Tour Du Mont Blanc Trek
The Tour du Mont Blanc trek is an incredible opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the mountains and enjoy the natural beauty of the seven valleys that surround western Europe’s highest mountain.
July - September
- + 26
TREK THROUGH SWITZERLAND, ITALY & FRANCE
The Tour du Mont Blanc trek is an incredible opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the mountains and enjoy the natural beauty of the seven 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 week refreshed and invigorated, if a little creaky at the joints.
The route crosses three borders (France, Italy and Switzerland), climbs over six passes, traverses beneath huge glaciers, and meanders 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.
Throughout the trek we are rewarded with splendid views of some of the Alps most beautiful peaks; Mont Blanc (4810m), Aiguille Verte (4122m), Les Drus, Grand Jorasses and many more. The full route is 166km's long with over 10,000m of ascent and descent but don't expect to cover all of that off. The itinerary has been created to show you the best of the route meaning there are a few transfers involved. Consider our route the highlights of the trip.
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 Highlights trip over 4 nights:
Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test
Tour du Mont Blanc Trek Highlights
Free Guide: Tour du Mont Blanc Trek: Classic Route
Everything you need to know about trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc in our free guide including video content and our '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 7 days in a row carrying a light (5-8kg) rucksack. We follow footpaths each day and the terrain is hilly! We stay in a mixture of mountain refuges and local hotels, gites and B&Bs during the trek, which all provide basic but comfortable lodging and good food. This helps keep our packs light carrying only snacks, clothing and essentials. There will be vehicle support during the trip where possible, so a change of clothes is never far away and this helps to keep the packs light.
July - 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!
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.
LIVE THE ADVENTURE
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
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
At least cat 4 and ideally with limited gaps at the sides
Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen
You must be able to carry at least 2L of water in your backpack
Foldable poles are best
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."
We've had a great trip. Thank you for all your help organising.
Just wanted to say we had a fabulous trip and thanks you for organising it! We'll be back for another trek next summer.
YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE
On arrival day you meet with your guides and fellow trekkers at the accommodation for a welcome dinner and briefing in the evening. Here you will have an opportunity to ask any last minute questions as well as share your pre trip excitement with your group.
- All accommodation including first and last night in Chamonix
- IML Guides fees and expenses
- All guiding fees
- Any transfers and uplifts on itinerary
- All breakfasts and evening meals on the trek
What's not Included?
- Airport transfers
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Packed lunches, Snacks in huts and catering in Chamonix
This trip is running on the following dates
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ACCOMMODATION
We know the importance of having comfortable accommodation on this trip. After long days trekking it's vital to have a comfortable bed and good food to enjoy. We've handpicked hotels and other mountain accommodation along the way that we're sure you're going to love.
IN THE VALLEYS
The majority of the accommodation on the trip will be in ensuite twin rooms, in hotels, BnBs and traditional Alpine Gites.
Twin Shared Basis
We have 1 night in a mountain hut: the Rifugio Bonatti, which is one of the nicest mountain huts in the Alps, and we are usually in small rooms rather than dorms. There are showers in the refuge but they are limited to a few minutes – and aren’t always warm! The refuge serves good Italian food, along with a beautiful view.
WHAT TO EXPECT
HERE'S YOUR ITINERARY
While we try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible, which is why we only work with experienced and knowledgeable guides, to make sure we can change any plans if required. This is a proposed itinerary and is subject to change.
Arrival in Chamonix
Your trip starts in the historic French mountain town of Chamonix. During out welcome meal our guide will give a briefing about the days to come, and can check out clothing and gear if need be. If you need more equipment, Chamonix has a huge number of outdoor shops with a large choice of kit, so it’s a great place to top up your supplies.
Les Houches to Les Contamines
We start in Les Houches, with a cable car ride on the Bellevue lift. We then cross the spectacular suspension bridge at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier, and we have several route choices to get us to Les Contamines – we usually go over the Col de Tricot to make sure we stop at the Chalet de Miages for a coffee, looking up at the Dome de Miages, but if the weather is bad we can take a lower, easier route. Tonight we stay in a lovely hotel in Les Contamines.
11km / 850m up / 1400m down / 6 hours trekking
Les Contamines to Les Chapieux
Today we start heading up the old Roman road to the chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge. From here it’s uphill, past the Chalet de Barme (if we’re doing well on time, it’s a perfect coffee stop!) and up to the Col de Bonhomme (2328m) for a well-earned lunch stop. We then we have a gentle climb up to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme (2478m), where we reach our refuge. If we are doing well for time, we can make the journey up to one of the most stunning viewpoints in the Alps, the Tête Nord des Fours, a 2 hour round trip from the hut. There are magnificent views of the Vanoise mountains and Mont Pourri. We then have a 2 hour walk down to Les Chapieux (where we sleep in small dorms, but there are showers!)
18km 1350m up / 950m down / 7-8 hours trekking
Les Chapieux to Courmayeur
We walk up the road for an hour to reach the Refuge des Mottets, from where we start the climb up to the Col de la Seigne (2516m). From here the scenery really changes – you’ve reached Italy! We 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 us to La Visaille, where we take a bus down to the traditional Italian town of Courmayeur.
20km / 870m up / 1015m down / 6 hours trekking
Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti
We start the walk up to the Bertoni hut (it’s steep, but that’s okay as we’ve found our trekking legs by this point!) Here, if the weather is good, we 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. We 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 to La Fouly
Today we trek over the Grand Col Ferret (one of the highest cols on the trip at 2530m). We 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 we cross over into Switzerland, where the scenery changes yet again. We continue to La Fouly, an alpine village with traditional Swiss “chocolate box” chalets. Here we take a short transfer to the beautiful alpine resort of Champex, where we stay in a cosy family-run hotel.
