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Alps: Tour du Mont Blanc (6 days; private rooms)

€865 per person
This is one of the busiest trails in the Alps. The mountain accommodations along the route are limited in number and capacity. Rooms normally get booked several months ahead in advance. Avoid the dates around the Mont Blanc marathon (end of June) and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) (end of August), when the trails are overcrowded and accommodations in the area – fully booked a year in advance.

The self-guided hiking tour around Mont Blanc is among the most iconic classic must-do treks, while the reduced 6-day version below of the Northern part of the circuit is among the most preferred options if you lack the time to make the full route. The Mont Blanc massif is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sights in the Alps. Even though the route does not take you all the way to the top of the emblematic summit, it guides you from France to Italy and Switzerland revealing its many faces. Do not let this fool you, the walk is fairly demanding but undoubtedly rewarding. You will contemplate alpine peaks and beautiful glaciers during the day and enjoy French and Italian cooking and Swiss hospitality as you rest in the comfort of your accommodations along the way. The trails are well-marked with red and white stripes in France and higher parts in Switzerland and a black diamond shape on a yellow background in the valleys of Italy and Switzerland. The markings are with good density and facing both directions. Even so, you will be walking under the guidance of a well-elaborated Roadbook to ensure a marvelous experience.

Why we have chosen the clockwise direction? The first Cicerone guide book to the Tour of Mont Blanc described the route in the anti-clockwise direction, which made this course more popular for years afterwards, although its later editions described the circuit in both directions. Walking in clockwise direction has loads of merits, the most persuasive being that by travelling ‘against the flow’ one meets different people at each night’s rest, while during the first hour or two of the walking day the path is virtually empty, then comes a wave of trekkers followed by another period of calm. Further to that when following the original anti-clockwise trend there are nearly always other walkers in view. For many hikers this is distracting. As for the steepness or otherwise of ascents and descents, there’s little to choose between the two options.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    6/7 Days I Level: 4 (of 5)
  • What is included
    4 nights in hotels (2-3*) and 1 night in comfortable gîte; breakfasts included everywhere, 4x dinners (excl. Chamonix); private rooms (no shared dorms!); luggage transfers; transfers as per program; detailed travel and tour documents (incl. maps) - 1 set per reservation; emergency support
  • What is not included
    Other meals and transfers (picnic lunches can be ordered on spot in the accommodations the previous evening at the price of 12-15 Euros/person), local bus tickets, lift tickets (appr. 20 Euros per person), personal expenses, mountain insurance, entry fees;
  • Best period
    mid-June, July, August, mid-September
1
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN CHAMONIX
You start your tour in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, commonly known as Chamonix (France).
Accommodation example(s): Hotel La Vallée Blanche, bed and breakfast
2
Day 2: CHAMONIX - ARGENTIERE (11-13km; 6.30hrs; +600/-950km)
You take the telecabine to Planpraz to the starting point of your independent walking route. You will gasp in wonder before the iconic panorama of the north face of the Mont-Blanc range, Les Bossons Glacier and the Mer de Glace. You then follow the balcony trail to the stunningly beautiful lakes of Chéserys. You end the hiking day with a descent to the picturesque village of Argentière (France) where your next overnight will be.
Accommodation example(s): Hotel Le Dahu, half-board
3
Day 3: LE TOUR – COL DE BALME - TRIENT (13km; 5hrs; +840m/-920m)
You start your hiking day with a bus transfer to Le Tour village (10 minutes, free with the “carte d’hôte” that you have to ask for at the hotel). You can choose to ascend via the Chalets de Charamillon or via the balcony trail of Posettes to the Col de Balme (2200m) on the French-Swiss border. You will contemplate the magnificent view of the surrounding glaciers of Argentiere, Le Tour and the north face of the Mont-Blanc range. From there, you descend into the village of Trient (Switzerland) via lush pastures.
Accommodation example(s): Hotel La Grande Ourse or comfortable gîte, half-board
4
Day 4: TRIENT – CHAMPEX (13-16km; 6hrs; +1100m/-750m OR 6,30hrs; 1300m/-970m)
Today you will enjoy a walk through the pastures of Bovine via a balcony trail overlooking the Rhone valley or you can take a more ‘high mountain’ détour via la fenêtre d’Arpette. The overnight will be in Champex (Switzerland).
Accommodation example(s): Hotel Le Splendide, half-board
5
Day 5: CHAMPEX - LA FOULY (bus) - GRAND COL FERRET - ITALIAN VAL FERRET- COURMAYEUR (bus) (17km; 6hrs; +850m/-800m)
After a healthy breakfast, you catch a local bus in order to cross the Val Fouly. Then, your self-guided walking tour continues up though lush pastures to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m). A detour to the Tête Ferret is possible at this stage. You will not only cross the Grand col Ferret, but will also be crossing the border between Switzerland and Italy. Descend to the Italian Val Ferret in the foothills on the opposite side of the Mont Blanc and enjoy the view from a different perspective. The day ends with a short bus ride to Courmayeur.
Accommodation example(s): Hôtel Maison St Jean, half-board
6
Day 6: DEPARTURE DAY (+ option to walk to MONT DE LA SAXE (16km; 5.30hrs; +650m/-1200m)
For the last day you have the choice to: A) depart in the morning; 2) Leave your luggage at the reception in the morning and go for a splendid hike (then depart in the afternoon); 3) Go for a splendid hike and book an extra night in Courmayeur, so you can leave on Day 7 (this extra night will cost 130 Euros/person (incl. breakfast and dinner)
Those who choose option 2) or 3): Prepare for some more breathtaking views as you ascend the hamlets of Sécheron and Armina and follow the exceptional balcony trail of the Mont de la Saxe revealing more aspects of Mont-Blanc. You can also opt for a scenic climb to the Col Sapin.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
865 Euro/person in a double/twin room
*Triple rooms for odd number of travelers available on request (contact us for details).
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 290 Euro (+ 160 Euros if you book the 7-day option)
Solo traveler supplement: 390 Euro (+ 190 Euros if you take the 7-day option) (incl. sgl. room supplement)
Accommodation
4 nights in hotel and 1 night comfortable gîte. Breakfasts is included everywhere. Included also 4x dinners (excl. Chamonix). All rooms are private (no dorms or other form of sharing with unknown passengers!) and in most (or even all) cases they will have private bathrooms (depending on the time of booking). Accommodation examples are provided in the itinerary for each of the days.
Tips
Daily departures between mid-June and mid-September (should be finished by then!). For hygiene reasons it is recommended to bring a sleeping sheet for the overnight in the cottages; Two blankets are provided per person in all accommodations; Hot showers are available in all accommodations; During the stages of your tour in Switzerland, Euros are widely accepted and it is not essential to carry Swiss Francs; Thunderstorms are frequent in summer, especially in the afternoon; Try to leave most of the hiking trail behind you by noon; Trains service the line between Paris (Gare de Lyon) and Chamonix (visit www.sncf.com for more details).

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