Self Guided TMB Family 4.5 Days
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 170 km trekking trail through France, Italy and Switzerland. 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.
4 nights, 4.5 Days
June - September
€1470 (family of 3)
- + 9
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
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
4 nights, 4.5 Days
June - September
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!
€1470 (family of 3)
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 'about us' page.
See real footage of previous expeditions
The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek: Highlights02:21
Stunning views and great memories. This is the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek.
Tour du Mont Blanc Trek in 30 Seconds00:27
A snapshot of what to expect when you tackle this awesome trek.
The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek10:48
Olly & Charlie document their trip as they tackle the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek.
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.
Mountaineering specific 35-40L backpack
Foldable poles are best
Hiking shoes / Trail Shoes
Good grip and ankle support is recommended
Light technical jacket, ideally with a hood.
Something light and thin.
Keep them light and thin.
Highly breathable, lightweight synthetic technical t-shirt.
Keep them light and thin.
Stretch, durable mountaineering trousers.
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet.
Choose your hat of choice as long as it shields you from the sun.
Side-leg zippers are helpful
Good walking socks are required
Good to have for approaches to the mountain huts especially in warmer temperatures
Fleece windproof gloves
Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen
You must be able to carry at least 2L of water in your backpack
Sleeping bag silk liner
You don’t need a sleeping bag itself, as blankets are provided in the huts
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
ID and documents
Passport / Drivers license, Visa, Insurance, Yellow Fever Card (if applicable)
Cash / credit card
For extra costs such as drinks and snacks
First aid kit
Blister kit, paracetamol, etc
Bandana / Buff
Highly recommended for the mountain huts
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.
- 4 Nights accommodation
- 4 Breakfasts
- 4 Dinners
- Planning and reservations
- Welcome meeting with an Adventure Base representative
- Free baggage storage in Chamonix
- Welcome pack
- First aid kit
- A detailed itinerary
- 24/7 Support communication with our team in Chamonix
What's not Included?
- Flights and transfers
- Lunches, snacks and drinks on the trek
- Luggage transfers
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)
- + 2
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.
4 Breakfasts + 4 Dinners
Immerse yourself in Nature
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
Arrival day Les Contamines – Refuge Nant Borrant
Today is an arrival day with only one, maybe two 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, an hour away, Refuge Nant Borrant. From the tourist office in Les Contamines catch the free shuttle bus (navette) towards Notre Dame de la Gorge, the trail start point. 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 an hour to reach the refuge.
2km / 310m up / 10m down / 1 - 2 hours trekking
Refuge Nant Borrant – Refuge de la Croix du 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. 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 but unfortunately the food is not the best on the Tour. If you soak up the exceptional location, breathe in the grandeur of the mountains, and realise that the break here is to rest little legs, it’s a great experience.
7.8km / 990m up / 50 down / 7 hours trekking
Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme – Refuge Les Mottets
From Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme it’s pretty much all down hill today. If the weather is fine, and your kids are in good shape after the previous day, consider taking the alternative route from the refuge via the Col des Fours. Experience lunar landscape & rushing waterfalls on this variant route as well as the option of detouring to the Tête Nord des Fours summit – only a further 20 minutes (follow the cairns) which gives one of the best views of the Tour du Mont Blanc – highly recommended. Note: Never attempt this variant route if the weather is nothing short of perfect. The Col des Fours variant bypasses the hamlet of Les Chapieux completely and does take a little longer – you cannot catch the Les Chapieux shuttle bus to ease tired legs if needed. If you’re continuing along the normal TMB route the well marked trail will descend all the way to the valley of to Les Chapieux, where you can stop for a welcome refreshment at the friendly Auberge de la Nova and carry on a further hour up the trail to Refuge Les Mottets. This would be the full 11.8km. Or as we would suggest catch the navette (shuttle bus) from Les Chapieux which ferries you in 30 minutes to the parking area of Refuge Les Mottets (you’ll then have to walk down the hillside to the refuge in the valley bottom).
7km / 340m up / 950m down / 5 - 7 hours trekking
Refuge Les Mottets – Cabane Combal
Today you’ll say ‘au revoir’ to France and trek 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, highly instagrammable A frame refuge Cabane Combal. For those keen for an evening stroll, take the trail behind the refuge to scramble up to Lac Miage, nestled in the moraine of the Miage Glacier.
12km / 650m up / 540m down / 5 - 7 hours trekking
Cabane Combal – Courmayeur
Your final day trekking takes you up out of the valley floor climbing steadily up to the highest point of the day, 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 plus know that the descent is painfully jarring. We would not recommend finishing your day by attempting this with tired children.
8km 490m up, 250m down / 5 - 6 hours trekking
READY TO TREK THE TMB?
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