17km / 1130m up / 1450m down / 6 - 7 hours trekking
Champex to Trient
Today if we’re feeling fit and the weather is good we will take the Fenêtre d’Arpette route, the highest col on the TMB. If we want to be a little more relaxed, we can take the route via Bovine to the Col de la Forclaz. Both routes offer spectacular scenery. From the Col de la Forclaz we descend to the picture perfect sleepy Swiss village of Trient for the night.
14km / 1200m up / 1650m down / 7 hours trekking
Argentière to Chamonix
We save the best until last. After a short morning transfer, we take a route that climbs up to the famous Lac Blanc on an exciting path via the Lacs des Cheserys – simply the best views of Mont Blanc, and an absolutely stunning way to finish the trek. We have lunch either at the Lacs des Cheserys, or at the Lac Blanc, then we walk as far as the Flégère cable car and take the lift down. We overnight in Chamonix and enjoy a well earned celebratory dinner.
15km / 1100m up / 1300m down / 7 hours trekking
Departure after breakfast.
Frequently asked questions about this adventure
What Insurance Do I Need?
Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments Read more
Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments but also environments that carry an element of risk with them. In order to protect yourself adequately you will need a specialist travel insurance that caters for the types of activities you will be undertaking. It is a condition of our agreement that you are covered by adequate travel insurance for your arrangements. Click here to understand which one is for you.
What are the guides like?
Our guides are all fully qualified, certified International Mountain Leaders. They are super friendly and knowledgeable and know the route Read more
Our guides are all fully qualified, certified International Mountain Leaders. They are super friendly and knowledgeable and know the route like the back of their hands.
What kind of fitness level do I need?
What size backpack should I bring?
Your backpack should be between 20-30l. This will be your day pack and must be a comfortable fit, you’ Read more
Your backpack should be between 20-30l. This will be your day pack and must be a comfortable fit, you’ll spend many days with it on your back. It must fit your essentials like water, snacks, extra layers, camera, etc. Your other luggage will be transported by vehicle to each hotel.
Will I definitely make it from beginning to end?
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you along the trek safely, sometimes the weather or other Read more
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you along the trek safely, sometimes the weather or other factors like your personal fitness will prevent you from completing the trek. The lead guide will always conduct a meeting with the clients and other guides each evening to check how everyone is doing and to field any questions or concerns. All decisions will have client wellbeing as a top priority. But in 99 out of 100 cases you’ll make it! We will always provide vehicle support if necessary.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather is. We’ll always aim to continue the trek Read more
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather is. We’ll always aim to continue the trek even if it’s raining/snowing as long as it is safe to do so. The weather in Summer is generally very reliable with clear skies and dry conditions following the monsoons. If the weather is truly terrible for a day or two we will rest in the lodge until it passes or use our vehicle to move you along to the next stop.
What type of boots do I need for the trek?
You will need comfortable, durable trekking boots. Something like the Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 Gore-Tex boot. Gore-tex will ensure your Read more
You will need comfortable, durable trekking boots. Something like the Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 Gore-Tex boot. Gore-tex will ensure your feet stay dry and warm. Trail shoes are also OK, although make sure they fit well and are durable.
MEET THE GUIDES
Ben is a fully qualified British UIMLA International Mountain Leader with Swiss and French equivalence and he is also a fully-qualified Swiss Brevet Fédéral Ski Instructor and an ISIA card holder and an accomplished outdoor educator and a qualified Outdoor Education and Geography teacher. He has been based in the Alps for a long time and has extensive knowledge on a whole variety of treks and adventures. Ben brings a whole bunch of experience to our guiding team, having worked as an Expedition Leader in challenging environments around the world in countries such as Borneo, Mongolia, Morocco and Costa Rica and at home in the European Alps, responsible for the safety and success of expeditions for many years. His passion for the mountains is infectious and he loves sharing a summit photo or long-distance trek with our community.
Emily is a British UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide and works as one of our lead trekking guides. She has a strong teaching background with Geography being her speciality which combined with her passion for adventures in the outdoors makes her a highly enjoyable person to spend time with on our trips. She fills our trips with positive energy alongside her vast experience and super skillset of navigating the alpine trails she knows so well. She's one of our most experienced guides and is based full time in the Chamonix valley and also a fluent French speaker. She is a passionate runner and has taken on some mega challenging races such as the Marathon du Mont Blanc and the CCC ultra marathon du Mont Blanc. We're sure you'll have a great time on one of Emily's trips.
As well as being a fully qualified UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide, Alistair is also a qualified Wilderness Medical First Responder (WEMSI), and spent 15 years working as a ski instructor. His passion for the outdoors has made him realise we all have a personal responsibility to lessen our impact on the planet. He eats a plant-based diet, has not owned a car for over 7 years and has gone from a career of travelling the world incessantly to staying in one place and connecting with nature that can be accessed from his home in the Alps. Alistair brings a well of life experience to our trips and is a joy to share the trails with. He believes it is his duty to share his passion for the mountains and a simple life and to encourage people to reconnect with nature and all that this brings in the way of health benefits both mentally and physically - working as a hiking guide provides a perfect outlet for this.
Becki is a British fully qualified UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide and works as one of our lead trekking guides. She is highly experienced and super fun to trek with. Alongside here UIMLA leadership she is also a BASI ski instructor and an experienced international mountain leader having led groups on expeditions China, Bolivia, Morocco, Ecuador, Costa Rica and more. She has a passion for trail running and has also undertaken some incredibly challenging races. She's extremely modest about her achievements so you will have to bug her on one of our trips for all the stories. Her energy is infectious and alongside her attention to detail and well thought out guiding approach she always finds ways of bringing everyone together to create memorable experiences.
READY TO GO ON A TREK OF A LIFETIME?
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.Start your adventure