Self Guided TMB 7 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 7 day self-guided version specifically tailors to those looking to do the route within a week of holiday.
6 Nights, 7 Days
Les Houches, Chamonix
June - September
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ITALY, SWITZERLAND & FRANCE / 6 NIGHTS / 7 DAYS
This 6 night / 7 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 7 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 7 day self-guided version specifically tailors to those looking to do the route within a weeks holiday.
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
6 Nights, 7 Days
Les Houches, Chamonix
June - September
You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing. You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more 'aggressive' environments. Let's dial it up!
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.
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.
- 6 Nights accommodation
- 6 Breakfasts
- 6 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)
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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.
6 Breakfasts + 6 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 Houches
End point: LES HOUCHES
Length: 7 days
Les Houches to Les Contamines
Start by taking a short train ride to Les Houches, followed by a cable car ride on the Bellevue lift. You then cross the spectacular suspension bridge at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier, and we have several route choices to get to Les Contamines – we usually recommend to go over the Col de Tricot to stop at the Chalet de Miages for a coffee, looking up at the Dome de Miages, but if the weather is bad you can take the lower, easier route. Tonight you stay in a cosy auberge in Les Contamines.
11km / 850m up / 1400m down / 6 hours trekking
Les Contamines to Les Chapieux
Set off by heading up the old Roman road to the pretty chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge. From here it’s uphill, past the Chalet de Barme and up to the Col de Bonhomme (2328m) for a well-earned lunch stop. You then have a gentle climb up to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme (2478m). There are magnificent views of the Vanoise mountains and Mont Pourri from here. You then have a fairly steep walk down to the remote commune of Les Chapieux where you will briefly lose phone signal. Overnight in a cosy Auberge.
18km 1350m up / 950m down / 7-8 hours trekking
Les Chapieux to Courmayeur
Start the day with a warm up walk up the road for an hour to reach the Refuge des Mottets (there is also a shuttle bus available if you prefer), from where you start the climb up to the Col de la Seigne (2516m). From here the scenery really changes – you’ve reached Italy! You have fantastic views down into the Val Veny and over to the Val Ferret, and you start to see the other side of Mont Blanc and the other Chamonix giants. A descent past the Elisabetta hut (first Italian coffee of the trip!) takes you to La Visaille, where you take a bus down to the traditional Italian town of Courmayeur. Overnight in a family-run hotel.
20km / 870m up / 1015m down / 6 hours trekking
Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti
The trek starts with a push up to the Bertone hut for a late morning Italian coffee. Here, if the weather is good, you can take the variant to incorporate an extra peak: it takes a bit longer but it really is a stunning day – not many people, breathtaking scenery, and avoids the crowds in the Val Ferret. You'll spend tonight at the delightful Rifugio Bonatti hut, from where you can watch the beautiful sunset behind Mont Blanc.
19km / 1500m up / 750m down / 7 hours trekking
Rifugio Bonatti - Champex
Today you trek over the Grand Col Ferret (one of the highest cols on the trip at 2530m). You are rewarded with stunning views of the Grandes Jorasses, the Grand Combin and the Mont Dolent (whose summit is the border of France, Switzerland and Italy). At the top of the col you cross over into Switzerland, where the scenery changes yet again. You continue to La Fouly, an alpine village with traditional Swiss “chocolate box” chalets. Here you take a short bus transfer to the beautiful alpine resort of Champex, where you overnight in a cosy auberge.
17km / 1130m up / 1450m down / 6 - 7 hours trekking
Champex - Refuge Col de Balme
Today is a long day linking Champex and the Trient valley via the Col du Fenetre followed by a final climb up to the Refuge Col de Balme. The Col du Fenetre is the most technical terrain on the entire TMB and unlike the rest of the trek, the trail is not marked well and can be lost. The boulder field just before the Col requires a lot of attention and trekkers need to be mindful of loose screw and rocks that dislodge easily and can be fatal to trekkers below. Set off super early though and you’ll be in for a treat. The descent from the Col du Fenêtre is nothing short of astounding. Hairpin bends wind down the rocky descent with the incredible Trient Glacier trailing down beside the trail. This huge hunk of ice will mesmerise you during your descent and will surely be one of your unforgettable memories of this incredible trek. Once you reach the buvette you’ll cross the wooden bridge and start the uphill slog to Refuge Les Grands. The Tibetan style path carved out of the rock will leave you in awe. Stop at the refuge for a cold drink and press on high along hugging the mountain flank until eventually you’ll spot Trient far below and the Trient glacier disappears behind you. You’ll soon see your home for the night – Refuge Col du Balme with it’s iconic red shutters – a tiny dot on the Col du Balme saddle – another frontière marking the boundary between Switzerland and France.
23km / 1830m up / 920m down / 7 - 9 hours trekking
Refuge Col de Balme - Lac Blanc - Chamonix
Hiking through the Aiguille Rouge National Park, you’ll have a good chance of seeing marmots, chamois or bouquetin. If you want to complete the entire Les Houches to Les Houches circuit though you’ll need to set off uber early today – it’s a challenging day ending with a knee crunching descent into Les Houches. It may be too much for some and if this is the case there’s the option to take the Plan Praz cable car down to Chamonix centre rather than pressing onto Les Houches. After descending to Tre le champ from the Refuge Col de Balme, it’s a 2 hours climb up to Lac Blanc from Tre le Champ for trekkers of good speed. The route climbs steadily until you reach the infamous TMB ladders – a series of 13 ladders and metal ware built into the rock. It’s the most exciting physical aspect of the entire Tour du Mont Blanc. At the Tête aux Vents, a large cairn (2132m) which borders the national park you can choose to detour up to Lac Blanc or traverse along the trail to La Flégère. Lac Blanc (2,352m) has an almost mythical stature. The magic here happens when the day trippers leave late afternoon. If you have an extra day in your schedule it’s worth booking Refuge Lac Blanc and experiencing the incredible serene peace and quiet that descends each evening.
15km / 1150m up / 1500m down / 6 - 8 hours trekking
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.Deposit/Book Now