Self Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Full 11 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 self-guided version covers each stage of the trek, making it the 'complete' journey around the full trail.
10 Nights, 11 Days
Les Houches, France
June - September
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ITALY, SWITZERLAND & FRANCE / 10 NIGHTS / 11 DAYS
This 10 night / 11 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 11 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 trip is great for the purists who have enough time to take on the full journey. You will experience the full version of the Tour du Mont Blanc independently and fully self-guided.
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
10 Nights, 11 Days
Les Houches, France
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
"The route was stunning and the guides were great. Logistics were really seamless which makes a huge difference. All this contributes to a stunning experience for the participants."
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.
- 10 Nights accommodation
- 10 Breakfasts
- 9 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
- Evening meal in Courmayeur (We highly recommend trying a local restaurant)
- 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 any of the accommodation options if requested in advance and based on availability.
10 Breakfasts + 9 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: 11 days
Les Houches - Refuge de Miage
Take the Bellevue cable car from Les Houches to begin the trek. If you prefer to hike up from Les Houches allow yourself a further 2 hours (13.2km 6-7hrs) From the top of the Bellevue cable car, you'll make your way to the Col du Voza and down along the trail towards the Himalayan suspension bridge, a definite highlight of the first day. From here its up to the Col du Tricot with immense views of the Aiguille de Bionnassay. From the col du Tricot its a final steep descent down to the Refuge de Miage for your first overnight on the trek.
7.2km / 730m up / 650m down / 4-5 hours trekking
Refuge de Miage - Refuge Croix du Bonhomme
Departing the Miage you'll do a short climb ip to the Auberge du Truc before winding down all the way to the valley floor in Les Contamines. There is a free shuttle bus from outside the Tourist Office to Notre Dame de la Gorge, or walk along the river and cover the distance on foot. From Notre Dame de la Gorge you climb up a steep trail for a while before it plateaus out at the Refuge Nant Borrant which makes an excellent lunch stop. From here you climb up once more towards two cols, first the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and then the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m) where you'll find tonights accommodation, the remote Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme.
18km / 1300m up / 590m down / 7-8.5 hours trekking
Refuge Croix du Bonhomme - Rifugio Elisabetta / Cabane Combal
Today you’ll descend from Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme to the hamlet of Les Chapieux and take the shuttle bus to Ville des Glaciers and then embark on the steady climb up to the top of the Col de la Seigne – the border between France and Italy. From here, in good weather, you can once again see the gleaming white dome of Mont Blanc with an exception view down into this Italian valley where the Rifugio Elisabetter or Cabane Combal will welcome you in for the night.
14.9km / 980m up / 1490m down / 6-7.5 hours trekking
Rifugio Elisabetta / Cabane Combal - Courmayeur
Todays hike takes you up out of the Val Veny, climbing steadily up. 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 see jaw dropping views of sawtooth peaks and Monte Bianco opposite before descending down into the Italian town of Courmayeur for the night.
15.4km / 490m up / 1250m down / 5.5-7.5 hours trekking
Courmayeur - Chalet Val Ferret
Itinerary description coming soon.
17km / 890m up / 320m down / 7-8 hours trekking
Chalet Val Ferret - La Fouly
Today you’ll climb over the Grand Col Ferret and cross into Switzerland. The gentle Swiss alpine meadows are in stark comparison to the jagged wild landscapes you’ve trekked through in Italy and France. Take it easy as the trail descends to Ferret and then La Fouly.
14.3km / 890m up / 990m down / 5.5-7 hours trekking
La Fouly - Champex-le-Lac
Today is the most gentle day of all the TMB stages. There is no col to climb and the route meanders easily through the valley past Swiss mountain pastures. Drink in the delightful scenes of rural life in Switzerland as you potter leisurely along this stage. Champex-Lac, your home for the night is a beautiful little town next to a pretty lake. Nicknamed ‘Little Canada’ it’s not hard to imagine why – this beautiful lakeside town is surrounded by hills of pine and is genuinely a beautiful spot.
15.7km / 510m up / 610m down / 4.5-7 hours trekking
Champex-le-Lac - Trient
Today you’ll leave the serenity of beautiful Champex-Lac and take the Bovine route to the Col de la Forclaz and then drop down into the Swiss village of Trient, famous for it’s pink church, to spend the night. The variant route via the Col du Fenêtre can be considered instead of the Bovine route but only in good weather. Note this route is technically the most difficult on the entire TMB trail
15.7km / 730m up / 710m down / 6-7.5 hours trekking
Trient - Tre le Champ
Today you’ll ascend from Trient up the Col de Balme. It’s a gradual climb and not too taxing. From Refuge Col de Balme perched on the Swiss side, you’ll have a splendid view of the entire Chamonix Valley – well done you’ve almost completed the circuit! You can now see where you set off from down the other end of the valley and Mont Blanc will be ever present with her snowy dome to the left of the valley. A meandering descent gets you down to Tre-le-champ for the night.
13.1km / 1100m up / 1200m down / 6-7.5 hours trekking
Tre le Champ - Lac Blanc - Flegere
Today you’ll begin the steady climb up to the beautiful Lac Blanc. The route climbs steadily for between 1.5-2 hrs 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. This is the Aiguilles Rouges National Park so look out for chamois or bouquetin often right on the trails. Down to the refuge for the night.
8.4km / 950m up / 510m down / 4.5-6 hours trekking
Flegere - Les Houches
Today you’ll continue along trail with its staggering views of Mont Blanc to reach Le Brévent. Soak in the magnificent views of Mont Blanc from the top of Le Brévent – undoubtedly the best viewing point of the highest point in Western Europe! A cable car is an option for those with tired legs. From here you’ll descend to Refuge Bellachat – a great spot for a refreshment on their lovely sunny terrace. The descent into Les Houches is brutally long – watch those knees! However its worth it. Take the cable car from the top of Brevent down to Chamonix as a quick exit if required. End of the trip.
17.1km / 730m up / 1590m down / 6-8.5 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