridge to take in the rushing gorge below. Expect to hike for around another hour to reach the refuge.

    Approximate time and distances:
    5.7km / 327m up / 28m down / 1-2 hours trekking
    3.5km / 1072ft up / 91ft down / 1-2 hours trekking

  • Day 2:
    Val Montjoie - Refuge Bonhomme

    Today you’ll make the climb over two mountain passes, Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m) where early in the season (late June – end of July) you can expect to cross snow patches. We do not advise trekking during this early season period with children. You can read my article on trekking the TMB early season here.

    You’ll stay in the cavernous Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme, a high mountain refuge with epic views. Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme is perfectly situated to carve this itinerary into manageable chunks. The dorms and private rooms have been renovated to a good standard and I love the ambience in the evening with dinner by candlelight. The soup isn’t the best, the veggie lasagne is excellent and the chocolate cake for dessert is as light as a feather! This is a great high mountain hut experience – soak up the exceptional location, breathe in the grandeur of the mountains, and realise that yes there are queues for the showers (and they might be cold) but it's a marvellous experience. Own it … or descend a further 2.5 hours to accommodation in the hamlet of Les Chapieux for a more comfortable stay.

    Approximate time and distances:
    8.2km / 1050m up / 50 down / 3-4 hours trekking
    5m / 3444ft up / 164ft down / 3-4 hours trekking

  • Day 3:
    Refuge Bonhomme - Refuge des Mottets

    From Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme the well marked trail will descend all the way to Les Chapieux. Stop here for lunch at the friendly Auberge de la Nova. This can take walkers 3.5 hours to descend or trekkers around 2.5 hours. With kids, depending on their age, it might take between 3.5 – 4.5 hours.

    After lunch continue a further two and a half hours up the trail to Refuge Les Mottets via Ville des Glaciers (don’t forget to visit the cheese farm). This can be cut down to just over an hour between late June to early September by catching the navette (shuttle bus) from Les Chapieux to either Ville des Glaciers (15 minutes) or all the way to the parking area of Refuge Les Mottets (25 minutes) if its late or if you don’t want to visit the cheese farm. If you get dropped off at the Refuge Les Mottets parking, you’ll then have to walk down the hillside to the refuge in the bottom of the valley.

    Approximate time and distances:
    11.1km / 340m up / 950m down / 2-3 hours trekking
    6.8m / 1115ft up / 3116ft down / 2-3 hours trekking

  • Day 4:
    Refuge des Mottets - Val Veny

    Today you’ll trek from France over the Col de la Seigne into Italy. Ciao!

    From Refuge Les Mottets roll out of bed fresh to tackle the immediate 646m steady climb up the Col de la Seigne up to the French – Italian frontiére. From here Mont Blanc comes fabulously back into view with her surrounding peaks dropping off dramatically into an astonishing deep trough like valley. So spectacular are these jagged peaks that over the next two days you will find it hard to tear your eyes away from the incredible vistas to your left. Passing Refugio Elisabetta, tucked in on a spur between Glacier d’Estellette and Glacier de la Lée Blanche, you’ll continue a further hour along the arrow straight roman road to the incredibly comfortable refuge Cabane Combal.

    Approximate time and distances:
    7.9km / 650m up / 360m down / 2-3 hours trekking
    4.9m / 2132ft up / 1181ft down / 2-3 hours trekking

  • Day 5:
    Val Veny - Courmayeur

    Your final day trekking takes you up out of the valley floor climbing steadily up to the highest point, a spur from Mont Favre. Looking back you can see the monstrous moraine of Glacier Miage dwarfing Cabane Combal and on a clear day all the way back to Col de la Seigne. From here you’ll trace the contours of the south flank of the Val Veni, following the rise and fall of the mountain side with jaw dropping views of sawtooth peaks and Monte Bianco opposite.

    It’s a challenging day and so we highly recommend you to take the chair lift and connecting cable car from Refuge Maison Vielle down to Dolonne, Courmayeur. Our timing has reflected this welcome short cut.

    Approximate time and distances:
    15.7km / 540m up / 1532m down / 5-6 hours trekking
    9.7m / 1771ft up / 5026ft down / 5-6 hours trekking

Mountains

Are you ready?

Our adventures are attributed a difficulty level from A to E. This Mags: Self Guided TMB Family 4.5 Days trip is rated Level A, for beginners and newcomers We recommend you only book a trip that reflects your ability.

Level A

For beginners and newcomers

  • You’re not quite sure where to start but you’re hungry for an adventure
  • Little / no prior experience
  • Shorter time duration
  • No technical skills required but keen to learn
  • Basic level of fitness
Think you've got this?

This trip is at this level

Level B

For those with some prior experience

  • You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing, and are keen to build on that
  • You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more challenging environments
  • Some basic skills
  • Moderate fitness

Level C

For accomplished adventurers

  • You enjoy challenging yourself physically and mentally
  • You’re comfortable on multi-day adventures and you call yourself an avid adventurer
  • You're not quite George Mallory but you subscribe to his 'because it is there' attitude
  • Strong level of fitness

Level D

For the pros

  • You're ready to test your skills on the next challenge
  • You're comfortable in most types of alpine environments
  • Some level of technical skills
  • Strong level of fitness

Level E

For the experts

  • You’ve been on multiple adventures and have built up a solid skillset to tackle most challenges out there
  • Good technical skills and knowledge
  • Experienced in alpine/mountains environments
  • Very high level of fitness

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READY TO TREK THE TMB?

We hope you've found all the information you need above, but if not don't hesitate to get in touch. If you're ready to book, follow the link below.

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