While we try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain, the accommodation availability and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible to make sure we can change any plans if required.
This is a proposed itinerary and where you stay is subject to change based on how far in advance you book your trip. There is limited availability on this trek so we highly recommend booking in advance.
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
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 descend past the delightful Rifugio Bonatti hut, from where you can grab a lunch before descending further to your accommodation for the night at the Chalet Val Ferret.
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