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Alps: Tour du Mont Blanc (12 days; private rooms)

€1370 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. 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.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    12 Days I Difficulty: 4 (of 5)
  • What is included
    7 nights in hotel (including 2 in Chamonix) and 4 nights in very comfortable hotel or gîte; breakfasts included everywhere, 9x dinners (from Day 2 to Day 10 incl.); all rooms with private bathroom; Luggage transfers; Lunchpacks can be ordered on spot the previous evening (12-15 Euros/person); Transfers as per program; Detailed travel and tour documents, Service hotline
  • 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 (appr. 25-30 Euros per person), 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): Hôtel La Vallée Blanche, bed and breakfast basis
2
Day 2: CHAMONIX - ARGENTIERE (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 La Couronne***, half-board basis
3
Day 3: LE TOUR – COL DE BALME - TRIENT (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. The overnight will be in a gîte (with private bath or shower, shared toilets).
4
Day 4: TRIENT – CHAMPEX (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 basis
5
Day 5: SWISS VAL FERRET - LA FOULY (5hrs; +600m/-700m)
Today you will descend to the village of Champex and follow the trail pass the Swiss Val Ferret and its captivating small villages. There is an option to take a bus to La Fouly (Switzerland) where your overnight will be and have a half-day rest. The overnight will be in a gîte or hotel (private bathroom).
6
Day 6: GRAND COL FERRET - LA VACHEY (6hrs; +850m/-800m)
Today you climb through lush green pastures to the infamous Alpine pass the Grand Col Ferret (2537m). You can also opt for a detour to the Tête Ferret. 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. Accommodation example(s): Chalet Ferret; Hôtel Astoria, half-board basis
7
Day 7: MONT DE LA SAXE - COURMAYEUR (5.30hrs; +650m/-1200m)
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. The overnight is in the Italian Alpine resort of Courmayeur.
8
Day 8: COL DE LA SEIGNE – LES CHAPIEUX (6.30hrs; +850m/-650m)
You begin the day with a bus transfer (at your own expense) to the Val Veny. Climb the fascinating Val Veny to the Elisabetta Refuge and continue up to the Col de la Seigne (The Seigne pass). You have reached a new part of the route crossing from Italy back to France while you enjoy the unbelievably beautiful scenery in the background. A short deviation brings you to the glacial Lake Miage at the foot of the Miage glacier. Your overnight will be in a gîte or refuge (depending on availability). Accommodation example(s): Refuge Les Mottets; Les Chapieux, half-board basis
9
Day 9: LES CHAPIEUX – LES CONTAMINES (6.30hrs; +850m/-1500m)
Today you will reach the highest point of your self-guided hiking tour, the Col des Fours (2665 m). Form there, you continue down through the Col du Bonhomme mountain pass. If you have spent the previous night at La Nova you can climb to the Col du Bonhomme mountain pass directly. Next, you reach the Montjoie Valley and cross over into the Vallée des Glaciers contemplating amazing views along the way. Last, you descend via the old Roman road to the chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge in the town of Les Contamines-Montjoie (France) where your overnight will be (half-board basis).
10
Day 10: LES CONTAMINES - MONTJOIE - LES HOUCHES (5hrs; +750m/-800m OR 6.30hrs; +1100m/-1250m)
The last day of this independent walking tour begins with a (free) transfer to La Gruvaz and an ascent to the Bionnassay Glacier through the village of Champel. The alternative route is via the Col du Tricot (2100m) with an incredible view of the Dômes de Miage, the Chamonix valley and the Mont Blanc. Take the time to observe the beautiful views as you descend to the village of Les Houches (France) and your self-guided hiking tour slowly comes to an end. Take a bus to Chamonix where your last overnight will be. Accommodation example(s): Hotel La Vallée Blanche, bed and breakfast basis
11
Day 11: THE AIGUILLETTE DES HOUCHES (BREVENT) or MER DE GLACE (5.15hrs; +1230m/-250m OR 3hrs; +250m/-600m)
Today you explore the magnificent stroll of Aiguillette des Houches revealing a panoramic view over the Mont Blanc and the Dôme du Goûter. You can take a breath and gather your strength at Refuge Bellachat and continue up to the top of Planpraz cable car (Brevent). You then descend to Chamonix by cable car. The other option for the day is to hike to the Mer de Glace ("Sea of Ice") valley glacier. First, you take a short train ride from Chamonix (free with the “carte d’hôte” that you have to ask at the hotel). Then, take the Aiguille du Midi lift to the mid station. Hike to the Forbes Signal (2200m) while enjoying the magnificent views over the Chamonix Valley. From there, a descend takes you to the Mer de Glace, the longest of the Mont-Blanc glaciers. When you are ready to head back to Chamonix, you take the Montenvers pinion railway. Accommodation example(s): Hotel La Vallée Blanche, bed and breakfast basis
12
Day 12: DEPARTURE

TOUR LOCATION

Price
1370 Euro/person with accommodation in a double/twin room (*45 Euro per person supplement for all arrivals in July/August)
Group size
min. 2 persons
Single room supplement
N/A
Tips
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). See SNCF bus times http://www.chamonix.com/pdf/train-travaux-4-06-8-12.pdf and buses in the Chamonix valley http://www.chamonix.com/pdf/chambus.pdf

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